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Designing a project

An increasing number of media organisations are running gender sensitive and gender transformative projects (taken to include programmes). This section of the site provides tools and guidance to help you design your own.

Here, Jackie Christie, Senior Production Manager Kenya and Somalia, talks about the ways gender issues were addressed in designing and producing Sema Kenya.


What is it?

Gender analysis involves assessing a project’s potential impact on women and men, girls and boys, as well as on power relations between genders. This can be done through a combination of desk research, talking to stakeholders and conducting research with the general public. You can use it to:

• Assess differences between men and women in a particular context. This might involve analysing how roles and societal expectations vary depending on gender.
• Identify ways of encouraging equality.
• Ensure that a project doesn’t disadvantage a particular gender and/or age group.
• Build commitment to gender equality within your team.

Why do it?

Gender analysis can help you:

Better understand the context you’re working in. Gender analysis can aid you in learning about gender roles, responsibilities and power dynamics.

It can also familiarise you with the distinct experiences of men and women, who each have recourse to different options for improving their lives. This awareness can allow you to identify imbalances for your work to address.

Recognise that your assumptions may be wrong. Contrary to what your instincts might be, not everyone has the same ability to get involved with, influence or benefit from projects. It’s important to look into why that is and uncover what obstacles different genders have to overcome.

Make more effective and relevant programmes. To do this, it is best to conduct research to know more about how gender affects people’s priorities, needs and abilities. This leaves you better equipped to make powerful programmes.

How can I do it?

Many development organisations have created their own gender analysis tools to suit their needs. Download our guidance to develop your team’s ability to pinpoint the differing needs of women and men, girls and boys. You can also look at existing audience data on the BBC Media Action Data Portal. Here data can be broken down by male and female.


To work effectively on gender equality, it’s important to examine your own unconscious biases, attitudes and behaviours. These issues are ideally explored through group conversations and workshops, facilitated by specialist staff. It’s best to incrementally ‘unpack’ issues around gender over several days, to ensure a ‘safe space’ and reduce backlash.


Once you’ve completed your gender analysis, you can use gender sensitivity criteria to formulate the overall vision for your project. It’s important to be clear on what you want to achieve.

The next steps in designing a gender sensitive or transformative project are to identify what problems you want to address and how.

These are all things you would think about when developing a project theory of change. However, it’s important to make a special effort to keep men and women’s different needs and circumstances in mind as you plan your work.


There are many things to consider when reviewing your projects from a gender perspective. Here are some key questions worth asking to determine if you achieved your objectives and to help inform your learning from the project:

Did your project successfully reach and engage both men and women?

Did your project affect men and women differently?
Did your project do anything to reduce gender inequality?

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You research how young men and women consume information in the country you’re working in. You look into which media platforms they prefer and what complexity of content they can understand. You would find out what issues matter to both women and men.