What We’re Learning

The Learning Agenda

WomenStrong International finds, funds, and nurtures urban, women-led organizations eager to learn and share what works in their areas of focus (and what doesn’t) through their participation in a yearlong Learning Lab. Our Lab covers four areas: Girls’ Education and Empowerment, Women’s Health, Violence Against Women and Girls, and Economic Opportunity.

Within each of these areas, we and our members are guided by a Learning Agenda, whose questions focus our collective learning on specific topics where progress could help unlock replicable approaches and models. We seek out existing research and tools related to these questions and design our Learning Lab activities and products around these topics.

Created in July 2019 together with our Learning Lab members, our Girls’ Education and Empowerment Learning Agenda includes the following questions:

  1. What are the program features, implementation approaches, and strategies used in gender intentional programming to delay early marriage, keep girls in school, and improve their pathway to income generation?
  2. What are the effects of deliberately addressing gender norms in programs to delay early marriage, keep girls in school and improve their pathway to income generation?
  3. What are promising approaches, best practices, and challenges to engage key community stakeholders, especially men and boys, to support girls’ education and empowerment?

Check back here in 2020, as we launch our next three Learning Lab areas, on Women’s Health, Violence Against Women and Girls, and Economic Opportunity and define their individual Learning Agendas.

What Does Success Look Like?

WomenStrong seeks to ensure that our member organizations no longer need to work in isolation. Our Learning Lab is designed to allow these organizations to learn from and support one another, with the technical and organizational resources they need in order to achieve their individual goals. 

Together, the organizations in our Girls’ Education and Empowerment Lab are working to answer questions such as: What does it take to get parents to participate in programs focused on reducing child marriage and keeping girls in school? How can organizations engage teachers, given all their other responsibilities, and their own ideas and experiences, to implement gender-transformative teaching approaches in their classrooms? 

At WomenStrong, we will measure our own success beyond the ability of a particular grantee organization to achieve their respective goals. We are interested in learning how organizations adapt and respond to individual challenges, how, within the Learning Lab, they are able to share and support each other, whether there are opportunities for them to co-create learning products, and how that process evolves and succeeds. 

Like the member organizations in the Lab, we are using multiple methods to evaluate our approach, to identify what works and what can be improved, so that we can continue to learn and improve.  We will share regular updates as we evaluate our own progress.

About WomenStrong International

WomenStrong International is a global community of organizations working with women and girls to end extreme urban poverty. We start and end by listening to urban women and girls, who know best what they need, in order to thrive. WomenStrong finds, funds, nurtures, and shares women-driven solutions that can transform lives. Learn More