D-Lab: Gender & Development

Rosy Rosybel, president of Las Diosas, Estelí, Nicaragua.
Rosy Rosybel, president of Las Diosas, Estelí, Nicaragua.

Accelerating women’s economic prosperity


Identity has several dimensions, including gender, race, sexuality, and class, and these intersecting links influence a person’s daily life. Therefore, a gender analysis that utilizes an intersectional lens is essential to designing and implementing equitable international development projects.

This course explores gender and identity, illuminating the power dynamics and root causes of inequality within cultural, political, and economic contexts. Designed to give students a framework with which to understand gender dynamics and the skills to conduct a gender equality assessment, the course teaches students how to integrate gender-sensitive strategies into their work.

Lectures & Guest Speakers

Lectures by course instructors and guest speakers, including researchers, filmmakers, and development professionals, prompt critical discussion about the social, economic, and political conditions that shape women’s roles in development. Focus is placed on the design and implementation of projects that provide opportunities for earning a living wage in sectors including water, energy, and agriculture.

Labs & Projects

In the first half of the course, labs include the application of D-Lab's Lean Research methods to analyze gender dynamics in local and international development programs. Students then design an international field project, which they can complete during the semester, or they can continue to work on in-country during a January fieldwork experience if appropriate. Projects may occur in Guatemala, Ghana, Colombia, and/or South Africa.


Funding may be available for some students to carry out project work over the January Independent Activities Period.

Course Information

Semester Offered
Fall (Offered since 2016)
Lecture Location
Lecture Times
Units (credit hours)
Class Size
Course #
EC.718 / EC.798 (G) / WGS.277