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Measuring Economic Empowerment: From Innovation to Action

September 24, 2018

World Bank Main Complex, 1818 H St NW, Room MC-4-800 / at 10 am


Many countries now recognize that closing gender gaps enables men and women to fully participate in the economy as workers, employers, suppliers and community partners. However, programs that target women’s economic empowerment are not always measured, and it is hard to know whether these investments are working. Research and evaluations testing different approaches to measuring economic empowerment have increased, but consensus on what works best has yet to be reached.

This event will explore the latest work on measuring economic empowerment, and how to use this new knowledge to better design and implement effective programs in diverse contexts. It will feature new work by the World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab, GroW, IFPRI, Corewoman, a keynote presentation by Naila Kabeer, and an in-depth discussion with World Bank staff of how to move the economic empowerment agenda to the next level.

To register or for more information, please contact Shirley Bekoe (sbekoe@worldbank.org)

The external event page includes information on speakers and the agenda.

Join live on September 24, 2018 at 10 am - Webex Link

  • 10:00 - Registration and networking (coffee will be served).

    10:30 - Welcome and opening remarks by Shanta Devarajan, Senior Director, Development Economics, World Bank Group.

    10:45 - Panel 1 discussion “Innovations in Measurement” Susana Martinez-Restrepo (Corewoman), Sonia Laszlo (Institute for the Study of International Development, McGill University), Agnes Quisumbing (International Food Policy Research Institute), Markus Goldstein (Africa Gender Innovation Lab); Chair: Caren Grown, Senior Director, Gender Group, World Bank.

    11:30 - Q&A

    12:00 - Lunch break and keynote address by Professor Naila Kabeer (London School of Economics).

    1:15 - Panel 2 discussion “From Measurement to Project Design”. Speakers: Holger Kray (Agriculture Global Practice, World Bank), Mary Hallward-Driemeier (Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice, World Bank).

    2:00 - Q&A

    2:20 - Closing

  • Shanta Devarajan

    Senior Director - Development Economics, World Bank Group

    Shantayanan Devarajan is the World Bank’s Senior Director for Development Economics and Acting Chief Economist. Since joining the World Bank in 1991, he has been a Principal Economist and Research Manager for Public Economics in the Development Research Group, and the Chief Economist of the Human Development Network, and of the South Asia, Africa, and Middle East and North Africa Regions. Before 1991, he was on the faculty of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Born in Sri Lanka, Shanta received his B.A. in mathematics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

    Naila Kabeer

    Professor - Gender and International Development Studies London School of Economics

    Dr. Naila Kabeer is joint Professor of Gender and International Development at the Departments of International Development and of Gender Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. She has had extensive experience in research, teaching and policy advice in the fields of poverty, gender, labor markets and livelihoods, social protection and collective action. Her most recent publications include Gender, livelihood capabilities and women’s economic empowerment: reviewing evidence over the life course GAGE Working Paper, Overseas Development Institute (2018); Organizing women in the informal economy: beyond the weapons of the weak (Zed Press), Intersecting inequalities and the Sustainable Development Goals: insights from Brazil (LSE International Inequalities Institute/WIDER) and Women workers and the politics of claims-making in a globalizing economy (UnRISD)

    Markus Goldstein

    Lead Economist - Africa Gender Innovation Lab, WBG

    Markus Goldstein, Lead Economist (AFRCE), leads the Africa Region Gender Innovation Lab (AFRGI). His current research centers on issues of gender and economic activity, focusing on agriculture and small-scale enterprises. Markus has taught at the London School of Economics, the University of Ghana, Legon, and Georgetown University. He holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.

