Measurement and Evaluation

Getting girls back to school in post-conflict Uganda

New ICRW study uncovers new data on what is driving high levels of school drop-outs among girls in northwestern Uganda’s remote and vulnerable West Nile sub-region, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

It’s that time of year again. My eight-year-old daughter is now familiar with the annual routine of binder and notebook purchasing, and that feeling of excitement and anticipation that comes with the start of another school year.  As we purchase her supplies, I am aware of the stark differences in her reality as compared to the girls I spoke with recently in the West Nile sub-region of Uganda. And yet, I am also struck by the fundamental similarities: for girls everywhere, education is among the most crucial building blocks for their future.   

Give Your Mom a Gift That Gives Back

Around the world, millions of women are lifting themselves out of poverty by weaving baskets, selling crafts, and teaming up with other women to start their own small businesses. This Mother's Day, give your mom a gift made by women around the world, that benefits women living in poverty around the world.

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate all of the amazing women around the world creating change in their communities than to hightlight some truly talented female artisans in the developing world whose products make for stunning gifts.

Changing the Course for Child Brides in Ethiopia

This week we focus on the often overlooked population of married adolescent girls, and a program that works empower them by addressing their health and economic needs.

Enana recalls her parents bathing her many years ago to get ready for, they told her, a holiday celebration. She doesn't remember how old she was.

"I was a child," Enana said. "I didn't even know how to clean myself."

A child, but ready -in her parents' eyes - to be a bride.

What to Consider When Designing Gender-Responsive Program Evaluations

ICRW’s Jeff Edmeades explains why effective gender-responsive evaluations are so critical to global development efforts, in this piece published by the Guardian’s new Adolescent Girls Hub.  

Over the past decade, development practitioners have made robust program evaluation a crucial part of most programming approaches, reflecting an increased emphasis on designing cost effective projects that demonstrate significant change. This shift has coincided with a greater awareness of the need to focus more explicitly on gender as a key factor in a wide range of development-related issues.

Making Quality Matter in Family Planning in Ethiopia

Quality of care is a fundamental principle of good family planning (FP) and integrated sexual and reproductive health (SRH) programming. It lies at the heart of client-provider interactions and plays a critical role in ensuring uptake, continued use and sustained delivery of services. Family planning programs have long recognized the value of including client input when assessing quality of care and identifying areas for improvement. But challenges in operationalizing client feedback systems— from finding simple and cost-effective ways to gather confidential, frank information from a diverse range of clients, to setting aside time and resources for compiling and analyzing client responses— has limited the systematic use of client feedback to improve the quality of service delivery efforts.

With support from the Packard Foundation and an anonymous donor, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and the Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE) will implement an innovative solution to these challenges by developing and piloting a technology-based client feedback system that provides real-time data to inform and enhance quality of integrated SRH/FP care provided at FGAE clinics and youth centers. This project will take advantage of new technologies such as hand-held devices and internet-based data management programs to simplify the process of collecting, collating and analyzing input from clients. The client feedback will be incorporated into FGAE’s on-going quality assessments and improvements in participating sites and across its national network.

By the end of this pilot program, FGAE will have a client feedback system that routinely informs integrated SRH/FP service delivery, FGAE service providers will have become more aware of and attuned to the need for improvements at the service delivery level, and the team will have begun to address some of the emerging areas for quality improvement. Finally, the products and experiences generated through this innovative project will provide valuable knowledge on how technology can be used to amplify client feedback to improve FP quality in Ethiopia and globally.

2014 to 2015

Combating Challenges Facing Adolescent Girls Living with HIV in Zambia

Around the world, adolescent girls remain at high risk for acquiring HIV because of social and institutional factors, including child marriage and gender-based violence. UNICEF estimated there were at least 80,000 adolescents living with HIV in Zambia in 2009. The encouraging growth of home-based and provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling will likely increase the number of adolescent girls who learn they are living with HIV in upcoming years. As a result, there will likely be an increased demand for treatment, care and support services in Zambia. Despite this burgeoning demographic of young Zambians living with HIV, psychosocial support and health care services for adolescent girls is limited. This deficit is worsened by the prevalence of HIV-related stigma and discrimination, as well as gender-based prejudice that affects the daily lives of girls living with HIV.

In an effort to address this gap in services, ICRW, in partnership with Zambart, will conduct a qualitative study in Zambia looking at the challenges adolescent girls living with HIV face as they transition to adulthood. With support from the MAC AIDS Fund, this research will study the unique stigma- and gender-related obstacles girls endure while facing some of the challenges of living with HIV such as adhering to medication regimens and clinical appointments, navigating safe sexual relationships, and handling the psychosocial challenges of learning of and disclosing their status. Through participatory workshops and interviews, ICRW will identify key challenges and stigma-related concerns surrounding HIV and pinpoint areas for intervention development to support healthy transitions to adulthood for these girls.

