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Towards Gender Equality: A critical assessment of evidence on social safety nets in Africa

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Towards Gender Equality: A critical assessment of evidence on social safety nets in Africa

  1. 1. Amber Peterman, Neha Kumar, Audrey Pereira & Dan Gilligan World Bank Social Protection & Jobs Seminar, January 16, 2020 TOWARDS GENDER EQUALITY: A critical assessment of evidence on social safety nets in Africa
  2. 2. SOCIAL SAFETY NETS & GENDER: THE LINKAGES • Poverty, vulnerability and well-being have inherent gender dimensions, thus gender considerations have historically motivated & driven certain design features of SSNs: • These have mostly been instrumental (motivated by functional & operational features) • More recently, intrinsic value of improving women’s wellbeing & gender equality has gained traction: • Goal 5 of SDGs call for social protection as a target as avenue for reducing unpaid care (2016) • First gender SPIAC-B working group (formed 2018) • 63rd Commission on the Status of Women with priority theme of social protection systems (2019)
  3. 3. “Comprehensive social protection systems need to be gender-responsive to a) ensure they do not further exacerbate gender inequality and that they b) promote gender equality.” ~Africa Ministerial Pre-Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 2019
  4. 4. EXPANSION OF SSNs IN SSA Now a core strategy for addressing poverty and vulnerability Source: Beegle K, Coudouel, A & E Monsalve (Eds) (2018). Realizing the Full Potential of Social Safety Nets in Africa. World Bank. • Average country has 15 SSNs • 10% of the population covered
  5. 5. WHAT DO WE KNOW SO FAR? • Numerous ‘promising’ case studies, highlighting success of SSNs in advancing women’s status • Yet, many reviews note gaps in understanding of important domains & diversity of impacts – reviews generally hypothesize design & context (e.g. gender norms) are critical considerations • Persistent calls to integrate gender in program design & evaluation efforts, but few examples where this is taken onboard at scale (World Bank, 2014) • We argue that poverty, program design & gender norms vary by region  regional specific learning & synthesis is needed
  6. 6. WHAT DO WE MEAN BY ACCOUNTING FOR “GENDER”? A SIMPLE TYPOLOGY Does not recognize gender issues by ignoring gender roles & gender gaps (in various dimensions) in their design, which reinforces gender inequalities. Recognizes gender issues in design but takes no measures to address these gender inequalities. Recognizes gender inequalities, also takes measures to address them. GENDER BLIND [DISCRIMATORY] GENDER NEUTRAL GENDER TRANSFORMATIVE [SENSITIVE] • Are gender considerations instrumental (e.g. functional & operational?) or intrinsic (e.g. goal of reducing inequalities?)
  7. 7. Key Questions 01. Are SSNs increasing women’s wellbeing along key domains in Africa? 02. If so (if not), do we know what design features matter? 03. What evidence commitments are needed to get us to be able to meet aspirational goals?
  8. 8. REVIEW METHODOLOGY • Strategy: Review of reviews, key websites, backward & forward citations, google scholar searches, emails to experts • Inclusion criteria: Published & grey, Africa, 2000 - 2019 (July), experimental & quasi-experimental • SSNs: Economic transfers (cash, in-kind, vouchers, conditional, unconditional etc.), public works (cash for work), school feeding Outcomes (women aged 18+ years): 1. Food security 2. Economic outcomes 3. Empowerment 4. Psychological wellbeing 5. Gender-based violence
  9. 9. 0 1 2 3 4 Kenya Malawi Uganda Lesotho Nigeria South Africa Zambia DRC Egypt Ethiopia Ghana Mali Niger Rwanda Senegal Sierre Leone Tanzania UCT CCT PW Voucher COUNTRIES & PROGRAM TYPES INCLUDED (N=28) • 82% were UCT / primarily UCT • 43% of programs across types had a plus component • Research frontier moving quickly! 86% of studies were published / released in WP format from 2016 onwards.
  10. 10. OVERALL SUMMARY : From a total of 38 studies, 28 programs, 17 countries, ~500 indicators Domain Studies (countries) Number of indicators % with positive impacts % with mixed impacts % with negative impacts % with null impacts Food security 6 (6) 58 33% 0% 17% 50% Economic 16 (11) 201 50% 13% 13% 25% Empowerment 17 (11) 162 35% 6% 12% 47% Psychological wellbeing 9 (6) 45 56% 0% 11% 33% Gender-based violence 5 (5) 28 80% 0% 0% 20%
  11. 11. 1. FOOD SECURITY, DIETARY DIVERSITY & NUTRITION • 6 studies (6 countries) • 58 indicators 43% 4%0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Dietary diversity Nutritional biomarkers Food security Increase Decrease Not significant Impacts on Indicator Groups • Overall: 2 out of 6 (33%) studies shows promising impacts • ‘Adverse’ impacts on BMI from a sample of pregnant women at baseline (Nigeria Child Dev Grant) • The limited number of studies clearly indicates most research still report impacts only at the household level
  12. 12. 2. ECONOMIC OUTCOMES • 16 studies (11 countries) • 201 indicators Impacts on Indicator Groups • Overall: 8 out of 16 (50%) studies show promising impacts • ‘Adverse’ impacts among elderly women (60+) in labor constrained models & for hard manual labor (‘ganyu’) • Studies mostly measure labor force participation (73% of indicators measured), rather than broader outcomes 100% 55% 40% 33% 21% 100% 100%0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 Increase Decrease Not significant LFP: Labor Force Participation
  13. 13. 3. EMPOWERMENT • 17 studies (11 countries) • 162 indicators Impacts on Indicator Groups • Overall: 6 out of 17 (35%) studies show promising impacts • Negative impacts in DM found in Malawi, Senegal (cash + ag extension) & Egypt (Govt CCT) • Among domains with ‘sufficient’ evidence, empowerment has the weakest impacts, however dominated by decision-making indicators (95% of evidence) 24% 13% 25%0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 Increase Decrease Not significant
