The CGIAR’s Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) just released a short video interview with Agnes Quisumbing, one of the Gender, Agriculture and Assets Project (GAAP) PIs and the Senior Gender Advisor to A4NH. In the video, Agnes explains the important linkages between gender and assests and how their relationship can affect people’s ability to engage in and benefit from interventions. She showcases two of the GAAP portfolio projects: The Harvest Plus Reaching End Users Project and the Helen Keller International Enhanced Homestead Food Production Program.
A new IFPRI Discussion Paper, Women’s Empowerment and Nutrition: An Evidence Review, by Mara van den Bold, Agnes Quisumbing, and Stuart Gillespie reviews the evidence on women’s empowerment and nutrition. Many development programs that aim to alleviate poverty and improve investments in human capital consider women’s empowerment a key pathway by which to achieve impact and often target women as their main beneficiaries. Despite this, women’s empowerment dimensions are often not rigorously measured and are at times merely assumed. This paper starts by reflecting on the concept and measurement of women’s empowerment and then reviews some of the structural interventions that aim to influence underlying gender norms in society and eradicate gender discrimination. It then proceeds to review the evidence of the impact of three types of interventions—cash transfer programs, agricultural interventions, and microfinance programs—on women’s empowerment, nutrition, or both.
Qualitative evidence on conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs generally points to positive impacts on women’s empowerment, although quantitative research findings are more heterogenous. CCT programs produce mixed results on long-term nutritional status, and very limited evidence exists of their impacts on micronutrient status. The little evidence available on unconditional cash transters (UCT) indicates mixed impacts on women’s empowerment and positive impacts on nutrition; however, recent reviews comparing CCT and UCT programs have found little difference in terms of their effects on stunting and they have found that conditionality is less important than other factors, such as access to healthcare and child age and sex. Evidence of cash transfer program impacts depending on the gender of the transfer recipient or on the conditionality is also mixed, although CCTs with non-health conditionalities seem to have negative impacts on nutritional status. The impacts of programs based on the gender of the transfer recipient show mixed results, but almost no experimental evidence exists of testing gender-differentiated impacts of a single program.
Agricultural interventions—specifically home gardening and dairy projects—show mixed impacts on women’s empowerment measures such as time, workload, and control over income; but they demonstrate very little impact on nutrition. Implementation modalities are shown to determine differential impacts in terms of empowerment and nutrition outcomes. With regard to the impact of microfinance on women’s empowerment, evidence is also mixed, although more recent reviews do not find any impact on women’s empowerment. The impact of microfinance on nutritional status is mixed, with no evidence of impact on micronutrient status. Across all three types of programs (cash transfer programs, agricultural interventions, and microfinance programs), very little evidence exists on pathways of impact, and evidence is often biased toward a particular region.
The paper ends with a discussion of the findings and remaining evidence gaps and an outline of recommendations for research.
The person and the job:
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) (www.iwmi.org) is looking for a person with a PhD in rural sociology, development studies, gender in development or anthropology, which was awarded not more than 5 years ago. The person should also have a strong analytical mind, ability to synthesize information and the ability to write persuasively.
The incumbent will work primarily for the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) in the program’s focal regions in South Asia and Africa. WLE, led by IWMI, conducts research and capacity building activities related to water, land and ecosystem management, with the goal of improving food security, livelihoods and the natural environment in developing countries. By working with its diverse partners, WLE is creating innovative approaches to translating natural resource management research into actionable recommendations for policymakers, resource managers and poor rural communities.
The position holder will be based at the headquarters of IWMI in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and will report to the Coordinator – Gender, Poverty and Institutions of WLE.
• contribute to the social analyses of inequity in rural water an d potential poverty traps;
• develop and implement, under the guidance of senior researchers , research on inequity traps within water;
• analyze local water tenure, and pro-poor and gender equitable b ottom-up initiatives for equitable water sharing and
pollution prevention in a basin context;
• design and implement field data collection exercises and superv ise the work of research assistants;
• provide inputs into discussions on gender and equity within WLE and IWMI; and
• produce internationally peer-reviewed and other publications, and disseminate findings by attending international
forums and through other outlets.
You will possess:
• a PhD in rural sociology, development studies, gender in develo pment or anthropology (the PhD should have been
awarded not more than 5 years prior to the time of application) ;
• innovative thinking and analytical skills to understand the rol e that access to water can play in creating inequitable
development in rural areas.
