The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Fanny Fröhlich

Nationality: Austria, Europe

Year of Entry: 2015

E-mail: fanny.froehlich.15@ucl.ac.uk


Fanny Froehlich holds a second Masters in International Studies from Aarhus University, Denmark and an MPhil in History from Vienna University, Austria. She has been working for various London-based INGOs (Y Care International, Plan International UK) where she was involved in both project management and consultancy research tasks. The cross-cutting theme of Gender remains a focus in Fanny’s work, both in academia and development practice (see for example her work for the on-going longitudinal cohort study ‘Real Choices, Real Lives’ conducted by Plan International UK). Fanny is also a lecturer for ‘Gender and Development’ at Hult International Business School, London, since September 2016.

Fanny has a long-standing commitment to working with local organisations (CRRECENT, GSHRDC) and communities from the Global South. Her field research has focused on gender-sensitive and gender-transformative development projects in Ghana, West Africa.

Research information


The Construction of Gender in Development Work of International NGOs and Local Initiatives in Ghana. Understanding Normative Frameworks through studying Life Realities

Key Words

Gender and Development, development planning and practice; gender-transformative projects; local realities; feminist research


Fanny Froehlich focusses on development projects which target gender issues. These projects often engage with gender roles and relations that uphold, support or quietly accept social discrimination against women. Various INGOs and IOs have identified Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment as ways of overcoming social discrimination – such a rights-based-approach holds the promise of increasing well-being for both women and men, girls and boys.

Specifically, Fanny’s research seeks to contribute to debate within academia and development practice regarding the limited knowledge on the impact and practical reality of gender projects. Her study sets out to create a framework which can account for different understandings of gender roles and relations and how change (of these) is envisioned. Otherwise, Fanny is convinced, ‘gender programming’ is at the risk of either becoming an imposition of hegemonic discourses over other forms of discourses or negligible as it is not possible to generate any kind of change that is perceived as meaningful by the project stakeholders, mainly project beneficiaries living in rural marginalized communities.


Julian Walker
Dr Andrea Rigon


Publications and other work


  • Froehlich, Fanny (2015): Die Erfindung einer afrikanischen Gesellschaft. Kwame Nkrumah und die Verbindung von Moderne und Tradition in Ghana. Saarbrücken: AV Akademikerverlag, 1. Aufl. [The Invention of an African Society. Kwame Nkrumah and the linking of modernity and tradition in Ghana]

Reviews of Fanny’s work


  • Froehlich, Fanny (2015): Imagining Ghana’s Future in Terms of Gender. Gender Images and their links to tradition and modernity in the context of INGO interventions. UK Africa Research Day Conference, SOAS, London, May 2016
  • Froehlich, Fanny (2015): The Construction of Gender in Gender-Transformative Work of International NGOs in Ghana. Understanding normative frameworks and their impact through studying life realities. International Euroacademica Conference, Venice, March 2016


  • Froehlich, Fanny (2013): From Paradigm Change to Performance Change? Assessing the meaning of development and development aid by looking at the conduct of development work as practised by the NGO Menschen für Menschen in Ethiopia. Master dissertation.
  • Froehlich, Fanny (2012): Master dissertation. Later published as monography (see above)

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