Resource Library

The Resource Library serves as a broad resource hub, including over 1000 documents, training materials, wikis, and curated reports to increase readers' awareness, understanding, and proficiency of several topics in market systems development. Users have access to proposals, evaluation materials, and USAID policy updates, as well as training modules and wikis to boost skills and knowledge.

These resources are bolstered by the inclusion of curated USAID reports published on the USAID Development Experience Clearinghouse (DEC) which serves as a repository of reports from completed or ongoing USAID development projects around the globe. The full USAID Development Clearinghouse website can be accessed here.

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1.4. Resources, Samples and Tools

Each unit of the WEEGE Technical Guide includes resources, samples and/or tools for putting WEEGE concepts into practice. In this Unit, you will find: Resource 1: Data Sources  


Achieving WEEGE is a complex challenge. It requires changes in individuals, communities, institutions, markets, social norms and the wider political and legal environment (Box 3 lists some effective practices in the private sector). These changes will create an environment where women’s choices, power and agency can flourish.

1.2. WEEGE Barriers, Opportunities and Evidence

To help countries to achieve self-reliance (as described in  Box 2), as well as to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, women’s economic empowerment and gender equality must become cornerstones of development programming.  There are some promising developments.

1.1 Overview

Tapping into the potential of women is not only a social but also an economic imperative. Globally in 2019, only 47 percent of women participated in the labor force, compared to 74 percent of men.

Key Terms and Definitions

Definitions of key terms used in the Women's Economic Empowerment and Gender Equality Technical Guide.


List of acronyms used in the WEEGE Technical Guide.


List of acronyms used in the Gender Digital Divide.

4. Key Documents

The resources in this section are the most useful resources relevant to the gender digital divide, particularly looking at the individual use of mobile and the Internet.

Strategy 7: Strengthen Internal and Partner Capacity for Risk Mitigation and Safeguarding

Development projects and programs in a country are not, as a rule, primarily focused on digital strategies and tools; the people and partners implementing them are often not digital development experts, let alone gender and tech specialists. There is a risk that the negative consequences of women and girls using information and communication technology could be amplified, unless individuals and organizations have clear guidelines as well as the knowledge required to implement them. Risk Mitigation Strategy 7 looks at capacity development for risk mitigation and safeguarding.

Strategy 6: Collaborate and Work with Other National Stakeholders

Working in information and communication technology and innovation requires various ways of working, using different skill sets and insights. Any risk mitigation strategy will be more effective when working with others in this space, getting fresh viewpoints and leveraging one another’s resources, brands, and networks. Risk Mitigation Strategy 6 examines elements of collaboration.

Strategy 5: Raise Awareness

Raising awareness of technology-facilitated gender-based violence and other risks, and educating (male and female) users on their rights, privacy, and security, can support other mitigation strategies. Risk Mitigation Strategy 5 examines this further.

Strategy 4: Support Initiatives That Involve (Male/Female/Family) Gatekeepers

Men and other (female) family members are often the decision-makers on whether women and girls use information and communication technology (ICT); they have a crucial role in shaping overall perceptions and behaviors, including awareness and mitigation of risks. Many or most of the information sources in low- and middle-income countries—ICT experts, community leaders, and news broadcasters—are men. If these influencers do not buy into the benefits of ICT and the Internet for women and girls, they may amplify the risks or even block access.

Strategy 3: Support and Strengthen ICT Outreach & Digital Literacy Initiatives

Women and girls are more vulnerable to risks not only because they have lower levels of digital literacy and confidence, but also because they often do not know what to do when faced with negative (digital) events. Information and communication technology (ICT) outreach and digital literacy initiatives can help women and girls (and their networks) understand how to use mobile and Internet safely and protect themselves from the risks. Risk Mitigation Strategy 3 further examines how to:

Strategy 1: Understand Context And Risks: “First, Do No Harm”

Being aware of the current status of women’s and girls’ access to, and use of, mobile and the Internet can help understand what needs to be done, what issues women and girls face, and how these issues will affect strategies, projects, or activities. Risk Mitigation Strategy 1 examines “do no harm.”

3. Tool 1: Practical Risk Mitigation Strategies

It is extremely important to understand and mitigate the risks, and potential collateral damage, associated with closing the gender digital divide and connecting more women and girls. Tool 1 offers seven risk mitigation strategies that USAID staff and partners can undertake, as well as suggested actions to be taken and some examples of what has been done elsewhere. Each suggested strategy has been mapped to the ADS 205 and the 10 WEEGE Principles.

GDD Risk Mitigation Technical Note

The GDD Risk Mitigation Technical Note offers practice steps, strategies, and resources to mitigate the risks associated with women and girls accessing and using ICTs.

7. Key Data and Documents

The resources in this section are the most useful resources relevant to the gender digital divide, particularly looking at the individual use of mobile and the Internet. This list includes the most influential reports from organizations and agencies who are prominent in the gender digital divide ecosystem, as well as a specific list of reports and organizations looking at the risks of ICT for women and girls. The resources also include key gender digital divide indicators, publicly available demand-side data sets, and practical research toolkits.

6. Tool 4: Gender Digital Divide Illustrative Indicators

Tool 4 is a suggested list of digital-related indicators that USAID staff and partners can use throughout the program cycle and across sectors—not just in programs that specifically target women and girls. The proposed indicators focus on mobile and Internet platforms. They are based on existing and accepted research and on indicators already in use, with awareness of the ongoing debate within the gender digital divide ecosystem. All proposed indicators and relevant data sources are derived from publicly available materials and align with the broader WEEGE illustrative indicators.

5. Tool 3: Addressing The Gender Digital Divide In Project And Activity Design

It is crucial that USAID staff and the wider development community actively work to address barriers to women’s digital inclusion in their own strategies, projects, and activities in any work that has a digital component. Tool 3 is a checklist of approaches that should be included in any activities that have digital components to promote changing social norms and closing the gender digital divide.