• a strong analytical mind, ability to synthesize information, an d ability to write persuasively;
• a strong technical background in both qualitative and quantitat ive research methods and data analysis;
• a strong understanding of gender, poverty and institutions;
• a broad understanding of agriculture and water issues;
• an understanding of water and agricultural policy in the contex t of rural livelihoods;
• the ability to work harmoniously in interdisciplinary and multi cultural teams;
• proficiency in spoken and written English (skills in other inte rnational or regional languages will be an advantage); and
• a willingness to spend long periods of time in the field
This is an internationally recruited position with a competitive salary and benefits package, which includes a housing allowance, transport, education, shipping assistance, annual home leave and health insurance package. Postdoctoral scientists are appointed on fixed two-year contracts.
Please submit your application online at: http://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/jobs
Closing date: November 24, 2013
Building the evidence based roadmap for women’s economic empowerment
Submitted by Markus Goldstein on 2013/09/18
On Monday I was at the UN Foundation’s launch of a new report, A Roadmap for Promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment. Authored by Mayra Buvinic, Rebecca Furst-Nichols and Emily Courey Pryor this report provides a significant step forward in making sense of the rapidly growing evidence base on what works and what does not for gender equality. [Full disclosure: with co-authors I contributed two of the many background papers for this report].
I am not going to summarize this report (the executive summary does a nice job of that) but rather offer a couple of reflections on what went into the report, and what came out.
First of all, they clearly put together a lot of evidence. This starts with a nice database that has a lot of the experimental, quasi-experimental and some other empirical work (you can download this off the main page here). Then they commissioned a bunch of reviews — some of which are quite blunt in their conclusions (more on this below). And then they added it up in a way that ought to be pretty accessible to policymakers.
One neat thing Buvinic and co. did was take a stand on the aggregate state of the evidence on some sets of interventions. (And keep in mind here that they are specific about the outcomes they care about: women’s earning and productivity). They classify the interventions into proven (e.g. CCTs, land rights, savings), promising (e.g. mobile phones, unconditional cash transfers, modern agricultural inputs), high potential (e.g. mentors, farmer field schools, information on jobs), and unproven (e.g. microcredit, stand alone business training). And they also give some indication of whether this should (or should not!) be aimed at poor or non-poor women, young or all women.
In terms of some of the background studies, Petra Todd was on hand at the launch to discuss her thoughtful paper that looked at interventions around labor market participation. She tackles active labor market policies (evidence suggests that women may benefit more than men), youth employment (positive impacts on wages and employment), childcare (good for labor force participation), and elder care (mixed). (I was surprised to see that there were actually some impact evaluations of elder care – a part of the demands on women’s time that we know much less about)
Oriana Bandiera set out an overview of her work with coauthors on a paper that looked at a set of interventions that tackle capital and skills constraints of the poor. They look at ultra-poor programs that provide meaningful levels of capital and training and show pretty significant effects (I wrote more about one of these papers in an earlier post). They also touch on some of the recent work on training programs — for adolescents but also women (and men) more generally. Finally they take a look at microenterprise development programs: capital alone, training alone, and capital plus training (the combo is the way to go).
Speaking of business training, Chris Woodruff and David McKenzie also did a review for this project. They lay out a number of methodological challenges that have stymied the literature to date and these are reflected in the results: there are improvements in business practices, but the picture is still pretty murky for impacts on profits (I blogged about an earlier incarnation of this paper in an earlier post).
Rekha Mehra was also at the launch to talk about a review she did with co-authors on financial services. They cover microfinance (mixed evidence on a good day), savings (cause for optimism), microinsurance and branchless banking (more evidence needed for both).
These are just a couple of the reviews, and I haven’t tackled any of the papers with new analysis. If you’re interested in more, it’s worth checking out the website with all of the background papers.
For me, the report also lays out some big gaps in the evidence, as well as areas to push further. Here are a couple:
- We know very little about agriculture. There is some stuff on land, a bit on extension but on getting inputs into the hands of women and used well there is a lot of work to do — the papers by Doss and coauthors (on promising interventions), Quisumbing and co-authors (on value chains), and Knowles (on interventions in the rural space) give us some food for thought.
