Making science work for development

Shifting norms for gender justice: evidence on what works

16 March
New York


Patti Petesch, Consultant & Expert Advisor, GENNOVATE


Workneh Yadete - Ethiopia Research & Uptake Coordinator, Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE)

Zoe Carletide @Zoe_WAGGGS - U-Report Manager, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

Christina Kwangwari @CKwangwari - International Project Manager, Women's Rights, ActionAid International

Rachel George @Rageorge88 - Senior Research Officer, Overseas Development Institute (ODI) & Coordinator, Advancing Learning and Innovation on Gender Norms (ALIGN) Project

Lori Michau - Co-Director, Raising Voices

Aukje te Kaat - Research Manager, Aflatoun



Gender norms have risen fast up the agenda of major development actors and donors. This growing recognition is based on the premise that gender equality requires more than just parity in access to education and other services. To be truly transformative, we need a radical rethink of societies’ beliefs, behaviours and values to achieve equal access and sustainable gender justice.

Yet there is a need for better evidence on how gender norms change, the roles different actors can play, the actions they can take, and the opportunities and constraints they face. The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Advancing Learning and Innovation on Gender Norms (ALIGN) Project, will host a dynamic and interactive event at this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on how we can shift norms for gender justice, exploring the latest evidence underpinning what works.

The event will bring together a diverse set of actors working on research projects to understand the latest evidence on harmful and discriminatory gender norms and highlight the work of NGOs and programmes working to change them. The latest learnings will be shared in the form of ‘project spotlights’ from varied contexts, with discussion and reflection on how best to apply these to inform future agendas.


Patti Petesch specializes in qualitative field research on poverty, gender, conflict, and participatory development and is a co-author of On Norms and Agency: Conversations about Gender Equality with Women and Men in 20 Countries.

Workneh Yadete is a researcher based in Etiophia, and serves as the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) Etiophia Research and Uptake Coordinator.

Zoe Carletide is U-report manager for World Association of Girl Scouts, where she designs polls with Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to better represent the voices of girls and young women in global youth issues.

Christina Kwangwari is International Project Manager for Promoting Opportunities for Women’s Empowerment and Rights (POWER), ActionAid International, working to improve women's rights to sustainable livelihoods project in Ghana and Rwanda.

Rachel George is Senior Research Officer at the Overseas Development Institute in London, where she works on projects related to social norms. She currently serves as coordinator for ODI’s Advancing Learning and Innovation on Gender Norms (ALIGN) project.

Lori Michau is the co-founder and Co-Director of Raising Voices, a feminist non-profit organization based in Kampala, Uganda, working to prevent violence against women and children.

Aukje te Kaat is Research manager for Aflatoun International, an NGO offering social and financial education to children and young people worldwide.