Projects

Iris Group provides a range of services to help ensure that marginalized groups are able to shape—and benefit from—economic and social development. And as a small and agile firm we are positioned to respond rapidly to our clients’ needs in a cost-effective, respectful, and locally relevant manner. Our past projects include:

February 2015 to August 2015

Research staff from Iris Group are working closely with gender and research experts on the USAID-funded J-CAP Project in Amman to design and implement a qualitative study of gender norms and family planning among Jordanians and Syrian refugees in three regions of Jordan. Iris Group is collaborating with a Jordanian research organization and J-CAP staff to conduct focus group discussions and key informant interviews, collect and analyze the data, and interpret the findings to arrive at recommendations for addressing gender issues in J-CAP policy, communications and advocacy interventions over the life of the project.

February 2015 to May 2015

Iris Group conducted a joint gender and youth assessment for the USAID-funded Nexos Locales project in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Through an initial rapid assessment and gender analysis, the team offered guidance on ways to strengthen female and youth participation and to design programming with gender and youth-specific vulnerabilities in mind. A one day strategic planning workshop was held with project staff and partners to discuss the results of the rapid assessment and brainstorm possible avenues for incorporating gender and youth considerations into strategy implementation, as well as building in leverage points for gender and youth-conscious engagement. The assistance included preparation of a Gender and Youth Integration Plan for the project.

February 2015 to May 2015

A two-person team from Iris Group developed and conducted gender training for ARC/Haiti staff, partners, and volunteers throughout Haiti. Iris Group trainers delivered the seven workshops in French, Kreyol, and English and they ranged from 3-4 days in length. Workshop content included modules on gender basics, gender analysis, gender integration in project activities, gender mainstreaming at an institutional level, gender-based violence, sexual diversity, gender identity, and masculinities.

November 2014 to March 2015

On behalf of Vital Voices, Iris Group staff and in-country consultants designed and conducted a Data Quality Assessment of the DfID-funded VVLead Fellows Program in Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya. Iris Group designed a DQA tool specifically to assess the quality of recordkeeping and data collection by the women leaders who participate as Fellows in the program. The team visited Fellow’s at their offices or homes to review their records and talk with a sample of their colleagues and community representatives to determine how well they were documenting the impact of their activities on primary, secondary, and tertiary beneficiaries. The evaluators reviewed the DQA findings with each Fellow in-situ, identifying areas for improvement, answering their questions about VVLead’s indicators and M&E system, and training them on how to improve the quality of the data they are collecting and reporting to Vital Voices. A synthesis report identifies lessons learned across the three countries and makes recommendations for the full VVLead program.

November 2014 to February 2015

In June 2012, MEASURE Evaluation launched the Global Evaluation and Monitoring Network for Health (GEMNet-Health) to support the development of sustainable, organizational and technical M&E capacity among our current and former regional training partners; foster organization growth, collaboration, and peer-to-peer support for monitoring and evaluation of health programs globally through ongoing and future institutional linkages. Iris Group has provided key technical support and consultation on network formation, governance and facilitation since GEMNet-Health’s inception. During late 2014, Iris Group staff conducted an organizational and sustainability assessment of global networks, surveying eight global networks and presenting to MEASURE Evaluation and GEMNet-Health a summary of effective network models, structures, and operational best practices. The assessment supports GEMNet-Health in its ongoing process to develop long-term sustainability and financial management strategies as the network continues to work toward its mission of empowering member institutions to ensure access to quality monitoring and evaluation (M&E) training, research and services.

November 2014

As part of a series of gender training workshops for the US Embassy in Mexico City, Iris Group conducted a half-day introductory workshop on gender analysis and integration, the policy environment, and gender identity and sexual diversity. Participants included foreign service and national staff working in political and economic affairs, communications, human resources, and the security sector. The workshop was conducted in collaboration with the Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.

October 2014

Iris Group designed and delivered a two-day training to build the capacity of Abt Associates’ US-based staff on gender analysis, integration, and internal advocacy. The participatory workshop was an expanded version of the USAID-based Gender 101 and Gender Analysis and Integration trainings, incorporating LGBTQ sensitization and internal advocacy sessions as well as helping participants think about future work and how to integrate gender in proposals, new activities, and monitoring and evaluation plans.

