G@W Consulting

Ending gender discrimination is not easy. We understand this. This is why we offer a range of consulting services to engage with organizations to strengthen their contribution to gender equality.   We conduct program and institutional evaluations and rapid assessments, carry out strategic learning processes, conduct strategic planning processes, design and carry out participatory processes for the development of organizational policies, provide managerial coaching, build staff capacity in program analysis and design, and we develop methodologies and tools that organizations can use in all these areas.

Our consultants have diverse skills and experience in international development. They are development professionals, academics and activists, writers and scholars. They have worked with multilateral, national and grassroots organizations and programs. They understand that one size doesn’t fit all. We look at each project and understand the people involved, who they are, where they come from, and what they need.  We start with real places not imaginary ones. We have proven ability to recruit consultants from our network for projects that require local knowledge or specialized skills.

Relationships are important to us; so is commitment. We listen to clients and apply our experience alongside cutting-edge knowledge to develop fresh insights. We also like clear goals and outcomes and work towards making sure that these are achieved. Let’s work together, better and faster. Let’s power up gender equality!

Our Clients

We have worked with clients such as Care International, FAO, UNDP, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam America, the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), the Aga Khan Development Network, the Levi Strauss Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Oxfam India.

Our Consultants

Aruna Rao is a leading international expert on gender equality, development and human rights.  In her 30 years of experience particularly in Asia and Africa, she has combined advocacy and cutting-edge research on gender equality and development, especially on institutional change, with leadership and management to forge better development results. She is co-founder and Executive Director of Gender at Work.

Aruna Rao has extensive leadership and management experience in policy dialogue, knowledge building and development programming on gender and development issues. She has successfully overseen the growth of key international human rights and civil society networks; forged alliances between civil society organizations, and national and multilateral development institutions to further gender and development goals, and led learning and knowledge networks linking development practitioners in South-South knowledge exchanges.

She has chaired the Boards of CIVICUS- World Alliance for Citizen Participation (2003-2007); and the Association of Women’s Rights in Development (1994-1997). She was appointed to the Board of the United Nations Democracy Fund (2007). She has been advisor/consultant to several international organizations, including the World Bank, IFC, FAO, UNIFEM, UNDG, UNDP, UNFPA; bilateral agencies such as SDC (Switzerland), DFID (United Kingdom), CIDA (Canada), and  civil society organizations including The Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Oxfam, NOVIB (Netherlands), the Aga Khan Foundation, Action Aid International, WEDO and the Ford Foundation.

She is the leader of a multi-year, global effort on gender and democratic governance focused on governance reforms that affect women’s access to public services at the local level; and of international teams  on gender and institutional change processes in several UN agencies including the UNDG, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and UNIFEM. She has pioneered new approaches to institutional learning through action learning with multiple partners in India and countries in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Aruna has practical experience in developing and leading action learning interventions on the ground in several countries, including as head of the Gender Program in BRAC in Bangladesh, the world’s largest southern development NGO, and in developing methodologies and tools for training development practitioners.

  • Gender and Institutional change       
  • Knowledge building
  • Leadership


  • Gender At Work: Organizational Change for Equality, with Rieky Stuart and David Kelleher, West Hartford, Connecticut: Kumarian Press, November 1999.
  • Institutional Takeoff or Snakes and Ladders: Dynamics and Sustainability of Local Level Organizations in Rural Bangladesh, with Syed M. Hashemi, UNIDEV Publications, Dhaka, October 1997 (Bengali)
  • Gender Roles and Development Planning: A Casebook, co-edited with Mary Anderson and Catherine Overholt, West Hartford, Connecticut: Kumarian Press, 1991
  • (Ed) Women's Studies International: Nairobi and Beyond, New York: The Feminist Press, 1991

