In the past two decades, use of the term gender transformative by policymakers, donors, implementing agencies, and civil society actors has increased dramatically. Many health donors, bilateral and global institutions, and implementing agencies have endorsed their commitment to realizing gender transformative programs, although the definitions used by global health institutions vary.
At the same time, research on the effectiveness of gender transformative health programs as it relates to health and gender equality outcomes has increased in the past two decades. As implementers and researchers use the term gender transformative as evaluative criteria for gender equality programs, with expanding evaluation data and evidence, the need for a clear understanding of what meets the definition becomes increasingly important.
At the 20-year anniversary of the Gender Integration Continuum, the Interagency Gender Working Group has developed a research brief addressing the following questions:
- How effective is gender transformative programming?
- What program elements are key to successful programs?
- What questions or limitations have emerged about the implementation of gender transformative programs?
- What lessons and conclusions can we take away from programming that aims to change gender and social norms, advance gender equality, and sustain improvements in health?
This research brief summarizes the methods, findings, and conclusions of a rapid literature review of systematic reviews of evaluated gender transformative health programs. It sheds light on how best to achieve gender equality and health outcomes through gender transformative programming. The brief also provides recommendations for program implementers, policy advocates, and funders for improving the effectiveness and sustainability of gender transformative health programs.