Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Capacity Building of Organisations and Individuals




To ensure its partners have the capacity to implement gender responsive projects, COL introduced an online training programme on gender equality and women’s empowerment. This paper reports the methodology and results in measuring the efficacy of this online training at individual and organisational levels. The ability of individuals and organisations to plan and implement transformative actions with a gender perspective require adequate knowledge, skills and a change in attitudes. Given this need, the commonly used Knowledge, Attitude, Skills (KAS) model was used to measure the efficacy of this online training at individual and organisational levels by defining different dimensions of capacities with three learning domains — Cognitive, Affective, Psychomotor (Bloom’s Taxonomy). The baseline and the end line of KAS at the individual level on the six core gender capacities was established for comparison. Two questionnaires were designed to assess the learning achievements of the participants and to measure the efficacy of the training. An analysis of the study registers a clear trend of positive outcomes at the individual level regarding improved knowledge, attitudes and skills on gender equality that could be applied in their work. Furthermore, the paper reports that the organisations demonstrate an enabling environment for more gender equal policies, structures and practices and proposes ways to convert the success of this training by integrating it into the broader gender equality strategy of these organisations. 


Author Biographies

Damodaram Kuppuswami , Independent consultant

Damodaram Kuppuswami has a vast range of experience in development work and demonstrates diverse skills and deep insights of working with marginalised communities and on their issues of rights and justice. His core competencies include building rights-based development perspective and formulating empowering strategies with a strong passion for gender equality and women’s empowerment, monitoring and evaluation conducting results-based impact assessments of development projects guided by participatory approach, organisation development, and designing and conducting capacity building of human resources in development sector. Since 2011, he has been providing professional consultancy services to international and national organisations with innovative development facilitation and professional expertise in monitoring and evaluation. Prior to consultancy services, Damodaram worked with ActionAid, an international development organisation, playing various leadership roles (1993 - 2010) and with Rural Development Trust, a grass-root level development organisation (1977-1993). Damodaram has authored various publications on measuring social development using qualitative indicators, developing participatory methods to measure development interventions and on education. Email:

Frances Ferreira, Commonwealth of Learning

Ms Frances Ferreira has a vast range of experience in developing contexts and education management related to leadership, skills development, monitoring and evaluation, women’s empowerment, and gender equality. Since joining COL in 2007, Frances has held the posts of Education Specialist: Basic Education and Open Schooling, Senior Adviser: Women and Girls, and Education Specialist: Gender, before taking up the Acting Director: Skills role. With her strong passion for women’s empowerment, Ms. Ferreira leads COL’s GIRLS Inspire initiative and COL’s Commonwealth Wise Women project, which are contributing to improved livelihoods of women and girls in underserved communities. Prior to joining COL, Ms. Ferreira, was the first chief executive of the state-owned Namibian College of Open Learning. Previously, she served the Namibian community as a teacher and school principal, and as the first female Mayor of Grootfontein in 1994. She has also served as Chair of the Namibian Open Learning Network Trust and Chair of the Distance Education Association of Southern Africa (DEASA). Ms Ferreira’s contribution to the field of open and distance learning in Namibia was recognised in 2002 at COL’s 2nd Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning, when she received the Distance Learning Experience Award from COL. Frances has co-authored and co-edited various publications including Perspectives on Distance Education – Open Schooling in the 21st Century (2009); Open Schooling with Open Educational Resources: Opening doors, creating opportunities (2013) and Women and Leadership in Open and Distance Learning and Development (2013). Email:



How to Cite

Kuppuswami , D., & Ferreira, F. (2022). Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Capacity Building of Organisations and Individuals. Journal of Learning for Development, 9(3), 394–419.



Research Articles
Received 2022-01-25
Accepted 2022-10-25
Published 2022-11-21