January 2014 to August 2014

Iris group worked with CARE to create clear guidance on how to practically and ethically monitor and mitigate GBV within non-emergency, international development programming, in which GBV is not a specific programmatic component. Specifically, Iris drew on existing GBV-related guidance, as well as input from a group of experts, to create recommendations for preventing and/or responding to unintentional risk, threat, or violence against individuals related to programmatic interventions. The guidelines describe ways to assess the realities of GBV in a programmatic environment and give targeted suggestions on how to track GBV-related incidents and issues throughout the program cycle.

March 2014 to August 2014

Served as strategic thought partner to support the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in taking a more intentional approach to gender equality and women’s empowerment across the foundation, by forwarding the foundations’ thinking on gender integration and women’s empowerment. This entailed strategy and research support, including an extensive literature review and synthesis of gender interventions and outcomes across six programmatic sectors (Agricultural Development; Family Planning; Financial Services for the Poor; Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health; Nutrition; and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), and providing expert consultation on key publications.

June 2014 to July 2014

IMC contracted with Iris Group to provide an overview of the US funding landscape for water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector initiatives in developing countries. The analysis centered on US government (USG) funding opportunities and also included corporate and private foundation funds available and granted for WASH-related programs and research. The research methodology included searching online databases that track current and historical government and foundation giving. To complement the database searches, the researcher conducted informal key informant interviews with five donors and five non‐governmental organizations to get a “pulse” for the WASH funding arena in the United States. In addition to standalone WASH funding, the report reviews strategic intersectoral funding opportunities that leverage WASH to improve outcomes in areas such as nutrition, resilience, and healthcare facilities.

April 2014 to June 2014

Iris Group analyzed and documented successful female condom advocacy and woman-centered advocacy related to the Prevention Now! Campaign. This process included stakeholder interviews and qualitative analysis and culminated in a brief for the 2014 International AIDS Conference as well as a longer-form report, comprised of narratives from donor and civil society stakeholders in project countries and in Washington, DC.

October 2013 to December 2013

To measure the impact of its work, the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) contracted Iris Group to carry out an evaluation of its Global Health Initiative Accountability Project in Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Nigeria. Using semi-structured interviews and document review, Iris Group staff is collecting and analyzing qualitative data to assess the extent of the effects that CHANGE’s project has had on the GHI policy formulation and implementation.

November 2013 to December 2013

Iris Group provided virtual coaching and technical consultation services on gender integration and strategy development to the Intrahealth gender coordinator on a USAID-funded social marketing project in Madagascar. Using the Gender Analysis and Integration Matrix (GAIM) as a framework, Iris Group is helping the gender coordinator map the results of a gender assessment to appropriate project interventions and indicators and develop a gender strategy for the project.

June 2013 to December 2013

Iris Group’s field research and training experts prepared a training manual and accompanying training curriculum to prepare researchers to collect wellbeing survey data on orphans and vulnerable children and their households, under the MEASURE Evaluation project. The training materials were field-tested in Nigeria and revised to produce a final product that can be replicated in other countries.

July 2013 to October 2013

Iris Group provided gender expertise to the DHHS Office of Women’s Health to ensure that gender is addressed in the evaluation plan, performance monitoring plan, logic model, data collection instruments and progress reports from grantees in the United States.  The work was conducted under a subcontract from MayaTech.

September 2013

Iris Group’s gender experts prepared guidelines for field office research teams of the USAID Support for International Family Planning Organizations (SIFPO) project. The guidance addresses internationally recognized best practices on GBV, including sampling considerations, data collection requirements, counseling/referral requirements, effective framing of research questions, and ethical protocols. Special consideration is given to research involving key populations, including transgender people, adolescents, men who have sex with men, and sex workers. The work was conducted under a subcontract from Intrahealth.

