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Gender Analysis and Development Practice

How has ‘power’ in women’s empowerment been conceptualised, and how can it be measured or assessed? Is there a role for men in NGOs working for gender and development? How are vulnerability and capacity in disasters gendered? What is your recipe for gender mainstreaming in disaster management? Does it matter that most development projects are more accountable to donors than to their supposed beneficiaries? What are the main gender issues for women and men in conflict? How might gender stereotyping impede peace-building activities?

These are examples of the sorts of questions we address on this module, which gives you experience in applying important concepts and theoretical perspectives in gender and development to practical issues and problems. You will develop skills of rigorous analysis and learn how to make theory and concepts ‘count’ in real-life case studies.

We begin with an introductory session analysing representations of gender and development, focusing on the Nike ‘Girl-Effect’ video and contrasting it with videos that take a more nuanced approach. Over the following weeks we work in four two-week long blocks, each on a different topic. In the first week of each block you read and discuss relevant research and conceptual frameworks, and in the second you apply them to a practical international case study. In the remaining week of the module we combine discussion of gender mainstreaming with a workshop on your assessment.

The specific concepts and case studies vary from year to year. Recently they have included the concepts of gender and empowerment; participation; NGO leadership; accountability; human-rights education; and vulnerability, with case studies on the UN-HABITAT’s Urban Youth Fund; responses to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and Sierra Leone; Indian efforts to engage men in gender and development NGOs; and UNICEF’s peace-building activities in Ethiopia.

We use an informal teaching and learning style over the three-hour weekly sessions, including mini-lectures, group-presentations, role plays and other structured activities designed to facilitate your engagement with core readings and build your understanding. Students work collaboratively to capitalise on your skills and experience. Your assessment is a 4,000 word case study analysis.