Professional Development Programme for Gender Trainers

Six months
EUR 5.950,-
Applications Open
Deadline for Scholarship Applications
Deadline for General Applications
Final Offer of Acceptance
Deadline for tuition fee payment
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UN Women training centre


This six-month certificate programme, offered by KIT and UN Women Training Centre, aims to:

  • Sharpen training skills and knowledge of gender and development concepts as a gender equality trainer
  • Enable participants to better employ learning and knowledge strategies
  • Support participants to re-claim training for gender equality as a political feminist process
  • Renew participants as a gender equality trainer and their commitment to gender training as a transformatory process.

Using a combination of lectures, guest presentations and practical activities and assignments, the programme strengthens trainers’ capacities in three interrelated domains:

The programme employs blended design including face-to-face workshops, virtual seminars as well as mentoring and networking.

  • Conceptual Depth and Clarity: gender and development theory and practice in various themes; and global approaches to gender in development
  • Feminist Practices: gender knowledge and knowledge making and power; reflexivity; change and resistance; and global governance of development and client relations
  • Training Skills and Methods: training design, delivery and evaluation; communication skills; and learner-centred pedagogy.


The programme works in a co-creation process with experienced gender trainers from both the global south and north who:

  • Have a minimum of three years of training experience on gender issues
  • Have knowledge of gender and development and gender in public policy
  • Have an institutional affiliation/experience: UN agencies, international and national NGOs, national governments, academia, etc
  • Demonstrate commitment to completing the six-month process of professional development


Since the Beijing World Conference on Women in 1995, gender training remains a key policy and programme response to address a wide range of perceived needs to make gender mainstreaming happen. In many respects, it has become a cure-all to address the many challenges gender mainstreaming entails. Seen as a missing element, repeated calls for gender training reflect a ‘more of the same but better’ approach to addressing the limitations of gender mainstreaming (Milward et al., 2015).

Transformatory aims

What has now become evident is how complicit gender experts (Prügl, 2013) and the gender knowledge they broker have contributed to undermining the transformatory aims originally envisioned. As gender experts, including trainers, and gender expertise have become embedded in development cooperation, it has “not always [been] in the ways that feminists would have liked” (Mukhopadhyay, 2016).

In part, this has been how gender training has been approached (Lazreg, 2002), as a singular short-term event (Mukhopadhyay, 2014) with little room for reflection, which would otherwise allow for participants to “make choices about their gendered behaviors” (Albury and Laplonge, cited by Laplonge, 2015). In this context, gender is presented as a “set of skills, which can be straightforwardly delivered and reproduced” emphasizing “‘knowing that’ rather than ‘knowing how’, and encourage[ing] the parroting of slogans rooted in frameworks disembodied from lived experience” (ibid: 362).

Re-capturing and re-imagining

It is within this context that the UN Women and KIT offer a professional development programme for gender trainers. This is especially timely and critical given the changing landscape of development assistance, the shifting (and sometimes declining) role of the nation state along with the integration of aid and trade in many foreign policies. Additionally, the rising predominance of new private sector and philanthropist actors working in the name of development has demonstrated a further need for (re) claiming an autonomous spaces for feminist knowledge production, such as gender training (Cornwall, 2016). Lastly, the Sustainable Development Goals challenges development policy maker and practitioners to re-think how to address social and gender inequity to ensure that indeed, “no one is left behind.”

The programme aims to contribute to the re-capturing and re-imagining of gender training, as a feminist project, in light of these trends, and establish a new approach to training for gender equality.

Approach and Structure

The programme facilitates the professional development of participants in three interrelated domains:

1 ) Conceptual Depth and Clarity: gender and development theory and practice in various themes; and global approaches to gender in development

Under this domain, the learning objectives are to

  • Ensure a solid foundational base of gender and development theory
  • Develop conceptual understanding of gender as a social relation and interface with development
  • Enable participants to critically engage with development programmes

2 ) Feminist Practices: gender knowledge and knowledge making and power; reflexivity; change and resistance; and global governance of development and client relations

Under this domain, the learning objectives are to

  • Understand the politics of knowledge production
  • Strengthen critical self-analysis skills
  • Develop skills to navigate insider-outsider status of gender trainers.

 3 ) Training Skills and Methods: training design, delivery and evaluation; communication skills; and learner-centred pedagogy

Under this domain, the learning objectives are to

  • Strengthen specialised training design, delivery and evaluation skills
  • Strengthen communication skills to convey complex concepts intelligibly
  • Deepen understanding of learner-centred pedagogy
  • Become fluent with an array of case studies and examples for practical application.

Click here for programme overview and outline.



Programme dates

  • Participant pre-programme preparation: 1-17 October 2019
  • Programme: 20 October 2019 to 24 April 2020 (Due to corona, this was extended till 4 September)

Module dates and location

Participants are only required to be physically present at KIT Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam for Module 1 and Module 3 of the Programme – that is 20-25 October 2019 and 19-24 April 2020.

