Oxfam adapts OPHI’s approach to measure women’s empowerment and resilience

In a post on Duncan Green’s ‘From Poverty to Power’ blog, Oxfam’s Global Advisor on Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Claire Hutchings writes on Oxfam’s adaption of OPHI’s Alkire Foster method to measure women’s empowerment and resilience in latest Global Performance Framework (GPF).

Specifically, Oxfam has adapted the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) that was developed by OPHI in 2012 with International Food Policy and Research Institute (IFPRI) and U.S Agency for International Development (USAID). OPHI developed the WEAI from survey data and adapted the Alkire Foster method to underpin the Index, which measures the empowerment, agency and inclusion of women in the agriculture sector.

Hutchings notes that adoption of the OPHI methodology ‘has improved our overall measures. For example, our initial women’s empowerment reviews primarily considered women’s influence in household and community decision-making. This has now been expanded to cover dimensions such as personal freedom, self-perception and support from social and institutional networks. Our resilience framework has expanded to include food security and dietary diversity.’

The WEAI is a composite measurement tool that indicates women’s control over critical parts of their lives in the household, community, and economy. It allows evaluators to identify women who are disempowered and understand how to increase autonomy in key domains. The index is also a useful tool for tracking progress toward the Millennium Development Goals of gender equality.

You can read Claire Hutchings’s blog post here. Click on the links for a review of the WEAI and the Alkire Foster method used to develop the index.