ALIGN is a four-year project aimed at establishing a digital platform for the Community of Practice (CoP) centred on gendered norms affecting adolescents and young adults.

ALIGN seeks to advance understanding and challenge and change harmful gender norms by connecting a global community of researchers and thought leaders committed to gender justice and equality for adolescents and young adults.  Through the sharing of information and the facilitation of mutual learning, ALIGN aims to ensure knowledge on norm change contributes to sustainable gender justice.

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ALIGN is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is led by the Overseas Development Institute

What is ALIGN’s mandate?

ALIGN exists to connects a global community of researchers and thought leaders to challenge and change harmful gender norms affecting adolescents and young adults. ALIGN aims to:

  • Synthesise and share new knowledge and methodological innovations to better understand the dynamics of gender norms 
  • Highlight innovative programmes and policies that identify 'what works' to change discriminatory and harmful gender norms at individual and institutional levels
  • Collate and share key materials on gender norms and norm change processes in different contexts 
  • Encourage online dialogue and exchange on gender norms and change processes
  • Foster in-person interaction and collaboration on gender norms between implementers, researchers, policy makers and donors in the Global South and Global North
  • Support innovation and lesson learning through small research grants

Why does ALIGN focus on gender norms affecting adolescents and young people?  

Harmful and discriminatory gender norms can affect people throughout the life course. Adolescents and young people are affected in specific ways as they transition from childhood to adulthood. During this period of developmental changes and gender norms start to be enforced more strongly. This can adversely affect young people in a range of ways – girls, for example, can suddenly have their mobility restricted, can be forced into early marriage, and prevented from going to school. Boys are more likely to be required to take up breadwinner roles. Adolescence is also a window of opportunity in which education, mentorship and life-skills programmes can help positively change young people’s attitudes, expectations, behaviours and life trajectories. 

Some of the effects of gender norms are unique to adolescents and young people, while others are common to people across a wide age range. ALIGN therefore focuses on adolescence and youth within broader learning and knowledge about the effects of harmful gender norms and how best to change them.

How can you join ALIGN’s Community of Practice?

To join the Community of Practice, simply visit the site and sign up for our newsletter. There are many ways to be involved with ALIGN. These include:

  • Recommend a resource for the resource hub
  • Share the platform with your networks through social media or email 
  • Follow us on Twitter 
  • Suggest a project, organisation or initiative working on gender norms to profile on the organisations and initiatives page
  • Develop written content such as blogs, case studies and recommended reading lists
  • Engage in ALIGN’s discussion forums and webinars
  • Provide news on gender norms research, programming and funding for ALIGN newsletters
  • Apply for funding
  • Participate in ALIGN’s convenings
  • Provide ongoing feedback to the platform development team

How do I apply for ALIGN’s funding?

ALIGN runs two funding streams: a research fund and a convening fund. Both calls are run twice a year – these are announced in our newsletter. Please sign up to the newsletter to be informed of forthcoming calls. Please also see our funding page. 

Who runs ALIGN? 

ALIGN is led by the Overseas Development Institute.  Our core team consists of: 

  • Caroline Harper – Project Director
  • Rachel George – Project Coordinator
  • Rachel Marcus – Lead Technical Advisor
  • Cristiana Conte – Project Manager 
  • Emily Subden – Communications Consultant
  • Paola Pereznieto - Research Fund Manager
  • Suzanne Petroni - Convening Fund Manager

We work with consultants and members of the ALIGN Community of Practice to develop the platform and welcome suggestions for content.