. 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.
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.
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
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 knowle:
The World Bank’s new Middle East and North Africa Gender Innovation Lab (MNAGIL) is intended to bridge this divide.
. 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 on topics that relate to the goal of increasing female labor force participation, with a special focus on the barriers to increased participation, including weak aggregate demand, low demand for STEM-college-educated female, geographic gaps in participation nationally and across the region, health, education and training, and fragility and conflict.
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.
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.
Evidence-based approach: MNAGIL work focuses on generating evidence on what works and how to close gender gaps in the region to help achieve better development outcomes. MNAGIL conducts rigorous impact evaluations of gender-informed policies and programs, providing both technical support and funding for impact evaluation design, implementation, supervision, and analysis. For approved projects, MNAGIL may also provide innovation grants, which fund the implementation of additional, innovative solutions to be tested through rigorous evaluation. MNAGIL also funds qualitative deep-dive analysis for programs/projects that will be rigorously evaluated in order to improve project design before evaluation or to better understand the evaluation’s quantitative results. Finally, MNAGIL 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, MNAGIL provides technical support to integrate lessons into project and policy design. On the one hand, MNAGIL shares evidence of gender-effective policies and programs in other countries with project teams and policymakers. MNAGIL also 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).
Last Updated: Sep 12, 2019
The MNAGIL organizes open calls for expressions of interest (EOI) for technical and financial support of rigorous impact evaluations. Interested teams must submit a completed EOI form and follow the submission instructions on the form before the deadline. The MNAGIL Steering Committee decides which proposals to support based on eligibility criteria, funding availability, and the alignment of the proposal with MNAGIL’s key focus areas. Those teams whose funding is approved collaborate with the MNAGIL team on the development of the impact evaluation (IE) concept note, establishment of the evaluation team, and other IE implementation activities.
The MNAGIL announced its first call for EOIs in May 2019 (see our first call here) and future calls for EOIs will be announced here. While funding opportunities for ongoing activities are limited, please contact us if you would like to learn about opportunities to receive technical support or to explore funding possibilities.
For more information on MNAGIL, please contact Lili Mottaghi at firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: Sep 12, 2019