Recent Articles and Papers

  • "Beyond Binaries: Strategies for a 21st Century Gender Equality Agenda", with Joanne Sandler, The Palgrave Handbook on Gender and Development: critical engagements in feminist theory and practice, Wendy Harcourt (ed), Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2015.
  • "Feminist Activism in Development Bureaucracies: shifting strategies and unpredictable results", Feminists in Development Organizations, Rosalind Eyben and Laura Turquet (eds.), Rugby, UK, Practical Action Publishing, 2013
  • "The elephant in the room and the dragons at the gate: strategising for gender equality in the 21st century", with Joanne Sandler, Beyond Gender Mainstreaming, Gender and Development, Volume 20:3, November 2012
  • "Moving Pieces and Unpredictable Results – Feminist Activism in Development Bureaucracies", Strategies of Feminist Bureaucrats: United Nations Experiences, IDS Working Paper, Volume 2012 No 397, July 2012
  • "Sustaining Women’s Agricultural Livelihoods: Why Can’t Global Institutions Get it Right?", Women Reclaiming Sustainable Livelihoods: Spaces gained, Spaces lost, Wendy Harcourt (ed.), London, Palgrave, June 2012
  • Implementing Gender Equality Policies and Practices in Private Sector Companies, A Study Commissioned by CDC, FMO, Norfund and IFC, with Amber Frugte and Christine Wiik, December 2009 
  • Gender Audit of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, with Rieky Stuart, Mark Stiles and Kay Muir-Leresche, December 2010
  • Evaluation of SDC’s Performance in Mainstreaming Gender Equality, with Rieky Stuart and Jeremy Holland, February 2009
  • Gender Equality Architecture and UN Reforms. Paper Submitted to the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on System Wide Coherence. July 2006
  • Making Institutions Work for Women in Development, London, Palgrave Macmillan, Volume 49, Number 1, March 2006

David Kelleher has been a consultant, a professor and a manager. For the past several years he has led projects that combined organizational development and feminist theory to work with organizations to improve their capacity (and willingness) to advance gender equality and women’s rights agendas. His work is now focused on writing, teaching and serving as a learning coach using electronic conferencing methods.

  • Learning and organizational change
  • Gender relations in organizations


Joanne Sandler is a consultant on gender and organizational change to feminist, development and philanthropic organizations. She is currently on the board of a number of organizations that work globally: Breakthrough, Women Win, Just Associates, and Partners for Change. She a member of the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group and is a Visiting fellow, Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies (RBIIS), City University of New York Graduate Center.

Joanne Sandler has over thirty years of experience in advancing gender equality and women’s human rights worldwide. She spent ten years as Deputy Executive Director for Programmes in UNIFEM, including leadership roles in its strategic planning, programme management, inter-agency partnership, and resource mobilization strategies. She was a member of the Transition Team and steering committee to guide formation of UN Women.

She has facilitated more than thirty strategic planning and organizational development processes involving government, NGO, foundation, and multilateral organizations. Recent consultancies have been with the UN Girls' Education Initiative/UNICEF, UNDP, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Levi Strauss Foundation.

  • Facilitating organizational processes to set strategic direction and incorporate strategic learning approaches
  • Advising and guiding multilateral, bilateral and private foundations to develop policies and practices that support women's human rights and gender equality
  • Writing and training others to write winning fundraising proposals for women's rights programs
  • Leadership coaching, including use of Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI)


  • "The Warriors Within: How Feminists Change Bureaucracies and Bureaucracies Change Feminists", Oxford Handbook of Transnational Feminist Movements, edited by Rawwida Baksh and Wendy Harcourt, OUP, London, February 2015
  • "The Online Terrain for Women’s Rights", in Women’s Rights, Gender and ICTs, Global Information Society Watch, 2013 with Association for Progressive Communication and HIVOS
  • "The Elephant in the Room and the Dragon at the Gate: Strategies for Gender Equality in the 21st Century", co-author Aruna Rao, Gender & Development, Volume 20, No. 3, , Routledge Publishing, Oxford, November 2012 
  • "Inside the UN Bureaucratic Machine: What Prospects for UN Women?", Strategies of Feminist Bureaucrats: UN Experiences, edited by Rosalind Eyben, IDS Working Paper, Volume 2012, No. 397, Brighton, 2012
  • "Searching for Gender Justice", with Laura Turquet, in Open Democracy.org, May 2010
  • "SWAPping Gender: From Cross-cutting Obscurity to Sectoral Security", co-author, Anne Marie Goetz, in Feminisms in Development, Zed Press, London, 2007
  • "The Women Who Move Us: Feminist Struggles in the UN System", with Aster Zaoude, in Eye to Eye: Women Practicing Development across Cultures, Zed Press, 2001
  • A Commitment to the World’s Women, edited with Noeleen Heyzer and Sushma Kapoor,  UNIFEM, New York, 1995
  • Through the Lens of Gender (1994), UNDP information kit (New York) and Incorporating Gender into Population and Development: Knowing Why and Knowing How (1991), developed for UNFPA as a guide to mainstreaming gender.
Ray Gordezky has particular interest in using action learning and democratic, participatory approaches to address gender injustice and to support communities to take action for change. He has used and created a number of large-scale strategic change methods, leadership development approaches, and peer learning approaches for gender equality and organizational learning. Ray is an Associate of Gender at Work, as well as a faculty member of Canadian Organization Development Institute.
  • "Dialogic Organization Development: Theory and Practice", with Bushe, Gervase & Marshak (Ed.), From Them to Us: Working with Multiple Constitutents, Berrett-Koehler, forthcoming Spring 2015.
  • "A holistic approach to gender equality and social justice", with Michel Friedman, OD Practitioner. Vol 43, No. 1, 2011.
  • "Values into action", with Dupre, Spector, and Valenza, The change handbook, second edition, edited by P. Holman, T. Devane and S. Cady, San Francisco, CA,Berrett-Koehler, 2007.
  • "World religions engage critical global issues", with Dupre and Spector, The Handbook of Large Group Methods: Creating systemic change in organizations and communities, 
    edited by B. Bunker, & B. Alban, San Francisco, CA. Jossey Bass, 2006.
  • "Influencing system-wide change at the Toronto District School Board", with Martens & Rowan, Future search in school district change, edited by R. Schweitz, K. Martens, &  N.Aaronson, Lanham, MD: The Roman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2005.
  • "Supporting the merger of two school boards in Ottawa Ontario", with Chowaniec & Grieve, Future search in school district change, edited by R. Schweitz, K. Martens, &  N.Aaronson, Lanham, MD: The Roman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2005.
  • "Success and system readiness: Lester B. Pearson school board and its commitment to educational excellence", with Deans and Marten, Future search in school district change, edited by R. Schweitz, K. Martens, &  N.Aaronson, Lanham, MD: The Roman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2005.

