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SII Women's Empowerment Global Phase 2 Presentation to CARE USA Board 2006


Important empowerment gains strongly focused at the level of women's ... Become an 'ambidextrous organization', one that deploys more robust long-term ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: SII Women's Empowerment Global Phase 2 Presentation to CARE USA Board 2006

Strategic Impact Inquiry on Womens
Empowerment Phase 2 Report A Portfolio on the
The Bottom Line of Phase 2
  • a portfolio on the rise, the payoff from five
    years of investment
  • Important empowerment gains strongly focused at
    the level of womens individual capabilities as
    we first reported last year for more that 20
    million men, women, and children over the past
    decade or more.
  • More substantive and wider changes in structural
    aspects of womens marginalization and in the
    social relations through which lasting changes in
    womens empowerment will be achieved.
  • Yet
  • a portfolio riddled with missed opportunities to
    achieve deeper, faster, and more long lasting
    changes in poverty and social justice.
  • Two broad changes will go far
  • Deeper understanding of womens own preferred
    pathways and strategies, and mens resistance,
    while not being timid about questioning these
    through consciousness raising approaches.
  • Become an ambidextrous organization, one that
    deploys more robust long-term program strategies
    and more effective knowledge sharing and learning
    to achieve both significant short-term
    improvements and the lasting impacts on poverty
    and social injustice our Vision demands.

Phase 2 Womens Empowerment Impact Research By
the Numbers
What Good Projects Do Well, Their Impacts, Their
Opportunity Costs and Harms
Good womens empowerment projects
that lead to impacts that are
and create harms such as
CARE Bangladesh - RMP
CARE Bangladesh Rural Maintenance Project
  • Technical focus on road maintenance, project
    coverage noted in terms of population served by
    roads. Major change noted in SII is the
    acceptability now of women working outside their
    homes, but associated challenges not addressed.
  • 166,750 women employed over 23 years in RMAs,
    show increase in incomes through savings
    investment, and some improvement in social
    status. Yet use of solidarity groups since
    mid-1990s could have increased numbers 3-5 fold,
    and resulted in more widespread social and
    political gains for women
  • Women staff known for being first on motor bikes
    in Bangladesh but used only to supervise and
    monitor activities, not to reflect on
    methodology. Staff involved in SII action
    research produce as their learning from this,
    however, a set of recommendations with far
    reaching implications as project is closing
  • Capacities built of Union Parishads across
    Bangladesh, but no ongoing engagement on gender
    issues. Leverage potential used randomly by other
    CARE projects to gain acceptance by UP officials
    because of legitimacy provided by RMP

CARE Guatemala - FODEMH
CARE Guatemala - FODEMH
  • Technical Diversion Plan to support the position
    and voice of a nascent Mayan womens citizenship
    rights organization, converted to more classic
    organizational strengthening and (literacy)
    service delivery project.
  • Accountability Conflict Donor-required creation
    of a new development organization (ADIMH) from an
    existing womens movement (FODEMH). Growing
    pains, internal conflicts, and deep staff-partner
    tensions arising from results management.
  • Spectacular Results ADIMH grows from 10 to 110
    members, and reaches 8,000 women with cascading
    rights training, and 1,350 with literacy training
    (70 literacy achievement among enrollees).
  • Weak Politicial Voice Platform and capacity for
    policy advocacy on wider womens issues not
    developed advocacy alliances hostage to
    inter-organizational rivalries.
  • Mission Shift? ADIMH seen as solid development
    partner (GTZ, CEFA), but not financially
    sustainable at projects end, and in competition
    rather than coalition with wider womens and
    mayan political movements.

How Broad and Deep is the Performance Gap?
13 of projects in one sample (of evaluations)
conducted gender analysis
2 of CPIN projects did gender analysis as part
of project design 12 had an explicit gender
strategy 1 did gender training for partner
organizations 1 raised awareness about violence
against women 9 raised awareness on womens
Of 32 project proposals Only about 10
articulated empowerment goals with a clear,
context specific strategy and measures backing
them up.
  • Underlying causes of gender inequity identified
    and change pathways explicitly stated
  • Programs increase in coherence over time they
    are cumulative of analytical and experiential
    learning. Projects are deployed within this
    framework to complement each other
  • Accountability to key local constituencies
    women, partners, government for impact (not
    project deliverables) is paramount, and local
    reputation is crucial
  • Women organize and connect horizontally and
    vertically to achieve social and political
  • Explicit strategies bring women to engage with
    men in the home, community and external
  • Risk taking is critical to success, and the
    continuing action-reflection cycle and management
    of this knowledge results in short and longer
    term impact and brands CARE as a knowledge

Small changes, if they add up to anything
coherently, it is just luck. We can be more
strategic than that. - Andrea, Bangladesh
Village Savings and Loans, Poverty, and Social
strongly individual, psychological,
asset/service Learning of MFI -
reversible -Workload and violence -Gender roles
strongly ind., psych., asset/service
focused household roles start shifting
Seedlings of deeper change -Reversible -worklo
ad/violence -sustained learning between
projects -Little risk taking
From Good to Great in Action
As underlying causes of poverty and gender
inequity are identified, strategies selected
reflect an explicit change pathway Bangladesh
Social Development Unit and Community power
mapping and institutional analysis (Nijera,
etc) Burundi Dialogues Valorisants
Projects are positioned in broader and
longer-term learning programs for impact on
gender inequality and UCPs . Shift accountability
from vertical (to donors) to local (to
communities and to women) CARE Asia Women and
Girls strategy supporting COs in re-thinking
their work as programs Niger gender equity
program, with MMD as a key hook.
Programs help women to organize in connections of
solidarity, around agendas of strategic
change India CASHE connecting women beyond
self-help through Solidarity Group
methodology Sudan Womens Rights and Leadership
Promotion building a womens agenda for peace
(next years SII)
Explicit plans and strategies for women to
engage, collaborate with, and challenge men and
other powerful actors/institutions Peru Civil
Society Strengthening (proposal) positioning
women and womens organizations in municipal
policy Bangladesh Nijera/VAW Ethiopia FGC
Eradication project
Managaement shares in and and rewards responsible
risk taking and institutional learning India,
Vietnam Inner Spaces, Outer Faces
Initiative Reflective Practices Exercises/SII
What Staff are Saying
This is very empowering of local level staff and
partners. It requires us to value front line
staff much more if we do this learning
The SII offered an opportunity to build a culture
of critical inquiryto take back the thinking
role we hadlet slide.
I think it is great, I would like to see more of
this type of approach as a normal part of our
program cycle.  I think that evaluations could be
of a much higher quality and really designed for
our learning (rather than for donor reporting). 
I think the process brings new challenges to
teams, new quality of discussions
Qualitative Assessment of CARE VSL impacts
on Womens Empowerment and Poverty Eradication
Agency, structure, relations
Agency level
Lifted out of poverty
No apparent Or very minimal gains
Forms of Empowerment
Political Social Economic