Evaluation 2015: Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World

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Enhancing Investigations of Women’s Empowerment

Session Number: FIE1
Track: Feminist Issues in Evaluation
Session Type: Multipaper
Session Chair: Kimberly Bowman [Oxfam GB]
Presenter 1: Cheng Qiu [International Food Policy Research Institute]
Presenter 2: Kimberly Bowman [Oxfam GB]
Presenter 3: Sharlene Hesse-Biber [Boston College]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Simone Lombardini [Oxfam GB]
Time: Nov 12, 2015 (07:00 AM - 07:45 AM)
Room: Haymarket

Abstract 1 Title: Impacts of Pakistan’s Benazir Income Support Program on Women’s Decision-making Power within Households
Presentation Abstract 1: In 2008, Pakistan established the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), an unconditional cash transfer targeted at the “poorest of the poor.” The primary goal is to provide the poorest households with unconditional transfers in order to improve their consumption and investments in children. Transfers are provided to women in households. To attain the primary goal, it is important that women gain additional bargaining power within households to ensure investments in children. However, simply providing transfers to women does not guarantee an increase in bargaining power (e.g. Handa et al. 2009). In this paper, we use data collected specifically to evaluate the BISP to study the impacts of the BISP transfer on women’s decision-making power within households. Using evaluation strategy of regression discontinuity design, we find that the BISP has substantial, positive impacts on variables that measure women’s decision-making power and empowerment, suggesting BISP is successful in empowering women in Pakistan.
Abstract 2 Title: Improving our Investigations into Women's Empowerment: Lessons from Oxfam's Mixed-Method Impact Evaluation in Pakistan.
Presentation Abstract 2: Women's empowerment is a critical issue in development, but one of the more challenging concepts for impact evaluation. Since 2011, Oxfam has conducted rigorous impact evaluations on randomly-selected "mature" women's empowerment projects using a quasi-experimental design, involving propensity-score matching and multivariate regression to assess the effectiveness of projects at an individual level. While evaluation methods have evolved regularly since 2011, in 2014 the team trialled a new approach, testing out a mixed-methods design for a dairy value chain project aiming to empower women living in Southern Punjab, Pakistan. The team incorporated a new, power-based conceptual framework and attempted to incorporate new data (from literature reviews, 'think-aloud' interviews and participatory focus group activities) to the existing household survey and quantitative analysis. This paper outlines the most recent developments in Oxfam's internal 'Project Effectiveness Reviews,' sharing pragmatic insights into internal impact evaluations that aim to better understand women's empowerment in a challenging context.
Abstract 3 Title: Assessing and Enhancing the Credibility of Evidence-Based Practice: Feminist Praxis Approach to Randomized Control Trials
Presentation Abstract 3: I am submitting a paper, not a panel, so I am not sure how to describe the session.
Audience Level: None

Session Abstract: 

Enhancing Investigations of Women’s Empowerment



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