Enhancing National Sector Gender Based Analysis (GBA) Plus Capacity

Logo of OCASI and GBA plus project

Project Summary

Enhancing National Sector Gender Based Analysis (GBA) Plus Capacity is a project led by the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA) in partnership with:

  • Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC (AMSSA);
  • Saskatchewan Association of Immigrant Settlement and Integration Agencies (SAISIA);
  • Manitoba Association of Newcomer Serving Organizations (MANSO);
  • Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI);
  • Atlantic Region Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (ARAISA);
  • Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA).

The goal of this national initiative is to enhance the immigrant and refugee serving sector’s capacity to mainstream GBA Plus within organizational programs, policies, and procedures. 

The partner organizations committed to this project are well-placed within the immigrant and refugee serving sector in Canada to lead initiatives that contribute to longer-term systemic change.Through identification of key assets, gaps, and opportunities, partner organizations will support equity-building initiatives across the settlement sector, according to the context and priorities of each region using a Collective Impact Model.

Key activities include:

  • Developing sector-specific gender equality and GBA Plus mainstreaming research;
  • Piloting and creating bilingual sector guidance on mainstreaming GBA Plus tailored to the immigrant and refugee serving sector;
  •  Resource and tool development, and knowledge exchange.

This project is funded by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) under the Service Delivery Improvement (SDI) stream from June 2023 - November 2024. 

What is OCASI’s role in this project? 

As a partner organization in the Enhancing National Sector Gender Based Analysis (GBA) Plus Capacity project, the resources and activities developed by OCASI will aim to support and strengthen an Anti-Racist Anti-Oppressive (ARAO) and intersectional approach to organizational development. 

In 2021-2023, OCASI undertook an initiative to develop a sector-wide Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Policy (ARAO) and Implementation Guide. The resulting ARAO Policy Toolkit aims to support organizations to align their practices and procedures to promote social justice, and to foster equity, anti-racism, and anti-oppression in the immigrant, migrant and refugee serving sector. 

The OCASI - GBA Plus project is reinforcing the impact of OCASI’s ARAO Policy Toolkit by providing strategic support to two Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) funded Service Provider Organizations (SPOs) in Ontario to adapt and implement an Anti-Racism Anti-Oppression Policy within their organization using the OCASI ARAO Policy Toolkit between March 2024 - September 2024 as part of the GBA plus project. This is aligned with the GBA plus project overall objective of supporting equity initiatives within the immigrant and refugee serving sector. 

How can an OCASI member agency get involved in the project? 

To learn more about the project, contact Leah Woolner (Project Coordinator) at lwoolner@ocasi.org or Asma Atique (Research Coordinator) at aatique@ocasi.org 

For Service Provider Organizations interested in adapting and implementing the ARAO policy at their organization, please refer to the Expression of Interest Overview Document

What is Gender-Based Analysis (GBA) Plus? 

Gender-Based Analysis (GBA) Plus is a concept created by the Government of Canada, which defines GBA Plus as “an analytical tool used to support the development of responsive and inclusive policies, programs, and other initiatives (WAGE, 2023).” 

GBA was initially designed to consider the differential impact of policy and programs on women and girls. However, in 2011, the “plus' ' was added in recognition of other diverse identity factors , such as age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, education, economic status, religion, race, language and geography that also intersect with sex and gender identity to reinforce gender inequities. 

While GBA Plus may share some similarities to other analytical frameworks and practices centered on equity, there are many different frameworks designed to challenge and remove systemic inequities with their own unique histories and objectives. 

For more information, please refer to the Key Concepts section below. 

The Wheel of Privilege and Power

Download The Wheel of Privilege and Power [PDF]

Key Concepts:

Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppressive (ARAO) practices work to challenge, prevent, and eliminate racist and oppressive systems. ARAO considers structural, institutional, ideological, behavioral, and organizational practices that create and perpetuate power imbalances in society. ARAO aims to equalize power imbalances that create different forms of oppression and racism in communities and society through systemic change. 

Decolonial and anti-colonial frameworks acknowledge the violence and genocide perpetrated under colonialism and settler-colonialism towards indigenous peoples in Canada and in the Global South. Decolonialization is the intentional process of working to oppose, challenge, and replace colonial oppression in its many shapes and forms in our society and relationships. Committing to decolonial practices means acting in concrete ways to resist colonial oppression in solidarity and support of indigenous communities. 

Collective Impact Model: A Collective Impact (CI) model is a framework that enables organizations to address common challenges by developing an integrated plan to achieve systemic change (Graybeal, 2022). A CI model focuses on pooling efforts among stakeholders to target the specific needs of the communities they serve. The model contains five core conditions: 1) the development of a common agenda; 2) using shared measurement tools; 3) building on mutually reinforcing activities; 4) engaging in continuous communications and; 5) providing backbone organizational support. 

Gender Identity is a person’s internal and individual experience of gender. This is different than ‘sex’ or the anatomical classification of people as male, female or intersex, usually assigned at birth. The term transgender is used to describe persons who identify with a different sex than the one assigned to them at birth. The term gender-diverse refers to persons whose gender identity is at odds with gender norms, including those who do not place themselves in the male/female binary. 

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) considers policies, practices and procedures that enable and ensure all individuals are valued, supported, and have equitable access and opportunity. EDI values and creates an individual's unique differences, identities, characteristics, and qualities.

Im/migrant is an umbrella term used to describe persons who are not born with Canadian citizenship. This includes those who have moved away from their place of usual residence temporarily or permanently, including those without a legal immigration status. Precarious immigration status is an immigration status in Canada that is temporary and does not entitle the person to full legal rights, protections, and services. Some examples of precarious status include: refugee claimants, temporary residents, migrant workers, international students, sponsored individuals, and those without an immigration status.

Intersectionality is a framework for understanding how multiple forms of discrimination intersect to create a disproportionate impact for certain groups of people based on their identity and social location. It focuses on systemic inequities and removing systemic barriers. Kimberlé Crenshaw first began using this term as a way to explain the multiple forms of oppression collectively facing Black women survivors of violence in the United States.

Intersectional feminism asserts that gender equity cannot be reached without understanding how the systems holding power in our society exclude and oppress certain women because of their multiple and intersecting identities. In practice, intersectional feminism requires challenging and resisting the systems, institutions, and cultural traditions that dismiss the experiences of women on the margins, such as indigenous, Black and racialized, disabled, im/migrant, transwomen and LGBTQ2+ identified people.

Racialized is used as a term to describe people who are non-White and encompasses all people who self-identify as racialized. People can be racialized not only based on skin colour but also other perceived characteristics such as their culture, language, customs, ancestry, country or place of origin. Typically, racialized is not used to describe First Nations, Métis or Inuit peoples within Canada, but may include Indigenous people who have migrated to Canada from other countries or territories.

Racialization refers to the process by which societies construct races as real, different and unequal. Racial categories are not based on science or biology but on differences that society has chosen to emphasize. 

Refugee is a person who has been forced to flee from persecution, and who is outside their home country. This term is sometimes used globally to refer to asylum seekers, displaced people, refugee claimants, status and/or resettled refugees. 

Systemic change is about dismantling the structures that hold inequities in place, such as the laws, policies, institutions, cultural norms, and practices that create unjust conditions within a community and society. Such inequities are based on race, gender, class, (dis)ability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ethnicity, and other personal characteristics and factors. Systemic change seeks to rebuild these systems and structures in order to make our society a more just and equitable one. 

Funded by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).