It has been a long time coming, but we’re so excited to have finally launched the “GRRIPP” network (Gender Responsive Resilience and Intersectionality in Policy and Practice), funded by the UKRI Collective Fund. GRRIPP brings together partners from Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, South Asia and the UK to disrupt mainstream development and disaster discussions on gender. We’re not just about research, we are the seeds of an exciting new network, and we hope you can support and shape it, too.
Too often humanitarian and development programmes have “gender equality” as a “value add” aspect of projects rather than as a central goal. And too few organisations engage with how overlapping aspects of discrimination, such as gender, race and class (known as intersectionality), interact and exacerbate development challenges for women, girls and people of diverse sexual and gender identities. These challenges increase in situations of disasters and conflict, where pre-crisis resilience can start off low.
Humanitarian and development actors need more gender- and intersectionality-sensitive research in order to transform policy and practice to be more gender- and intersectionality-responsive. In other words, aid actors need to better understand how the politics behind gender identities affects people’s everyday experiences in order to offer more appropriate, contextualised interventions.
These outcomes require organisations to engage with indigenous and decolonial perspectives on gender and discrimination in crisis contexts. It also requires a grounded evidence base built on experience from researchers, practitioners and activists at the grass roots level.
Community Forests in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo: Axel Fassio/CIFOR. These forests come with formal rights to land that communities have occupied for generations. In the DRC, women play a dominant role in agriculture and through Community Forest initiatives, organisations are supporting marginalised groups, such as women, to play an increased role in decision-making around their management.
GRRIPP in action
Bringing diverse local actors and their experiences to the table is exactly what GRRIPP aims to achieve. With partners from across Latin America, Southern Africa, South Asia and the UK, our network will collectively and democratically determine an agenda for change: facilitating knowledge exchange; enhancing solidarity; creating spaces for constructive dissent; and building an evidence base driven by grassroots knowledge and experience.
Our particular focus will be on disasters and conflict in urban contexts; we seek to understand and enhance people’s strategies to cope with risks and crisis, including the impacts of climate change, and support the development of more sustainable, caring infrastructure, such as homes, roads and hospitals.
We are also excited to have the opportunity to launch a research “Commissioning Programme” very soon (watch this space!), which means we will be able to fund and support local projects directly. The remit of this programme will be developed democratically based on the priorities of grassroots partners in our focus regions. With a horizontal structure and solidarity ethos, GRRIPP won’t just produce new knowledge, it will offer a new way of working together for change.
If you want to learn more about GRRIPP, join the network, and contribute to discussions – get in touch via our contact page, we’d love to hear from you.