East Asia and Pacific Gender Innovation Lab

Our mission and objectives

Mission statement: We enable project teams and policymakers to better integrate an evidence-based gender perspective into programs and policies.


1)      Generate evidence on how closing gender gaps can help achieve other development outcomes and on what works to close gender gaps

2)      Promote uptake of effective gender policies and programs

Our focus areas: countries

EAPGIL’s initial work focuses on Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.


Our services

Knowledge generation

EAPGIL focuses on generating evidence on how closing gender gaps can help achieve other development outcomes and on what works to close gender gaps. EAPGIL is specialized in conducting rigorous impact evaluations of gender-informed policies and programs, providing both technical support and funding for impact evaluation design, implementation, supervision and analysis. For evaluated programs, EAPGIL may also provide innovation grants, which fund the implementation of additional, innovative solutions to be tested through rigorous evaluation. Moreover, EAPGIL may also fund qualitative deep-dive analysis for programs that will be rigorously evaluated in order to improve project design before evaluation or to better understand the evaluation’s quantitative results. Finally, EAPGIL conducts inferential research to further understand gender-related trends in the region and to answer policy-relevant questions where possible using existing data.

Technical support

In addition to providing technical support for the design, implementation and analysis of rigorous impact evaluations and other knowledge generating activities, EAPGIL provides technical support to integrate lessons into project and policy design. On the one hand, EAPGIL shares evidence of gender-effective policies and programs in other countries with project teams and policymakers. On the other hand, EAPGIL 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.

Our partners

EAPGIL is part of the Federation of Gender Innovation Labs at the World Bank Group and acknowledges the support of the World Bank Group’s Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality (UFGE).


EAPGIL produces different types of knowledge products through impact evaluations and inferential research, which can take the following forms:


Policy briefs: Short, non-technical summaries with a focus on key findings and policy implications

OCTOBER 2023: How Do Shifts in Land Tenure Affect Farmers in the Philippines? [English]

JULY 2022: Childcare and Women's Labor Market Outcomes in Lower and Middle-income Countries: A Policy Brief [English]

APRIL 2021: How to Better Measure Women's Agency Through Decision-Making Measures: Five Tips from Research in the Philippines [English]

JANUARY 2021: What Factors Exacerbate and Mitigate the Risk of Gender-Based Violence During COVID-19? : Insights From a Phone Survey in Indonesia [English

MARCH 2020: Gender-Specific Impacts of Road Improvement : What Can Be Done to Ensure that Better Roads Expand Economic Opportunities for All? [English]

OCTOBER 2019: Why do Indonesian Men and Women Choose Undocumented Migration? Exploring Gender Differences in Labor Migration Patterns [English]

JUNE 2019: Can Community-based Targeting Effectively Select Poorer Beneficiaries for a Large-scale Program? Insights from the LASED Project [English]

NOVEMBER 2018: Women Farmers in Timor-Leste: Bridging the Gender Gap in Agricultural Productivity [English | Tetum]

NOVEMBER 2018: Why do Indonesian Adolescent Boys Have Poorer Schooling Outcomes than Girls? [English | Bahasa forthcoming]

OCTOBER 2018: Are Mobile Savings the Silver Bullet to Help Women Grow Their Businesses? [English]

JULY 2018: Does Access to Preschool Increase Women’s Employment? [English | Bahasa forthcoming]

FEBRUARY 2018: Gender Gap in Earnings in Vietnam: Why Do Vietnamese Women Work in Lower Paid Occupations? [English | Vietnamese]

MARCH 2017: Could Childcare Services Improve Women’s Labor Market Outcomes in Indonesia? [English | Bahasa]


Reports: Major regional or worldwide research reports led or co-led by EAPGIL

MAY 2023: Opening Opportunities: The Economic Cost of Gender Gaps in Entrepreneurship in Indonesia [Report]

NOVEMBER 2022: Against the Challenges: Stories of Female Entrepreneurs in Cambodia and Vietnam [Photojournalism Book]

SEPTEMBER 2022: Enterprising Women: Toward Equal Business Opportunity in Southeast Asia [Report]

FEBRUARY 2022: Breaking Barriers: Female Entrepreneurs Who Cross Over to Male-Dominated Sectors [Report]


Research papers: Longer papers on a specific topic of research (including findings from impact evaluations)

AUGUST 2023: Conditional cash transfers and violence against women - Does the type of violence matter? [Journal Article]

FEBRUARY 2023: Maternal Work and Children's Development: Examining 20 Years of Evidence [Working Paper]

DECEMBER 2022: Dreams and Barriers: Aspirations, Expectations, and Schooling Outcomes of Indonesian Students [Working Paper]

SEPTEMBER 2022: Caring for Children and Firms? The Impact of Preschool Expansion on Firm Productivity [Working Paper]

