Adapt, assess, progress: Integrating measures of women’s empowerment into rural development projects

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BY CARLO AZZARRI, SEDI-ANNE BOUKAKA, JESSICA HECKERT, RUTH MEINZEN-DICK, GREG SEYMOUR, AND SARA SAVASTANO
OPEN ACCESS | CC-BY-4.0

A new tool based on IFPRI’s Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI)—developed by IFPRI and the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) Research and Impact Assessment Division (RIA)—provides a streamlined way to track and evaluate impacts on women’s empowerment in development projects.

The tool—the Integrated Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (iWEAI)—was applied by IFPRI researchers in an impact evaluation of IFAD projects across six African countries.

The iWEAI was developed to meet a specific need in impact assessment. Development projects are increasingly using quantitative impact assessments to evaluate whether they are achieving their intended objectives. While such assessments have many benefits, they tend to focus on outcomes with standardized measures (e.g., yield, reach, income, nutritional indicators)—and overlook other important, yet harder to measure, outcomes like women’s empowerment.

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