An innovative, culturally responsive approach.

Think Responsive helps advance women's reproductive health care and lower maternal mortality rates by educating and engaging local populations around the world—and consulting for other NGOs and governments that want to do the same. 

Over years in the field, we've honed a culturally responsive, empowerment-centered training model designed specifically for men and women in male-dominated societies. Our proprietary training model encourages self-reliance, leverages teamwork strategies, and incorporates role models—many of whom are Muslim health professionals—to connect with and inspire our trainees. 

Our Consulting Services

Think Responsive can provide comprehensive, holistic program design services, or support your organization on any of the following:

Culturally responsive program 
design

Many international development programs fail because they don’t work seamlessly with local attitudes and customs. When designing international public health programs, we focus on understanding locals’ perspectives and priorities first—and then finding practical, culturally appropriate ways to meet program goals.

Research and needs assessments

For organizations trying to figure out where to start, we identify where the gaps are in local communities and make actionable recommendations to help you resolve them.

Stakeholder engagement

To make programs sustainable, international coalitions need to harness local support. However, in order to engage key stakeholders, you need a comprehensive understanding of the culture you’re working in. For example, in many male-dominated societies, a woman’s mother-in-law determines whether or not she uses contraception—not her husband. Without the mother-in-law’s support, no initiative will be successful. Decades of fieldwork have given us unique insight into the best ways to identify key stakeholders and gain broad community support for health initiatives.

Program crossover and expansion efforts

What works in West Africa may not work in Middle East, and vice versa. We help organizations take successful programs and refine them for the challenges and opportunities new environments present.

Qualitative and quantitative program evaluations

NGOs and those investing in public health want clear measures of programs’ effectiveness. Years of assessing the strength of our own programs have given us a unique toolkit for evaluating others’ and finding ways to make them work. If brought in at the beginning of an engagement, we will strategically design programs to facilitate data collection and analysis.

Creative, cost-efficient solutions

Many of the male-dominated societies we work in are resource-poor, and unable to accommodate high-tech or high-budget solutions. We have extensive experience helping NGOs maximize their budgets with low-tech common-sense solutions—like rotating chalkboard messages at central gathering places, affordable giveaways that engage local community members, and other simple, strategic, sustainable tactics.

Culturally appropriate educational materials

Working closely with local stakeholders, we create print and video educational materials that speak to the needs of local communities.

Program design consultations

Whether you’re considering funding a program or looking to refine your own, we can leverage our on-the-ground experience to help you identify weak points in program design and assess its overall feasibility.

​An innovative, culturally responsive approach.​

In addition to having the world's highest maternal mortality rates, male-dominated societies present a number of unique challenges for international development workers, including:

Access

Traditional hierarchies and attitudes make it difficult to access the most vulnerable populations. Women must often ask permission from their husbands to leave the house or seek any type of medical services.

Lack of resources

These regions are also often resource-poor, which makes it more difficult to develop affordable, sustainable models that are not only effective, but easy to replicate and scale.

Conflict

Many of these environments have experienced extended periods of political volatility, civil unrest, and military conflict. These factors only magnify the challenges of access and lack of resources.

Trauma

In these stressed environments, local health providers often feel hopeless, forgotten, exhausted, depressed, or fatalistic, both in their work and their hopes for the future.

In male-dominated societies, men’s support of reproductive health and family planning methods is essential to facilitating women’s awareness of and access to these services. That is why, instead of seeing local men as barriers, we engage them in our mission, making sure to align each program with the regional culture, priorities, social norms, traditions, and common practices. As a result, we build broad, successful alliances within local populations. Then we leverage our allies’ skills and on-the-ground knowledge to achieve our shared goals—and plant the seed for continued progress.

As consultants, our recommendations are informed by decades of experience in the field, working hand-in-hand with NGOs and local governments to design, develop, and implement programs that resonate with local populations:

  • Policy institutes
  • Foundations and endowments
  • International development organizations
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • UN agencies
  • Local ministries of health
  • Professional medical and health associations
  • Educational and research institutions
  • Women’s and family health advocacy groups
  • Global health and development conference

Some of our partners

We form consulting relationships and partnerships with:

  • IPPF
  • MS International
  • Marie Stopes International

Let's talk

If you are interested in discussing ways we can work together, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation. Submit your inquiry here, and a member of our team will be in touch soon.