The IGWG organizes regular in-person and virtual events where members from around the world can learn from and connect with each other. These events may be thematic, such as a focus on recent research in the GBV field, or dedicated to capacity strengthening, such as integrating participatory and inclusive evaluation and learning methods in gender transformative global health programming. Our annual IGWG Plenary creates space for members to meet in person and provide feedback on the network as a whole each year.

Presentations and recordings of IGWG events are available online so you can find past events you missed or want to revisit. The presentation materials are also available.

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The 2021 IGWG Plenary: Exploring Gender Transformative Approaches: Lessons Learned and New Opportunities in Health Programming

October 28, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am


October 28, 2021
9:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Category:

The 2021 IGWG Plenary

Exploring Gender Transformative Approaches: Lessons Learned and New Opportunities in Health Programming

View the presentation from the event here.

View the meeting report here.


  • Explore the diversity in perspectives on the definition of gender transformative programming.
  • Identify lessons from, implementation challenges related to, and future opportunities for applying gender transformative programming in family planning and reproductive health.
  • Connect with colleagues in global gender and health communities.

The IGWG invites you to the 2021 IGWG Annual Plenary on Thursday, October 28, exploring perspectives on gender transformative programming (GTP) in global health, particularly in family planning and reproductive health.

Nearly 20 years after the IGWG adapted the Gender Integration Continuum framework to depict and explain a range of approaches for gender integration in programming, the use of the term gender transformative by policymakers, donors, implementing agencies, and civil society actors has increased dramatically. Many donors and implementing agencies have endorsed this programming to advance gender equality, and evaluations of health programs using gender transformative interventions show promising results.

At the same time, new questions, tensions, and critiques about the application of GTP have emerged. The definitions, program elements, and measurement of GTP vary across institutions and geographies. These variations may mean that, as a community, we lack consensus about the core elements of GTP. While donors and implementers have a strong drive to incorporate this programming, many programmers face challenges—including a lack of tools, resources, and/or skills—that may limit their ability to implement these approaches and measure the complex nature of gender transformative outcomes.

The 2021 IGWG Plenary will explore the current state of GTP in global health and, specifically, family planning and reproductive health. This event aims to advance debate and consensus on definitions of and criteria for GTP, as well as highlight the potential gaps or limitations; share insights into factors for success in applying these approaches; and identify ways that gender transformative program elements can better be applied to policies and institutional practices and strengthen government health systems.

The event will begin with a panel discussion focused on the criteria that should be considered when defining GTP and definitional gaps and limitations. Panelists include:

  • Jessica Backman-Levy (moderator), Associate Professor of Practice, Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis and Senior Associate, Iris Group
  • Prabu Deepan, Head of Asia Region, Tearfund
  • Archana Dwivedi, Director, Nirantar India
  • Katherine Hay, Incoming Distinguished Fellow in Gender Equity and Health and Senior Strategy Advisor, University of California, San Diego (Outgoing Deputy Director, Gender Equality, Gates Foundation)
  • Rosemary Morgan, PhD, Associate Scientist, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

In breakout room sessions, participants will share lessons learned (including implementation challenges) from, best practices for, and future opportunities in applying and incorporating GTP in global health, including family planning and reproductive health. Discussions will focus on integrating GTP at community, health systems, and public or institutional policy levels.

You don’t want to miss our biggest event of the year! We look forward to your contributions to this important dialogue!

Any questions or inquiries? Contact the IGWG team at