Collaborative Learning and Adapting for Better Social Dialogue on Gender in Jordan
The USAID Takamol Gender Program, a three-year activity implemented by IREX, seeks to “move the needle” toward more equitable gender policies, practices, and attitudes in Jordan. Our aim is to expand social dialogue to build grassroots momentum on gender equality, particularly among youth. As a result of collaborative learning, USAID and IREX adapted the approach to gender dialogue and the structure of the program's social dialogue component.
- Pause & Reflect: Convinced that the social dialogue component could change social norms and spark community-led initiatives, we repeatedly undertook a two-step process of reflection and adaptation. From these meetings, it became clear that a key problem in engagement was that we were not providing sufficient resources and incentives to help motivate and actualize community ideas. Furthermore, the initial social dialogue design, composed of disconnected activities, was inhibiting sustained engagement.
- Adaptive Management: To address the problem, we held adaptation sessions — meetings with community members, among our staff, and with USAID — to discuss the best way to adjust our activities based on learning from collaborative reflection. These sessions led us to pilot new initiatives that met criteria for sustained engagement, flexibility, being locally grounded, and potential to lead to further activity and local ownership.
Predicting needs, interests, and reactions when addressing sensitive issues such as gender is difficult, regardless of how much we know about a target group. In those instances, testing is crucial. CLA is an effective framework for such testing.
One of the most significant outcomes of the adapted social dialogue component has been sustained, meaningful engagement with stakeholders, particularly youth. Participants in the slam poetry activity, for example, continue to perform together and have expressed interest in forming a poetry association. Their videos have been viewed 6 million times online.