Measurement and Evaluation

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)

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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)

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Shubh Sharma

Shubh Sharma
Technical Specialist

As a Technical Specialist with the Social and Economic Development Group at the Asia Regional Office of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Shubh Sharma provides research and management support on evaluations of women’s and adolescent girls’ programs as well as policy research concerning women’s work.

Shubh brings five years of experience in evaluation and policy research on women’s education, work and wellbeing. She also has worked on a program for understanding and strengthening evaluation capacity based on gender and participatory approaches in India. Shubh has wide-ranging experience in proposal and budget formulation, sampling, developing data collection tools, training data collection teams, field research, quantifiable and qualitative data analysis, analytical writing and communication of findings. She is well versed with data analysis software such as STATA, SPSS and DesInventar, GIS-based disaster inventory and risk management system.

Shubh’s education and work experience so far, demonstrate her interest in and commitment to policy research and evaluation on women’s issues. She is passionate about conducting rigorous mixed methods policy research and evaluation that is grounded in context and theory. She also tries to engage in reflective writing based on her experiences with development evaluation and research, as well as those of others. As such, she hopes to contribute to current debates around evaluation and to shaping the direction the field takes in India.

Shubh has experience working with researchers, evaluators, government departments, donors and program organizations engaged with women's issues at various levels. Prior to joining ICRW in January 2013, Shubh was a Research Associate at the Institute of Social Studies Trust, New Delhi. She also worked as a consultant with Room to Read for an impact assessment of its girls’ education program.

Contact Shubh at


Measurement and Evaluation, Advocacy and Policy Engagement, Economic Empowerment, Adolescents 

Languages Spoken: 

English (fluent), Hindi (fluent), Spanish (proficient), Kashmiri (proficient)


Shubh earned master’s degrees in Social Work at the Delhi School of Social Work, and in Public Health under the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship Programme of the European Commission. She received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology at Hindu College, University of Delhi. 

Allison M. Glinski

Allison M.
Gender and Evaluation Specialist

Allison M. Glinski is a Gender and Evaluation Specialist at ICRW. She has more than five years of research, program and advocacy experience focused on adolescent girls, reproductive health and family planning, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), and women and technology. At ICRW, Allison has carried out research on women’s demand for contraception, conducted a deeper analysis of programs that have successfully delayed child marriage, examined the links between adolescent girls’ education and successful transitions to adulthood, and identified how technology can benefit women and girls. 

Allison has a background in development and global health, which she applies in her fieldwork across Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. She has a wide range of research and programmatic competencies, including carrying out qualitative, participatory studies; developing and managing M&E systems; building the M&E capacity of ICRW partners through workshops and ongoing technical assistance; conducting gender analyses of field programs and translating research evidence into practical guidance for program practitioners and policymakers.  Reflecting on her work, Allison most enjoys the opportunity to understand complex issues from a multi-cultural, inter-disciplinary perspective.

Allison is passionate about helping adolescent girls experience a healthy transition to adulthood by delaying marriage, building their self-confidence, increasing their access to high quality education, increasing the value that families and communities place on girls, and providing girls with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the challenges that lie ahead.  She also is very interested in finding innovative solutions to economically empower women through entrepreneurship and the use of technology. Through her work, Allison strives to create measurement systems through which programs can gain a better understanding of the impact they are having, what is working well, and what they need to change for even greater impact.

Allison has experience working with a wide range of donors and partners, including US government agencies (Department of State), bilateral and multilateral agencies (USAID, WHO), foundations (Packard, Hewlett, Gates, Summit), corporate partners (Exxon Mobil, Intel), NGOs (Save the Children, Women Win, Solar Sister) and coalitions and alliances (Girls Not Brides, Youth Health and Rights Coalition, International Family Planning Coalition, Coalition for Adolescent Girls).

Prior to joining ICRW, Allison worked with the International Medical Corps, providing support in research, M&E, and project management to nutrition, sanitation, HIV/AIDS, and maternal health projects. Allison also served as an AmeriCorps volunteer, creating and teaching health classes to elementary and middle school students, as well as providing information to families on energy, housing, and healthcare assistance.