- The report makes the point that autonomy is key — for example we often see some more positive outcomes for female headed households. Now, as my colleague Dominique van de Walle likes to point out, these are a select group. Indeed they are, and understanding the dynamics that get some of these women the autonomy to make it alone is important for thinking about interventions to get women more control over households in which they cohabit with a partner. And, more generally, we need to think about these issues of control and how to affect them – ranging from legal interventions to keeping certain things private (for example Nava Ashraf’s work) and other ways to avoid within household expropriation.
- I would be psyched to see more on mobile phones. There is a lot of discussion (and some work in progress I know of) but the promise of what they can do both in terms of securing control over cash and giving women access to productive information (e.g. agricultural extension) isn’t yet proved by the evidence
- Daycare. So Petra’s paper shows it has positive impacts when labor markets are immediate (and mostly in middle income countries). So what about low income settings? Rural areas?
- Of course, we also still have more to do on businesses. What combinations of training and resources work? Can we get a bunch of well powered training studies? Will some new kinds of training work?
There’s more to think about (comments welcome!) and plenty more to do. But this report lays out a lot of the progress that has been made and some clear avenues for work in the future.
View this post on the World Bank blogs site at http://blogs.worldbank.org/impactevaluations/building-evidence-based-roadmap-womens-economic-empowerment.
African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) is recruiting a Director, who will creatively lead, manage, and advance this ground-breaking, career-development program, empowering innovation across the continent.
AWARD equips top women agricultural scientists across sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate agricultural gains by strengthening their research and leadership skills through tailored two-year fellowships. AWARD is a catalyst for innovations with high potential to contribute to the prosperity and well-being of African smallholder farmers, most of whom are women.
AWARD currently works with women scientists from 11 anglophone sub-Saharan Africa countries, and is conducting a pilot project with women from five francophone countries. AWARD is supported largely by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development.
We are seeking an innovative, creative leader with proven expertise and achievement related to gender issues in African agricultural development and the corresponding institutional landscape. The Director must be a strategic thinker with the ability to inspire and lead the program’s 15-member high-performance team, and must possess expert interpersonal skills in order to sustain a broad range of relationships with AWARD participants, donors, and partners.
Candidates should have substantial leadership and management experience, preferably at a senior level in a scientific, academic, or development environment. An advanced degree in a related discipline is required. They will also have a record of successful capacity development and fund raising. As AWARD’s top spokesperson, the Director will travel frequently internationally.
The Director will be based in AWARD’s office in Nairobi, Kenya, hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), which provides services such as finance, IT, and human resources support. AWARD is a CGIAR privileged service provider, and the Director will report to the Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). AWARD’s Steering Committee provides advice and guidance to the Director on a wide range of issues.
Living in Nairobi
Nairobi is a cosmopolitan city of about 3.1 million people, with a mild climate. The city offers excellent international schools and modern medical facilities, and is a convenient base for exploring Kenya’s renowned wildlife parks. AWARD’s attractive office campus is close to a range of social and sporting facilities. For more information, visit http://www.expatarrivals.com/kenya/moving-to-kenya
For a full job description and application information, please visit the AWARD website. Application deadline is October 11, 2013. Applications must be submitted by email to Bob Moore, AWARD’s executive recruitment consultant, at B.Moore@cgiar.org. Applications are treated in strict confidence. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted and only their references will be contacted, with their prior agreement.
AWARD welcomes applications from all qualified candidates, particularly women.
An attractive salary and benefits package appropriate to this senior position will be negotiated.
For the full job posting, click here.
The international development news and business site Devex has launched a new campaign called Land Matters, showcasing innovative solutions to land issues and advancing a conversation that now involves smallholder farmers across Africa and other parts of the world as well as land experts, social entrepreneurs, business executives and government officials.
Through September, Land Matters will explore how land matters for food security, women, the environment, economic development, conflict resolution, and transparency. Authors from IFPRI and CAPRi will be among the contributors, especially on the “Land Matters for Women” and “Land Matters for the Environment” themes.
The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) is an autonomous research institute within the UN system that undertakes multidisciplinary research and policy analysis on the social dimensions of contemporary development issues. Through our work, we aim to ensure that social equity, inclusion and justice are central to development thinking, policy and practice.
UNRISD seeks an outstanding researcher in the field of gender and development to coordinate its programme of work in this area.
