Promundo Pilots Gender-Transformative Toolkit for Brazilian Professionals Working on Conditional Cash Transfer Programs

Professionals from the Social Assistance Department in Itararé, São Paulo.

On March 22-23, Promundo organized a workshop to pilot a new toolkit on gender and economic empowerment with a team of 30 professionals from the municipality’s Social Assistance Department in Itararé, São Paulo, as part of its Bolsa Familía Companion Program.

The toolkit is designed to train professionals who work with the beneficiaries of conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs – such as Brazil’s Bolsa Família CCT program – on engaging female beneficiaries and their partners in questioning harmful gender norms and promoting women’s economic empowerment.

The two-day workshop aimed not only to train social assistance professionals in São Paulo – especially professionals involved in CCT programs – in the use of gender-transformative methodologies, but also to pilot and test the toolkit’s activities.

Before attending the workshop, the professionals from Itararé’s Social Assistance Reference Centers (CRAS) – a sector of the municipality’s Social Assistance Department – carried out educational group activities from Promundo’s Program M with 236 men and women beneficiaries of the Bolsa Família program and of the Renda Cidadã program (a CCT program in the state of São Paulo).

Promundo then tested the activities with the professionals themselves during the workshop and solicited their feedback – including on its format and usefulness.

“Using a research-action approach, the group took part in the activities and concluded by reflecting on possible uses, challenges, and applications of these activities with beneficiaries of the Bolsa Família program,” said Vanessa Fonseca, Promundo’s Program Coordinator.

About the Bolsa Família Companion Program

Promundo’s Bolsa Família Companion Program aims to engage men and women in promoting gender equality in CCT programs. The project works to strengthen the autonomy and economic empowerment of female beneficiaries of CCT programs through discussions around violence prevention, women’s decision-making autonomy inside and outside the home, motherhood and fatherhood, the division of household labor, women’s labor rights, and gender norms.

Financed by UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality, Promundo’s Bolsa Família Companion Program began in 2013. The first two years of the program were dedicated to surveys of, and direct interventions with, CCT beneficiaries in urban and rural areas in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco. In 2015 and 2016, Promundo is working to create and pilot gender-transformative methodologies to support professionals who work with beneficiaries of CCT programs.

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