Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

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October 21, 2020

Women’s Economic Empowerment in West Africa: Towards a Practical Research Agenda

Evidence on ‘what works’ to promote women’s economic empowerment has expanded in recent years but remains geographically unbalanced, with English speaking countries and those with more longstanding research traditions better represented. Recognizing the importance of context specificity in understanding and advancing gender equality, we seek to fill a gap in the literature by reviewing interventions, policies, and broader socio-economic trends within West Africa and the extent to which they have contributed to progress in narrowing economic gender gaps in the region.

The cover of the note
September 23, 2020

COVID-19 and Violence against Women and Children: A Second Research Round Up

COVID-19 has raised the profile of violence against women and children (VAW/C) within the global discourse. Nine months after the emergence of COVID-19, global stakeholders continue to advocate for increased funding and action to mitigate against the risk of violence on vulnerable populations and support survivors. How much have we learned from research since the beginning of the crisis?

The cover of the note
September 16, 2020

Closing Gender Pay Gaps

We convened a virtual roundtable to discuss how public and private sector actors can better understand and work together to narrow gender gaps in pay. To operationalize recommendations raised during the discussion, here we present 6 actions for governments that draw on principles of openness and 6 actions for businesses to champion.

September 10, 2020

Gender Equity in Development Finance Survey

By surveying DFIs, we aim to start building a baseline of their gender policies and practices, analyze the data, and make recommendations where stronger policies and practices are needed. The survey’s findings give DFIs an important opportunity to learn from one another and work towards standards for how they can best promote gender equity.

The cover of the note
June 22, 2020

COVID-19 & Violence against Women and Children: What Have We Learned So Far?

In this note, we review rigorous studies that have analyzed how COVID-19 and related policies are impacting rates of VAW/C and highlight more reliable methods, while acknowledging limitations of underlying data sources. We propose recommendations for how to both broaden and deepen our collective understanding of how COVID-19 is impacting these forms of violence, and what can be done in response.

Cover of Policy Paper 175
May 27, 2020

Gendered Impacts of COVID-19 School Closures: Insights from Frontline Organizations

COVID-19 school closures pose significant operational and financial risks to frontline organizations delivering vital education services, including non-governmental organizations, school operators, and other service providers. In this survey, we ask these organizations about the challenges they are facing in light of COVID-19 closures, particularly for girls. The responses shed light on how COVID-19 is affecting education service operations—and what providers are doing in response.

April 14, 2020

Headship and Poverty in Africa

With a little more care to take context and the confounding attributes that make female-headed households (FHHs) particularly prone to poverty into account, this paper argues that headship can be useful for identifying poor households in Africa.

The cover of the working paper
April 10, 2020

Can Boosting Savings and Skills Support Female Business Owners in Indonesia? Evidence from A Randomized Controlled Trial

This study tests the relative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of providing supply-side incentives to promote agent banking savings accounts, business and financial literacy training for female entrepreneurs, and the combination of the two on women’s businesses and agency in Indonesia.

The cover of the note
January 31, 2020

From Principles to Practice: Strengthening Accountability for Gender Equality in International Development

This policy note seeks to contribute to maximizing the impact of Beijing +25, and strengthening accountability for global gender equality more broadly, by grappling with three core questions: For what should governments be held accountable? To whom should they be accountable? And how can feminist researchers and advocates hold governments accountable? 

The cover of the note
November 7, 2019

Gender Equality in US Think Tank Leadership: Data from Tax Records

Existing analysis of US think tanks suggests that women are underrepresented among senior staff, leadership, and board members. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Soraya Kamali-Nafar at Women In International Security examined 22 Washington, DC-based think tanks working on foreign policy and national and international security, and they found that 68 percent of the heads of the think tanks were men, along with 73 percent of the experts and 78 percent of those on governing boards. In 2018, a random sampling of 10 leading US think tanks working on development by Charles Kenny and Tanvi Jaluka suggested that women made up 30 percent of high-paid employees and 10 percent of highest-paid employees, and that higher-paid women earned only 75 percent that of higher-paid men. 

Working Paper 513 cover
July 18, 2019

What We Learn about Girls’ Education from Interventions that Do Not Focus on Girls

Previous efforts to synthesize evidence on how to improve educational outcomes for girls have tended to focus on interventions that are principally targeted to girls, such as girls’ latrines or girls’ scholarships. But if general, non-targeted interventions—those that benefit both girls and boys—significantly improve girls’ education, then focusing only on girl-targeted interventions may miss some of the best investments for improving educational opportunities for girls in absolute terms. 

Robots on an assembly line in a car factory
February 14, 2019

Women and the Future of Work: Fix the Present

There is a lot we don’t know about what automation will mean for jobs in the future, including its impact (if any) on gender inequality. This note reviews evidence and forecasts on that question and makes four main points.

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