Technical Brief: A Conceptual Framework for Gender-Transformative Supportive Supervision

  • By: Mary Beth Hastings
  • Published Date: September 2017
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The framework described in this technical brief was constructed based on findings from a literature review and 15 interviews with researchers, advocates, donor agencies, and implementers in 2015 and 2017. While this research originally focused on the family planning workforce, consideration of the HIV workforce was incorporated in a second review. Because reviewed literature also included the general health sector, the framework may also apply more broadly, and practitioners in the health sector can use it to improve the gender sensitivity of SS. 

This conceptual framework was designed to show the influence gender has on supervisor-provider relationships, and how this influence could be explored and addressed through programming and research. The framework posits that health facility leadership should move away from gender-blind SS interventions (i.e., those implemented without consideration of gender norms and dynamics) towards gender-aware SS interventions. Ideally, this will result in gender transformative supportive supervision (GTSS), which will not only to improve provider performance, but also do so in a way that focuses on human resource improvements (e.g., retention, motivation, and stress reduction) while advancing human rights and gender equality among health workers.