Keep checking back on this page for the latest announcements and other timely information of interest on gender norms, adolescents and young adults. Visit the Events page to see details of our upcoming webinars, plus event wrap-ups. 

Out now | Empowering Adolescent Girls in Developing Countries: Gender Justice and Norm Change

Adolescence is a pivotal time in a girl's life. The development of educational, physical, psychosocial, familial, political and economic capabilities enable girls to reach their full potential and contribute to the wellbeing of their families and society. However, progress is still significantly constrained by discriminatory gender norms and the related attitudes and practices which restrict girls’ horizons, restrain their ambition and, if unfettered, allow exploitation and abuse.

Empowering Adolescent Girls in Developing Countries explores the detrimental impact of discriminatory gender norms on adolescent girls’ lives across very different contexts. Grounded in four years of in-depth research in Ethiopia, Nepal, Uganda and Viet Nam, the book adopts a holistic approach, recognising the inter-related nature of capabilities and the importance of local context. By exploring the theory of gendered norm change, contextualising and examining socialisation processes, the book identifies the patriarchal vested interests in power, authority and moral privilege, which combine in attempts to restrict and control girls’ lives.

This book is edited by ALIGN project lead Dr Caroline Harper (ODI Principal Research Fellow and Head of Programme, Social Development) and features contributions from ALIGN project collaborators including Rachel Marcus (ODI Senior Research Fellow), Dr Nicola Jones (Director, GAGE programme) and Dr Fiona Samuels (ODI Senior Research Fellow), plus research partners in the Global South. 

The Open Access version of this book, which can be accessed here, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

Book cover








ALIGN will have a significant presence at the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York this year. 

Shifting norms for gender justice: evidence on what works

16 March, 14:30 – 16:00 ET | New York (4 W 43rd St, Green Room), CSW NGO Forum

Gender norms have risen fast up the agenda of major development actors and donors. This growing recognition is based on the premise that gender equality requires more than just parity in access to education and other services. To be truly transformative, we need a radical rethink of societies’ beliefs, behaviours and values to achieve equal access and sustainable gender justice.

Yet there is a need for better evidence on how gender norms change, the roles different actors can play, the actions they can take, and the opportunities and constraints they face. The ODI and ALIGN will host a dynamic and interactive event at this year’s CSW on how we can shift norms for gender justice, exploring the latest evidence underpinning what works.

The event will bring together a diverse set of actors working on research projects to understand the latest evidence on harmful and discriminatory gender norms and highlight the work of NGOs and programmes working to change them. The latest learnings will be shared in the form of ‘project spotlights’ from varied contexts, with discussion and reflection on how best to apply these to inform future agendas.

Chair: Patti Petesch, Consultant & Expert Advisor, GENNOVATE


  • Workneh Yadete - Ethiopia Research & Uptake Coordinator, Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE)
  • Zoe Carletide - U-Report Manager, World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
  • Christina Kwangwari - International Project Manager, Women's Rights, ActionAid International
  • Rachel George - Senior Research Officer, ODI & Coordinator, ALIGN project
  • Lori Michau - Co-Director, Raising Voices
  • Aukje te Kaat - Research Manager, Aflatoun

To register for this event, please click here

Visit our events page to view ALIGN's other events at CSW, 

ALIGN at the OECD Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) focal points meeting
February 2018

Members of the ALIGN team participated in the first annual SIGI Focal Points Meeting at the OECD headquarters in Paris, France in January 2018.

This meeting brought together an informal network of government officials, multilateral organisations, research institutes and civil society organisations to provide recommendations on the ongoing development and application of the SIGI Index, supporting data validation processes and sharing policy experiences. The SIGI Index measures discriminatory social institutions, defined as the formal and informal laws, attitudes and practices that restrict women’s and girls’ access to rights, justice and empowerment opportunities. The recent meeting in Paris raised issues of understanding and measuring gender norms and norm change as high on the agenda for the OECD's upcoming data collection and analysis.

The ALIGN stakeholder survey
August 2017

The ALIGN project circulated a stakeholder survey  to a range of institutions and individuals working on gender and development to seek input about the learning needs and interests of our potential community of practice in July 2017.

We received responses from over 140 individuals from over 13 countries reporting interest in the project. Thank you to all who participated. The survey revealed a wide-ranging interest in our community and digital platform on gender norms and norm change. Survey respondents reported the highest interest in topics related to health, violence and bodily integrity, and economic opportunity. They also reported a strong desire for the community and its platform to facilitate innovation in understanding gender norm change, knowledge exchanges with peers globally, and methodologies for diagnosing and measuring norms and norm change. Respondents reported a high interest in both in-person and online connections. The ALIGN team will respond to these interests and learning needs by adapting initial products and shaping the platform design to respond to these needs, and will continue to reach out for user feedback throughout the life of the project. We look forward to connecting with our users as you all engage with the initial content and we will tailor the platform to suit the diverse and evolving needs of our community.