Gender Essentials

Gender Intentional Programming

Integrating Gender into TCI stages

How to be “gender intentional”

All stages of work with TCI can be viewed through a gender lens. TCI typically engages directly with a local government for about three to four years. During that time, TCI strengthens local health systems and the capacity of health workers through a customized package of coaching, tools and resources so local governments can design, fund and lead their own family planning programs – scaling up contextualized evidence-based interventions. As the end of direct engagement nears, support from TCI’s coaching and Challenge Fund declines as the local government prepares for “graduation.” Once graduated, the local government is on the path to self-reliance but still has access to TCI University and coaching on-demand while TCI continues to monitor for sustained impact.

Gender is integrated into TCI’s stages of engagement in the following manner:

Stage 1: Expression of interest (EOI)

TCI actively considers gender in its stakeholder engagement approaches, advocacy efforts and marketing materials. The goal is for prospective applicants to be aware of and critically think about gender from the start.

  • Gender integration is required within the expression of interest.
  • Gender integration is a selection award criterion. It may be a stand-alone component or embedded within one or more existing criteria.

TCI will identify a gender champion who can work with prospective applicants to address gender-related questions. Gender champions are dedicated to breaking gender barriers, challenging gender stereotypes and promoting gender equality through their work and communities.

Local government applicants are asked to provide details on how gender will be considered in the five selection criteria of the expression of interest (EOI).

TCI Selection Criteria

For example, here are some specific questions regarding members of the program design and implementation team: “Have you included participants of different genders in your small team? Are stakeholders with gender expertise or who work on gender issues engaged in your program, e.g., from the government or civil society?”

Stage 2: Program design

The design phase provides an opportunity to address gender through the goals, objectives and activities of the program. Gender inequities may affect program implementation and outcomes. Here is some guidance to help ensure program design content is gender intentional:

Gender Situation Analysis
Conduct a gender situation analysis to identify barriers and opportunities. This can be done by reviewing existing data sources, such as DHS data, facility data and even census data. In addition, you may choose to collect some primary data by holding focus group discussions with key audiences and stakeholders to gain insight into the gender issues in a particular location.
Gender Strategy
Develop a gender strategy and/or gender integration action plan.
Within project objectives, articulate the linkages between gender and health and development goals.
Review the gender intentional interventions. Identify strategies and approaches to address gender inequities and incorporate them as a priority in program design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. See the next lesson to learn more about TCI’s gender intentional interventions.
Identify gender indicators to measure and evaluate the impact of gender integration activities. See the lesson on data and measurement for more on gender indicators.

TCI has trained coaches that can support conducting a gender situation analysis as part of the landscaping and gap analysis. TCI coaches can help with identifying and selecting gender intentional interventions on TCI University, which include the following interventions:

Resources for programming planning

  • HIP: Creating equitable access to high-quality family planning information and services: A Strategic Planning Guide (English | French)
  • Integrating Gender into the Scale-up of Family Planning and Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health Programs (English)
  • Programming Guide: Promoting Gender Equality in Sexual, Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (English | French)
  • HIP: Engaging Men and Boys in Family Planning: A Strategic Planning Guide (English | French)
  • Essential Considerations for Engaging Men and Boys for Improved FP Outcomes (English)

Stage 3: Program implementation

In the program implementation stage, TCI provides technical support to strengthen the capacity for implementing and monitoring the evidence-based interventions, dispersing the Challenge Fund, leveraging other resources and supporting peer-to-peer learning through a community of practice.

To ensure that your program is gender intentional throughout implementation, consider these guiding questions:

  • Are marginalized voices and perspectives heard in meetings and in decision-making?
  • Are girls and boys engaged in youth activities?
  • Is there a balance in representation and leadership between youth, men and women?
  • Is the program being implemented in a way that provides safe access to sexual minorities and other marginalized or stigmatized groups?
  • How does gender intersect with race, ethnicity and disability?
  • Do partners include women-led and/or youth-led organizations?

Ways to integrate gender in programs

Facilitate women and girls’ access to services
Conduct robust M&E for gender integration
Reduce health services provider bias
Analyze intersections
Engage men and boys
Identify & act on specific barriers
Collect and analyze sex- disaggregated data
Dialogue across generations & sectors
Target funds for gender integration
Identify gender champions

Keep in mind: The presence of women or other marginalized groups in a program or team does not always mean their voices are heard or taken seriously. Also, always ensure that participation in program activities does not put individuals at increased risk of violence, ridicule or other ill treatment.

Stage 4: Graduation

Graduation is a process and recognition of sustainable success – not an exit-strategy or single event. This process provides opportunities for gender intentional activities.

TCI will ensure coaches address ongoing institutional barriers for women that can affect graduation outcomes. TCI will identify and support alumni who can serve as gender champions moving forward within the alumni network.

TCI uses results from the RAISE tool to assess countries for graduation. Many specific gender intentional activities are being incorporated.
Women may have unique coaching needs that can influence the coaching on demand process. Given the emphasis on institutionalization at this stage, TCI should ensure coaches work with coachees to address ongoing institutional barriers for women that can affect graduation outcomes.
Alumni network
Members of the alumni network elect gender champions who ensure that gender is an ongoing area of learning and sharing. Gender champions can coach new TCI local government partners and raise awareness of gender intentional programming.


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