Contact Allison at aglinski@icrw.organd follow her on Twitter: @AllieMcGlinski


Adolescent Girls, Child Marriage, Economic Empowerment, Education, M&E, Reproductive Health

Languages Spoken: 

English (native); Spanish (proficient)  


Allison holds an MA in international development with a concentration in global health from the George Washington University and a BA in English and psychology from the University of Michigan. 

Nitin Datta

Technical Specialist

As a Technical Specialist at the International Center for Research on Women’s (ICRW) Asia Regional Office, Dr. Nitin Datta provides technical support to various research and evaluation projects in the areas of adolescent education and marriage and maternal and child health. He specializes in monitoring and evaluation of health programs, including developing management information systems and research designs, and conducting data management and analysis. He has 12 years of experience using quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and various analytical software programs like STATA and Atlas Ti.

Nitin’s background in Economics and Population Studies, combined with training in Epidemiology, qualify him to provide technical support in research and evaluation across different areas of development and public health. His strengths are in developing survey design, conducting data analysis and managing projects.

He is particularly passionate about health and economic development. At ICRW, Nitin has been involved in a study to evaluate the impact of a program to enhance the value of girls and promote girls’ education by delaying their age of marriage. He also participated in a measurement, learning and evaluation effort in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health in India. Findings from the effort will help the government scale up existing programs in particular area of health.

Nitin brings to ICRW extensive experience working with a wide range of donors and partners, including a diversity of United States government agencies such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and health departments of the Government of India and other state governments.

Prior to joining ICRW in 2012, Nitin worked for FHI360 on a Centers for Disease Control-funded project that providing technical support to the National AIDS Control Organization of India. He has worked for the Population Council on nutrition and reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health projects in Uttar Pradesh, India as well as for the Futures Group, where he provided technical support and monitoring and evaluation for projects related to family planning services in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Nitin also contributed to a study on HIV risk among low-income women in Bangalore city in Indian Institute of Management Bangalore-University of California San Francisco collaborative project. 


Contact Nitin at


Adolescents, Population and Reproductive Health, Research and Analysis, Monitoring and Evaluation

Languages Spoken: 

Hindi (native), English (fluent)


Nitin holds a doctorate degree in Population Studies from the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai. He also completed a master’s in Economics and bachelor’s in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry from University of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. 

ICRW Unveils Evaluation of Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Women

Evaluation offers first glimpse of program's impact on women entrepreneurs
Thu, 03/01/2012

ICRW conducted an evaluation of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative in India to identify early results of the program on women entrepreneurs’ business skills, practices and growth. The findings were unveiled today at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The global five-year program, "10,000 Women," aims to harness the power of women entrepreneurs to foster economic growth by teaching them how to become stronger businesswomen. Launched by Goldman Sachs in March 2008, the program’s goal is to provide 10,000 women who run small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with high-quality business and management skills training.    

Despite the enormous potential of these women to help grow economies in developing countries, research shows that they often have little access to business or management training and entrepreneurial networks. In an attempt to fill this critical gap, 10,000 Women invests in women in the SME sector who belong to what is often referred to as the “missing middle.” 

Has it made a difference in women’s lives? Has it borne broader benefits for the communities where they live and work? 

The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) set out to find out. Our researchers just completed the first independent evaluation of the 10,000 Women program, which focused on results in India. It shows that the program — in combination with a number of other factors — is making a difference there. 

ICRW President Sarah Degnan Kambou will release the report, "Catalyzing Growth in the Women-run Small and Medium Enterprise Sector (SMEs)," and discuss its findings during a March 1 Council on Foreign Relations event in New York. Goldman Sachs and U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer will be among the attendees.

ICRW found strong evidence that the 10,000 Women program in India contributed to improving women’s business practices and skills. For many of the program's participants, these newfound skills seem to have played a critical role in strengthening their businesses’ performance. For example, half of the program’s "graduates" who reported data, said that they had doubled their revenues in an 18-month period. They also reported feeling more confident as entrepreneurs, which they say has resulted in other positive outcomes within their families and communities. 

ICRW's evaluation does not reflect the overall performance of the 10,000 Women program, which is up and running in countries as diverse as Afghanistan, China, Egypt and Rwanda. However, it does provide an initial glimpse at the program's potential to make a difference in 10,000 businesswomen’s lives – and the lives around them.

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