    Caren Grown

    Senior Director - Gender Group, WBG

    Caren Grown, Senior Director for Gender at the World Bank Group, is recognized internationally as an expert on gender and development. Before joining the Bank Group in 2014, she was Economist-in-Residence and Co-Director of the Program on Gender Analysis in Economics at American University. From 2013-2014, she led the UNU-WIDER program on aid effectiveness and gender equality, and from 2011-2013 she served as Senior Gender Adviser and Acting Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at USAID. Among her previous positions, Dr. Grown has been Senior Scholar and Co-Director of the Gender Equality and Economy Program at the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College, Director of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Governance team at the International Center for Research on Women, and Senior Program Officer at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

    M. Hallward-Driemeier

    Senior Economic Adviser, WBG

    Mary Hallward-Driemeier is the Senior Economic Adviser in the Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Global Practice at the World Bank, overseeing its analytical agenda. A Canadian national, she joined the World Bank in 1997 as a Young Professional. She has published widely on entrepreneurship, firm productivity and firm dynamics, the impact of financial crises, and women's economic empowerment. She has served as an advisor to the Chief Economist of the World Bank, a co-manager of the Jobs Group, the Deputy Director for the World Development Report 2005: A Better Investment Climate for Everyone and is a founding member of the Microeconomics of Growth Network. Her latest books are Empowering Women: Legal Rights and Economic Opportunities in Africa and Trouble in the Making? The Future of Manufacturing-Led Development. Mary received her M.Sc. in Development Economics from Oxford University where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and her Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T.

    Holger Kray

    Lead Agriculture Economist, WBG

    Dr. Holger A. Kray is the Head of the World Bank’s Africa Agricultural Policy Unit, a unit that carries out and oversees economic and other policy work related to agriculture for development in the region. He also co-chairs the Bank’s Thematic Group on Gender in Agriculture and Rural Development, a voluntary association of professionals passionate about the cause. Holger is an agricultural economist with expertise in agricultural policy and rural strategy reform, inclusive and sustainable agri-food development and public-sector management. He has working experience in Africa, Europe, Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and has worked extensively on agri-food transformation and rural development policy matters. Before joining the World Bank, he worked as Senior Financial Sector Consultant for an international management consulting firm, mainly in the areas of change management and institutional reforms, and led a consulting firm working with international organizations such as the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), European Commission (EC) and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC). He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Kiel University, Germany.

    Sonia Laszlo

    Director - Institute for the Study of International Developement

    Prof. Sonia Laszlo is Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Institute for the Study of International Development. Her research expertise covers many aspects of applied microeconomic analysis in economic development. Specifically, she is currently working in two broad research areas: decision-making under uncertainty (namely concerning technology adoption among subsistence farmers) and the micro-economic effects of social policies and conditions (in the area of education, health and labour markets), with a focus on women. Prof. Laszlo has conducted her research in Peru, Kenya and in the Caribbean, using laboratory experiments, surveys or randomized controlled trials. She is also a member of the Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche en Organizations (CIRANO) and the Grupo de Analysis para el Desarrollo (GRADE). In 2005 she co‐founded and has since been an executive member of the Canadian Development Economics Study Group (CDESG), which groups both academic and policy development economists in Canada.

    Agnes Quisumbing

    Senior Research - Fellow International Food Policy Research Institute

    Agnes Quisumbing is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC, and leads the cross-cutting research theme on gender. She received her Ph.D. and M.A in economics from the University of the Philippines, Quezon City, was a Fulbright-Hays Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Visiting Fellow at the Economic Growth Center, Yale University, and an economist the World Bank. She has published widely on gender, intrahousehold allocation, proper rights, poverty and economic mobility, and has done field work in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Indonesia and the Philippines. She is undertaking impact evaluations of nutrition-sensitive agricultural development programs in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on their impacts on women’s empowerment and gender asset inequality. She is co-developer of the women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) and is co-editor of Gender in agriculture and food security: Closing the knowledge gap.

    Susana M. Restrepo

    Co-founder and Executive Director at Corewoman

    Susana Martinez-Restrepo is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of CoreWoman. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics of Education from Columbia University in the city of New York and brings more than ten years of applied research, teaching and program development experience to the table. Her expertise deals with education and labor market policies, gender equality and women’s empowerment. She has extensive experience working and consulting for governments, foundations, and international organizations. Her latest publication, Measuring Women's Economic Empowerment" Critical Evidence from South America, proposes a critical view to the way researchers use traditional and subjective measures of WEE in the region and proposes solutions to approach existing measurement challenges.