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Interrogating the Nexus of Alternative Knowledges, Evidence and Impact in GAD Research and Practice

March 17, 2017

DSA Women and Development Study Group and Centre for Global Development (CGD), University of Leeds

Jasmine Gideon, Katy Jenkins and Lata Narayanaswamy

University of Leeds, 17th  March 2017 (please note change of date)

This one-day workshop examines the relationship between efforts to promote gender equality and how development is measured, and whether we are measuring what matters, or what can be measured. The workshop looks critically at the nexus between gender, evidence and impact in development. We explore the opportunities for feminist and participatory methodologies to shape alternative approaches to evidence, and enable alternative knowledges and/or feminisms to be revealed, whilst recognising that these must nevertheless function within and/or respond to the rise of managerial, technocratic ‘solutions’ delivered through mechanisms such as payment-by-results. The workshop will critically explore the contemporary prominence of evidence-based programming, and what counts, and to whom, as ‘credible evidence’ in GAD practice.

Drawing on different epistemologies and the power dynamics inherent to how ‘impact’ is conceptualized and therefore how development results are interpreted and change pathways are established, this workshop will tackle the following questions:


  1. What counts as ‘impact’ in gender and development discourse and practice? Does impact have to be ‘measurable’?
  2. How do we respond to the managerialist and technocratic pressures on both non-academic and academic stakeholders to engage in ‘partnerships’ to achieve gender equality ‘targets’ within the SDGs and/or Global Development priorities?
  3. What are the opportunities and challenges of translating academic ‘evidence’ within research on gender issues into ‘impact on the ground’ in very different contexts both in the global North and the global South? Conversely, how does ‘on the ground’ experience speak to academic learning and teaching objectives in GAD discourse and practice?
  4. How can participatory approaches and feminist methodologies contribute to re-conceptualising evidence and impact within GAD approaches?
  5. How can we best capture alternative knowledges about development and ensure that they shape evidence on ‘what works’?

We are delighted to announce that we will have 2 key note speakers with us on the day – Professor Elaine Unterhalter, Professor of Education and International Development at IoE, UCL and Prof. Sally Merry Engle, Professor of Anthropology at NYU.

We are also looking for up to 6 speakers to present additional papers. Presentations will be kept short in order to generate discussion. We particularly welcome papers from junior scholars and PhD students.

Please direct all enquiries and send abstracts to Lata Narayanaswamy: L.Narayanaswamy@leeds.ac.uk  before 17th February 2017




March 17, 2017
Event Category:


DSA Women and Development Study Group and Centre for Global Development (CGD),


University of Leeds