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Celebrating our continued partnership with Global Affairs Canada and commitment to innovation for gender equality

By Katie Carrasco, Environment, Social Responsibility & Governance Director  |   Posted 8th March 2022

On this International Women’s Day, GIF is pleased to announce a continued partnership with Global Affairs Canada for our Innovating for Gender Equality fund.

Since the launch of the Innovating for Gender Equality fund in 2018 our aim has been to demonstrate how innovation can address gender power imbalances and accelerate the increase in agency for millions of women and girls in the developing world. We have built a portfolio of five gender-transformative innovations that are set to increase the agency of between 4.3 and 12.8 million women and girls in the next ten years.

GIF is nothing without the impactful work of our portfolio. On International Women’s Day we want to highlight the gender transformative work of innovations in our portfolio that advance gender equality through different impact and scaling pathways. These organisations work tirelessly to challenge biases to ensure a just, equitable and sustainable tomorrow.

Breakthrough aims to shift community/societal gender norms by working with adolescents in government schools.

No Means No Worldwide strives to reduce sexual violence in Sub-Saharan Africa by delivering a curriculum focused on strategies to empower young boys and girls with skills to prevent sexual assault. 

StrongMinds seeks to reduce depression among the most vulnerable women in Uganda and Zambia, including testing new techniques of teletherapy.

MTV Staying Alive Foundation creates a media ecosystem that generates gender-transformative media content to shift regressive norms and reduce gender-based violence. 

Buildher strives to increase women’s employment and dignity at work through training and job placement in Kenya’s construction industry. 

In 2021, as we expanded our portfolio of investments under the Innovating for Gender Equality fund, we also developed further our application of Practical Impact to measure and forecast increases in agency of women and girls, and in safety from gender-based violence, in addition to standard wellbeing increases. You can read more about our approach in our technical paper.

In the spirit of learning and transparency, GIF underwent an evaluation of the first three years of the Innovation for Gender Equality fund to understand the impact, outcomes, opportunities for growth, quality and scope of the partnership, including comparison to similar initiatives, and specific opportunities created by the partnership. We look forward to sharing insights from the evaluation with our audiences.

We are proud of the work we carried out under this partnership where we internalised what it means to be an effective investor for gender equality: putting innovation, evidence, and scalability at the heart of our investment strategy.

Our gender toolkit includes:

  • The Gender Equality Framework, illustrating how GIF looks at innovations that promote gender equality by increasing the agency of women and girls.
  • The Gender Marker, which enables a rapid assessment of the gender dimensions of an innovation
  • GIF’s Gender Questions, an analysis-to-action tool to help start conversations with innovators to identify specific actions to strengthen strategy, and build capacity of innovators to understand and address gender equality in all facets of their innovations.
  • Gender Outcomes in Practical Impact, a detailed paper on how GIF ensures gender equality outcomes are captured in its impact framework.
  • Innovator’s guide to evidence for gender equality innovations; a guide to support innovators applying for GIF funding to demonstrate how gender equality is improved through their innovation by harnessing measurement practices and information.

As we look ahead to growing the portfolio and increasing the agency of women and girls, with the help of Global Affairs Canada, we are committed to continuing to address the challenges posed to women and girls. Women constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are most affected by the shocks of climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. On International Women’s Day, with the support of Global Affairs Canada, we celebrate our renewed commitment to gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow, by finding and funding scalable innovations that transform unequal gender relations and address structural barriers to gender equality.

See if you are a good fit for GIF investment by visiting our application webpage.