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Publication: Evaluating the long-term impact of antipoverty interventions in Bangladesh

This paper provides an overview of a research project that assessed the long-term impact of three antipoverty interventions in Bangladesh—the introduction of new agricultural technologies, educational transfers, and microfinance—on monetary and nonmonetary measures of well-being. This paper begins by setting out the conceptual framework, methodology, and empirical methods used for the evaluation of long-term impacts. It discusses the context of the evaluations and the longitudinal data used. Key findings from the individual papers are then presented, followed by an indicative analysis of the cost-effectiveness of these interventions. The overview concludes with implications for programs and policy.

Quisumbing, Agnes R.
Baulch, Bob
Kumar, Neha

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Publication: A Silent ‘Revolution’? Women’s Empowerment in Rural Tamil Nadu

Staffan Lindberg, , Venkatesh B athreya, , R Vidyasagar , Goran Djurfeldt , A Rajagopal

One of the most significant social changes over the past 25 years in Tamil Nadu is the entry of women into the local political bodies at the village and village union levels through the 33% reservation system. Simultaneously, women are now, to a significant extent, organised in self-help groups. Through these about one-fourth of the households can access loans for small entrepreneurship or, rather more frequently, for smaller emergency/consumption loans. There has also been increased participation of women in the non-agricultural labour market and the emergence in Tamil Nadu of a rudimentary “barefoot” welfare state. In this article we report from a 25-year panel study of 213 agrarian households in six villages in Karur and Tiruchirapalli districts. View Full Article


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World Bank Justice for the Poor publication, Increasing Access to Justice for Women, the Poor and Those Living in Remote Areas– An Indonesia Case Study.

Increasing Access to Justice for Women, the Poor and Those Living in Remote Areas: An Indonesia Case Study.

Justice for the Poor gender work in Indonesia has been focusing on access to justice for women and community legal empowerment. Women’s ability to access religious courts is a crucial step in opening up their access to broader public services and government poverty-alleviation programs. Community empowerment, engagement with local authorities, and national policy dialogue contributed to noticeable results in access to justice for women. The briefing note outlines the reform process that led to a 14-fold increase in the number of poor clients accessing courts.

Find the briefing note here.

Comments and reflections are welcome and may be sent to Rea Chiongson, J4P gender Advisor, at rchiongson@worldbank.org or to Lisa Noor Humaidah, J4P Indonesia, at lhumaidah@worldbank.org

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Funding: DFID

DfID’s Research and Evidence Division wishes to establish a new Research Programme Consortium (RPC) on Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security in South Asia. This is part of a 6-year program in South Asia to maintain and further expand DFID’s commitment to increase agricultural productivity and promote sustainable management of natural resources for improved food security and nutritional outcomes for poor people. The goal of this RPC is to ensure the use of new and existing research on how to deliver enhanced food and nutritional outcomes through agriculture, particularly women and children, by investment programs and policy makers. The RPC will include policy focused research into agriculture, food and nutrition security and will be driven by demands from national and regional policy processes and programs. The successful RPC will need to demonstrate at bidding stage its experience in the region, in handling complex political relationships and in forging collaborations between countries and between researchers and end users. The closing date for applications is on March 14, 2011. For supporting information, contract notice, terms of reference, and pre-qualification questionnaire, click on the following link:  http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Working-with-DFID/Procurement/Current-contract-opportunities1/Development-of-a-Research-Programme-Consortium-RPC-to-address-agriculture-food-and-nutrition-security-in-South-Asia/.

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Publication: “Supply Shocks and Gender Bias in Child Health Investments: Evidence from the ICDS Programme in India,”

Chakravarty, Abhishek (2010) The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy: Vol. 10 : Iss. 1 (Topics), Article 88.

This paper examines whether a permanent increase in the supply of immunisations reduces or intensifies the gender bias in immunisation against female children in India. It also investigates the effect of duration of exposure to the supply shock on gender bias. The variation in the implementation of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme across both regions and time is exploited for the analysis. Estimations use data from the 2005-06 Measure DHS survey in India. We find that the increased supply of vaccinations due to the programme initially increases the gender inequality in immunisation but that this increase disappears over time. Our results indicate that the programme has saved approximately 1.72-1.84 million children, of which about 70% are boys.

Available at: http://www.bepress.com/bejeap/vol10/iss1/art88

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Event (DC): Enhancing Access to Justice for Women–Indonesia’s Experiences

ABSTRACT :The Justice for the Poor program in Indonesia has considerable experience of working in the area of women’s legal empowerment and access to justice. Its work with women-headed households and women paralegals show that enhancing legal knowledge is critical to securing basic rights and one’s economic livelihood.

The speaker will provide a brief overview of their Women’s Legal Empowerment and Developing Paralegalism Initiatives programs in Indonesia. She will discuss their strategy, approaches, outputs and lessons learnt. She will also present recent findings of their case study work on settlement of women legal cases through adat institutions in Aceh, highlighting a specific context of its work and the supporting and hindering factors to women’s access to justice. Continue reading

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Resource: Rural Women in the Developing World by Khushi Kabir

The Bangladeshi campaigner for lifting women out of poverty says village life has been wrongly idealised. It is not a harmonious whole with the elders looking after the interests of all the villagers alike, without prejudices of class or gender. Things are improving for women and girls, she says, but there is a long way to go. She chooses five books that might help. http://fivebooks.com/interviews/khushi-kabir-on-rural-women-developing-world

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PUBLICATION: Women and Landed Property in Urban India

This paper examines land tenure in informal urban settlements in India from a gender perspective through field research conducted in Ahmedabad in collaboration with the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). The author describes the formal and informal tenure arrangements that were in place in these settlements and analyses their implications for women. She proceeds to raise key issues that need consideration in developing a gender-equitable vision of urban land rights, tenure and reform. These include more widely established issues such as tenuous inheritance rights of daughters and the challenges of securing joint property titles for married women as well as emerging issues such as the obstacles faced by slum-dwelling rentees, the largely unsubstantiated fears of gentrification and market eviction associated with tenure security, and the legal and practical challenges of translating the ‘right of residence’ into the ‘right of ownership’. In each case, the author also draws out policy recommendations for redressing the discrepancies in women’s ownership of urban land and housing in India. Available here (pdf).

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News: A Food Program That’s Not About Food

“Last year, the New York Times splashed stark images of child malnutrition in India’s hinterland across its front page. More recently, another front-page article in the Times reminded the world that India’s hunger problem hasn’t gone anywhere and told the story of how various social-safety-net programs have failed to help. As the article explains, India still faces endemic problems with chronic malnutrition and hunger — rates of child nutrition here compare unfavorably with many countries in sub-Saharan Africa — that government initiatives have failed to address….Gender is a problem as well. Research has shown that empowering women is one of the most effective ways to improve nutrition, especially for children. Studies by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), where I work, have demonstrated that the low status of women contributes to hunger and malnutrition — not just among the women themselves, but among their children too”

by: Purnima Menon

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