AUGUST 2022: Preschool Availability and Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Indonesia [Journal Article | Working Paper]

JULY 2022: Conditional Cash Transfers and Gender-Based Violence- Does the Type of Violence Matter? [English]

DECEMBER 2021: Lost in Interpretation: Why Spouses Disagree on Who Makes Decisions [English]

DECEMBER 2021: Maternal employment and children's outcomes: Evidence from Indonesia [English]

NOVEMBER 2021: Childcare and Mothers' Labor Market Outcomes in Lower- and Middle-income Countries [English]

JUNE 2021: Public Work Programs and Gender-Based Violence: Evidence from Lao PDR [English]

MARCH 2021: Are growth mindset, mastery orientation, and grit promising for promoting achievement in the Global South? Psychometric evaluations among Indonesian adolescents [English]

MARCH 2021: Long-term Impacts of Short Exposure to Conditional Cash Transfers in Adolescence: Evidence from the Philippines [English]

NOVEMBER 2020: In Light of What They Know: How do Local Leaders Make Targeting Decisions? [English]

APRIL 2020: Who Benefits from Better Roads and Why? Mixed Methods Analysis of the Gender-Disaggregated Impacts of a Rural Roads Project in Vietnam [English]

JANUARY 2018: Gender Streaming in Vietnam [English]


Research Notes: More in-depth research documents based on our impact evaluations and inferential research

DECEMBER 2020: Can We Capture Exposure to Gender-based Violence (GBV) through Phone Surveys during a Pandemic? [English]

JULY 2019: Unequal Ventures: Results from an Endline Study of Gender and Entrepreneurship in East Java, Indonesia [English]

NOVEMBER 2018: Women Farmers in Timor-Leste: Bridging the Gender Gap in Agricultural Productivity [English | Tetum]


Last Updated: Oct 19, 2023

EAPGIL provides technical support and funding for rigorous impact evaluations of programs that aim to enhance women’s economic opportunities. Specifically, EAPGIL supports impact evaluations related to the following three themes:

1)      Removing barriers to productivity of women farmers and entrepreneurs

2)      Reducing trade-offs between women’s household and market roles

3)      Enhancing women’s skills

Programs to be evaluated are selected through a competitive call for expressions of interest. The first call for expressions of interest closed on November 28, 2016 and received 35 proposals. The following is a list of the currently ongoing impact evaluations at EAPGIL.

1. Promoting Agent Banking through Supply and Demand Incentives
This Impact Evaluation (IE) explores ways to promote financial inclusion for female entrepreneurs in Indonesia. In particular, the IE tests the impact of promoting mobile savings products to female entrepreneurs and asks whether supply-side interventions can work in isolation or whether they have a greater impact when paired with a demand-side intervention. The supply-side interventions provide incentives to branchless banking agents who work for our local partner bank. The IE team randomly allocated agents to groups receiving either high or low incentives for each new client they recruit to use the product. The demand-side intervention consisted of financial literacy training for a randomly-selected sub-set of female entrepreneurs in both the high incentive and low incentive villages. The team is also exploring whether understanding the incentives that the banking agents receive influences the way entrepreneurs perceive the mobile savings products by randomly providing information on the incentives to a subset of entrepreneurs.

Results: We find that both the supply-side and demand-side interventions have small impacts on the take-up of branchless banking and large impacts on the profits of female entrepreneurs. The impacts of the demand-side intervention, which included training and mentoring of female entrepreneurs, seem to come partly from improved business practices, greater savings, increased business assets, and increased decision-making power. The mechanisms of the supply-side intervention, which offered higher incentives to banking agents, are less clear but may come from a more female-friendly business environment. Policy makers may prefer the demand-side intervention as it has more positive implications for women’s overall empowerment. 

For more information, see the following:

2. Indonesia Youth Aspirations and Career Choices IE

There is evidence that men and women sort into different fields of study, sectors of work, and occupations. This sorting along gender lines contributes to the gender wage gap in some countries and can lead to inefficiencies if individuals choose their career paths based on social norms rather than ability.

This IE aims to understand the relationship between socio-emotional skills, aspirations and educational and career choices of middle school students in Indonesia. The sample includes 2,100 public secondary schools on the islands of Java and Sumatera. Specifically, the IE measures the impacts of a set of modules targeting the development of socio-emotional skills and aspirations in 9th grade students. The IE also tests whether the impacts of a student curriculum can be enhanced when paired with a set of activities and tools teachers can use in daily interactions with students in order to shift the classroom environment and better promote socio-emotional skill development. 