September 2013

To build the capacity of gender staff to most effectively integrate gender throughout FHI 360’s work, Iris Group designed curriculum for and facilitated a two-and-a-half day gender integration and institutional advocacy training for core gender staff. The participatory workshop included sessions on integrating gender into the proposal process, effective communication skills for gender integration, and intra-institutional advocacy, in addition to technical skills building on gender analysis and integration in project design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation.

March 2013 to June 2013

Under subcontract to MSH for the AIDSTAR-Two Project, Iris Group staff participated in a gender assessment in Kazakhstan and prepared and vetted a gender strategy for PEPFAR’s regional program for the Central Asian Republics. The strategy included a heavy focus on identifying and eliminating the gender-related barriers to HIV services for key populations, including people who inject drugs, sex workers, men who have sex with men, prison populations, and transgender persons.

February 2013 to May 2013

Under the GirlHub Project, Iris Group and our collaborating organization, Greeneworks, worked with Save the Children staff to build a gender integration toolkit. In close collaboration with the client, our team designed a readily accessible digital toolkit that provides straight-forward guidance for technical staff at headquarters offices and in the field. The toolkit is a companion to the organization’s gender policy and provides operational guidance to help staff integrate gender in projects across Save the Children's thematic areas of child rights, child protection, education, humanitarian response, health and nutrition, HIV, and livelihoods. It will also serve as a resource when conducting country and thematic assessments for country office strategic planning.

February 2013 to March 2013

Iris Group staff conducted a gender analysis for CARE International as part of the design of a food security program in Haiti. To understand gender inequalities in food and nutrition security in Haiti, Iris Group conducted key informant interviews, focus groups, and a literature review. The context-specific gender analysis informed the design of the program's logical framework, activities, and monitoring and evaluation plan. The gender analysis was organized and presented using the Gender Integration and Analysis Matrix (GAIM).

November 2012 to March 2013

Iris Group provided technical assistance on gender integration to USAID/Guatemala’s five technical offices as they developed their Project Appraisal Documents (PADs): Environment, Citizen Security, Education, Health and Nutrition, and Agriculture and Economic Growth. Working hand-in-hand with the Mission’s Gender Advisor and with the participation of the USAID Office of Gender and Development (GenDev), Iris Group staff served as external “gender coaches,” to design and pilot test a new approach to gender analysis for USAID missions. The pilot was intended to help Missions respond to the 2012 Gender Policy mandate that a sector-level gender analysis be conducted and then integrated into each PAD. The participatory exercise built the skills of Mission technical staff by coaching them to carry out gender analysis with minimal support from the Mission’s Gender Advisor and external gender consultants. For this pilot exercise, Iris Group and GenDev created a new tool called the Gender Analysis and Integration Matrix (GAIM). The GAIM is used to guide Mission staff through the identification of relevant gender analysis questions, document their answers, and discern whether there indeed exist gender gaps and if they are relevant to project design. Finally, the matrix shows how the relevant gender gaps will be addressed and integrated into project design documents. The GAIM allows for a more streamlined and user-friendly approach to gender analysis. In addition to the technical assistance, Iris Group and GenDev also conducted a one-and-a-half day gender training workshop for 42 representatives of USAID/Guatemala’s implementing partners across the five sectors.

October 2012 to November 2012

Iris Group provided technical translation services to JSI under the AIDSTAR-One Project, to prepare Spanish-language versions of project case studies and manuals related to gender and HIV.

September 2012 to November 2012

Iris Group was contracted by USAID’s Regional HIV/AIDS Program in Central America to conduct a situation analysis of the political landscape for HIV in the region. The team reviewed current activities in the region and identified gaps, obstacles, and constraints affecting the outcome of HIV policy work during the last five years. The qualitative assessment covered all seven countries in the region, gathering information via semi-structured interviews with more than 100 experts and stakeholders from the public sector, civil society, international cooperation agencies, and private enterprises during September 2012. The analysis included a strong focus on factors affecting implementation of policy and programs to address gender-based violence, the needs of LGBT populations, gender norms, and human rights. The results of the analysis helped shape the next U.S. government strategy for assistance on HIV policy in the region.

