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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    GIL Top Policy Lessons on Empowering Women Entrepreneurs
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-01) World Bank
    Women make up more than half of the total number of entrepreneurs in Africa. Yet, on average, for every dollar of profits men entrepreneurs earn, women entrepreneurs earn 66 cents. Supporting women to grow their firms would translate into higher economic growth for Sub-Saharan Africa.
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    Are Cash Transfers Better Chunky or Smooth?: Evidence from an Impact Evaluation of a Cash Transfer Program in Northern Nigeria
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017) Bastian, Gautam ; Goldstein, Markus ; Papineni, Sreelakshmi
    Women receiving unconditional cash transfers in northern Nigeria worked more, particularly, in their own businesses, spent more on consumption, were more food secure, saved more, bought more animals and improved their housing compared to the women in the control group. Quarterly transfers cost half as much as monthly transfers to administer, but there is no difference in outcomes. Women’s ability to control the cash transfers is the same under a quarterly payment scheme and monthly payment scheme. Women use cash transfers to increase investment in their own business activities. Cash transfer recipients were not only more likely to be involved in their own non-farm business but they also spent more on business inputs and increased their business profits. Their husbands remained active farmers and didn’t change their business activities. The lab aims to do this by producing and delivering a new body of evidence and developing a compelling narrative, geared towards policymakers, on what works and what does not work in promoting gender equality.
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    Costing the Gender Gap
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-12) Goldstein, Markus ; Westman, Moa ; Torkelsson, Asa
    In sub-Saharan Africa women comprise a large proportion of the agricultural labor force, yet they are consistently found to be less productive than male farmers. The gender gap in agricultural productivity-measured by the value of agricultural produce per unit of cultivated land-ranges from 4-25 percent, depending on the country and the crop.1 The World Bank Africa Gender Innovation Lab, UN Women, and the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative jointly produced a report to quantify the cost of the gender gap and the potential gains from closing that gap in Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda. This report illustrates why the gender gap matters. Closing the gender gap of 28 percent in Malawi, 16 percent in Tanzania and 13 percent in Uganda could result in gross gains to GDP, along with other positive development outcomes, such as reduced poverty and greater food security. However, it is important to stress that these potential gains do not come without cost. Closing the gender gap will require changing existing or designing new policies, which may require additional resources.
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    Female Entrepreneurs Who Succeed in Male-Dominated Sectors in Ethiopia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-10) Alibhai, Salman ; Buehren, Niklas ; Papineni, Sreelakshmi
    In developing countries, female entrepreneurs have low returns. Yet, the few women who cross over into traditionally male-dominated sectors double their profits. So why don't more women cross over? When parents and husbands support them, women are more likely to cross over. When they lack information on the earnings potential in male-dominated sectors, they are less likely to. This suggests a path to promote women entrepreneurs crossing over. The challenges Ethiopian women face in getting jobs and earning income come from a range of sources. Women start from a more difficult situation than men --without easy access to finance, land, training, education and effective business networks. The share of women in Ethiopia without education is almost twice that of men, which in turn limits women entrepreneurs' ability to grow their businesses. Reducing gender inequalities in education and the labor market could increase annual GDP growth in Ethiopia by around 1.9 percentage points.