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Social Safety Nets & Women's Wellbeing in Africa: Are we moving the bar?

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Amber Peterman's (UNICEF Innocenti) presentation at the Transfer Project Workshop in Arusha, Tanzania on 3rd April 2019.

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Social Safety Nets & Women's Wellbeing in Africa: Are we moving the bar?

  1. 1. Amber Peterman, Neha Kumar, Audrey Pereira & Dan Gilligan Transfer Project Workshop 2019: Arusha Tanzania SOCIAL SAFETY NETS & WOMEN’S WELLBEING IN AFRICA: ARE WE MOVING THE BAR?
  2. 2. WHAT DO WE MEAN BY ACCOUNTING FOR “GENDER”? A SIMPLE TYPOLOGY Does not recognize gender issues by ignoring gender roles & gender gaps (in various dimensions) in their design, which reinforces gender inequalities. Recognizes gender issues in design, but takes no measures to address these gender inequalities. Recognizes gender inequalities, also takes measures to address them. GENDER BLIND [DISCRIMATORY] GENDER NEUTRAL GENDER TRANSFORMATIVE [SENSITIVE] • Are gender considerations instrumental (e.g. functional & operational?) or intrinsic (e.g. goal of reducing inequalities?)
  3. 3. “Comprehensive social protection systems need to be gender-responsive to a) ensure they do not further exacerbate gender inequality and that they b) promote gender equality.” ~Africa Ministerial Pre-Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 2019
  4. 4. Key Questions 01. Are social safety nets increasing women’s wellbeing along key domains in Africa? 02. If so (if not), do we know what design features matter? 03. What evidence commitments are needed to get us to be able to meet aspirational goals?
  5. 5. REVIEW METHODOLOGY • Strategy: Review of reviews, key websites, backward & forward citations, google scholar searches, emails to experts • Inclusion criteria: Published & grey, Africa, 2000 onwards, experimental & quasi-experimental • SSNs: Economic transfers (cash, in-kind, vouchers, conditional, unconditional etc.), public works (cash for work), school feeding Outcomes (women aged 18+ years): 1. Food security 2. Economic outcomes 3. Empowerment 4. Psychological wellbeing 5. Gender-based violence
  6. 6. 1. FOOD SECURITY, DIETARY DIVERSITY & NUTRITION • 4 studies (4 countries) • 20 indicators 40% 11% 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Dietary diversity Nutritional biomarkers Food security Increase Decrease Not significant Impacts on Indicator Groups • Overall:  1 out of 4 (25%) study shows promising impacts  No studies with mixed or negative impacts • Low number of total studies indicates lack of reporting on individual level outcomes
  7. 7. 2. ECONOMIC OUTCOMES • 12 studies (9 countries) • 105 indicators Impacts on Indicator Groups • Overall: • 6 out of 12 (50%) studies show promising impacts • 3 (25%) studies show mixed or negative impacts • “Negative” impacts largely reflect indicators of hard manual labor or labor for elderly samples 100% 50% 24% 13% 100% 100%0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Increase Decrease Not significant LFP: Labor Force Participation
  8. 8. 3. EMPOWERMENT OUTCOMES • 14 studies (10 countries) • 65 indicators Impacts on Indicator Groups • Overall: • 5 out of 14 (36%) studies show promising impacts • 1 (7%) study shows negative impacts • Outcomes heavily dominated by “decisionmaking”- measurement issues? 30% 15% 25% 0 5 10 15 20 25 Increase Decrease Not significant
  9. 9. 4. PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLBEING • 9 studies (6 countries) • 45 indicators Impacts on Indicator Groups • Overall: • 5 out of 9 (56%) studies show promising impacts • 1 study shows negative impacts • Sub-group results even more promising = larger impacts among poorer samples • Qualitative work supports strong impacts 70% 47% 43% 38% 100% 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Increase Decrease Not significant QoL: Quality of Life
  10. 10. 5. GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE • 5 studies (5 countries) • 28 indicators Impacts on Indicator Groups • Overall:  4 out of 5 (80%) of studies show promising impacts  No studies with mixed or negative impacts • Only one study measured outcomes beyond Intimate partner violence (IPV) • Family structure appears to matter 63% 50% 40% 20% 17% 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Decreases Increases Not significant
  11. 11. WHAT DESIGN FEATURES MATTER? Short answer: We don’t really know! • Gender of recipient?  Inconclusive, few studies & mixed findings • Conditionalities & behavioral features?  Inconclusive, suggests potential for both increasing & decreasing effectiveness • Payment features?  Promising, more $$, lump sums, mobile transfers • Operational  Promising, potential to mitigate against adverse effects & allow women to participate • Plus & integration  Untapped potential, almost no evaluations able to measure synergistic effects but many in progress
  12. 12. CONCLUSIONS & RESEARCH GAPS 01. SSNs in Africa are having positive impacts on women’s wellbeing—some domains more promising than others— evidence strongly cash transfer dominant 02. From existing quantitative evaluations, we have little understanding of what design features matter 03. Large gaps in understanding coverage (by sex), measurement of key concepts & true gender analysis – we must be intentional to close these gaps!
  13. 13. Email: apeterman@unicef.org @a_peterman | @TransferProjct transfer.cpc.unc.edu AHSANTENI!
  14. 14. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS • Full citation: Amber Peterman, Neha Kumar, Audrey Pereira & Dan Gilligan (2019). Towards Gender Equality: A critical assessment of evidence on Social Safety Nets in Africa. Chapter, ATOR: Gender Parity in Rural Africa: From Commitments to Outcomes (working paper). • We thank the Agnes Quisumbing, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Jemimah Njuki and Emily Myers for helpful feedback on an earlier outline of this chapter draft. This work was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Funding support for this study was provided by the CGIAR Research Program PIM. • Slide 1: © FAO/IvanGrifi/19431674444_a702f46a21 • Slide 4: © FAO/IvanGrifi/19431617964_bf1542f18a • Slide 13: © FAO/IvanGrifi/20054330395_0779fb2c94

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