Into, Through and Beyond USAID Programs: Lessons from the Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index
The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) is the first-ever direct measure of women’s empowerment and inclusion in the agriculture sector. Since its launch in 2012, WEAI has grown into a suite of quantitative and qualitative research tools and has been used by over 246 organizations across 58 countries worldwide to track progress toward women’s empowerment and gender equality.
Through a series of evidence briefs, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) aims to analyze and synthesize what has been learned from existing WEAI studies and data to date. This webinar, co-organized by USAID, the CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform, and IFPRI-Bangladesh, will mark the launch of the first two briefs, one on the use cases of WEAI in USAID projects worldwide and the other on how WEAI has informed and supported the design of policies and programs in Bangladesh.
In our first presentation, we will delve into a comprehensive analysis of the use cases of the WEAI in USAID projects conducted by DevelopMetrics in partnership with IFPRI and USAID. We will highlight how the use of cutting-edge machine learning methodology facilitated the analysis of a vast collection of over 250,000 documents from the Development Clearing House (DEC), enabling the research team to explore the entire universe of documented WEAI use cases in USAID programs and activities. We will discuss key lessons and recommendations uncovered from these use cases as well as key trends and insights for more effective implementation of the WEAI.
Our second presentation will discuss how WEAI has supported the development of policies and programs to promote women's empowerment in Bangladesh. We will highlight how the WEAI was incorporated into the most comprehensive household survey in Bangladesh, allowing us to identify empirical associations between women's empowerment and previously siloed areas like agriculture and nutrition. To evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to enhance nutrition- and gender-sensitive agriculture, IFPRI designed and rigorously evaluated a pilot project that was implemented by the Bangladesh Government. We will briefly discuss the results and implications of this initiative.
CEO and Founder
Lindsey Moore, CEO and Founder of DevelopMetrics, is a seasoned economist and data scientist with over 15 years of experience in designing, managing, and evaluating international development projects. Recognized as the most promising female-owned tech startup of 2022 by Tiger Global Ventures and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, DevelopMetrics harnesses the power of data science to improve development outcomes. Ms. Moore has a diverse background, having served as a Foreign Service Officer at USAID in various capacities, including Country Economist in Bangladesh, Regional Caribbean Economist based in the Dominican Republic, and Senior Economist of the Asia Bureau. Additionally, she is a Research Fellow at the research arm of the United Nations in Maastricht, Netherlands, where she conducts cutting-edge research on data science applications to development. With her extensive experience and expertise, Ms. Moore brings valuable insights to governments, companies, and NGOs looking to break down technology barriers and drive progress in the field of international development.
Senior Research Coordinator
Hazel Malapit is a senior research coordinator at the International Food Policy Research Institute, based in Washington DC. She coordinates research, training, and technical assistance on implementing the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index, and conducts research on gender, women’s empowerment, agriculture, health and nutrition issues. She works with agricultural development projects and developing country partners to develop and apply women’s empowerment metrics in impact assessments, and leads strategic research projects in priority topics. She is Co-Lead of the Methods Module for the CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform, which aims to co-create, consolidate, and share cutting-edge methods and tools for high-quality, impactful gender research. She holds a PhD in Economics from the American University in Washington D.C., and an MA in Economics from the University of the Philippines, Diliman.
Senior Research Fellow
Akhter Ahmed is a Senior Research Fellow in the Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division at IFPRI. He works on strategies for agricultural and rural development, social protection, and women’s empowerment to reduce poverty, food insecurity, and undernutrition of the poor in developing countries. Ahmed was posted in Bangladesh from 1990 to 1994, where he worked on targeted interventions and participated in designing the innovative food for education program. Since 2010, Ahmed has been posted in Bangladesh where he led the Policy Research and Strategy Support Program (PRSSP) for Food Security and Agricultural Development in Bangladesh. He is currently serving as the Country Representative for IFPRI-Bangladesh and the Chief of Party of the Feed the Future Bangladesh Research Activity. He received a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Colorado State University, and an M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University
Mehrab Bakhtiar is a Bangladeshi development economist working as a Research Fellow at IFPRI. He uses experimental and non-experimental methods to study the impact of interventions related to social protection, nutrition and agriculture with a special focus on women’s empowerment and intra-household decision-making. He has carried out research in Bangladesh, Nigeria and Ethiopia. As Acting Country Representative of IFPRI-Bangladesh and Deputy Chief of Party (of the Feed the Future Bangladesh Research Activity), he has helped lead IFPRI’s policy engagements, research outreach and the implementation of national and sub-national surveys in Bangladesh since 2019. He received his PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from University of Maryland – College Park, where his doctoral research was recognized by the Dr. and Mrs. Bill V. Lessley Dissertation Excellence Award.
Senior Gender Advisor
Farzana Ramzan, Ph.D., is a social scientist currently serving on the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Team in the Bureau for Food Security at USAID. Dr. Ramzan managed survey design and implementation, and data analytics activities for Feed the Future countries in East Africa and South Asia. She also manages the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index portfolio, and leads the gender metrics and strategic analytics portfolio on her team. Dr. Ramzan recently completed a Certificate in Data Science at Georgetown University, and employed machine learning methods for her capstone project. Since then, she has worked to integrate data science approaches into MEL activities, and manages a new award that applies remote sensing and machine learning methods to monitor Feed the Future activities. Dr. Ramzan received a fellowship from the Brooks World Poverty Institute to pursue her doctorate at the University of Manchester, employing mixed methods to examine food insecurity, agriculture and gender in rural Tanzania. She was also a research associate at the Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania), and a visiting research student at the University of Wisconsin (Madison).