  14. 14. 4. PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLBEING • 9 studies (6 countries) • 45 indicators Impacts on Indicator Groups • Overall: 5 out of 9 (56%) studies show promising impacts • While not an often stated objective or outcome for SSNs, strong impacts indicate potential • Channels identified, particularly for young women, include better physical health, increased schooling, family support, higher consumption, among others. 70% 47% 43% 38% 100%0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Increase Decrease Not significant
  15. 15. 5. GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE • 5 studies (5 countries) • 28 indicators Impacts on Indicator Groups • Overall: 4 out of 5 (80%) of studies show promising impacts • Only one study measured outcomes beyond Intimate partner violence (IPV) – studies in the region looking at GBV more broadly focused on children / younger adolescents • Family structure appears to matter (Mali & Ghana studies looking at differential polygamous vs. non-poly) 63% 50% 40% 20% 17% 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Decreases Increases Not significant
  16. 16. GAP 1: EVALUATIONS ABLE TO UNPACK CONTRIBUTIONS OF DESIGN FEATURES Of 38 studies, only 8 able to unpack design features (* = number of studies) • Gender of recipient?  Inconclusive, few studies & mixed findings (**) • Conditionalities & behavioral features?  Inconclusive, suggests potential for both increasing & decreasing effectiveness (*) • Payment size & features?  Promising, more $$, lump sums, mobile transfers, giving participants choice in modality (****) • Operational  Unknown, potential to mitigate against adverse effects & allow women to participate (no evidence) • Plus & integration  Untapped potential, almost no evaluations able to measure synergistic effects but many in progress (**)
  17. 17. GAP 2: BETTER INDICATORS & GENDER ANALYSIS • Little understanding of coverage of SP by sex • Many indicators still collected at the household level: For example, poverty & agricultural productivity had no individual indicators for women; only 6 studies had these for food security & nutrition  yet a large literature exists on impacts at the household (young child) level • Majority of evaluations do not conduct gender analysis [they analyze women’s outcomes]: Across domains (with a few exceptions), LFP were the only indicators which were analyzed for men & women (no “gap” analysis) • Direct measures of empowerment lacking: Agency, self-efficacy, confidence, autonomy, control rarely measured.
  18. 18. GAP 3: COST EFFECTIVENESS & VALUE FOR MONEY • Financing critical to ensure sustainability, expansion of programs • Cost-effectiveness estimates can help understand how to make trade offs between program design & implementation features  including components recommended for gender sensitive designs • Value for money can help sustain & garner political commitment/support for programs • Few studies include costing components, only one specific to gender design components that we are aware of (Bastian et al. 2019, Nigeria)
  19. 19. GAP 4: INCORPORATE A GENDER LENS TO “FORWARD LOOKING” & INNOVATIVE THEMES • Use of social protection in fragile settings: Particularly cash transfers increasingly used in refugee hosting, post-disaster settings  how can we speak to both humanitarian & development “divide” in providing solutions & evidence? • Technology: Mobile money, financial inclusion, high volume data  what are the gender effects & opportunities? • Macro-level processes: Migration, urbanization, environmental & planetary health
  20. 20. OVERALL TAKE AWAY THOUGHTS • Despite high-level commitments made by global stakeholders in advancing gender equality via social protection—there remain significant evidence gaps in understanding what this means in practice • Suggestion is not to do more impact evaluations (necessarily), but to increase the quality of these evaluations (analysis) • In many ways, a research agenda to leverage social protection for gender equality is similar to one which simply aims to make systems/ programs work better overall (poverty, inequality & vulnerability cannot be eradicated while leaving women/girls behind) PRIORITY INVESTMENTS: 1. Program design 2. Measurement & analysis 3. Cost-effectiveness 4. Forward looking themes
  21. 21. Emails: n.kumar@cigar.org amberpeterman@gmail.com THANK YOU!
  22. 22. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS • We thank the Agnes Quisumbing, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Jemimah Njuki and Emily Myers and two anonymous reviewers for helpful feedback on an earlier outline of this chapter draft. This work was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Funding support for this study was provided by the CGIAR Research Program PIM. • Evidence gaps presented here were identified as part of a Think Piece written by the same authors titled “Towards gender equality in social protection: evidence gaps and priority research questions”, prepared for UNICEF Office of Research, Innocenti • Slide 1: © FAO/IvanGrifi/19431674444_a702f46a21 • Slide 7: © FAO/IvanGrifi/16738169070_73fa47bc11_o • Slide 21: © FAO/IvanGrifi/20054330395_0779fb2c94
  23. 23. WORKS CITED • Africa Ministerial Pre-Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). 2019. “Key Messages and Strategies for CSW63: Strategies for a Unified Position at CSW63 in New York - Strategies for Gender Responsive Social Protection.” • Bastian, Gautam, Markus Goldstein, and Sreelakshmi Papineni. 2019. “Are Cash Transfers Better Chunky or Smooth? Unconditional Cash Transfers in Northwest Nigeria.” World Bank Africa Gender Innovation Lab. Washington, DC: World Bank. • Beegle, Kathleen, Aline Coudouel, and Emma Monsalve. 2018. “Realizing the Full Potential of Social Safety Nets in Africa.” Africa Development Forum Series. Washington, DC: World Bank. • World Bank. 2014. “Social Safety Nets and Gender Learning From Impact Evaluations and World Bank Projects.” Washington, DC: World Bank.

