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Towards Gender Equality: A critical assessment of evidence on social safety nets in Africa

Amber Peterman (UNC) and Neha Kumar's (IFPRI) presentation for World Bank Social Protection & Jobs Seminar Series (16 January 2020)

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Towards Gender Equality: A critical assessment of evidence on social safety nets in Africa

  1. 1. Amber Peterman, Neha Kumar, Audrey Pereira & Dan Gilligan World Bank Social Protection & Jobs Seminar, January 16, 2020 TOWARDS GENDER EQUALITY: A critical assessment of evidence on social safety nets in Africa
  2. 2. SOCIAL SAFETY NETS & GENDER: THE LINKAGES • Poverty, vulnerability and well-being have inherent gender dimensions, thus gender considerations have historically motivated & driven certain design features of SSNs: • These have mostly been instrumental (motivated by functional & operational features) • More recently, intrinsic value of improving women’s wellbeing & gender equality has gained traction: • Goal 5 of SDGs call for social protection as a target as avenue for reducing unpaid care (2016) • First gender SPIAC-B working group (formed 2018) • 63rd Commission on the Status of Women with priority theme of social protection systems (2019)
  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. EXPANSION OF SSNs IN SSA Now a core strategy for addressing poverty and vulnerability Source: Beegle K, Coudouel, A & E Monsalve (Eds) (2018). Realizing the Full Potential of Social Safety Nets in Africa. World Bank. • Average country has 15 SSNs • 10% of the population covered
  5. 5. WHAT DO WE KNOW SO FAR? • Numerous ‘promising’ case studies, highlighting success of SSNs in advancing women’s status • Yet, many reviews note gaps in understanding of important domains & diversity of impacts – reviews generally hypothesize design & context (e.g. gender norms) are critical considerations • Persistent calls to integrate gender in program design & evaluation efforts, but few examples where this is taken onboard at scale (World Bank, 2014) • We argue that poverty, program design & gender norms vary by region  regional specific learning & synthesis is needed
  6. 6. 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?)
  7. 7. Key Questions 01. Are SSNs 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?
  8. 8. REVIEW METHODOLOGY • Strategy: Review of reviews, key websites, backward & forward citations, google scholar searches, emails to experts • Inclusion criteria: Published & grey, Africa, 2000 - 2019 (July), 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
  9. 9. 0 1 2 3 4 Kenya Malawi Uganda Lesotho Nigeria South Africa Zambia DRC Egypt Ethiopia Ghana Mali Niger Rwanda Senegal Sierre Leone Tanzania UCT CCT PW Voucher COUNTRIES & PROGRAM TYPES INCLUDED (N=28) • 82% were UCT / primarily UCT • 43% of programs across types had a plus component • Research frontier moving quickly! 86% of studies were published / released in WP format from 2016 onwards.
  10. 10. OVERALL SUMMARY : From a total of 38 studies, 28 programs, 17 countries, ~500 indicators Domain Studies (countries) Number of indicators % with positive impacts % with mixed impacts % with negative impacts % with null impacts Food security 6 (6) 58 33% 0% 17% 50% Economic 16 (11) 201 50% 13% 13% 25% Empowerment 17 (11) 162 35% 6% 12% 47% Psychological wellbeing 9 (6) 45 56% 0% 11% 33% Gender-based violence 5 (5) 28 80% 0% 0% 20%
  11. 11. 1. FOOD SECURITY, DIETARY DIVERSITY & NUTRITION • 6 studies (6 countries) • 58 indicators 43% 4%0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Dietary diversity Nutritional biomarkers Food security Increase Decrease Not significant Impacts on Indicator Groups • Overall: 2 out of 6 (33%) studies shows promising impacts • ‘Adverse’ impacts on BMI from a sample of pregnant women at baseline (Nigeria Child Dev Grant) • The limited number of studies clearly indicates most research still report impacts only at the household level
  12. 12. 2. ECONOMIC OUTCOMES • 16 studies (11 countries) • 201 indicators Impacts on Indicator Groups • Overall: 8 out of 16 (50%) studies show promising impacts • ‘Adverse’ impacts among elderly women (60+) in labor constrained models & for hard manual labor (‘ganyu’) • Studies mostly measure labor force participation (73% of indicators measured), rather than broader outcomes 100% 55% 40% 33% 21% 100% 100%0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 Increase Decrease Not significant LFP: Labor Force Participation
  13. 13. 3. EMPOWERMENT • 17 studies (11 countries) • 162 indicators Impacts on Indicator Groups • Overall: 6 out of 17 (35%) studies show promising impacts • Negative impacts in DM found in Malawi, Senegal (cash + ag extension) & Egypt (Govt CCT) • Among domains with ‘sufficient’ evidence, empowerment has the weakest impacts, however dominated by decision-making indicators (95% of evidence) 24% 13% 25%0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 Increase Decrease Not significant
  14. 14. 4. PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLBEING • 9 studies (6 countries) • 45 indicators Impacts on Indicator Groups • Overall: 5 out of 9 (56%) studies show promising impacts • While not an often stated objective or outcome for SSNs, strong impacts indicate potential • Channels identified, particularly for young women, include better physical health, increased schooling, family support, higher consumption, among others. 70% 47% 43% 38% 100%0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Increase Decrease Not significant
