Community of Practice to Institutionalize Gender Equality

Achieving equality between women and men ("gender equality") is an important principle of Canada's international cooperation program. Canadian organizations receiving CIDA funding must comply with CIDA's policy on gender equality, and many have adopted their own such policies. However, despite progress made over the past decade, these organizations still face challenges in putting the policies into practice. They and their local partners need to take further steps to ensure that their stated commitments to gender equality and women's rights are translated into concrete, effective action in the field.

The "Gender in Practice" community of practice (CoP) was founded in 2009 as a new forum for Canadian international cooperation organizations to share information and collaborate on gender equality issues, and learn together as they do. Established with a fellowship from the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, its 12 founding members are coordinated by the Quebec Association of International Cooperation Agencies (association québécoise des organismes de coopération international-AQOCI). IDRC supported a one-year pilot project that laid the groundwork for productive collaboration, and initiated cooperation among the organizations.

This new three-year project will build on the foundation established during the pilot funding. It will consolidate the resources of the CoP members and create an environment in which they can innovate and support one another to become better at integrating gender equality into their projects and organizations. Together, they will improve their ability to review and take action on gender equality issues through research, constructing and testing new tools, and engaging in group discussions. The project will also promote innovation and experimentation with new practices.

CoP members are deeply committed to the project - their financial contributions represent almost half of the total budget. The project is also collaborating with specialists from Carleton University, as well as with two other IDRC-funded projects - one led by Canada World Youth and the other by OXFAM-Quebec.

The project will establish the CoP as a group that fosters learning among its members and provides a system of peer support as they each implement change in their organizations.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

End Date

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


36 months

IDRC Officer

Mougeot, Luc

Total funding

CA$ 140,000


Canada, North and Central America, South America


Foundations for Innovation

Project Leader

Anne Delorme


Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale

Institution Country


Institution Website