Gender Equity Unit

Data for Health’s new Gender Equity Unit website provides resources, community building, and research opportunities to assess and advance global gender equity.


Gender Equity Unit (GEU), a newly established branch of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, works to research and promote gender equity throughout middle and low-income countries. They do this through three main avenues: providing resources and knowledge for partners to integrate into their work, strengthening the gender equity capacity of partners through specialized activities, and conducting wide-scale research on the importance of, barriers to, and strategies for advancing gender equity in global public health through data systems. An integral part of the Data for Health Initiative from Bloomberg Philanthropies, they needed to build a website to meet the emerging needs of their organization.

The Problem

Established in 2021, the Gender Equity Unit was starting from the ground up when it began partnering with Exygy. Their dedicated team works to support statisticians and demographers integrating gender into their health systems and they needed a website to support and share their work. With no prior website foundation, they needed Exygy to not only design and build the website but also conduct extensive user research and provide a content strategy for housing all of the information on the website. 

Equipped with a new, user-centered website, they can continue working with the Data for Health Initiative (currently operating in 25 countries) to often support on gender integration into data collection, analysis, and use. GEU’s first website needed to fully support the high aspirations of the organization.

The Approach

"The best part of working with Exygy is their commitment to user-centered design. This global project had challenges to overcome in terms of its diverse user base – users had different professional skill sets, levels of knowledge around gender integration, and cultural context regarding gender norms. Exygy remained undaunted by the process, and we are proud to say that the website at was fully informed by the stakeholders it serves."

Deb Levine, GEU Senior Program Officer

Foundational to Exygy’s design methodology is conducting user-centered research at the beginning of each project. From the get-go, the Gender Equity Unit’s plan also included a robust commitment to user-centered research. With a diverse and multinational group of stakeholders, Exygy's in-house design team carefully considered all stakeholders in the user-research process. For example, we ensured that our designs were conscious of cultural and aesthetic barriers. We accounted for the direction in which users might read the language, certain color connotations, and how Google single sign-on is used worldwide. The Exygy team also conducted interviews with users on a global scale and at varying levels of gender understanding and integration Working across numerous timezones, and cultural, and language barriers we worked diligently to understand and incorporate disparate sets of feedback. 

Stakeholders placed digital sticky notes to help identify and expound upon key website features.

While the Gender Equity Unit team always remained the subject matter experts, we strategized with them on how to best organize their content. We created a three-category system for displaying content; Learn, Do, See. We also build a quiz that assesses an organization’s, individual’s, or country’s commitment to gender equity, with Gender Equity Unit content based on the World Health Organization’s gender assessment scale. The quiz then directs them to resources and links to build community and tools to advocate for gender equity. 

Site visitors can easily navigate and find resources based on their current level of gender integration.

With the initial content architecture and stakeholder interviews in place, Exygy’s design team began prototyping the website with initial wireframes and then moved towards higher fidelity designs. Through our iterative and agile development of the product, we were able to account for continual input and content additions from stakeholders. As new information arose, our team was able to continually adapt the website to account for new insights. 

The initial wireframes from the GEU website that provided the foundation for the evolving design process.  

The Impact
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Launched in the fall of 2022, the Gender Equity Unit website can now reach people in a wide range of countries that might not have had previous access to gender equity resources. An offline feature allows someone living in regions with unstable or irregular Internet access the ability to download text-only resources for offline learning. A community Slack channel creates opportunities for global connection and sharing of gender equity experiences and is also the location of monthly hosted online discussions. The website also provides a point of contact for people who might not have support from individuals and organizations in their efforts to promote equity. A technical assistance request feature creates a direct line of contact for the team at the Gender Equity Unit to get involved in building a team or organization’s gender equity. With the launch of its website, the Gender Equity Unit is taking another step toward making gender equity resources more available on a global scale and furthering the push for data equity for all genders to improve health outcomes for all.

The Gender Equity Unit website is now live and serving people globally. Users can select from 7 key languages from every page on the site. 

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