What do we bring?

  • We have a long-standing track record as a significant and innovative contributor to gender and development
  • We have specialist experience in fragile states like Yemen and Somaliland where few other agencies work on long-term development

What are we doing?


  • Many definitions of fragile states focus on the development of state institutions rather than on people. By focusing on the role of civil society in state-building, Progressio aims to put people and communities at the centre of social transformation in fragile states.
  • Progressio’s key area of expertise is in promoting people’s – especially women’s – participation in order to achieve effective governance. Taking this approach in fragile states will enable poor and marginalised women to be active participants, creating change from within rather than imposing it from the outside. In fragile states, this approach will embed women’s participation in emerging governance structures.


  • It will also put women’s voices at the centre of tackling poverty. To achieve permanent, sustainable solutions to poverty, we must also tackle the structural barriers (political, social and economic) that keep people poor. If poor communities don’t have a meaningful say in the decisions taken at local, national or international level, the problems that they face will not be taken seriously. Progressio works at all of these levels to help the voice of poor and marginalised communities to be heard and acted on.


  • We back this up with specific empowerment initiatives, for example through challenging machismo, promoting women’s champions, and helping poor and marginalised communities, especially women, to respond to environmental degradation and the impacts of climate change. The participation of women in decision-making is vital not just to reduce gender inequality, but in practical terms to improve natural resource management and boost food security.


  • We have undertaken a cutting edge research into the gender dimension of the political settlement in Somaliland. The research aims to understand how the gendered nature of society and politics, past and present, impacts on development policy, practice and outcomes.  It also examines how these impact women and men differently, with a particular focus on women's political participation and violence against women. This research is available to read here: Political Settlement in Somaliland: A gendered perspective.

Find out more

We're attending the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, find out about why we're going to the conference and what we're doing there. 

Read our 'Women and fragile states' briefing papers: Why women’s voices must be heard and Empowered women must be active participants in decision-making