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Training Teams

Preparing staff to engage in gender analysis should be tailored both to the unique dynamics within the organization and its context, as well as the key areas of inquiry.

This section covers two major streams of preparation for research teams and lessons from across research sites have stressed that the importance of dedicated time for training and preparation cannot be understated. Preparing teams for research requires high-level commitment to gender equality and learning from all levels of the organization, and is critical for quality research.

Preparation can be highly personal and can run against the values and expectations of traditional project management, it is essential to ensure a safe space for staff to discuss sensitive topics on gender through structured loops of reflection, learning, action and experimentation.

Training Modules on Gender and Power, and Analysis

For gender and power analysis preparation, exercises used include:

Gender, Equity and Diversity Training

Gender and power relations can affect the perceptions, preferences and roles of the women and men with whom we work. All of us carry assumptions, values and norms about gender, power, and empowerment that can shape how we communicate, what we see, and the ways we analyze gender roles and relations.

To prepare staff to confront issues on gender and sexuality, to take a respectful and non-judgmental stance in the research process, and avoid imposing our own assumptions or values onto others, CARE has engaged research teams in a number of self-reflection exercises on gender and power. This reflection is critical to support staff to feel comfortable and become effective in facilitating reflection on values and assumptions within communities:

Basic concepts of gender and power:
Reflections on experiences with gender and power:
Breaking taboos to discuss assumptions, experiences and values concerning gender and power:

Coaching on critical research skills, which includes:

The second key theme is to dedicate time toward supporting participants to step into the research role, which requires skills in critical probing, exploring and challenging in a way that may be new for many staff who have not engaged in research in the past:

 

Training Examples

Examples on how teams have prepared staff for gender analysis include:

CARE Ecuador: Hosted an experiential workshop to practice the methodology and identify internalization of gender and empowerment approaches in the lives of staff. This approach promoted making linkages between body, mind and emotions, in order to build greater self-awareness.

CARE Tanzania: To reflect upon and analyze changes within community practices/perceptions around female genital cutting practices, the team worked with consultant Tony Klouda to develop skills in critically exploring social change.

CARE Uganda: Held a preparatory workshop to strengthen their understanding of gender, equity and women’s empowerment, in work and in their lives. Exercises included:

The Inner Spaces Outer Faces Initiative (ISOFI) and the Social Analysis and Action (SAA) toolkits outline exercises that reflect on perceptions surrounding gender and sexuality as well as develop skills in critical analysis and reflection. Exercises included:

Like analysis itself, leading preparation sometimes requires support from outside of the office. It may be helpful to map out other organizations working within the national context who have the specialization and training skills to lead some of this reflection, seek inputs from other offices who have undergone this work in the past, or recruit key experts within and outside of CARE to help in planning and leading such exercises.

 


Resources

Other resources you may wish to consult for further ideas for gender training include:

Resources on Gender and Diversity Sensitivity/Awareness

Courses and Manuals on gender and power:
Resources on building research and analysis skills
  • B Bode and D Wu (2010). East Africa Regional Capacity Building Initiative in Situational Analysis. CARE International – East/Central Africa Regional Management Unit.
  • CARE (2007). Ideas and Action: Addressing the Social Factors that Influence Sexual and Reproductive Health.
  • T Klouda (2007). Training CARE Staff to Explore, Negotiate, Foster and Challenge. Available at Module 3 of the Women’s Empowerment SII Methodological Compendium.
  • T Klouda (2006). Implementing the Reflective Social Challenge Approaches: Mwanza WAGE Situation Analysis of Households Managing Long-term Care and Support. Available at Module 2 of the Women’s Empowerment SII Methodological Compendium.
  • T Klouda (2006). Reflective Social Challenge.
  • R Caldwell (2002). Project Design Handbook. CARE.
  • P Whiffen (2000). Techniques for Capturing Learning in Tearfund. Tearfund: London.
  • P Senge, et al (1994). The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization. Currency Books, Doubleday: New York, NY.
Other Resources