A review of approaches and methods to measure economic empowerment of women and girls

Publication date

09 Jul 2014

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This article presents findings from a review of 70 evaluations of development interventions which had direct or indirect impacts on the economic empowerment of women and girls. We defined this as a process whereby women and girls experience transformation in power, agency, and economic advancement. The review distilled knowledge about monitoring, evaluation, and learning methods and approaches being used. It recommends the use of mixed (quantitative and qualitative) methods to assess economic empowerment comprehensively. It also explored the development and use of relevant indicators to measure economic empowerment of women and girls; the rigour with which methods are used; patterns in the use of different approaches for distinct thematic areas (micro-finance, social protection, fair trade, legal frameworks, and so on); and approaches used to bring out the voices of women, men, girls, and boys, among other key questions. It considered strengths, weaknesses, innovations, and challenges involved in evaluation and research approaches and methods based on primary data. The review, and this article, aim to inform agencies commissioning evaluations on how to ensure women's economic empowerment dimensions are captured; and to help those designing interventions to ensure these support positive transformation in the lives of women and girls. This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.