Hinweis der Redaktion

  • Examples for intrinsic value of women in the last years all at the international level. . .

    SPIAC-B = Social Protection Inter-Agency Coordinating Board (group of multilaterals working in SP – co-chaired by ILO and WB, who drives international agenda on SP): https://www.ilo.org/global/docs/WCMS_301456/lang--en/index.htm
  • But also in Africa
  • By 2017, every country on the continent had at least one SSN, while the average country had 15, ranging from two (Republic of Congo and Gabon) to 56 (Burkina Faso) (Beegle et al. 2018). Further, national Governments have committed to institutionalizing SSNs, with 32 countries establishing national social protection strategies or policies by 2017 (Beegle et al. 2018). According to the World Bank, the average country on the continent spends 1.6 percent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on SSNs (representing 4.6% of total Government spending), and covers 10 percent of the population, with cash transfers accounting for nearly 41 percent (and growing) share of the spending (Beegle et al. 2018
  • Bullet 1: Promising case studies: Zomba trial (at least short-term effects), Give Directly.

    Bullet 2: Numerous reviews suggest we need to look across more domains (e.g. mostly education, reproductive & maternal health, decisionmaking covered, but other domains are important for women’s wellbeing). Also, not all studies find promising impacts, thus more understanding is needed of the range of impacts and what may be driving them in different settings. Most reviews hypothesize that design and context matters, but do not directly tackle these questions.

