UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Gender Responsive Resilience & Intersectionality in Policy and Practice

Networking plus Partnering for Resilience


18 November 2020


Too often humanitarian and development programmes have “gender equality” as a “value added” aspect of projects rather than as a central goal. And too few organisations engage with how overlapping aspects of discrimination, such as gender, race and class (known as intersectionality), interact and exacerbate development challenges for women and girls. These challenges increase in situations of urban-based disasters and conflict, where pre-crisis resilience may be low. GRRIPP brings together partners from Latin America and Caribbean (LAC), Southern Africa, South Asia and the UK to disrupt mainstream development discussions on gender. 

What GRRIPP aims to achieve

Humanitarian and development sectors need more gender- and intersectionality-sensitive research in order to transform policy and practice to be more gender- and intersectionality-responsive. In other words, how can research better inform the aid sector about the politics behind gender identities that affect people’s everyday experiences, in order to offer more appropriate, contextualised interventions.This outcome requires organisations to engage with indigenous and decolonial perspectives on gender and discrimination in crisis contexts. It also requires a grounded evidence base built on experience from researchers, practitioners and activists at the grass roots level.

Connecting existing networks of scholars, policy makers and practitioners to promote gender and intersectionality in resilience thinking and planning, and amplifying their voices and experiences is what GRRIPP aims to achieve. With core project partners based in LAC, Southern Africa, South Asia and the UK, our network will collectively and democratically determine an agenda for change: facilitating knowledge exchange; enhancing solidarity; creating spaces for constructive dissent; and building an evidence base informed by grassroots knowledge and experience.

With a horizontal and feminist structure and a solidarity ethos, GRRIPP won’t just produce new knowledge, it will offer a new way of working together for change.

Thematic focus

GRRIPP covers vast domains of research, disciplines and sectors. To help channel our activities and support, we focus on four interconnecting themes :

Intersectionality & Gender

We support research that examines the root causes of discriminations and inequalities at the intersection of social identities. That means we examine and question 'hierarchies' and 'categories' to better support a focus on power relations and imbalances that have historically undermined equal opportunities for all. Thinking intersectionally ties in with questioning how we know the world and how we produce knowledge. It also ties in with epistemic communities and cultures of knowledge, with notions of interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity.

Key question: What does an intersectional perspective with gender at the heart of it look like?


We focus on resilience to environmental hazards and climate change and unpack these concepts with a gender and intersectionality lens. We support the development of knowledges that are critical and situated, indigenous and decolonial, across different timeframes. 

Key question: What difference would it make to re-envision the global development challenges through an intersectional and gender lens in  research ,  policy making  and  development practice ?


GRRIPP aims to generate meaningful insights into considerations of gender responsive, risk aware, sustainable and resilient infrastructure in its various manifestations (human, political, economic, social, built) found in settlements at every scale.

Key questions: What and how infrastructures of care work, and how can they be best supported? What does it mean to think about equity and justice in infrastructure plannning?

Critical Theory

GRRIPP will disrupt the status quo to better question what needs to change to better foster development, well-being and resilience. A critical theory lens even questions these concepts, and aims to expand the field of sources and methodologies, adopting new epistemologies that reflect more diverse experiences and more local realities.

Key questions: What are the decolonial and feminist registers to rethink Resilience, Intersectionality, Infrastructure concepts?  What are the collective readings of non-conventional authors, minor or marginalised in the literature that help us to expand the reflection?


Taking a decolonial approach means rethinking the categories of 'North', 'South' and 'development', as well as global inequalities in the process of knowledge production. In this sense, GRRIPP should not be conceived as a ‘development’ project but rather as a global collaboration and knowledge-exchange project. We aim to support and give visibility to local initiatives and learn from them, while centring our projects on actors’ demands. We are committed to read and listen in different languages, consider diverse methodologies and make production from a variety of places accessible to the widest possible audience. We are particularly interested in initiatives that can decolonise the curriculum and theory, foster South-South collaboration and promote perspectives produced in the 'South'. 

Key questions: How do we look for local knowledge without reproducing the binary North/South? How do we mitigate the power imbalances between our different members and institutions throughout the project? 

Commissioning programme

We are excited to have the opportunity in our second year to launch an innovative “Commissioning Programme” for a range of projects and activities in the Global South, which means we will be able to fund and support local initiatives directly. The remit of this programme will be developed democratically based on the priorities of partners in focus regions.

GRRIPP project word cloud

Contact us at irdr_cgd@ucl.ac.uk

The support of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is gratefully acknowledged.