What it takes to replicate a gender equality programme

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)-affiliated researcher Seema Jayachandran, evaluated a novel curriculum, titled 'Taaron ki Toli' (Gang of Stars), designed to address pervasive gender bias in India. Seema's evaluation found that the programme was successful at fostering progressive gender attitudes, even two years after the programme's completion in Haryana.

J-PAL South Asia and Breakthrough are now partnering with the governments of Odisha and Punjab to scale the programme to reach 3 million children per year across the two states. The curriculum combines in-class discussions and homework, such as writing stories and conversing with family about gender issues.


The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals Progress Report released earlier this year had a sobering message for all of us: The world is falling behind on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Policy solutions with proven effectiveness are key to reversing this trend. But for maximum impact, they need to be taken to as many people as possible, in as many places as possible.

This lack of progress is evident in SDG 5: gender equality. The COVID-19 pandemic has reversed years of progress and strides made towards achieving economic and cultural equality for women in India and the rest of the world. This is clearly depicted by the fact that India ranked 135 out of 146 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index 2022. Policy solutions aiming at bridging this gap are therefore more important today than they have ever been before. The question is, which solutions can bring about large-scale change?

One solution studied by researchers affiliated with J-PAL focuses on adolescents, who are young enough for their attitudes to still be malleable but also old enough to comprehend discussions on gender. A curriculum developed by Indian nonprofit Breakthrough to promote gender-equal views among children is an example of how to develop and implement an effective intervention and take it to scale.

India Development Review