The WomenStrong International Approach
At WomenStrong, we support local women-led organizations across the globe in fulfilling and expanding their service to the women and girls in their communities. We take direction from our partner organizations. They tell us what would help them hone their skills and strengthen their evidence-based, gender-transformative programming focused on enabling local girls and women to live healthy, fulfilled, and empowered lives free of violence, and we provide the assistance our partners request.
We support our partners via our three key pillars: trust-based grantmaking, capacity strengthening, and membership in a community of practice in our Learning Lab. In addition to organizational strengthening and technical support, we also assist these women-led organizations in helping to expand their networks, their visibility, and their sources of funding. We accompany our partners as they enhance their abilities to achieve the objectives they set for themselves, in pursuit of our common goal: gender equity.
WomenStrong’s Three Pillars
We now find our partners through open calls. We invite women-led organizations that meet our criteria to send us information about themselves, and we then reach out to hold exploratory conversations, including about whether the organization would be interested in participating in our Learning Lab. We do not require proposals; rather, we discover through dialogue whether prospective partners seem to be a good fit for our programs.
We seek partners working in four intersectional areas that address some of the most essential needs of women and girls:
- Girls’ education and empowerment
- Sexual and reproductive health
- Preventing violence against women and girls
- Economic security and opportunity
Our unrestricted grants come with minimal reporting, enabling our grantee partners to focus on their missions.
WomenStrong’s trust-based grantmaking offers greater equity in our partnerships and ensures that our partners feel safe to take strategic risks. We maintain open feedback mechanisms and respond quickly to feedback from our partners.
Although WomenStrong partners have their own capacity strengthening goals, they may feel compelled to devote their limited funds, staff, and time to advancing their technical programming, deferring investment in aspects of their work that could place their organizations on firmer footing. At WomenStrong, we consult with each partner and co-create capacity strengthening action plans designed to meet their needs, with support to be provided by vetted local experts or by WomenStrong itself, as determined by the partner. Each plan articulates how the partner envisions success and includes milestones charting progress toward realizing that vision.
Many of our partners share similar priorities, leading many toward enthusiastic participation in our Learning Lab, where they can learn from each others’ expertise and experience. Please see “The Learning Lab” section below for more details.
The Learning Lab
Through our Learning Lab – held in virtual space or in person, when possible – we enable our partners to strengthen their capacity, exchange information, gain insights from each other, and share knowledge, regarding their work, regarding funding or visibility opportunities, and regarding gender-transformative programming. Given the chance to connect and to build a community across geographies, partners explore avenues for potential collaboration, including developing a collective agenda, advocating on specific issues, collaborative learning, and collective self-care. In these and other ways, both individually and as a community, our partners contribute to global efforts to achieve equality and equity for girls and women worldwide.
Please email us with questions or to arrange a chat about any of the above, at [email protected].
About WomenStrong International
WomenStrong International provides trust-based funding, capacity strengthening, and a peer learning community to grantee partners addressing some of the most critical needs of women and girls: keeping girls in school, accessing lifesaving reproductive health care, preventing gender-based violence, and creating pathways to economic security. Learn More