Listening to Community Leaders: New Data for Gender Equity Philanthropy

Rise Up partnered with Dalberg Advisorsa strategy consulting firm focused on strengthening inclusion and sustainability globally—to lead an external evaluation of Rise Up’s work between 2017-2022.
The evaluation focused on the question: “How can we most effectively support local community leaders to help them achieve their goals in gender equity policy and social norms change?” Over the course of four months, the Dalberg team conducted focus groups, interviews, and surveys with members of Rise Up’s global network of more than 750 community leaders in 14 countries.


Rise Up has set an ambitious vision to expand its impact. It is embarking on a Learning Journey to deepen its understanding of what works best to support local leaders and organizations driving change by shifting policies and norms towards greater gender equity. The first step in that journey is detailed in this document—key findings from an external evaluation to identify what is working well in Rise Up’s model and potential areas for improvement.

90% of Leaders said that Rise Up helped them develop essential advocacy and leadership skills. 

—Rise Up 2022 External Evaluation

Findings on the Effectiveness of Rise Up’s Model

Dalberg’s evaluation found that Rise Up’s model is highly effective in supporting leaders to drive impact. Leaders rated the importance of Rise Up’s overall support in advancing their goals as 8.5 on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being “critically important.” Furthermore, nearly 40% of 220+ leaders surveyed indicated that they could not have advanced their goals without Rise Up’s assistance.

“The staff are incredibly supportive… The local Rise Up staff have been extremely helpful in supporting and encouraging the work on the ground.”
—Rise Up Leader, 2022

Advisory Council

We formed an Advisory Council of experts and influencers in the gender equity sector to leverage their deep expertise to guide Rise Up in this learning process.

Advisory Council Members

Lana Dakan
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Wale Adeleye - Rise Up Leader
Civil Society for Family Planning

Swatee Deepak
Shake the Table

Pascale de la Frégonnière
Cartier Philanthropy

Erin Ganju
Echidna Giving

Diakhoumba Gassama
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda
African Union Commission

Jennifer Okwudili
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Alejandra García Muñiz - Rise Up Leader

Noopur - Rise Up Leader
Oxfam India

Kavita Ramdas
KNR Sisters

Avril Schutte
Cummins Inc.

Linda Weisert
Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

Katharina Samara-Wickrama
Oak Foundation

Jean Berchmans Uwimana - Rise Up Leader
Medical Doctors For Choice

Shauné Zunzanyika

Next Steps: Learning Agenda

Over the next few years, Rise Up will invest in deeper learning around priority topics surfaced through the evaluation. This “Learning Agenda” will support greater impact for Rise Up and the sector at-large. We will share more on future learning questions (we plan to focus on one priority question per year) as we make progress.