Helpdesk

Question
Girls' access to economic assets: Please identify a selection of evaluations that have been done to assess the impact of programmes to increase girls’ access to and use of economic assets (quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods evaluations). Highlight the evaluation questions posed, evaluation methods and key findings.

Helpdesk response
Key findings: The literature suggests that increasing girls’ access to and use of economic assets has potentially far-reaching impacts on other aspects of their lives. However, to date, there have been few rigorous evaluations of girls’ economic empowerment programmes, particularly those which provide tangible productive/financial assets. The few evaluations available suggest that evaluations most commonly use a combination of methodologies to measure the impact of interventions, and a variety of evaluation questions and indicators, including:

  • Access to and use of economic assets
  • School enrolment and progression
  • Reproductive knowledge and behaviour
  • Voice and participation
  • Changes in girls’ expectations and aspirations, as well as those of their parents
  • Changing attitudes and values

Key findings from the evaluation reports and literature reviewed suggest that:

  • There is mixed evidence about the economic viability of microcredit programmes for adolescent girls involving tangible assets such as cash/loans.
  • There are some improvements in educational outcomes, including school enrolment and achievement.
  • The impact on reproductive knowledge and risk-taking sexual health behaviours is mixed.
  • There is also some evidence that increasing access to economic assets can help girls to: gain respect from family members and a greater share in household or community resources; have more liberal gender attitudes; increase their awareness of rights; and improve their standard of living and economic independence.

Full respons: http://www.gsdrc.org/docs/open/HDQ749.pdf



Date query received by the Helpdesk: 04 October 2011

Enquirer:
DFID Evaluation Department