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Systems Strengthening and Policy Reform

Strong systems and a robust policy landscape are the foundations for successful solutions to complex development challenges across the globe. We work within local structures, platforms, and processes and strengthen local capacity to lead sustainable solutions that advance social development, economic prosperity, and overall equitable outcomes.
Our approach
We work to explicitly identify gender and social imbalances and constraints, intentionally striving to reduce inequities and foster effective and inclusive engagement to achieve improved development, health, and social impact outcomes within public utilities-focused projects to help achieve sustainable and gender-responsive human development opportunities at all levels of society.
Our iDARE methodology embodies this approach, providing a science-based and community-led process that strengthens stakeholders — whether governments, service providers, civil society organizations, or others —ability to identify challenges and then design and test culturally and contextually appropriate, inclusive solutions to achieve policy and or wider systems change.  
Our services
WI-HER’s team:
  • Conducts rapid needs assessments and co-designs and facilitates relevant interventions and capacity development approaches.
  • Develops and adapts tools and training materials to equip local stakeholders with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to strengthen systems and meet policy goals. 
  • Provides short- or long-term support to develop, implement, and monitor appropriate policies, legislative proposals, manuals, and bylaws.
  • Designs and implements behavior change and quality improvement interventions across a variety of sectors.
  • Develops, implements, and evaluates information systems as a tool for reform and systems strengthening.
  • Institutionalizes practices and processes for democracy, equality, and inclusion through policy guidelines, academic curricula, performance standards, regulatory change, and institutional monitoring mechanisms.
Examples of our systems strengthening and policy reform efforts
We support governments and stakeholders to create, refine, or adapt policies and plans that address GYSI — these can be part of national guiding policies or subnational/ community-level versions or adaptations of national policies. In Nigeria, through the USAID Integrated Health Program (IHP), WI-HER has improved the health policy development process in five states, instituting a policy evaluation process that ensures health policies are sensitive to GYSI, address inequities, and enable greater access to all population groups. Furthermore, WI-HER supported five states in Nigeria to establish and continuously strengthen the gender-based violence (GBV) service delivery and referral system, through the development of policies, processes, tools including data dashboards linked to the wider health data management system, and functioning governance and quality assurance mechanisms.
We also support national and sub-national stakeholders to develop GYSI action plans as part of national policy documents and plans. Through the USAID Act to End Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDS) | East Program in Tanzania and Uganda, WI-HER supported the governments to integrate GYSI into the national training curriculums for mass drug administration (MDA), develop tailored GYSI action plans as part of the national NTDs sustainability plan, and strengthen capacity among providers and community members on GYSI integration in MDA implementation.
In Haiti, for the USAID Haiti Infrastructure program, we supported USAID assess where to direct investments by developing a customized monitoring tool that analyzes gaps in the country’s infrastructure sector.
With Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) funding, WI-HER was a prime contractor and led the development of a Social and Gender Inclusion Plan for the Ghana Compact. We worked with several electricity companies — the Compact’s Implementing Entities — to identify entry points for greater diversity to improve outcomes for all.
WI-HER supported the mid-term evaluation of the MCC Compact in Malawi, focusing on power sector reform, electricity infrastructure development, and improved environmental and natural resource management. WI-HER conducted in-country interviews and focus group discussions on the gendered aspects of the project, project analysis, and recommendations to better address gender in resettlement, policy, and environmental/ natural resource management.
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