Searching for methodologies on measuring empowerment of women and girls

Dear Gender and Evaluation Community

My name is Julie Newton and I am working in the Gender Team at the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) based in the Netherlands. Building on our current review of methods for measuring empowerment of women and girls, we are updating our scan of methodologies designed specifically for measuring empowerment of women and girls.

We are reaching out to you to share examples of innovative methodologies/tools, approaches, instruments for data collection and analysis used to measure the empowerment of women and girls. We would be grateful if you reply by the 24th March.

 Thank you in advance


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Dear Julie,

I suggest you consult the social impact measurement system for the clean cooking sector that was developed in collaboration with the International Center for Research on Women - they did a thorough desk study of tools and methodologies for measuring social and economic empowerment, including indicators on empowerment/agency,  business autonomy and efficacy, social status, time use, and drudgery. I'm happy to discuss in more detail - feel free to contact me at

You can access the social impact methodologies on our website here:


Dear Julie,

Your project is extremely important and I am confident that with the support of community members, you will be able to compile a good collection of relevant tools and methodologies. It would be highly appreciated if, once complete, this collection is also made available to the users of EvalGender. I am sharing hereby some toolkits for assessing gender equality and women empowerment in development intervention:

Best regards,

Serdar Bayryyev


thank you so much for these very useful resources.  I'm in the process of compiling everything and will figure out how to share. thanks for your patience.

Julie, here is a comment on our Facebook page 

Andrea Azevedo
Andrea Azevedo It will be lovely to see what they can put together after this call. Are there any plans to share it afterwards?

Hi Andrea, 

i circulated on pelican as well and have had quite a few responses. will aim to put it all together. 

Hi Julie,

One way would be how women evaluate their own progress towards empowerment. I have used SALT and community life competence process for communities around the world like recently with ILO India for development of self assessment framework for domestic workers. I cannot share the report but can share some of the blogs 

Nanda, R. B. (2015,  June 16). Community life competence for stimulating domestic workers’ response to their working conditions. Retrieved from

Nanda, R. B. (2015,  July 18).Self-assessment & SALT visit to homes of domestic workers Retrieved from


This approach has been used in more than 70 countries  by an international NGO called the Constellation

Note from the Moderator: 

Julie has also posted the query on another network Pelican. I will post the responses posted there in Gender and Evaluation community and your responses there with full credit to everyone - Rachel and Serdar so that more people read and can learn from you. Thanks


Dear Julie: 

I would recommend the "Empowerment Star" ( that has been adapted and used by several institutions, among them Save the Children (Spider tool), to capture incremental changes in various dimensions of individual empowering (“areas of change”) previously defined with/for women who receive their services.

The adapted tool uses a “journey” that every woman takes to reach her goals in every selected dimension of change. Each point of the star represents an area in which women wishes and needs to change, and there is a “scale” adapted to the specific areas of empowerment.Through periodic interviews, a woman determines where she would be placed in the journey. The process is repeated to see progress and to evaluate if the woman is receiving the support that she requires.

Evidences from the use of this tool have demonstrated that tracking individuals and average responses facilitates the identification of tendencies in relation to the different dimensions of change.

I hope that this is useful and I look forward to the results of your interesting initiative.


Fabiola Amariles, Learning for Impact



Hi Julie,

I recommend the following , the gender scales which you can find at's%20Empowerment%20Scale,%20Gender%20Scales%20Compendium.pdf

CARE's own WEIMI guide, you can find it on, you will also find a lot of useful materials if you look around in the wiki

If you are interested in agriculture USAID's feed the future program women's empowerment in agriculture index  (WEAI) is also very useful.

Hope that helps,


Dear Julie,

I hope this email finds you well! White it may be a bit outside the scope of what you're looking for, White Ribbon created an evaluation framework to assess changes in men and boys arising from gender-based violence prevention programming. You can access the framework here:

We have also completed a literature review on existing evaluation approaches to assess gender-based violence prevention programs. Link here:

Feel free to email me at if you would like to connect further.



Dear Julie (and EvalGender community);

Please please please consider 'assessing' rather than simply measuring! 'Empowerment' is a social process and, as such, requires significant qualitative consideration :-)

Someone else has already shared with you the paper I wrote for ODI on gender & impact evaluation; am more than happy to talk about this further (on this forum, via email or on Skype) if I can be of help.


I agree with Gillian on the use of "assessing" instead of "measuring".

In this regard, I would also recommend the use of Outcome Mapping (OM) methodology. ( Although it is not specifically designed to assess women empowerment, its "progress markers" are helpful to monitor progress. They are build around the change process described as "expect to see", "like to see" and "love to see" to monitor achievements toward the desired outcome. 

I hope this adds to your compilation of methodologies and tools. 

Best, Fabiola 


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