Gender, Building Back Better, and the RinGs programme
Supporting gender analysis across all ReBUILD projects
Gender analysis has been supported throughout all ReBUILD’s research projects and engagement. This support takes place through collaboration and discussion with the project leads and partners, and through discussions during ReBUILD partner meetings where we discuss gender equity considerations in all ReBUILD projects. This has included example models to help analyse interplay of gender and generation in household responses in ReBUILD’s work on health financing, and how gender and power shape contracting relationships in our research into contracting. As well as this core ReBUILD research, all ReBUILD’s affiliate research partners were specifically required to document how their proposed research would address gender issues both in its focus and in the research process.
New on-line learning support tool on gender and health systems
Much of this learning has recently contributed to a collaboratively produced open access online learning resource, developed with the European Commission’s DEVCO B4 health team to help improve the considerations of gender in their health systems strengthening work.
In collaboration with the Gender Working Group of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Global Health and Security Programme, led by Associate Professor Valerie Percival at Carleton University, Canada, we have undertaken research to explore the opportunities and challenges for building gender responsive health systems in post conflict contexts. [(ReBUILD project 6)]. A paper from this analysis “Health Systems and gender in post conflict contexts: Building back better” has been published in the special issue of Conflict and Health ‘Filling the Void: health Systems in Fragile and conflict Affected States’. ReBUILD’s lead researcher in our gender work, Dr. Sally Theobald, was an invited panelist in a recent web debate, hosted by The Guardian, on how to make health systems work in poor countries and highlighted the importance of gender analysis in health systems research in fragile and conflict-affected states.
The outputs from this collaborative work has now been developed into 'Building Back Better' - a set of resources on gender in post-conflict health systems. The e-resource outlines the particular problems and challenges of addressing gender in these contexts, and the way that different actors can start being part of the solution. Two policy briefs address how health sector reform after conflict can support gender equity, and how humanitarian responses to health can adequately take gender into account. Additional briefs present country case studies from Cambodia, Nepal, Timor Leste, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and northern Uganda.
These resources were launched at an event in Liverpool in October 2015, with a set of presentations at the public launch, followed by an invited round table discussion to explore the issues of gender in post-conflict health systems, and how to move the agenda forward. The presentations from this event are now available for download here, and some excellent blog posts have been written about the event and Building Back Better by Valerie Percival and Sally Theobald, and Kerry Millington.
This embedded gender theme in ReBUILD’s work has now developed much further into the RinGs initiative. This has now brought together four health systems focused Research Programme Consortia (RPC) into the cross-RPC RinGs Partnership on Gender, Ethics and Health Systems, funded by DFID. The four RPCs, ReBUILD, Future Health Systems, RESYST and COMDIS-HSD now work as a partnership to galvanise gender and ethics analysis in health systems research and strengthening. To achieve this, RinGs focuses on three main areas: synthesising research on gender, ethics and health systems; coordinating research projects through a small grants programme; and supporting a learning platform to encourage mutual learning and the use of evidence. Within ReBUILD, Sally Theobald, Sarah Ssali and Kate Hawkins are all active members of RinGs. ReBUILD colleagues Richard Mwangi, Sreytouch Vong and Stephen Buzuzi have all won small research grants funded through the RinGS project for further research on gender and health systems in post conflict and fragile settings. You can read their blog posts about what inspired them to conduct research in this field on the RinGS website.