Rieky Stuart has over 30 years of experience in international development cooperation, as a leader and senior manager, as a consultant and evaluator, as a field worker, and as a teacher and trainer.  She has worked primarily with voluntary organizations, but also with governments and multilaterals. She has been responsible for program planning and implementation, policy development and policy dialogue, evaluation and capacity building. Her strengths are in designing, managing and evaluating innovation and change, using collaborative approaches. 

  • Designing and managing change processes
  • Building inclusive organizations
  • How to design strategies for building gender equality
  • How to build consultative and participatory decision-making
  • Designing, managing and implementing evaluations

Recent Articles and Papers

  • Gender Equality and Development Evaluation Units:  Lessons From Evaluations of Development Support of Selected Multilateral and Bilateral Agencies, with Gita Gopal, prepared for the Evaluation Cooperation Group of the Multilateral Development Banks, 2012.
  • Integrating Human Rights and Gender Equality in Evaluation — Towards UNEG Guidance, UNEG 2011 
  • Opportunities and Challenges for International Volunteer Cooperation, with Betty Plewes, prepared for the IVCO conference September 2007.
  • "The Pornography of Poverty:  A Cautionary Fundraising Tale”, with Betty Plewes, Ethics in Action, edited by Daniel Bell and Jean-Marc Coicaud, Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Gender At Work:  New Directions for Building Organizational Equity and Organizational Effectiveness, with Rao and Kelleher, Kumarian Press, 1999.
  • An Action-Learning Approach to Gender and Organizational Change, with Rao, Kelleher, Hafiza, Sultana, Rahman & Rahman, BRAC, Dhaka, 1997.
  • "Rethinking Organizations: A Feminist Perspective", with Aruna Rao, Gender and Development, Vol. 5, No. 1, February 1997.
  • "Understanding Difference Differently: A Canadian View", Gender in Popular Education, edited by S. Walters and L. Manicom, Zed Press, London 1996.
  • Gender Work is Never Done, with Betty Plewes, CCIC, 1992.
  • "WID Revisited: The Case for Gender and Development", with Betty Plewes, Conflict of Interest: Canada and the Third World, edited by J. Swift, & B. Tomlinson, Between the Lines Press, Toronto 1991.
  • Two Halves Make a Whole, Balancing Gender Relations in Development, with Linda Moffat et al, CCIC 1991.
  • Developing An Organizational Gender Policy: An Organizational Case Study, with Betty Plewes, a booklet published by MATCH International, 1990.
  • “Women and Rural Finance: A Senegal Case Study”, Credit Union World Reporter, May 1989.
  • A Handbook for Social-Gender Analysis, with Amit, Bean, MacDonald and Stuart, CIDA 1989.
  • "Lessons Learned: The Coady International Institute's Experience with the 'Development of Peoples' Organizations' Project, Thailand", The Sulawesi Regional Development Project Mid-term Review Conference, edited by Harry F. Cummings, University of Guelph, December 1988.