The Programmes Working Group brings together individuals implementing, supporting and assessing programmatic work on gender equality, development and women’s rights to deepen debate and discussion. Sharing expertise and good practice in order to contribute to more effective practice and policy.


Valentine Lecluse, Integrity Action

Sam Fox, ActionAid UK

Ida Jarsve, Women for Women International


The objective of the Programmes group is to be a platform for general programming knowledge and learning exchange. It exists to deepen debate and discussion and share expertise and good practice in order to contribute to more effective practice and policy. Specific aims of the group are to:

  • Provide a space to engage, learn from each other, share good practice and address common challenges.

  • Cover all areas/issues of gender and development in support of other thematic groups but with a specific focus on programme design, implementation, partnerships and learning.

  • To strengthen GADN's policy work by ensuring that it is informed by both established and promising programmatic practice.

We aim to ensure that the group is inclusive and non-discriminatory, allowing members to bring discussions of interest to the group. We welcome both new members and ideas for issues to discuss.


Resources on Programmes are available from GADN members and others.

The former Gender Mainstreaming Working Group (now merged with the Programmes Working Group) produced 'Untangling Gender Mainstreaming: A Theory of Change based on experience and reflection' in 2015, exploring the concept and practicalities of gender mainstreaming. It draws on learning from staff with responsibility for gender mainstreaming in nine UK based international Non Governmental Organisations (INGOs) and their Southern based partner organisations; wider discussions with GADN members and women’s rights activists; as well as the personal experiences and reflections of the authors. It elaborates a Theory of Change setting out the component parts of gender mainstreaming, how these relate to each other, and how they collectively contribute towards the wider goal of gender equality and women’s and girls’ rights.

Gender trainings

When it was a standalone working group, the Gender Mainstreaming working group held a meeting to discuss gender trainings. The group looked at why we do these trainings, when they are appropriate and how to make them effective and supportive of long lasting change. The key recommendations drawn from the meeting were:

  • Look for training to be creating transformational change, not just about technical experts. We should be looking to reframe ‘gender training’ towards ‘gender justice and gender equality’.

  • We are part of a global gender justice movement, and any training should be towards supporting this. Should have strong ambition.

  • Trainings should not be seen as a process which will get finished and accomplished in its aims quickly, they will always require an on-going process towards achieving gender equality.

  • Being aware of the context and where the participants are coming from is important. For organisations - gender analysis within them is important.

  • When training for an organisation, involving the leadership is key– talk to the CEO and Trustees and involve them in the planning.

  • Technology can be used creatively to disseminate information.

📷 GADN Members Meeting on worker’s rights and women’s rights (April 2019)