Results: We find that neither version of the intervention impacted students’ national exam scores or aspirations for higher education levels weeks after it ended, but both versions shifted some socioemotional skills and study behaviors taught in the training. Impacts were stronger for disadvantaged students and the intervention shifted some teachers’ mindsets toward a positive perception of failure for learning and progress, despite not targeting them directly. 

For more information, see the following:

3. Philippines Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) IE

The impact evaluation of the Comprehensive Agricultural Reform Program in the Philippines explores the impacts of improving land tenure security by converting collective land titles into individual land titles. It tests the impacts of land reform on agricultural investments and productivity and whether these changes come through increased perceptions of tenure security, through increased access to formal credit or through more efficient land rental and sales markets. The impact evaluation will explore gender disaggregated impacts of land reform and how changes in land tenure may shift intra-household bargaining and decision making on land. It also contributes e to the literature on decision making and its measurements by administering a spousal survey where each of the spouses will provide detailed information on her/his perceptions of how agricultural decisions are made within the household.

4. Indonesia Desmigratif IE

This IE will generate evidence on international migration and the choice between documented and undocumented channels of international migration. A large number of migrant workers in Indonesia are female and women face higher levels of risk when migrating. One important contribution of this project will be to provide evidence on the differences in migration choices and outcomes for male and female migrants.

Specifically, the IE will examine the impact of Desmigratif interventions targeted at potential migrants. For potential migrants, Desmigratif provides information services to encourage safe and documented migration, delivered through Migration Information Centers (MICs) to be established in each project village. The IE will explore the impacts of the Desmigratif program, and of two additional modes of delivering information to potential migrants – through a technological intervention and edutainment intervention– to see which is most effective in affecting the behavior of potential migrants. The technological intervention will consist of providing access to an SMS-based application which provides on-demand access to information on migration. The Edutainment intervention will consist of screening a film which highlights risks of undocumented migration and will specifically target female migrants.

For more information, see the following:

5. Laos Road Maintenance Groups IE

This IE is set in the context of an intervention being delivered by the Lao Poverty Reduction Fund (PRF) that offers road maintenance jobs to rural women. These rural roads offer a key source of connectivity to these rural communities and were either created or rehabilitated recently by PRF. However, they require continuous maintenance to ensure they remain usable. In an intervention that is new for the country, PRF is offering the jobs to carry out ‘routine’ maintenance to women living in these communities. By studying the impact of this program, this IE generates evidence on the effects of workfare programs targeting poor rural women, a group that are particularly disadvantaged since opportunities to supplement on-farm income with wage work or entrepreneurial income are limited by a lack of access to markets for labor, capital or outputs. We conduct additional research on the effectiveness of village heads in targeting potential beneficiaries of social services.

Results: We find that the RMGs significantly increased beneficiary labor force participation and earnings, as well as their household incomes. We find no impact on GBV, and evidence of increased women’s participation in household decision-making. The impacts are stronger for less poor beneficiaries (above median income at baseline). The program increases the likelihood that less poor beneficiaries invest in human capital, but we do not find impacts on any other investments.  

For more information, see the following: 

6. Laos Clean Stoves IE

The Laos Clean Cookstoves Initiative aims to provides clean burning cookstoves at a highly subsidized price to households in semi-urban Laos that currently use charcoal burning stoves. Although there is a significant amount of literature on the impacts of cookstoves, there is no consensus on the effects of these stoves in a household setting. The cookstoves being offered under this project are more efficient than the cookstoves studied in the existing literature, and importantly, do not use wood-burning fuels like the older stoves. This evaluation will therefore tell us whether these factors are enough to overcome the shortcomings of cookstoves studied so far in the literature, and more broadly, how access to modern cooking technology impacts women’s time use, labor market activities, health, bargaining power and household consumption patterns.

7. Philippines Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4P) IE

This IE will study the effects of the 4P program, a core pillar of the government’s social protection strategy in the Philippines that seeks to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty through improved health, nutrition, and education of children. The program provides cash incentives to households on the condition that they invest in the health and education of their children, as well as avail of maternal health services. Studying this intervention can provide important lessons on whether benefitting from CCTs during transition to adolescence leads to long term empowerment and better educational and labor market outcomes and whether CCTs increase agency and empowerment among mothers, who are transfer recipients. The IE will also contribute to knowledge by studying how the measurement of gender-based violence (GBV) can be improved.


EAPGIL organizes events and workshops that seek to achieve one of two objectives. First, EAPGIL provides capacity building workshops for partners and stakeholders of EAPGIL supported impact evaluations. These workshops train participants on impact evaluation techniques and methods and enable the stakeholders to actively contribute to the design and successful implementation of impact evaluations. Participants also gain a results-oriented perspective to program design and implementation. Second, EAPGIL organizes events and workshops to present recent findings on how to better integrate a gender perspective into programs and policies.


Hillary Johnson

Forest Jarvis