    Bullet 4: SP in Africa is distinct to other regions, particularly LAC where historically most of the evidence has come from. More UCTs, less instrumental targeting, more fragility, higher levels of poverty, numerous programs focused on addressing HIV (labor constrained HHs) etc. Gender norms can be more conservative, diverse HH structures, many reasons why we might want to understand impacts and evidence in the region, rather than more generally.
  • To help think about how gender is accounted for in programs, various organizations have adopted typologies to help classify or think about gender-integration. There is not one accepted typology, some frameworks separate blind from discriminatory – some also separate sensitive from transformative, but these distinctions are not well understood and classification is challenging (depends on context, depends on implementation and impacts, not just design, e.g. good intentions). It helps to think about the instrumental vs. intrinsic motivation in unpacking some of these differences. For example, a program like Tanzania’s PSSN could be considered neutral by some as women are targeted at least somewhat for the instrumental factors as mothers and primary caregivers (related to infant and child-related conditionalities) – while a program like Ethiopia’s PSNP could be considered further along the “sensitivity” scale, as their operational considerations are meant to reduce gender gaps.

    However, classification is often tricky as there could be diverse impacts across different domains, and in many cases, rigorous evaluation is not done, so we are basing classifications on design and implementation “intentions” and not actual outcomes.
  • Focus on 1 and 3 because we have little actual evidence on 2.
  • Mention here that the results are slightly different from the ATOR chapter, as we included additional studies (from May – July 2019.
  • Country & program types are counted by unique program included, regardless of how many studies were included. No school feeding programs found.

    Counts are not exact, as some programs included multiple types (e.g. UCT vs CCT) – so for example, Ethiopia is coded as PW, because PW make up the majority of beneficiaries – Tanzania PSSN is coded as CCT, because the UCT is a smaller % of the total monthly benefit and the PW is seasonal etc. So, not exact, but the flavor is conveyed!
  • In general indicator groups ordered most – least promising L to R (with a few exceptions when there are very few indicators measured for that particular group)

    Adverse impact from Nigeria: No detailed explanation is given by authors of this finding; however, additional analyses may be available as the technical report is expanded into formalized academic papers. Obviously pregnant women at baseline would be expected to loose weight and have lower BMI at endline, but one might expect that the comparison to a randomized control group would net out any unusual weight-loss effects. Indeed, authors show that both samples with pregnant women and without pregnant women at baseline are balanced across key BMI indicators. Authors exclude women who are pregnant at endline from this analysis.
  • Among the pure CfW/PWP evaluations (where they were not an add-on or additional plus component) – economic outcomes were the only domain measured.

    Although CfW and PWP increased labor force participation in two cases (Liberia and Tanzania), a third study found no impacts (Ethiopia) pointing towards the need for broader evidence on these programming typologies.

  • Often populations are those will low levels of mental health, high levels of stress – so a lot of room for impact and an important segment of the population to reach.

    One negative impact in Tanzania for CESD among youth (Govt CCT) – however only among females (not males)
  • Design features:

    Ambler (2016) – SA CSG = DM impacts only among women
    FAO & UNICEF (2018) Lesotho – adding plus = more impacts;
    Baird et al. 2019 (& 2013) Malawi = conditionalities appear to help for some outcomes and not others, including after program ends;
    McIntosh & Zeitlin (2018) Rwanda = higher impacts with larger amounts and when recipients were given choice over lump-sum vs monthly flow,
    Bastian et al. (2019) Nigeria = Similar impacts on work, increasing both farm work and non-farm businesses, but quarterly payments ~half as costly to implement, meaning more CE,
    Ambler et al. (2019) Senegal & Malawi = combining UCT with ag extension generally led to higher impacts on DM in Malawi, but not Senegal
    Haushofer & Shapiro (2016) (& 2019) = Female recipient matters for IPV (SV, not PV), some measures of mental health, but not for locus of control – larger transfers or lump-sum vs flow do not matter for mental health, locus of control

    *5 studies that we know of in progress that will be able to measure synergistic effects of cash plus in Africa

    Particular untapped potential are plus components that address explicit reproductive + productive outcomes for women at the same time. Many ways this could be done, but literature suggests reproductive care work often limits the meaningful changes women could make in other realms of their lives.

    -- One study with a gender-sensitive design and objectives of increasing women’s employment, provided vouchers for subsidized childcare to mothers of young children and found substantial effects on both employment (17% increase) and income (24% increase) of women living in low-income areas of Nairobi (Clark et al. 2019).

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