  15. 15. 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 • Only one study measured outcomes beyond Intimate partner violence (IPV) – studies in the region looking at GBV more broadly focused on children / younger adolescents • Family structure appears to matter (Mali & Ghana studies looking at differential polygamous vs. non-poly) 63% 50% 40% 20% 17% 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Decreases Increases Not significant
  16. 16. GAP 1: EVALUATIONS ABLE TO UNPACK CONTRIBUTIONS OF DESIGN FEATURES Of 38 studies, only 8 able to unpack design features (* = number of studies) • Gender of recipient?  Inconclusive, few studies & mixed findings (**) • Conditionalities & behavioral features?  Inconclusive, suggests potential for both increasing & decreasing effectiveness (*) • Payment size & features?  Promising, more $$, lump sums, mobile transfers, giving participants choice in modality (****) • Operational  Unknown, potential to mitigate against adverse effects & allow women to participate (no evidence) • Plus & integration  Untapped potential, almost no evaluations able to measure synergistic effects but many in progress (**)
  17. 17. GAP 2: BETTER INDICATORS & GENDER ANALYSIS • Little understanding of coverage of SP by sex • Many indicators still collected at the household level: For example, poverty & agricultural productivity had no individual indicators for women; only 6 studies had these for food security & nutrition  yet a large literature exists on impacts at the household (young child) level • Majority of evaluations do not conduct gender analysis [they analyze women’s outcomes]: Across domains (with a few exceptions), LFP were the only indicators which were analyzed for men & women (no “gap” analysis) • Direct measures of empowerment lacking: Agency, self-efficacy, confidence, autonomy, control rarely measured.
  18. 18. GAP 3: COST EFFECTIVENESS & VALUE FOR MONEY • Financing critical to ensure sustainability, expansion of programs • Cost-effectiveness estimates can help understand how to make trade offs between program design & implementation features  including components recommended for gender sensitive designs • Value for money can help sustain & garner political commitment/support for programs • Few studies include costing components, only one specific to gender design components that we are aware of (Bastian et al. 2019, Nigeria)
  19. 19. GAP 4: INCORPORATE A GENDER LENS TO “FORWARD LOOKING” & INNOVATIVE THEMES • Use of social protection in fragile settings: Particularly cash transfers increasingly used in refugee hosting, post-disaster settings  how can we speak to both humanitarian & development “divide” in providing solutions & evidence? • Technology: Mobile money, financial inclusion, high volume data  what are the gender effects & opportunities? • Macro-level processes: Migration, urbanization, environmental & planetary health
  20. 20. OVERALL TAKE AWAY THOUGHTS • Despite high-level commitments made by global stakeholders in advancing gender equality via social protection—there remain significant evidence gaps in understanding what this means in practice • Suggestion is not to do more impact evaluations (necessarily), but to increase the quality of these evaluations (analysis) • In many ways, a research agenda to leverage social protection for gender equality is similar to one which simply aims to make systems/ programs work better overall (poverty, inequality & vulnerability cannot be eradicated while leaving women/girls behind) PRIORITY INVESTMENTS: 1. Program design 2. Measurement & analysis 3. Cost-effectiveness 4. Forward looking themes
  21. 21. Emails: n.kumar@cigar.org amberpeterman@gmail.com THANK YOU!
  22. 22. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS • We thank the Agnes Quisumbing, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Jemimah Njuki and Emily Myers and two anonymous reviewers 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. • Evidence gaps presented here were identified as part of a Think Piece written by the same authors titled “Towards gender equality in social protection: evidence gaps and priority research questions”, prepared for UNICEF Office of Research, Innocenti • Slide 1: © FAO/IvanGrifi/19431674444_a702f46a21 • Slide 7: © FAO/IvanGrifi/16738169070_73fa47bc11_o • Slide 21: © FAO/IvanGrifi/20054330395_0779fb2c94
  23. 23. WORKS CITED • Africa Ministerial Pre-Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). 2019. “Key Messages and Strategies for CSW63: Strategies for a Unified Position at CSW63 in New York - Strategies for Gender Responsive Social Protection.” • Bastian, Gautam, Markus Goldstein, and Sreelakshmi Papineni. 2019. “Are Cash Transfers Better Chunky or Smooth? Unconditional Cash Transfers in Northwest Nigeria.” World Bank Africa Gender Innovation Lab. Washington, DC: World Bank. • Beegle, Kathleen, Aline Coudouel, and Emma Monsalve. 2018. “Realizing the Full Potential of Social Safety Nets in Africa.” Africa Development Forum Series. Washington, DC: World Bank. • World Bank. 2014. “Social Safety Nets and Gender Learning From Impact Evaluations and World Bank Projects.” Washington, DC: World Bank.

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