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

Julie 

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Responses from Pelican network. Thanks Pelican and the respondents!

Matthew Pritchard m

Hi all,

The Chars Livelihoods Programme in Bangladesh developed a women’s empowerment scorecard using a participatory approach with extreme poor women to assess whether the programme empowered them or not.  It gave great results.  See this blog post, which includes links to documents describing the approach and results at the end.

 http://clp-bangladesh.org/womens-empowerment-real-world-answers-man...

 Regards,

 Mat – ex Team Leader of the CLP.

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Dear all 

I think there are many amazing examples - especially coming out of participatory methods.
I've been using participatory photography in Pakistan over 3 years with marginalised women, men and trans* people. We are looking at the impact of development and infrastructure on their security (https://www.idrc.ca/sites/default/files/sp/Documents%20EN/safecitie... https://www.idrc.ca/en/article/mobility-and-access-services-are-key... ) Our website with it all is in development but I will share it once it is completed. It is a very interesting and impactful method to see change or people's lives through their own eyes.
I think it's important when measuring 'empowerment' to understand what it means to the person/people you are talking about. Our ideas may be very different to theirs. I often find that the methods of monitoring and eval - on 'women's empowerment' - are extractive in themselves and many of the women I have worked with who've been involved in these representations do it and regret it after, or just think it was a waste of their time. So, also giving something back is important; as in sharing back what you have learned from them, who is going to see this representation of their lives etc etc.
Best wishes
Amiera
----------------------------------------
Hello Pelicans - 

In response to the requests for examples, I'm happy to share with you examples of Oxfam's Women's Empowerment Effectiveness reviews, which are impact evaluations (18 published to date) involving household surveys and a quasi-experimental design. What might be of particular interest is the framework for women's empowerment used - this has evolved considerably over time.  The technical reports for each evaluation are quite detailed - you can download them from:   http://oxf.am/ZbbU 

There are also a few (at least 3) articles about measuring empowerment (by different authors/organizations) in this 2014 Gender & Development journal special issue on Gender and M&E: http://oxf.am/Zbb5  (From my memory, they tend to focus more on systems that individual methodologies, but may be worth a look) 

Lastly - Simone Lombardini (Global Impact Evaluation Advisor) leads OxfamGB's work in this area, and has written more detailed blogs on specific measurement challenges associated with empowerment (measuring time, measuring [household] income) on our 'Real Geeks' blog:https://views-voices.oxfam.org.uk/real-geek/ 

I know that there are a few items 'in the pipeline,' intended to help us share information on the methodology and our lessons learned - those will be shared/advertised on Real Geeks when they're out! 

Best wishes - 

Kimberly 

KIMBERLY BOWMAN | Programme Quality Team Manager
Oxfam GB | Oxford |
--------------------------------------------------

Sunday Omori sunidgreat15@gmail.com via wa-research.ch 

Mar 9 (5 days ago)
to Pelican
Dear Julie,
This article may contain what you are looking for. 

John Gershman jjg5@nyu.edu via wa-research.ch 

Mar 10 (4 days ago)
to Pelican
there's also the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index

http://www.ifpri.org/topic/weai-resource-center

Hi Julie and everyone,

What a great thread, thank you!
We just completed a two year project for WomenStrong International https://www.womenstrong.org, where we developed what we called an Action Learning process - essentially a highly participatory, learning focused monitoring and evaluation approach. While we developed specific tools to track and assess the empowerment processes and progress,  what was perhaps unique about our approach was the degree to which women/girls were engaged in their own monitoring and evaluation, as a part of the empowerment process itself, and the strengthening of agency. We worked with staff, women and their communities to both establish “evaluation frameworks” (we called them visions for change), which were based on the changes they hoped to see in themselves, their communities and then and then supported them to carry out ongoing monitoring activities, which involved capacity building/training in data collection, facilitation, as well as perhaps most important,  collective analysis, involving a variety of community actors. 
We just wrote a blog post on the AEA website - http://aea365.org/blog/feminist-issues-in-evaluation-tig-week-parti...
We also share some more about our experiences here - https://actionevaluationcollaborative.exposure.co
(See part 2 for some of the concrete tools…)
Thanks!
Catherine
Catherine Borgman-Arboleda
Learning & Evaluation Consultant
Action Evaluation Collaborative
---------------------
Hi Julie,
Please see below link to a relevant evaluation on adolescent empowerment in eight countries in South Asia carried out for UNICEF. It mainly focuses on adolescent girls and young women. Details of the definitions and measures used for empowerment as well as tools can be found in the full report and annex. An innovative aspect was the engagement of adolescents and young people themselves as 'adolescent evaluators' - this meant the adolescents carrying out evaluation activities - their findings were integrated into the overall evaluation report, and in certain sites, the adolescents' evaluation, was produced as a separate product.
--------------------------
Tasadduq Rasul 

Hi Julie and all,


I would go to the basic question first; "defining the empowerment". It will then better lead us to explore relevant methods and tools.


In our context, we understand empowerment as people's agency to derive change. It's about transformation in power relations to challenge inequalities and achieve social justice.



Here are few resources you may find useful to measure empowerment of women and girls.



1- Link to Networked ToolBox, developed by ActionAid. You can find many tools particularly under the heading of “Measuring Power Shifts”.

