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"...employing principles of behavioural design to “de-bias” organisations can address gender bias and ultimately reshape the way we work, learn and live."

What is the Humanitarian Need being Addressed?

This project aims to address gender bias barriers that may limit the adoption of effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) approaches for GBV programmes in humanitarian emergencies (GBViE).

In the global context humanitarian policies emphasise gender-responsive programming. Yet in practice, gender, and the needs, capacities and rights of women are not adequately considered in the humanitarian sector. Despite the emergent evidence base that gender-equitable programming improves humanitarian outcomes, programmes remain gender-blind, with data rarely disaggregated by sex.

Furthermore, there is limited evidence on gender biases within the humanitarian sector, how they influence GBViE programmes, and effective solutions to mitigate these gender biases.

What is the innovative solution and how will it improve existing humanitarian practice?

The proposed solutions will address gender biases through individual-level gender training and behavioural design innovation at the organisational level.

Behavioural research illustrates that individual-level gender bias is prevalent and difficult to overcome through training alone. Innovative solutions from behavioural economics suggest that employing principles of behavioural design to “de-bias” organisations can address gender bias and ultimately reshape the way we work, learn and live. Such de-biasing interventions change the environment within organisations so that gender biases cannot operate & influence outcomes.

The team plans to develop simple, low-cost approaches to de-bias organisations that are relevant for the humanitarian sector and test these with or without individual-level gender bias training.

Measuring and addressing gender biases through this research will improve existing practice through strengthened M&E of GBViE programming and improved gender equality in the workplace.

What are the expected outcomes?

At the individual level, the project will strengthen knowledge, skills and behaviours of humanitarian practitioners. It will enable them to design and implement more gender-equitable humanitarian programming (including strengthened M&E), and to drive change within their own organisations.

At the organisational level, addressing gender biases through behavioural design innovations will promote a more equitable workplace, a narrowed gender gap in leadership, and more effective, inclusive and diverse programmes.

The tools developed will strengthen measurement of gender biases within the sector. Promising behavioral innovations identified could be adopted more widely or evaluated in a more rigorous manner.

Related Resources

Report Gender-based Violence

Gender-Based Violence Interventions: Opportunities for Innovation

Feature Photo: Colorful fabrics in a refugee camp in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia. Credit: Vandana Sharma.

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