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Evidence + Action = Change

The Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) leveraged recent findings from a GH5050 analysis to advocate for organisational improvements in gender-related policies and practices—with lessons for other development partners

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Now in its fifth year, the Global Health 50/50 report, together with its Gender and Health Index, reviews the gender-related policies and practices of 200+ organisations. The report and index provide the most comprehensive analysis of gender equality in the global health system today.

In 2022, Sida used the findings from the GH50/50 report to take a major step forward to improve performance on gender in the organisations it works with. Senior Sida staff encouraged colleagues to engage with Sida’s partners on their performance in the 2022 report. They highlighted the GH5050 list of ‘Stagnating Low Performers‘ and outlined steps that Sida staff could take to support partners in examining their performance and identifying opportunities for improvement.

What did Sida do?

  • A senior staff member reviewed the findings of the GH5050 report and collated those relevant to Sida’s operations and partners they support financially.
  • The staff member circulated the findings and analysis internally along with several actions that Sida staff could take. This communication was conducted in three ways:
  1. A story on the Sida’s internal website
  2. Individual emails to relevant staff members
  3. Individual emails to partner organisations.
  • Suggested actions included initiating dialogues with concerned partners, especially organisations ranked lower on the GH5050 Index, and sharing GH5050’s findings with those organisations. Over the longer term, staff members were encouraged to follow up with partner organisations on their progress on improving gender equality measures.
  • Sida also supplemented their existing due diligence processes with questions based on the GH5050 index and included a progress report as a condition within the funding agreement.

Three take-aways for funders on leveraging the Global Health 50/50 Report to catalyse change

  1. Start now. Don’t wait until the performance of your organisation on gender equality is perfect before engaging with partners on their own performance. While GH5050 ranks Sida as a Very High performer, Sida recognises that there is still room for improvement but has not let this stop them from engaging and co-learning with their partners on gender justice.
  2. Communicate evidence and suggested actions. Funders can start by briefing grant managers and other relevant staff members about GH5050 findings with examples for how to start an effective and supportive dialogue with their partners about their approaches to gender equality.
  3. Incorporate additional gender equality measures into due diligence processes. Many funders undertake due diligence when assessing an organisation or initiative for funding, whether for the first time or renewal. Incorporating gender equality measures (e.g. the nine variables GH5050 reports on) into the process can ensure that organisations are assessed on this critical human development contributor, routinely and fairly.