BIAS FREE stands for Building an Integrative Analytical System For
Recognizing and Eliminating inEquities. The BIAS FREE Framework is an innovative tool
for identifying and eliminating biases that derive from social hierarchies such as sexism, racism, ableism, ageism, etc. in research, legislation, policies, programmes, service delivery or practices.
The Framework should be used at all stages of these processes to identify biases that produce and/or maintain social inequities, and to eliminate or
reduce the hierarchies at work.
The Framework is based on a three-dimensional matrix that addresses the type of hierarchy examined
(gender, disability, race/ethnicity, class, caste, age, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, geographical location, etc.); the type of
application (e.g. research, legislation, policy, programme, service delivery, practices, etc.); and the particular type of bias problem and its
The Framework poses 19 questions that alert users to biases that help maintain hierarchies that deprive people of
their fundamental right to equality and other basic human rights. Each type of bias problem is defined by the question posed. The thought-provoking
questions help to stimulate discussion and soul-searching among people using the Framework.
The 19 related solutions do not prescribe concrete actions. To do so would be inappropriate given the enormous variations in the way the various
hierarchies manifest in different countries and contexts. Rather, the solutions guide users to find context-specific and culturally-relevant
solutions to the identified problems. The solutions point to actions that can be adapted and customized within each socio-historical context to
overcome identified problems, depending on the nature of the problems and types of hierarchies that are at work in a given context.
To access the 3-page Framework in different languages:
How does the BIAS FREE Framework work?
As a tool the Framework provides a systematic and comprehensive approach to the identification, analysis and elimination of biases that derive from
any social hierarchy. As an educational method, the Framework changes how people think. It gives them new insights into how biases and prejudices
develop and how they are perpetuated. It helps people to become aware of how bias problems can enter into their own work or that of others, and what
they can do to prevent or eliminate the problems. It empowers women and men to solve injustices that they and others experience.
A crucial aspect of the Framework, and the aspect that makes it applicable across the world in all types of cultural and socio-economic contexts,
is that it allows for new answers within each context. The Framework supplies the questions to be asked, and the people who use it generate the answers
within and out of their own historical/cultural context. This allows users to achieve ownership of the Framework and how it is used.
People using the Framework begin to see the world through “new eyes”, begin to internalize the values that underpin the Framework, and to change their
attitudes and practices. This in turn leads to a more critical and thoughtful reflection on attitudes and practices, and ultimately to a process of
personal and structural transformation and broad social change focused on human rights and equity.
To find samples of applications of the Framework please visit the Applications link.