With this information, ICRW hopes to inform national programming and policies for adolescent girls living with HIV in Zambia. Beyond that, ICRW hopes this study will garner increased attention and action to address the needs and concerns of adolescents living with HIV around the world, with a particular focus on addressing HIV-related stigma and discrimination.


Financial Services for Low-Income Women: Opportunities for Economic Empowerment?

Financial Services for Low-Income Women: Opportunities for Economic Empowerment?

Rekha Mehra, Payal Patel, Adithi Shetty and Anne Golla

Over the past thirty years, financial service interventions have featured prominently in efforts to advance women economically. They include informal savings groups, the integration of women into formal banking, and financial intermediaries that bridge the divide between them.

Although these financial interventions have been extensively studied, using a range of evaluation techniques in different contexts, they have not often been examined comprehensively in the context of empowering women economically. Nor is much information available about the contexts in which particular approaches succeed and where they do not, or what products are more suitable or better meet particular demands. 

This report examines the available evidence on the extent to and ways in which financial services have (or have not) contributed to women’s economic empowerment. It seeks to highlight the research gaps and identify priorities for research and practice as guidance for how to effectively invest in creating economic opportunities for women in the financial services sector. 

The report is part of a larger initiative entitled “The Roadmap for Promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment,”of the United Nations Foundation and ExxonMobil, which aims to close a crucial knowledge gap by identifying the most effective interventions to advance women’s economic opportunities. 

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A Monitoring and Evaluation System for Soko, Inc.

Soko, Inc. has developed an innovative e-commerce technology for the developing world, enabling crafts persons to easily connect to online customers. Vendors can create and manage their online storefronts via their personal mobile phones. Global consumers can then buy directly from the vendors on Soko’s  e-commerce website, revolutionizing the supply chain into a peer-to-peer exchange. Soko securely transfers credit card payments made online into a mobile money payment for the vendor. Thus far Soko has recruited over 250 vendors and sold over 40 different products on their website (

ICRW will support Soko in developing a comprehensive performance monitoring system that collects periodic data about the implementation of project activities and vendors’ sales. This system will provide ongoing feedback to Soko, enabling it to modify project activities to enhance effectiveness and profits as the company expands its network of vendors.

Specifically, the monitoring and evaluation system will:

  • Track data related to project implementation such as vendor and agent recruitment, training, retention and level of engagement within the sales network
  • Determine which methods of recruitment, retention, and training yield the highest number of sales and profit
  • Collect data on outcomes of social impact for vendors such as enterprise-related skills and knowledge, the diversification of income-generating activities and vendors ability to exercise agency through the use and ownership of mobile phones and money
  • Provide data about what is working and where challenges lie related to project implementation and vendor sales. 
2013 - 2014

Capturing the Gender Effect

Capturing the Gender Effect
Guidance for Gender Measurement in Agriculture Programs

Anjala Kanesathasan, Krista Jacobs, Margo Young, Adithi Shetty

Over the past decade there has been growing recognition of the contribution that women make to agricultural production around the world. Despite this attention, many agricultural programs struggle to capture the difference—or the ‘gender effect’—that gender integration makes on key outputs and outcomes.

This technical brief, produced for the Tanzania Gender and Agriculture Forum (TaGAF), draws on the experiences of two projects in Mbeya, Tanzania—Faida Mali’s Integrated Soil Fertility Management and TechnoServe’s Coffee Initiative—focusing on the steps they have taken to measure the ‘gender effect’.  It is a follow-on to an earlier TaGAF brief that presents some of the promising gender responsive practices these project have underway.  

(1.17 MB)

We encourage the use and dissemination of our publications for non-commercial, educational purposes. Portions may be reproduced with acknowledgment to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). For questions, please contact; or (202) 797-0007.

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Advancing Women, Changing Lives

Advancing Women, Changing Lives
A Comprehensive Evaluation of the Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. Program

Priya Nanda. Anurag Mishra, Sunayana Walia, Shubh Sharma, Ellen Weiss and Jennifer Abrahamson

Globally the garment industry is one of the biggest employers of low‐skilled women workers.  Despite their large numbers in the workforce, relatively few female garment workers advance to higher-level positions as they have limited opportunities to acquire the skills that would enable their professional and personal growth.  In response to this need, Gap Inc. initiated the P.A.C.E. (Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement) workplace education program to teach women the managerial, interpersonal, organizational and other practical skills needed to move forward in work and in life.   

This report summarizes findings from program evaluations conducted by ICRW from 2009 - 2013 at six factory sites where P.A.C.E. is implemented - two in India and one each in Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and China.

Research findings from these robust, multi-country evaluations demonstrate that P.A.C.E. is an effective, sustainable and scalable model that yields high returns for women, their families and the businesses where they work. 

(8.65 MB)

We encourage the use and dissemination of our publications for non-commercial, educational purposes. Portions may be reproduced with acknowledgment to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). For questions, please contact; or (202) 797-0007.

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