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IFPRI Gender Methods Seminar, Tuesday, July 28: Aspirations in Rural Pakistan: An Empirical Analysis

Aspirations in Rural Pakistan: An Empirical Analysis

Presenter: Katrina Kosec

Research Fellow, IFPRI

Discussant: Jessica Heckert

Associate Research Fellow, IFPRI

Tuesday, July 28, 12:30pm-1:30pm EST

Instructions for joining virtually are offered at the end of this message.


Aspirations are goals which people set and intend to achieve; they are increasingly being recognized as an important outcome of interest when considering poverty reduction strategies. As Adam Smith once noted, “The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.” We examine the aspirations of individuals in 2,090 rural households in Pakistan surveyed by IFPRI in 2012 and again in 2013. We begin by examining individual and household correlates of aspirations, including gender and socioeconomic status. We then analyze what factors might shape aspirations—including how policymakers might raise them. In doing so, we exploit both cross-sectional and panel data to examine how community institutions and infrastructure predict aspiration levels, changes in them over time, and gender gaps in aspirations.   Finally, we carry out cross-sectional and panel data analysis to examine how well aspirations predict agricultural input choice, crop yields, economic behavior, and financial decision making. We show that aspirations are closely linked to whether citizens engage in forward-looking political and economic behavior.

We next step back and look at aspiration formation. Specifically, how do negative economic shocks affect citizens’ aspirations for the future, and can governments’ social protection policies successfully mitigate any damaging effects? Using a natural experiment in Pakistan, the 2010 floods, to identify the effects of a large economic shock on citizens’ aspiration levels, we find that citizens’ aspirations were significantly reduced—especially among the poorest and most vulnerable. However, targeted government social protection policies following natural disasters can significantly reduce their negative aspirational effects. We find that disaster-targeted social protection not only raises social welfare in the short term, but it also has an enduring effect by raising citizens’ aspirations for the future. Our results suggest that not only does the aspiration level of citizens matter, but also that government policies can affect the aspirations of its citizens.
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Report Release: Measuring Women’s Economic Empowerment and M&E Guidelines

From the Women’s Economic Empowerment: A Roadmap website:

Design challenges are common to most program evaluations, but this is especially true for programs that measure women’s economic empowerment. This is because of the interdependence between women’s economic and social roles, which influences their business choices and returns to those businesses. For example, because women have significant family responsibilities, they may have different goals for their businesses, such as less growth but the option to work from home. This makes the choice of measures used to capture empowerment particularly complex.

Building on the results of the Roadmap report (2013), the United Nations Foundation and the ExxonMobil Foundation commissioned five expert researchers to produce independent think pieces on distinct economic empowerment measurement topics.

In 2014, the foundations convened the researchers to discuss their recommendations and identify a common set of widely applicable outcome measures across two categories: urban women entrepreneurs and business leaders, and rural women entrepreneurs and farmers.

The Measuring Women’s Economic Empowerment report (2015), a companion to the Roadmap report, summarizes recommended measures to assess intermediate, direct, and final outcomes of women’s economic empowerment programs.

In addition, an M&E Guidelines document was produced that includes questionnaire modules for each of the outcomes discussed.

This work was presented at an event at the Center for Global Development on June 16. A video of the event is available here.

More information on the project is available here: www.womeneconroadmap.org/measurement.

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Event: Empowering Women through Political Participation and Empowering Politics through Women’s Participation

July 30, 2015, 9:00am-2:30pm

1957 E Street NW, 6th Floor, Lindner Family Commons

The Global Gender Program

The Elliott School of International Affairs

The George Washington University

Welcome: Barbara Miller
Director, Global Gender Program

Keynote address: Homa Hoodfar
Professor of Anthropology at Concordia University, Canada

Professor Hoodfar’s research lies in the intersection of political economy and gender and development in Muslim contexts and in unrevealing and understanding the complexities and implications of micro-macro linkages between social policies and women’s lives. She has studied survival and empowerment strategies among those marginalized by legal constraints particular in the area of family law and citizenship, economic penury, the women’s movement and civil society, women in local and national politics and displacement, with a focus on women and younger people in Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and among Canadian Muslims. She has published extensively on reproductive health policies, their discursive justifications, and their implications for women’s lives. She has been actively involved in the Women Living Under Muslim Laws network since the 1980s.

Panels and discussion
[details forthcoming]
Buffet lunch
[RSVP required]
Please RSVP here

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Kenya Justice Project and AskAg Discussion on land tenure and governance

The Kenya Justice Project (KJP) focused on educating key stakeholder groups through legal literacy and skills trainings, peer sessions, community conversations, and public information activities to increase legal knowledge around constitutional rights and traditional leaders’ responsibilities related to land.  Read more about the project’s accomplishments, including the election of 22 women elders, here.  Additional information about land tenure and governance can be found in this AskAg discussion.

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Does Uganda sufficiently address gender inequalities in climate policies? (via CCAFS)

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) together with partners International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), recently released an Info Note analyzing Uganda’s climate and development policies from a gender perspective. Feel free to explore the following resources:

Download Info Note: Gender and Climate Change in Uganda: Effects of Policy and Institutional Frameworks
Read accompanying blog: Does Uganda sufficiently address gender inequalities in climate policies?

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New UN Women online training: How to manage gender-responsive evaluation

This new UN Women eLearning course has 9 modules that aim to support those initiating, managing and/or using gender-responsive evaluations by providing direction, advice and tools for every step in the evaluation process: planning, preparation, conduct, reporting, evaluation use and follow up.
The course is intended to complement the UN Women Evaluation Handbook, a practical handbook to help those initiating, managing and/or using gender-responsive evaluations by providing direction, advice and tools for every step in the evaluation process: planning, preparation, conduct, reporting, evaluation use and follow up.
While the course is open to anyone around the world, the primary audience is UN Women staff, in particular M&E Officers/focal points and other staff that manage evaluations, and the senior management involved in evaluation processes. However, it may also be useful to international development evaluators and professionals, particularly those working on gender equality, women’s empow­erment and human rights.
The course takes approximately 9 hours to complete. After completing the course participants receive a certificate of completion.  We invite you to enroll in the course today!

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IFPRI Gender Methods Seminar: The Impact of Microfinance on Factors Empowering Women: Regional and Delivery Mechanisms in India’s SHG Programme

Materials from the July 20, 2015 Gender Methods Seminar are now available online. Professor Ranjula Bali Swain presented at IFPRI on the impact of microfinance on women’s empowerment, examining how the impact varies with respect to the location and type of group linkage of the respondent.

The slides are available on the IFPRI Gender Slideshare site, along with the other previous Gender Methods Seminars.

The screencast of the presentation is available here.


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