  • Module 1: face-to-face workshop in Amsterdam (NL), 20-25 October 2019
  • Module 2: moderated online sessions, 28 October 2019 to 17 April 2020
  • Module 3: face-to-face workshop in Amsterdam (NL), 19-24 April 2020 (Due to Corona this was changed to virtual setup : 14-19 August 2020)

Venue and Accommodations

Workshops are at KIT’s meeting facilities in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Accommodation is the participants’ responsibility with KIT providing coordination support. Options include KIT Amsterdam Tropen Hotel, shared accommodations and participants’ own arrangements.



Scholarship information

The programme is able to offer full and partial scholarships to participants from the Global South, with a priority given to those currently living and working for national and sub-national organisations in the Global South, particularly those from East and West Africa, South Asia and Latin American and the Caribbean. Interested applications need to first be accepted to the programme and will then be considered for a scholarship, as indicated in their application. Preference given to those who can co-fund.

These scholarships have been made with the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UN Women Training Centre.

UN Women training centre

Criteria for applicants include:

If you are eligible for a scholarship, please apply via the ‘Apply now’ link and indicate your financial needs.

  • Meeting the overall requirements:
    • A minimum of three years of training experience on gender issues.
    • Knowledge of gender and development and gender in public policy.
    • Institutional affiliation/experience: UN agencies, international and national NGOs, national governments, academia, etc.
    • Demonstrated commitment to completing the six-month process of professional development.
  • Currently working as a gender trainer
  • Strong consideration given to those who can also co-fund their participation.

KIT Gender, UNW Training Centre and programme resources

At KIT Royal Tropical Institute an international team of gender specialists with a demonstrated track record of capacity strengthening for gender equality has been a pioneer in gender training theory and practice. Our gender training expertise and experience builds from seminal global gender and rights training programmes first established in 1989. Today we offer organisational wide-training initiatives as well as stand-alone training activities, as part of wider programmes in support of gender mainstreaming, to government ministries, international organisations, UN agencies and NGOs. Core to these are understanding of and experience with gender and development, grounded in theory and practice, which KIT brings to all phases of training: needs assessment, training methodological development and design, curriculum and learning resource development, delivery, training evaluation as well as capacity strengthening of gender trainers.

The UN Women Training Centre is dedicated to supporting the UN and other stakeholders to realize commitments to gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s right through transformative training and learning. We provide high quality training courses, programmes and resources on key issues related to UN Women’s priorities as well as emerging topics. We foster and employ innovative, participatory learning approaches and methodologies, working with diverse partners around the world to ensure the quality and effectiveness of our training services and products. In addition to our self-paced, scheduled and customized trainings, we also provide technical assistance, quality standards, needs assessments on learning and training, learning facilities to conduct face-to-face training, and an eLearning Campus featuring a community of practice and databases of training institutions, opportunities and resources.

Programme Directors

Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay, PhD, is a social anthropologist specialised in social development with a focus on gender and development. She has expertise in social and institutional analysis, citizenship and rights in development and integration of equity concerns across sectors in policy development, programme and project planning, monitoring and evaluation. She has extensive experience and skills in applied and action-oriented research, teaching and training and has several publications in her fields of expertise. She has worked in Asia, Africa and the Middle East with multilateral and bi-lateral agencies, national governments, international and national non-governmental organisations on a broad range of development issues.

Franz Wong, PhD, is a senior social development and gender equity advisor and KIT Gender Team Coordinator. He has worked in development for over 25 years and as a gender specialist since 2002 in Africa, Asia and the Middle East and has 20 years’ experience in gender training as designer, trainer/trainer of trainer and researcher as well as an academic lecture. Franz is also gender and organizational change specialist with expertise in gender mainstreaming policy and strategy, research and assessment (gender audits) and capacity development for gender equality. He has trained in a variety organisational settings including UN agencies, NGOs, government ministries and international research organizations.

Programme Resource Persons

Previously, the programme has included international resource persons such as Ann Whitehead, Nandinee Bandyopadhyay, Lucy Ferguson, Anne Marie Goetz, Naila Kabeer, Christine Okali and Noemi Gonda.

"After the first face-to-face session I returned home so empowered. The session held the attention of all the participants throughout. The knowledge, venue, materials & facilitation was excellent."

Kiran Qazi, WASH officer, UNICEF Pakistan

"I am confident that this excellent learning environment will continue to deliver benefits to me well into the future and beyond the time frames of the 6-month course".

Susan Harwood, Gender, Diversity and Social Inclusion Specialist, Australia

"The overall training was very inspirational, energizing, bringing lots of ideas, with both substantial and in-depth knowledge of gender together with case studies, learning from other experiences across different countries and being fully practice-oriented. I would recommend this training to all development sector actors".

"The interactive course activities challenged our thinking about a range of interlinked issues; the multiple viewpoints afforded by our diverse work/life/backgrounds enabled all of us to “sharpen the saw” and to re-think what may have been some preconceptions around other cultures, other countries, other ways of “doing gender”.

Our experts

Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay

Senior Advisor

Read more


Training for Gender Equality as Subversion - Session 2

Further reading

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