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Health Place. 2014 Nov;30:4-12. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2014.07.010. Epub 2014 Aug 23.

Adopting, manipulating, transforming: tactics used by gender practitioners in South African NGOs to translate international gender policies into local practice.

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  • 1Department of Social Psychology, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, UK; Research Associate, Health Economics and HIV and AIDS Research Division, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. Electronic address:


This paper looks at what is lost and gained through the process of translating international policy from a global to a local space. It does this by sharing results from a multisite ethnographic study of gender practices in foreign-funded South African health organisations. This study identifies a number of tactics used by practitioners to deal with the funding constraints and unique knowledge systems that characterise local spaces, including: using policy to appeal to donors; merging gender with better resourced programmes; and redirecting funding allocations. These tactics point to how practitioners are adopting, manipulating and transforming international policies in order to suit their everyday working realities.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


De Certeau; Gender inequality; Non-governmental organisations; Policy translation; Strategies and tactics

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