 

http://www.networkedtoolbox.com/tools/toolboxes/

 

2- Measuring Empowerment? Ask Them;  It's a useful resource book published by SIDA. It focuses on quantifying qualitative outcomes from people’s own analysis.


https://www.oecd.org/countries/bangladesh/46146440.pdf

 ---------------------------

Kristie drucza

Dear Julie,
See: MarketShare Associates, The Social Norms Factor: How gendered social norms influence how we empower women in market systems development
Download Report

-----------------------

Dear Julie

 

ActionAid and Letmotiv Social Consultants worked together to understand to what extent power has shifted in favour of women as a result of our work on women’s rights and on resilient livelihoods.

We developed a participatory methodology based on the Power Cube and the Gender@work frameworks and we tested it to assess our work in Cambodia, Rwanda and Guatemala.

We explain it here.

Let us know if you would like more details,

 

Kind regards,

Francesca, Liisa, Eva and Sarah

 

Francesca D’Emidio

Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor

M&E Unit

ActionAid International

 

More responses from Pelican community. Thanks to Pelican and the respondents 

Laura Hughston

Dear Julie
Thank you for asking this question that has generated some really interesting responses. I add my small contribution, in the form of a photo.

Firstly let me say that, if you’ll allow me, I will choose to interpret your request for "innovative" tools as meaning "quirky or unusual" on this occasion.

The photo shows a tool I call 'confidence snails' being used in Cambodia (but also successfully used in Zimbabwe and Kenya). Respondents (the tool is primarily targeted at children and illiterate people) are asked to choose which image of the snail better reflects how they feel about talking in public and to people in a position of authority, about their needs and their rights. The images show the snail at first completely in her shell, then gradually emerging out.

Of course the interesting part of the tool is the conversation that follows, when we ask respondents why the feel in a certain way and what would it take for them to go ‘up a snail’.

-----------------------------------

Laura,  Thanks for this great exercise!

If we use it how should we credit/reference it?

Judi Aubel

--------------------

Dear Judi

What a privilege it would be if you chose to use this! I'd love to hear how it goes.
The drawings were done by a friend of mine and I'm sure she would be happy for you to use them. If you then want to publish the work, it would be nice to acknowledge her for the drawings.

If you would like the full set of drawings, just send me your email and I'll send them over in high resolution.

Best

Laura

-------------------

Hi Julie and everyone,

What a great thread, thank you!
We just completed a two year project for WomenStrong International https://www.womenstrong.org, where we developed what we called an Action Learning process - essentially a highly participatory, learning focused monitoring and evaluation approach. While we developed specific tools to track and assess the empowerment processes and progress,  what was perhaps unique about our approach was the degree to which women/girls were engaged in their own monitoring and evaluation, as a part of the empowerment process itself, and the strengthening of agency. We worked with staff, women and their communities to both establish “evaluation frameworks” (we called them visions for change), which were based on the changes they hoped to see in themselves, their communities and then and then supported them to carry out ongoing monitoring activities, which involved capacity building/training in data collection, facilitation, as well as perhaps most important,  collective analysis, involving a variety of community actors. 
We also share some more about our experiences here - https://actionevaluationcollaborative.exposure.co
(See part 2 for some of the concrete tools…)
Thanks!
Catherine
Catherine Borgman-Arboleda
-----------------

Hi all,

 

ODI conducted a 2 year project on women’s voice and leadership. Through this we produced a range of literature reviews, case studies and a synthesis report.

 

We also produced an overview of existing global indicators for measuring women's voice and leadership. This outlines the methodological and conceptual issues that should be taken into account when using these indicators and critically examines the current state of available data in terms of the wider universe of proposed indicators.

 

Hope the above is of use.

 

Thanks,

 

Craig Valters
Research Fellow

Politics and Governance
Overseas Development Institute

-------------------------

In Rwanda, we have started working on a project called 'Rwanda GBV Monitor' which would allow government and civil society actors submit (aggregated) data on all indicators related to gender based violence, including medical services, health, counseling, legal services, etc. This data would then be used to generate analytics and insights on rate of GBV in different areas, institutional responses, victim's access to psycho-social services, and status of cases.

 

The intended outcome is to improve institutional accountability and governance to respond to GBV effectively. We also acknowledge that lots of steps have already been taken up by the Government of Rwanda, UN agencies, and other national and international organizations. They have defined indicators and data sources. With the introduction of Rwanda GBV Monitor, the data management process can potentially be streamlined and stakeholders can use this data in planning and decision-making.

 

Atanu Garai

SocialWell Technologies

www.socialwell.net

Dear Julie,

I am interested in learning methodologies to measuring empowerment of women and girls and I am wondering if you received interested responses to your questions that you can share with me in terms of materials, guides etc.

thanks for your help.

Regards,

Martha

Hi Julie,

 I know I am extremely late but just wondering whether you have seen Women Empowerment in Agriculture Index developed by IFPRI and supported by USAID.

 https://feedthefuture.gov/lp/womens-empowerment-agriculture-index

This could be a very good food for thought. To my mind , it  could be adjusted for other sectors as well. Moreover, FHI 360 has also done some work on measuring women's empowerment.

Thanks

Mahmuda

 

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