UNRISD has long been recognized for its high-quality research on gender and development. Its research has had significant influence on academic debates in the field, and is widely used within the UN, policy making and advocacy communities. Within the context of the institute’s overall research agenda, which focuses on the social dimensions of economic and sustainable development, the Gender Programme addresses the gendered content and impacts of economic and social policies and processes, the gendered politics of policy making, including the role of women’s movements and organizations, and gender and sustainable development.
The Research Coordinator will join a small team committed to producing high-quality research that contributes to the realization of equity and social justice. Building on prior and ongoing research, s/he will lead the development of new research projects, identifying critical areas of concern for the UN system within the framework of the overall research strategy of the Institute. (Visit http://www.unrisd.org/ for details.)
The ideal candidate will have proven experience in conceptualizing, developing and implementing research programmes, with field research experience in developing countries. S/he will have a record of high-quality research outputs and experience in communicating research to diverse audiences, particularly in policy communities. S/he should be familiar with UNRISD research; some knowledge of the UN system would be an advantage.
Functions: Under the general supervision of the Director of UNRISD, the Research Coordinator will be responsible for the following tasks.
1. Conceptualize, develop and manage the Institute’s research programme in the area of Gender and Development, ensuring its integration within the Institute’s overall institutional strategy and research agenda.
2. Act as the focal point for UNRISD in its engagement with the UN system on gender-related issues.
3. Design and manage research programmes, including identification of research partners, organization of meetings and conferences; supervision of staff and consultants involved in the projects; and ensuring the quality of outputs produced.
4. Produce high-quality publications, including articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes; policy briefs and other outputs for a range of audiences
5. Contribute to fundraising activities for the research programme, and assist in the fundraising activities of the Institute.
6. Contribute to Institute-wide flagship publications, research programmes and special activities.
7. Build and maintain regular contacts within the United Nations system, governments, multilateral donors and the international research community.
8. Based on UNRISD research, provide policy advice and technical assistance to United Nations departments and agencies, national and local policy makers, civil society organizations, academic or other institutions.
9. Represent UNRISD in international meetings and academic conferences.
10. Periodically report on progress to the Director, the UNRISD Board and donors.
11. Carry out other activities as agreed within the Institute or assigned by the Director.
Work implies frequent interaction with the following: Counterparts, senior officers and technical staff in relevant Secretariat units and in UN funds, programmes and specialized agencies. Representatives and officials in national governments, other international organizations, civil society organizations, academic networks and consultants.
Results expected: Develops, implements, monitors and evaluates assigned research programme/projects. Provides thorough, well-reasoned written contributions, e.g., background papers, analysis, sections of reports and studies, inputs to publications, etc. Develops and maintains effective working relationships with researchers in UNRISD networks and staff. Contributes to internal discussions and debates on development issues and UNRISD research strategy. Provides inputs to enhance communications and outreach.
1. Professionalism: Demonstrates professional competence as a researcher in the field of gender and development.
2. Communication: Excellent oral communication and writing skills. Ability to communicate effectively with different target audiences regarding substantive issues.
3. Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational and project goals. Builds consensus for project objectives with colleagues.
4. Leadership: Takes intellectual leadership in substantive areas of work and demonstrates good management skills.
5. Judgement/Decision-Making: Identifies critical issues for research relevant to the work of the UN; develops appropriate research methods and analyses data, drawing policy recommendations in accordance with the norms and objectives of the United Nations.
Education: A Master’s Degree in social science, with a focus on gender and development. A PhD is strongly desirable.
1. A minimum of five years of experience in development research at an academic or research institution. Up to two years research towards a PhD can be recognized as relevant experience.
2. A proven publication record in the field of gender and development, and expertise in at least one of the priority areas of interest to the Institute.
3. Research experience in developing countries.
4. Experience in fundraising for research projects, and in the management and supervision of projects.
1. Fluent English with proven writing and editing skills; ability to work in other UN languages highly desirable.
1. Candidates from developing countries are particularly encouraged to apply.
2. If you are interested in the work elaborated above and fulfil the required qualifications, please apply online by clicking here.
3. Please use the “Motivation” section of the online application form for your cover letter.
4. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted by end-October.
5. Due to limited staff resources only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Closing date: 13 October 2013 (Midnight, Central European Time)