Africa Gender Innovation Lab

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The Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) conducts impact evaluations of development interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa, seeking to generate evidence on how to close the gender gap in earnings, productivity, assets and agency. The GIL team is currently working on over 50 impact evaluations in 21 countries with the aim of building an evidence base with lessons for the region.

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    The Effects of Childcare on Women and Children: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Burkina Faso
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-08-01) Ajayi, Kehinde F. ; Dao, Aziz ; Koussoube, Estelle
    In a randomized evaluation conducted in Burkina Faso, the authors examine whether the provision of affordable childcare services improves both early childhood development and women’s economic empowerment. The authors find robust improvement in child development indicators and suggestive evidence that women’s employment, financial outcomes, and psychosocial well-being improved with access to community based childcare centers. Providing affordable, quality childcare services is a cost-effective intervention that yields high social gains. The childcare centers were self-sufficient, essentially paying for themselves. There are also additional unaccounted social benefits from children’s improved development, which can reduce poverty and improve key socio-economic life outcomes. The findings showcase promising new evidence that the provision of childcare can positively impact both women and children. However, there is still more room for change to influence women’s decision-making agency and partners’ involvement in domestic tasks. The findings also demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of the intervention. The childcare centers were not only self-sufficient because they essentially paid for themselves, but also contributed to higher revenue for women who used the childcare centers and the women who were employed as caregivers at the sites.
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    Locking Crops to Unlock Investment: Experimental Evidence on Warrantage in Burkina Faso
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-09-30) World Bank
    Smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa face an array of challenges to realizing higher profits from their agricultural activities, including lack of adequate storage facilities and credit market imperfections. To address these constraints, warrantage, an innovative inventory credit system, offers farmers the opportunity to both store their crop production and access credit simultaneously. In a study in Burkina Faso, a research team worked with 38 villages to look at the impacts of warrantage on a variety of household and agricultural outcomes when given access to storage warehouses in close proximity villages. With additional cash on hand from increased revenues, households with access to the warrantage scheme invested more in education, increased their livestock holdings, and invested more in agricultural inputs for the following year. No impacts were found on food expenditures or on food security indicators. These findings suggest that warrantage systems, when established through trusted community institutions, can positively influence household incomes and farmers’ investment behavior.
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    Intra-Household Dynamics and the Design of Social Protection Programs: The Case of Polygamous Households in North Burkina Faso
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-03) Guilbert, Nathalie ; Pierotti, Rachael
    A recent overview of World Bank social safety net programs and gender highlighted the need for greater consideration of intra-household dynamics in the design of social protection programs (Bardasi 2014). During program design, decisions have to be made about who to target, how much and how often to give cash transfers, and what measures should accompany cash transfers. These decisions become even more complex in the context of polygamous households. The conclusions above are meant to illustrate important links between intra-household dynamics and the design of cash transfer programs. As a preliminary study, this research did not capture the actual effects of cash transfers. It is important to remember that money received from the government in the form of a regular cash transfer may be treated differently than income from other sources. Additional research is planned that will measure differences in the use of cash transfers depending on the social protection program design.