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12 Apr 2022
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What works? Integrating gender into government health programmes in Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia

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What You'll Learn
Analysing successful cases of gender integration into government health programmes
  • Background: To further advance on the gains made in improving health outcomes and gender equality, particularly given the setbacks due to COVID-19, it is critical to take stock of how gender has been integrated into large scale health programs to generate learning supporting policy transfer across regional contexts
  • Project aim: to create an evidence-base of critical factors that led to successful gender integration in government health programmes at regional or national level through an analysis of between 8-10 cases
  • Regions involved: Africa, South Asia, and South-East Asia
  • Read our blog post update: Mapping of potential case studies on gender integration in government health programs across Africa, South Asia and South East Asia
Read blog update
Project Background

The aim of this project is to create an evidence-base of critical factors that led to successful gender integration in government health programmes at regional or national level through a practice-based analysis of between 8-10 cases spanning the African, South Asian, and South-East Asian regions (roughly 2-3 case studies per region). This is with a view to identify transferable lessons and inform current and future health programmes in the respective regions to integrate gender perspectives more effectively.
As such, this project will focus on government-led health programmes or programmes involving government collaboration.

To continue to improve health outcomes and realise the achievement of gender equality in global health, namely ensuring everyone has equal opportunities to optimise their health irrespective of their gender, it is important for global actors to exchange lessons learned and hard-won solutions with one another. Yet, there is limited documentation and information sharing on global, regional, and national spaces on good practices that promote gender integration in health programmes and health systems. As part of efforts to address this gap, the Gender and Health Hub (GHH) of the UNU-IIGH collaborated with five UN agencies with a health mandate (WHO, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNFPA, and UNDP) to document and analyse what has worked institutionally and programmatically to promote gender equality in health based on 14 successful cases (see report titled What works in Gender and Health in the UN). Building on the work from the ‘What Works in Gender and Health in the UN’ study, which focused on successful cases from a multilateral perspective at headquarter and regional level, there is an opportunity to analyse and learn from regional and national examples of successful gender integration in government health programmes.

To this effect, UNU-IIGH is partnering with two leading regional public health institutes, the School of Public Health at the University of Western Cape in South Africa and Public Health Foundation of India through its Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity and Social Determinants of Health in India, to identify and analyse successful cases of gender integration into government health programmes to understand what worked, where, for whom, why, and how.

Project timeline
Stage 1: April 2022 – May 2022
Completed

Identification of potential case studies

This involves consolidating data on potential case studies through:
- A call to governments, academics, civil society organisations as well as bilateral and multilateral organisations working on health in the respective regions, to submit details of government health programmes that have successfully integrated gender;
- Desk review to identify additional government health programmes that have successfully integrated gender; and
- Direct contact with stakeholders such as gender focal points from regional WHO (SEARO and AFRO) offices
Stage 2: May 2022 – June 2022 
Selection of potential cases and gathering more in-depth information.
An advisory committee that consists of 6-9 members will support the evaluation of promising practices identified from the list of submissions (collated from the open call, direct contact with key stakeholders and desk review methodology). The committee will consist of individuals (from Government, CSOs multi-lateral and bi-lateral organisations) who have expertise and prior experience gender and/or health case study analysis. This evaluation process will result in a short-list of potential cases for inclusion in the study
Stage 3: June 2022 – September 2022
Selection of final case studies and analysis of what worked, where, for whom, why & how.
This involves an in-depth case description and analysis of the final selection of case studies. Preliminary information will be gathered on relevant case-study specific contextual factors through a review of case specific documents and additional interviews and workshops with key informants. The analysis will be informed by a critical realist approach (Context-Mechanisms-Outcomes) and patterns across cases would be analysed to understand the critical ingredients that contributed to successful gender integration in government health programmes and policies
Stage 4: October 2022 – April 2023
Socialisation of study findings
This involves the write-up and dissemination of findings based on the case study analysis of Government policies and programmes that successfully integrated gender. Anticipated project outputs include:
- Publications of case study briefs and peer-reviewed manuscripts.
- Presentations of preliminary findings at regional meetings and gatherings.
- Regional reports of case studies from Africa and Asia
- Two [Africa + Asia] regional events [hybrid] to disseminate project findings and engage policymakers and other key actors.
Malaysia Surgery Workshop 2012 by Monash University
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