Integrating Gender in Improvement: Approach of the USAID ASSIST Project
Addressing the different needs, behaviors, preferences, access to, and utilization of health services for men, women, girls and boys is critical to any quality improvement effort. Implementation of improvement interventions without consideration of gender dynamics risks failure to reach half of the population and may unintentionally exploit or harm one gender. From an implementation perspective, this is an inefficient use of resources; from a quality improvement standpoint, this jeopardizes patient-centeredness, safety and equality. Through strategic integration of gender into improvement planning, implementation and documentation, we can avoid these harmful consequences and use gender as a driver for improvement.