Measuring gender transformative systemic change in WEE

When designing and implementing a WEE initiative or program it is important to measure to what extent the program leads to systemic change, and is therefore gender transformative. To achieve transformational and sustainable change for women, you need to analyse the complex mix of social, political and economic systems they live in – as well as the actors involved and their power relations – through the lens of gender.

Some examples of when a WEE program is gender transformative are:

  • Increased confidence, self-esteem and action for women to gain control over their own lives
  • Increased support by household members, private sector and public institutions for women to reach their full potential, ambitions, and excel in activities they undertake
  • Recognition and reduction of unpaid care and domestic work
  • Strengthened women’s leadership and influence on decisions at the household and community levels, as well as in public and private sector spheres

The following three tools can be used to measure systemic change, as they lend themselves to capturing the complexity associated with WEE and social norm change:

  • Social Network Analysis: Social network analyses assesses social relations, interactions and connections between people, organisations and other networks using quantitative data obtained through surveys. Social network analyses can be a powerful tool to monitor changes in the relationships among different market actors, and this focus on relationships is particularly helpful for understanding whether observed changes in the functioning of market systems are genuinely leading to women experiencing more access or agency
  • SenseMaker®: SenseMaker® is a narrative-based research methodology that enables the capture and analysis of a large quantity of stories in order to understand complex change. It is a form of meta-analysis of qualitative data that bridges a gap between case studies and large-sample survey data. The approach offers a new methodology for recognising patterns and trends in perceptions, behaviours and relationships.
  • Outcome Harvesting: Outcome Harvesting does not measure progress towards predetermined objectives or outcomes, but rather, collects evidence of what has changed and then, working backwards, determines whether and how an intervention contributed to these changes. The outcome(s) can be positive or negative, intended or unintended, direct or indirect, but the connection between the intervention and the outcomes should be plausible. This flexibility is particularly useful for capturing the complex outcomes of WEE interventions, including any potential negative consequences.
Source: DCED. How to Integrate Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment into Private Sector Development Programs.