Folke Bernadotte Academy

Folke Bernadotte Academy is the Swedish Government agency for peace, security and development. I worked with FBA's Team on the Gender-Responsive Leadership (GRL) Initiative designed to support leaders and managers within organizations such as the EU, UN, ECOWAS, OSCE and the African Union.

GRL Programme

After a period of academic discussions around the content and what the programme should deliver, I joined the GRL team at the beginning of the actual product creation process. I started with a full discovery process including research to look for insights into the user and their motivation and needs to accomplish the 5 skills of a Gender-Responsive Leader.

Online: Gender Responsive Leadership

Project Details


Discovery process and stakeholder interviews. Research to gain insights on motivation with high-ranking leaders. Ideation workshops to explore and refine product ideas. Content-driven workshops to consolidate the GRL framework. Product-oriented workshops, focussing on habits and motivation of learners. Information architecture for learning platform and future resource hub. Comprehensive written reports at all stages. Delivering product strategy with creative and editorial support of: logo, documents, videos, graphics, digital learning platform, newsletter and events.


Scheduling interviews with the exceptionally busy high-ranking leaders in the EU, UN, and OSCE proved to be a significant challenge. Stakeholder interviews had to substitute some of the insights in the beginning. Additionally, navigating the complex structures and hierarchical systems of the various organisations required patience and perseverance. Combined with the team's predominantly academic background it needed a strong lead to keep focus over time. Regular workshops and check-ins supported the process and drove progress forward.


The Gender-Responsive Leadership (GRL) Programme is underway as a vital component of FBA's ongoing Gender-Responsive Leadership Initiative. Leaders and managers from the EU, UN, and OSCE are actively engaged in the programme, reflecting its high demand. A dedicated webpage has been integrated into the FBA website to provide accessible information. Additionally, the GRL framework has been developed and approved, serving as the cornerstone for all future advancements in the initiative.

Testimonial avatar

Product Discovery

Ajara is a real professional- efficient, organised and effective. Ajara is also a really good teacher and I learned a lot from her in terms of emerging software and tools for online working. Ajara supported us with the design of our gender responsive leadership programme, conducting initial user experience mapping and supporting us to organise our different processes. I would very much recommend Ajara as a colleague and someone to hold your hand as you attempt to develop a user experience focused product.

Leslie Groves Williams | Executive and Leadership coaching and facilitation