How do proven strategies to improve the economic conditions of ultra-poor households hold up against the increasing severity and co-incidence of economic, security, and climate shocks? Five years after receiving an economic livelihoods package, and shortly prior to the 2021 regime change, “ultra-poor” women in Afghanistan continued to have significantly higher levels of consumption, assets, market work participation, financial inclusion, children’s school enrollment, and women’s psychological well-being and empowerment, relative to the control group. Households boost resilience by diversifying productive activities and the program improves equality by reducing the gaps between ultra-poor and non-ultra- poor households across multiple dimensions. The results illustrate how an increasingly popular approach to improve the conditions of the very poor through a one-off “big push” intervention can strengthen household resilience through multiple shocks in one of the most fragile settings worldwide.
Wage Subsidy to Boost Female Labor Force Participation (Pakistan)
The evaluation tests the impact of a firm-level wage subsidy in promoting women’s entry into mid-level technical and managerial jobs in male-dominated technology sectors. The study also seeks to understand whether norms among employers can be changed by increasing exposure to women in the workplace.
Using Online Employability Skills Programs to Improve Labor Force Participation for Women (India)
The evaluation tests whether a phone-based job portal app, which provides information about job opportunities, employers, and industries, reduces informational and employment barriers for young women graduates seeking jobs in India.
Digital Labor Platforms and Training and Conditions of Work for Domestic Workers (Bangladesh)
This evaluation tests whether providing new job opportunities through a digital platform and training can advance the economic lives of domestic workers and lead to gains in income and improvements in the conditions of work, including reductions in the experiences of abuse and violence. In a partnership with Oxfam Bangladesh and an app called Hellotask, it tests in a cross-randomized design the impacts of training and training plus access to the digital platform.
Entrepreneurial Mindset Development Program (India)
The evaluation measures the impact of a novel curriculum that seeks to develop an entrepreneurial mindset among middle-school students. Outcomes of interest being studied include boys’ and girls’ soft and hard skills, test scores, and the micro foundations of behavioral changes.
Personal Initiative Training for Female Entrepreneurs (India)
The evaluation measures the effectiveness of a psychology-based personal initiative training on female entrepreneurs’ non-cognitive skills, business decisions and performance, and spillovers on intra-household dynamics.
SMS GIRL - Sending Messages about Schooling for Re-Enrolment and Learning (Pakistan)
The evaluation tests impacts of SMS and phone messages to encourage take-up of a school scholarship, re-enrollment in school, with specific messages for girls’ engagement related to COVID-19 school reopening. Implemented as part of a distance learning program under the Third Punjab Education Support Project, outcomes measured include impact learning, re-enrolment and time use. The findings aim to address evidence gaps on how to ensure learning continuity for girls in emergency settings.
Gender sensitivity in job advertisements (Pakistan)
The evaluation measures the impact of an intervention that publicizes gender-friendly features of jobs such as flexible work arrangements, support for childcare and safe transportation in one of Pakistan’s leading online job portals that posts more than 1,000 jobs a day. The research seeks to understand the extent to which reducing information asymmetry between employers and jobseekers regarding job attributes that female jobseekers particularly care about can promote women’s labor force participation in Pakistan.
The evaluation measures the impact of a one-off "big-push" package, including a transfer of livestock assets, cash consumption stipend, skills training, and coaching on poverty reduction and women’s empowerment across 80 villages in the Balkh province in Afghanistan. A second round of follow-up data collection is now underway to estimate longer-run impacts of the intervention.
This clustered randomized control trial tests a community-based pilot intervention that provides tailored hard and soft skills training, business support services, and financial access to poor and vulnerable women in Afghanistan’s rural and peri-urban areas. The evaluation will measure impacts on economic dimensions such as women’s work, earnings, and savings as well empowerment measures including physical mobility, attitudes and decision-making among female beneficiaries.
This is cluster randomized control trial evaluates effective, scalable, and sustainable strategies for improving school retention and overall well-being, including safety, voice, agency, and empowerment of adolescent girls and boys in Bangladesh. Interventions include school-based training on sexual harassment, growth mindset training, and outreach for increased awareness in schools and communities.
Despite a sharp increase in educational attainment, Indian women are underrepresented in positions of senior management. This randomized experiment isolates the role of workplace perceptions about gender and caste on job expectations and attitudes towards female managers.