Gender as an integral part of the innovation value chain

December 19, 2019 by PATH

We factor gender into health solutions every step of the way.

19056 Attendees and media influencers pose at the launch of the "My Future, My Choice" campaign in Vietnam. Photo: PATH/Matthew Dakin.

Attendees and media influencers pose together at the highly publicized launch of the "My Future, My Choice" campaign in Vietnam. Photo: PATH/Matthew Dakin.

At PATH our goal is to improve health outcomes by creating and advancing quality health solutions. But the same solution doesn’t always work the same way for everyone. We know that women, men, those that cis, trans, non-binary or other gender identities and expressions have different perspectives influenced by the social norms in the communities where they live – and that we need to factor that into health solutions every step of the way. This is why it is essential that we consider important gender-related dimensions of health solutions across PATH’s health program areas, and across the innovation value chain. We think systematically about how integrate gender into different stages of the value chain.

Depending on the project focus and context, that might mean thinking about not just reaching mothers with immunization communications but also fathers, or it might mean examining the possible underlying gender biases in decisions about diagnostic test design, or it could mean learning about how young gay men in Vietnam conceptualize their health risk and where they are most likely to go for health information and services.

Gender chart - do not use - single use for a specific article

The value chain diagram above has guided the development of some of PATH’s most innovative health technologies and service delivery models. We’ve added a layer of analysis and action to integrate gender into the development of health solutions. A few examples help show even more clearly the types of questions we ask ourselves whether we’re in the lab, working alongside health facility managers, or helping to develop policies or service delivery research. Ultimately, our solutions are driven by a passion for equity, and that means asking the right questions to get at the right solutions for women, men, adolescents, those that cis, trans, non-binary, everyone.