MNAGIL is a new initiative to do things differently in the MENA region, aimed at closing the gender gap permanently. MENA faces a stark gender gap not only in employment, earnings, and disaggregated data collection (where there is a lack of knowledge on men and women's attitudes and views on gender equality), but also with respect to mobility, digital use and affordable access, and acquisition of soft skills such as decision making and leadership. Currently, women make up only 21% of the labor force and contribute only 18% to MENA’s overall GDP. The existing gender gap has extended to the rest of the economy, including the technology sector, impacting women’s access to and use of digital services. Furthermore, continued wars and conflicts in the region have widened the gender gap by exposing women and girls to gender-based violence (GBV), exploitation, poverty, and early or forced marriage.
Persistent gender gaps and limited access to economic opportunities for women have had serious macroeconomic and fiscal consequences in MENA countries. This is why it is critical to close the gender gaps in order to boost growth across the region. Otherwise, as the latest World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report suggests, it will take an estimated 157 years for MENA to close the gender gap and achieve gender parity.
To boost growth in MENA, women are important. Bridging the gender gap will increase regional output, and put MENA on a higher, sustainable, and inclusive growth path in the long run. Given the limited research on how to effectively address the gender gap in the region, rigorous evidence-based policy interventions are needed to find scalable solutions to design smart gender policies and evaluate how effectively these interventions can reduce gender gaps in the following 3 critical areas of (i) Jobs, (ii) Assets ownership, and (iii) Agency/voice to increase women’s economic opportunities in the region. The new evidence will deepen the capacity for gender-informed policymaking to help women in MENA reach their economic potentials.
The work of the MNAGIL is motivated by empowering MENA’s women as a powerful tool for development in the region. The goal is to generate rigorous evidence on what (policy/intervention) works to close the gender gap and to help policymakers and development practitioners to rigorously tackle gender-related constraints. The Lab designs, launches, and oversees impact evaluation research to create knowledge and innovative interventions to which policies can effectively work for closing gender gaps in the region. As part of the ongoing work, the MNAGIL also conducts impact evaluation workshops and other capacity building activities so that researchers and practitioners can contribute to and better interpret the knowledge-based results. Finally, the MNAGIL leverages evidence to promote the uptake of effective gender policies throughout the MENA region.
In closing the gender gap, MENA faces a real challenge:
The World Bank’s new Middle East and North Africa Gender Innovation Lab (MNAGIL) is intended to bridge this divide.
The MNAGIL is an evidence-for-policy research hub that serves as a regional platform to generate rigorous evidence and create smart interventions to inform the design and implementation of gender-related policies and programs across the region. The hub conducts impact evaluations, using randomized control trials, to understand what works, what does not work, why, and how to empower women in MENA.
The MNAGIL will also partner with regional policymakers and global practitioners to continuously improve policy interventions to eliminate the many gender disparities in the region, especially in the context of conflict among refugees and displaced women.
The MNAGIL has established three strategic pillars, the "3 A's", to support the World Bank’s projects, government-wide programs, and partnerships to improve women’s economic opportunities in the MENA region.
MNAGIL’s initial work will focus on Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, West Bank & Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan, and Djibouti, and countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
To meet the needs of a range of external and internal audiences, the MNAGIL will produce and publish the findings of impact evaluation research into a variety of knowledge products including policy briefs, research working papers, synthesis papers, and data sets.
MNAGIL will provide technical support for the design, implementation, and analysis of rigorous impact evaluations and other knowledge-generating activities to integrate lessons into project and policy design. The aim is to share evidence of gender-effective policies and programs in other countries with project teams and policymakers. Finally, the MNAGIL builds the capacity of operational teams and local stakeholders for evaluation methods and for using results to inform policy through workshops and through collaboration on impact evaluations and other analytical work.
The MNAGIL works in partnership with units across the World Bank, aid agencies and donors, governments, non-governmental organizations, private sector firms, and academic researchers. The funding is supported through the World Bank Group's Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality (UFGE).
Call for Expressions of Interest is open. Deadline to submit: June 24, 2019.
Please see below link to the application and FAQs.