The Market Development Facility (MDF) has created a practical framework that measures and monitors women’s access and agency, both of which are key indicators of Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE). Access is defined as a women’s ability to access economic resources and information, while Agency is the ability to make decisions and act on economic opportunities. Within the report six dimensions of WEE are examined: influence on social norms, economic advancement, decision-making, functions and workloads, access to opportunities, and access to assets and services.
Measuring agency has historically been difficult and complex. Without a thorough understanding of it, there is a risk of oversimplifying approaches, ignoring potentially useful ones, or at worst, causing harm. This framework provides practical tools to measure agency effectively.
The framework has been celebrated in the Australian Development Industry given its innovation in measuring agency as well as offering useful tools to measure WEE which are replicable across all Aid programmes. This tool is also relevant beyond the development field and allows any programme to understand the impact of their WEE interventions. Devex recently reported on the framework’s scalable opportunities in which Aletheia Donald, an economist with the World Bank, attests “it is also practical and actionable. Good data on gender-informed development indicators is crucial for tracking our progress in promoting gender equality, designing interventions to address gender-based constraints and rigorously evaluat[ing] their impact.”
Download the full report of “Beyond Income: A Critical Analysis of Agency Measurement in Economic Programming”.
This report originally appeared here and has been republished with permission.
The Market Development Facility is the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s flagship private sector development programme. It stimulates investment, business innovation, and regulatory reform to create additional jobs and increase income for poor women and men in rural and urban areas in the Indo-Pacific region. Palladium is proud to implement this programme.