Africa Gender Policy Briefs

75 items available

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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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    Helping Female Entrepreneurs Access Digital Platforms: The Importance of a Tech-Plus-Touch Approach and Other Lessons Learned - Case Study 1
    (World Bank, Washington DC, 2023-03-12) Friedson-Ridenour, Sophia ; Edey, Kinfe
    Connecting female entrepreneurs to digital platforms that provide access to information and resources is possible, even in low-income and low-bandwidth settings. However, supporting initial take-up may require traditional, in-person marketing and onboarding. This brief shares lessons from a pilot of a digital mentoring platform in Ethiopia. The target users were female entrepreneurs in Ethiopia’s Somali region. The pilot found that on-boarding female entrepreneurs to digital platforms and helping them progress through the user experience is possible, but also suggests that thoughtful design modifications are critical. These modifications include: (a) using old-fashioned marketing strategies; (b) adopting a tech-plus-touch approach; (c) prioritizing a mobile-first low-bandwidth option; (d) simplifying onboarding requirements; and (e) providing educational and guidance resources.
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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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    Policy Solutions to Close Gender Gaps in the Agriculture Sector in Nigeria
    (Washington, DC, 2022-07) World Bank
    Substantial gender gaps exist in labor force participation and productivity in the agriculture sector in Nigeria. Closing the gender productivity gap in agriculture could lead to sizable gains in the Nigerian economy, boosting gross domestic product. Key factors driving the gender gaps in agriculture include women farmers’ limited use of farm inputs, choice of lowvalue crops, and lower productivity of hired labor. To successfully close gender gaps, policy makers not only need a detailed account of what drives these gaps, but also a rigorous evidence base on cost-effective policy options. This brief offers guidance on interventions that could be adopted to address the underlying constraints faced by women farmers in Nigeria. These recommendations could also meaningfully inform the framework and implementation of the National Gender Policy on Agriculture.
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    Assessing the Damage: Early Evidence on Impacts of the COVID-19 Crisis on Girls and Women in Africa
    (Washington, DC, 2022-04) World Bank
    At the onset of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there was global concern about the negative indirect impacts the crisis would have on girls and women and their human capital. Two years into the crisis, this brief summarizes the evidence to date on how the prediction of a shadow crisis has played out in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).The brief is intended as a call to action for policymakers, since available research sets off multiple alarm bells. It also proposes urgent policy responses. Evidence to date confirms that the COVID-19 crisis has had profound negative impacts on the education, health, employment and empowerment of girls and women including in SSA. Available data is still limited, but what is known to date suggests that we are seeing the tip of an iceberg. Many impacts will have long term repercussions for girls’ and women’s human capital. Decision makers are at a pivotal moment to invest now in women and girls, to neutralize immediate but also prolonged costs to individuals, societies and economies.
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    Addressing Gender-Based Occupational Segregation: Experimental Evidence from the Republic of Congo
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-03-01) Gassier, Marine ; Pierotti, Rachael Susan ; Rouanet, Lea Marie ; Traore, Lacina
    Gender-based occupational segregation - the fact that men and women are typically concentrated in different occupations and economic sectors - contributes to gender gaps in earnings. In an experiment in the Republic of Congo, the authors examine whether addressing informational constraints around returns from male dominated sectors can encourage young women to apply for training in more profitable male-dominated sectors. There is high potential for interventions that pair information on returns and trade exposure. However, there are gender gaps in access to early opportunities, mainly relevant technical experience and network connections. Providing information on earnings is a low-cost intervention that can encourage young women to crossover to more lucrative trades, thereby reducing the gender gap in earnings.
