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Call for Case Studies: Tools & Practical Frameworks for Measuring Agency in WEE

The Women's Economic Empowerment (WEE) Working Group is designing a Practitioner Learning Brief to consolidate and share good practices on measuring agency in WEE. The brief will include tested frameworks, approaches, tools, and practical learnings as well as identify appropriate measurement practices for programs aiming to enhance women's agency.

Women’s economic empowerment is the outcome of both access and agency.[1] Women are economically empowered when they have access to resources, opportunities, and assets that allow them to upgrade their economic position, as well as the agency to act on and make economic decisions. While most economic programs have focused mainly on access as an entry point, agency has been more difficult to analyze and measure. While there is broad agreement on the definition of agency and research has examined the importance of income on agency, as well as agency on income, successfully measuring agency and changes to agency remains a challenge in the practitioner community.

The challenge is exacerbated by the fact that agency is complex with many internal and external influencing factors, attempts to capture power relations within the household and perceptions within communities. The qualitative nature of agency makes it difficult to quantify and measure at one point in time. Further, the research expertise and necessary resources required to fully comprehend and assess the sensitivities around women’s roles is often lacking or not prioritized in program design and implementation.

This brief seeks to assist practitioners in better measurement, design and implementation of agency focused programs that intend to improve women’s economic empowerment.

Call for Case Studies

We are looking for good practices, resources, and case studies from organizations and programs on measuring agency in women’s economic empowerment programming.

Selected practitioners will:

  • Benefit from the visibility of having their case study featured in the learning brief and shared through the WEE Working Group and SEEP channels;
  • Contribute to the emerging thinking around Agency measurement, which may result in follow up discussions and other publications;
  • Benefit from other dissemination opportunities such as webinars, events, and workshops;
  • Build professional connections in the field;
  • Exchange experiences and learn from peers working in the MSD, Economic Growth and WEE communities.

Suggested Case Topics

The Evaluation Committee is open to all submissions, but recommends the following types of submissions or case topics, as the brief is meant to be as practical as possible for the intended audience:

  • Practical frameworks and tools for measuring agency with comprehensive examples that have been tested;
  • Indicators, research techniques, and results;
  • Examples of how the approach has been applied in program design and implementation; and
  • Documented insights from implementation, including lessons learned and good practices into implementation of agency measurement.

Evaluation Criteria

All submissions that are sent to SEEP by the deadline will be considered for inclusion in the Agency Practitioner Learning Brief. An Evaluation Committee will review all submissions, and their review will be based on the following criteria:

  • Submissions that focus on empowering women economically in low and middle-income countries, fragile or conflict affected countries with elements of the program/approach focused on empowering women from low-income/disadvantaged/vulnerable communities;
  • Submissions that demonstrate innovative ways of measuring and tracking agency benefits for women emerging from market systems interventions and broader economic growth programming; and
  • Submissions that demonstrate practical, proven models and contribute in helping to move the discussion on agency measurement forward in the practitioner community.

Time Commitment

Following the submission of the case topic, there may be some requests for additional time to support your submission, but we expect this time commitment to be limited. We may request that you:

  • Provide more details about your program and case study to complement your initial application;
  • If selected, participate in a one-on-one call in preparation of the Practitioner Learning Brief; and
  • Participate in dissemination events such as webinars and workshops.

Ready to Submit?

Interested practitioners are invited to submit their case studies by August 9. Authors of accepted submissions will be contacted by August 30, at which time they may be requested to provide additional information to supplement their original submission. We expect to finalize and publish the final practitioner brief by September 2019.

All questions in relation to this call for case studies can be directed to: Anna Mecagni ([email protected])


[1] Anne Marie Golla et al., Understanding and Measuring Women's Economic Empowerment: Definition, Framework and Indicators. (Washington, DC: International Center for Research on Women, 2011).