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Building the evidence base for better male engagement programming

Wed, March 25, 3:30 to 5:00pm, Hyatt Regency Miami, Floor: 24, Petite Suite #3

Group Submission Type: Formal Panel Session (English)


In recent years, the field of male engagement programming has sparked global interest within the international development sector. Increasingly, it has been recognized that engaging boys and men is a necessary component of advancing gender equality.

Male engagement programming is considered to have gained momentum as a movement only as recently as the 1990s. ICRW (2018) describes how from initial efforts focused largely on reducing sexual and gender-based violence, promoting sexual and reproductive health, and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, programmatic engagement with boys and men has expanded to include a diverse array of interventions that increasingly frame boys and men as stakeholders and co-beneficiaries in advancing a more gender-equal world.

Organizations working in this space must strike a careful balance: without losing sight of systemic disadvantage and abuse suffered by women and girls at the hands of men, they also recognize that men and boys are also negatively affected by harmful gender norms and have their own needs and challenges that must be addressed. Today much of the currently implemented male engagement programming focuses on fostering positive masculinities and transforming inequitable gendered norms, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. The range of topics emphasized by these programs includes, among others:

• Sexual and reproductive health
• Violence against women and girls
• Care work and fatherhood
• Promotion of alternative, positive masculinities

The diversity and rapid evolution of these interventions creates a corresponding need for evidence to inform the design and refinement of effective programs. However, with such a wide set of complex outcomes to examine, the generation, sharing, and use of such evidence becomes its own challenge.

This panel will present insights from researchers and implementers who have sought to address this challenge. Panelists will discuss findings from new research to help address the question: What does the evidence tell us regarding engaging men and boys in gender programming? They will also share strategies and best practices around measurement related to these areas.

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