Collaborate knowledge building

What can you do when you want to start working with equality in your organization but aren´t quite sure where to begin? How can you  find out what are the key questions in your field? How can you know how gender equality relates to your work? You may know that the information is out there somewhere, but how do you do to collect it?

In cases like this, where there is a wish, but a lack of knowledge on where to start, we have good experiences in working with workshops on collaborative knowledge building. One client of ours wanted to carry out gender impact assessment (EIGE) for their high policy program. They were uncertain how to identify the questions concerning gender inequalities both in the program, and also how the program would be adapted on a local level from a gender perspective. In order to tackle these uncertainties, we organized a workshop based on collaborative knowledge building.

Gender Equality experts, experts on the field of the issues and representatives from organizations that will be involved in the adaptation process, met up for the workshop. The aim of the workshop was to learn from each other since none of the participants was an expert in both gender equality and the policy field at hand.

The workshop began with an introduction to gender equality and the policy program.  This, in order to get familiar to the “other” expert area connected to the program. After this, the participants started working in well mixed smaller groups. The groups were tasked to discuss and identify gender inequality related issues from different themes included in the policy program. The participants also got at hand research and concrete cases of how similar policies has been conducted in other countries. This was handed out in order to make the task more concrete. The policy experts and gender equality experts both brought their know-how to the table.

In the workshop we were able to bring together knowledge and expertise from different fields through material and a concrete task. This method also built a deeper understanding of how gender equality relates to a particular policy, but also brought an insight in a new field. Through discussions and knowledge sharing the participants were able to advance their understanding and create new ideas of gender impact assessment in the policy program.  

Finally, the discussions were summarized and debated collectively. There were discussion of where to find gender disaggregated data; the participants completed each other with ideas of concrete actions on local level; there were also discussions on how to motivate a gendered perspective and the need of some kind of support. The response for the working method was positive and our clients felt that they got new perspectives for their gender equality work.

After the workshop we were asked us to develop a tool to support the gender impact assessment on the local levels. This tool was produced shortly after the workshop and can now be found as an attachment to the policy program.

Malin Gustavsson, Ekvalita