Collaborating across cultures, communities, and organizations
Project Design & Implementation
We guide clients during project design and implementation to ensure that activities not only meet sector specific goals, but that they also promote gender equality and social inclusion. We use innovative tools such as our GESI Analysis and Integration Matrix (GAIM) and the Gender Integration Continuum to conduct rigorous analyses of underlying norms and inequalities and to identify context specific barriers and opportunities. We then translate our findings into organization and program work plans, activities, budgets, and measurement and evaluation processes.
Iris Group conducts research on GESI and social norms across multiple sectors, such as: water, sanitation, and hygiene, including water governance, menstrual health and hygiene, and urban sanitation; sexual and reproductive health; family planning; and maternal, newborn, and child health. Our research is completed to inform the implementation of large projects, or it is done as standalone investigations to advance the state of evidence on GESI. We use qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches to collect primary data and analyse secondary data. We also use participatory methods such as appreciative inquiry and group model building to engage research participants and communities in our work.
We help donors as well as private sector, governmental, and non-governmental institutions design strategies to address GESI both within their own organizations and across their programming portfolios. We work with them to articulate their GESI and development goals, taking full account of the available evidence from across the globe. To meet the individual needs of our client organizations, we develop tailored, participatory approaches to support strategy design, getting creative along the way to keep things engaging and forward-thinking.
Capacity Building & Organizational Development
Given our deep commitment to and experience in GESI, clients often approach Iris Group for support in integrating a GESI approach into their organizational structures, programming, and research. Iris Group provides tailored GESI training and coaching for leadership, staff, GESI advisors, and other development practitioners and implementers. We use a range of participatory methods and adult learning techniques to engage diverse audiences, expand skills, and amplify local voices. We also work with clients to improve organizational effectiveness and administrative efficiency, develop gender-equitable human resource policies, strengthen organizational culture in support of GESI, and align vision, structure, talent, metrics, and management processes.
We work with our clients to develop frameworks and choose appropriate quantitative and qualitative indicators to measure processes and outcomes at all stages of the project cycle. We use these data to refine implementation, ensure short term success, and enhance long term results. We also apply innovative measurement and evaluation tools to test and inform the replication and scalability of best project practices and to improve the sustainability of development and GESI outcomes.
Measurement, Evaluation, & Learning
Areas of Work
Iris Group addresses health disparities through health-related research, programming, and policy analysis. We embed an intersectional lens in all that we do, recognizing that the social determinants of health are influenced by multiple, overlapping factors such as gender, sexuality, age, race, income, religion, and more. Our team brings decades of experience and expertise in the fields of maternal and child health, sexual and reproductive health, family planning, nutrition, and HIV/AIDS.
Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene (WASH)
Iris Group works with country partners, donors, and project implementing teams to ensure that underserved groups such as women, ethnic minorities, refugees, and people with disabilities, have equitable access to adequate sanitation and water. Our experience in the WASH sector includes work on gender norms; hygiene promotion; behavior change communication; workplace-based menstrual health and hygiene; market-based sanitation; city-wide inclusive sanitation; and water policy and governance.
Iris Group partners with academic institutions, community organizations, and governments to research effective approaches to sustainable social norm change. We apply our learnings to implement evidence-based programming and policy work that transforms the restrictive social norms reinforcing multiple systemic inequalities. Whether we are bolstering private-sector engagement in the response to gender-based violence, addressing toxic masculinities in rural communities, or decreasing workplace stigma related to menstruation in urban factories, we pay close attention to social norms in all of our work. We also promote equitable norms within our own organization by intentionally maintaining a team culture that is non-hierarchical and collaborative, and by ensuring a work-life balance that supports each of us as family and community members.
Gender-Based Violence (GBV)
Iris Group offers broad-ranging experience in gender-based violence (GBV) mitigation. As a part of our work, we led a consultative process to draft state-of-the-art Guidelines for GBV Research within USAID-funded programs, and we developed practical guidance for GBV monitoring and mitigation in non-GBV programs. Our team members include one of the authors of USAID’s GBV policy, a practicing clinical social worker who counsels survivors of GBV, and a public health researcher who helped South Sudanese male refugee youth imagine and design a future free of GBV.
Infrastructure & Energy
Within large-scale infrastructure and energy programs, Iris Group identifies barriers that women and other gender minorities face when trying to enter the workforce. Given that these industries are traditionally male-dominated, we work with leadership to identify gender-equitable recruitment and promotion strategies to offset disparities and elevate women's professional status within firms; audit employment policies and practices to ensure compliance with local law and global standards; conduct gender-based violence and harassment prevention training to promote safe and respectful workplaces; and conduct unconscious bias training with cadres of managers to address discriminatory hiring and promotion practices.
Iris Group captures daily experiences with sex- and gender-related economic challenges through quantitative and qualitative research and storytelling. We work with programs to understand the complex web of factors that prevent - or facilitate - women and minoritized groups' access to economic opportunities and their ability to act with full agency in their economic lives.
Iris Group provides advisory and research services to ensure that agricultural programs are structured to provide control over resources and equal access to land rights, irrigation, finance, extension services, and education and training for all stakeholders, regardless of their identities. We craft gender equality strategies for agricultural development portfolios, and work with public and private actors to support gender equality and social inclusion across the agriculture value chain.