July 2012 to August 2012

Under subcontract to Measure Evaluation, Iris Group staff facilitated a two and a half day regional forum in Kigali for district level HIV program officials from Rwanda and national HIV program representatives from Botswana and Zambia. The forum was a companion to the “Know Your Epidemic from a Gender Perspective” workshops conducted by the Measure Evaluation Project. Participants in the regional forum learned about the importance of gender analysis to inform evidence-based decision making; reviewed their HIV-related service data from a gender perspective; identified information on gender differences at the district (national) level in service usage; and developed programmatic action plans to address gender disparities at the district (national) level as well as routinely monitor data to assess progress.

May 2012

Iris Group provided hands-on training for 47 participants from the West Bank/Gaza program to familiarize them with basic gender concepts, updates on recent policy changes, and roles and responsibilities for gender integration throughout the USAID program cycle. During the second day of training, participants worked in sector teams to apply gender analysis and integration to their own procurements and current projects. Sectors included water resources and infrastructure, private enterprise, education, health, and democracy and governance. The gender training was conducted under contract to DevTech and in collaboration with the USAID Office of Gender and Development.

February 2012 to April 2012

As the LAC/RSD office developed a new strategic plan for FY 2013-2017 through the Country Development and Cooperation Strategy process, Iris Group participated as the health lead on a DevTech gender assessment team to determine the critical gender-related priorities for the CDCS. The LAC/RSD office integrated the findings of the assessment into its strategic plan.

April 2012

During a two-day workshop for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Iris Group trained staff from MEASURE Evaluation on creating and sustaining a global network of regional training partners. Workshop participants shared best practices and lessons learned in forming and maintaining networks, learned a systematic approach to forming and maintaining sustainable networks, reviewed the role and responsibilities of network facilitators, and designed a module on network formation. Iris Group provided follow-on technical assistance to the MEASURE Evaluation team to help design a four-day network launch workshop.

March 2012

In partnership with DevTech and the USAID Office of Gender and Development, Iris Group trained 50 individuals from the USAID Mission in Honduras (in English) and staff from implementing partners (in Spanish) on how to integrate gender into the Mission’s portfolio of new and existing projects. The two separate trainings allowed Iris Group to tailor the sessions to the specific needs of each group, with extra attention to including gender-related language in procurements for USAID officers and more focus on activity-level gender integration for project implementers. After getting their feet wet creating common definitions of basic gender terms, participants learned how to conduct gender analyses and integrate attention to gender into their own project documents and activities. Sectors included governance, citizen security, education, health, economic growth, food security and energy and environment.

March 2012

In partnership with DevTech and the USAID Office of Gender and Development, Iris Group trained 24 participants from the Front Office, Justice and Citizen Security Office, Economic Growth and Environment Office, Program Office, and Executive Office of the USAID Mission in Mexico. Staff participated in interactive sessions on defining gender terms and concepts, understanding the continuum of approaches to gender, USAID’s gender policy, how to integrate gender across the USAID program cycle, and hands-on work to integrate gender into their own procurements and activity documents.

January 2012

Iris Group, under contract to DevTech, reviewed curricula and materials used in multi-sectorial gender trainings for the USAID Office of Gender and Development. The materials were updated to reflect new policy guidance on gender and lessons learned and best practices from past trainings.

December 2011

Staff from Iris Group conducted a literature review to provide more information about the content, rationale, and potential applications of the RAPID|Women model, a demographic tool developed by Futures Group that demonstrates the impact of investing in women. Staff edited the technical report for the model for Futures Group, paying particular attention to how gender is addressed, and produced a draft of an article for publication.

November 2011

Iris Group provided hands-on training to familiarize participants with the Interagency Gender Working Group (IGWG) core training materials and how to best use them, new guidance on conducting gender assessments, and key resources and references for providing gender technical assistance and training to country teams. The one-day workshop included a practicum session where participants designed a briefing session to response to a hypothetical U.S. Government (USG) country team request during a country visit. The goal of the workshop was to build capacity to address USG gender-related requirements in PEPFAR country programs.