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Considerations for Women's Economic Empowerment: Recap from the Digital Credit and WEE Convening 2019

In June 2019, I attended the Center for Effective Global Action's (CEGA) Digital Credit Observatory hosted by the Digital Credit and Women’s Economic Empowerment Convening 2019. At this event, researchers, development practitioners, and thought leaders met to discuss ways to foster women's access to economic resources and the role of digital credit products. 

The day hinged on two thematic questions:

1) To what extent does broadening economic opportunities empower or disempower women?

2) How can digital financial services - credit, in particular - foster financial inclusiveness and overall positive outcomes for women?

To answer these questions, presenters from various organizations (Innovations for Poverty Action, Women's World BankingMusoni Microfinance, the World Bank, Juvo, ZoonaMosabi, Kiva, and several research institutions) shared lessons and results from ongoing projects, research topics, reports and evaluations.

Expanding on key takeaways from the presentations, breakout groups met to brainstorm areas for additional research to inform effective program design. 

Throughout the event, many presenters and participants shared helpful resources. One that stood out to me was a guide presented by Mikaela Rabb from the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) on best practices for measuring women's economic empowerment. The full resource, 'A Practical Guide to Measuring Women's and Girls' Empowerment in Impact Evaluations' is available to read online through J-PAL or to download in the sidebar. 

As interest around gender integration in economic empowerment grows, more emphasis is being placed on how to measure the outcomes of gender-informed programming. This resource is intended to advise monitoring and evaluation partitioners, researchers and students seeking to conduct impact evaluations, developing indicators or designing programs. This resource also answers questions to consider before beginning an evaluation. 

The guide is organized into four main steps for measuring women's and girls' empowerment:

  1. Formative research
  2. Theory of change, outcomes, and indicators
  3. Data collection instruments
  4. Data collection plan

This publication was authored by Rachel Glennerster, Claire Walsh and Lucia Diaz-Martin. Read more about how the guide is structured on J-PAL's website

Photo: Picture of the cover of the Guide

I look forward to learning more about women's economic empowerment and inclusive digital service offerings. A major hats off to the organizers of the Convening and a thank you to the presenters, and my fellow participants.