SNV is Committed to Promoting Gender Equality

By Jennifer Linkletter

Photo credit SNV
A man and a woman work in a rice field in Vietnam, part of an SNV agriculture project.

SNV is a not-for-profit international development organisation that makes a lasting difference in the lives of people living in poverty by helping them raise incomes and access basic services. We focus on three sectors — energy, agriculture, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) — and have a long-term, local presence in around 24 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Our team of around 1,300 people across the globe are the backbone of SNV. We are subject matter experts who provide brokering and stakeholder engagement, advocacy, fund management, results-based financing, delegated management, and advice within the communities we serve.

SNV is dedicated to a society in which all people are free to pursue their own sustainable development, and no one is left behind. Driven by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), this commitment to equity directs us to focus on gender equality and social inclusion (GESI). For that reason, SNV is proud to announce our official endorsement of the Minimum Standards for Mainstreaming Gender Equality.

Photo credit SNV
Skilled workers build a toilet in Dagana, Bhutan, as part of an SNV WASH project.

We believe in the eight Gender Standards that are set out by the Gender Practitioner Collaborative, which every endorser, including SNV, strives to meet:

  • Adopt a Gender Equality Policy
  • Develop Organizational Culture and Capacity for Gender Equality
  • Conduct and Utilize Gender Analysis
  • Allocate Budget Resource for Gender Equality
  • Utilize Sex- and Age- Disaggregated Data
  • Develop Gender Equality Indicators
  • Do No Harm
  • Ensure Accountability


How our systems change approach and local presence help communities

Photo Credit SNV
A man cooks on an improved cookstove provided as part of an SNV Energy project in Mozambique.

While our projects directly benefit millions of people, they also contribute to driving systems change – strengthening institutions and kick-starting markets to help many more people work their way out of poverty, well beyond the scope of projects. Our ambition is for governments and the private sector to mainstream gender equality and social inclusion, thereby providing access to safe water and sanitation, inclusive food systems, and sustainable energy solutions.

SNV’s approach introduces gender- and socially inclusive system changes that promote access to safe water and sanitation, inclusive food systems, and sustainable energy solutions for all. Through analysis of gender norms and different forms of discrimination and power imbalances, we ensure that interventions are targeted, therefore reaching and benefiting the most marginalised segments of the population.

SNV works to strengthen voice, networks, and leadership in the political and public spheres for women, youth, and vulnerable populations. Our interventions also encourage men and women from different backgrounds to reflect on social change and norms in their society, and examine their perceptions about their own identities, and those of others.

Why every development organisation should endorse the #Gender Standards

Photo credit SNV
A woman installs a solar panel as part of SNV’s EnDev project in Kenya.

In this period of both an active COVID-19 global health emergency and pandemic recovery efforts, effectively addressing existing and newly created inequalities is more important than ever. Across the global south, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated gender and youth inequalities and has deepened poverty for the most at-risk populations such as people with disabilities and displaced persons. SNV’s ongoing commitment to implementing projects that respond to gender and social gaps guides us toward other organisations that are similarly committed.

As part of the Endorser’s Circle, we can work together in solidarity and accountability to ensure that gender-responsiveness remains a priority for development organisations across the globe. We encourage other organisations to join the Endorser’s Circle by adopting the Gender Standards.

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