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    Fostering Gender-Transformative Change in Sustainable Forest Management: A Case Study of DGM Ghana
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022) Canpolat, Ezgi ; Shakirova, Meerim ; McElhinny, Vince ; Westerman, Kame ; Cruz, Alli ; Buppert, Theresa
    The US5.5 million dollars DGM Ghana country project focuses on strengthening knowledge and practices of targeted local communities in REDD+ processes and sustainable forest management. In implementation since 2018, with 212 subprojects either in implementation or completed, there are ample opportunities for detailed examination of specific subprojects. This can offer insight the issue of whether, and how, DGM projects are influencing women’s participation and leadership on the ground and provide some indication of the extent to which the project may be influencing broader social and gender norms at the community or regional level. This case study provides primary information to supplement and inform the DGM Gender Study, which seeks to analyze the contribution of the DGM project to promoting women’s economic achievement, access to and control over productive assets, voice, and agency. The US5.5 million dollars DGM Ghana country project focuses on strengthening knowledge and practices of targeted local communities in REDD+ processes and sustainable forest management. In implementation since 2018, with 212 subprojects either in implementation or completed, there are ample opportunities for detailed examination of specific subprojects. This can offer insight the issue of whether, and how, DGM projects are influencing women’s participation and leadership on the ground, and provide some indication of the extent to which the project may be influencing broader social and gender norms at the community or regional level. This case study provides primary information to supplement and inform the DGM Gender Study, which seeks to analyze the contribution of the DGM project to promoting women’s economic achievement, access to and control over productive assets, voice, and agency.
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    Tell Us How We are Doing: Motivating Teams Through Feedback Versus Public Recognition
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-10) Delavallade, Clara
    Motivating service providers to improve the quality of public service delivery is a major development challenge across the globe. This is particularly relevant for women, who are over-represented as providers of essential public services such as healthcare and education in Africa. In the context of a national school nutrition program in the Western Cape province of South Africa, the authors offered either private feedback or public recognition to female school-feeding teams to examine the effectiveness of different incentives schemes when financial rewards are not available. Receiving private feedback on performance boosted workers’ effort more than public recognition. These results suggest that providing performance feedback can be an effective policy for motivating female teams and improving service delivery, more so than mechanisms leveraging public image.
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    New Insights on Women’s Employment in Ethiopia’s Industrial Parks
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-10-01) Ajayi, Kehinde Funmilola ; Buehren, Niklas ; Cassidy, Rachel Margaret ; Salcher, Isabelle
    Low take-up of job offers and high early turnover continue to affect employment of Ethiopia’s female factory workers. Despite starting factory work around the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the women in our sample still left factory employment primarily for voluntary reasons unrelated to COVID-19. This is consistent with early separation being a longer-term feature of factory employment. Women who voluntarily left their factory jobs reported they had received wages close to the minimum of what they were expecting. Much of the COVID-related separations we observe are “voluntary”, with women choosing to leave factory jobs and mainly staying at home due to personal health concerns. Therefore, while measures to reinforce input chains and demand for factory orders remain key, immediate interventions to address workers’ health and safety concerns are crucial to counter voluntary quitting in times of a public health crisis.
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    Coping with COVID-19 Shocks in Western Uganda
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-09) Sharma, Ambika ; Gruver, Ariel ; Montalvao, Joao ; O'Sullivan, Michael
    In Western Uganda, women farmers and their households were facing widespread agricultural and non-agricultural income shocks in September 2020, indicating a protracted crisis. To cope with these shocks, many households liquidated productive agricultural assets. Women who had higher decision-making power within the household before the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis, appeared to cope better with post-outbreak shocks by engaging in more income-generating activities and having better food security in the household.
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    Unlocking the Potential of Women Entrepreneurs in Uganda: A Brief of Policy Interventions
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-08-26) Copley, Amy ; Gokalp, Birce ; Kirkwood, Daniel
    Private sector development is an integral channel through which countries can better leverage the productive potential of the youth bulge, support job creation, and maintain social stability. Entrepreneurship already plays an important role in Sub-Saharan Africa, where forty-two percent of the nonagricultural labor force is self-employed or is an employer, the highest rate in the world. Women business owners in Uganda face several gender-specific barriers to their enterprise performance, including lower levels of innovation, lower use of capital and labor, and segregation into lower-value sectors. This brief focuses on the policy interventions that can help empower women entrepreneurs across Uganda.