The World Bank’s Africa Region Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) conducts impact evaluations, which assess the outcome of development interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa, to generate evidence on how to close the gender gap in earnings, productivity, assets, and agency. With the results of impact evaluations, the GIL supports the design of innovative, scalable interventions to address gender inequality across Africa. The goal is to enable project teams and policymakers to advocate for better gender integration using evidence.
The work of the GIL is motivated by gender equality as a fundamental development objective, and because it provides significant instrumental benefits; equal opportunity for men and women enhances productivity and improves many other development outcomes, as highlighted in the World Bank’s 2012 World Development Report: Gender Equality and Development. While Africa is edging towards better outcomes on gender equality, notably in primary education enrollment, severe disparities remain.
The Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) is spearheading efforts to identify scalable solutions for women’s economic empowerment in Africa, to help policymakers and development practitioners to better address gender constraints.
In close collaboration with project teams, the GIL designs, launches, and oversees impact evaluations of new interventions to generate knowledge on which policies work (or not) for closing gender gaps in the economic sectors. The lab also conducts impact evaluation workshops and other capacity building activities, so that others can contribute to and better interpret the knowledge base. Finally, the GIL leverages evidence to promote the uptake of effective gender policies throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Africa Gender Innovation Lab is currently working on more than 40 impact evaluations in over 20 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa.
To meet the needs of a range of audiences, the Gender Innovation Lab packages impact evaluation findings into a variety of knowledge products including policy briefs, research working papers, synthesis papers and data sets.
The GIL works in partnership with units across the World Bank, aid agencies and donors, governments, non-governmental organizations, private sector firms, and researchers.
The lab is supported through the World Bank Group's Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality (UFGE) and in partnership with the United Kingdom and United States. Funding is made possible through generous contributions from the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.