Development of a project-level WEAI begins at the GAAP2 inception workshop


by Mysbah Balagamwala | February 17, 2016

The second phase of the Gender, Agriculture and Assets Program (GAAP2) is hosted within A4NH. GAAP2 aims to develop measurements for women’s empowerment in agricultural development programs and a large number of projects chosen to be part of GAAP2 seek to improve nutritional outcomes either through direct interventions or indirectly via increases in income through commodity value chains. This validated indicator for tracking women’s empowerment will contribute to better design and evaluation of nutrition-sensitive agriculture projects. An inception workshop for GAAP2 was recently held in Nairobi. A4NH gender researchers were among the participants of the workshop. This blog, originally posted on the GAAP website is the first in a series of blogs about the workshop.

Workshop participants at the ICRAF campus, Photo credit: AWARD

On January 27-29 2016, the IFPRI-led Gender, Agriculture and Assets Project  held an inception workshop to kick-off its second phase (GAAP2). The workshop was organized in collaboration with AWARD at the beautiful World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) campus in Nairobi, Kenya. About 60 people participated in the workshop, including the GAAP2 core team and partners, the GAAP2 External Advisory Committee (EAC) and most importantly representatives from projects that have been short-listed to be part of GAAP2.

Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), with the participation of the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM), GAAP2 aims to develop project-level indicators for measuring women’s empowerment and to identify the most effective strategies that agricultural development projects can use to empower women. The workshop was the first opportunity for members of the GAAP2 community to convene and get to know each other while achieving the following objectives:

  • Develop a shared understanding of the overall initiative, its objectives, and modalities
  • Learn about measures of women’s empowerment, particularly the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) and their uses in development programming.
  • Develop components of a project-level WEAI (pro-WEAI) that can be used for  assessing the impact of different types of agricultural development projects on women’s empowerment
  • Lay the foundation for a GAAP2 Community of Practice (CoP) and develop outreach strategies for engaging with projects that are not directly included in the GAAP2 portfolio
  • Review the GAAP2 timeline and discuss how individual pro-WEAI pilots fit into that timeline and how these can be used to identify strategies that work to empower women

Getting to know the WEAI

The GAAP2 core team presented the WEAI and its modifications (the Abbreviated WEAI or A-WEAI). The presentations focused on the rationale behind the creation of the index, its strengths and weaknesses and how it has been applied so far. The next stage of the WEAI will be the development of the pro-WEAI which will be implemented by the GAAP2 projects and the integration of the pro-WEAI into the projects’ impact assessment plans.

Poster session at the workshop. Photo credit: Stephan Dohrn

GAAP2 projects

Project teams presented their interventions and proposed impact assessment strategies in a poster session - the GAAP2 portfolio has a diverse mix of projects ranging from livestock interventions to home gardens to financial inclusion programs and nutrition-sensitive agriculture extension programs. This was followed by a trivia contest about the information presented with exciting prizes (chocolates and coffee) for those with the highest points.

Group work to develop the pro-WEAI

The second day of the workshop was dedicated to developing the pro-WEAI. The group was divided first according to project themes (livestock, crops, income, nutrition) and then dimensions of women’s empowerment (access and use to information, individual empowerment, intrahousehold dynamics, physical mobility, empowerment with respect to nutrition). The purpose of the group work was to (a) propose additions or modifications to the existing A-WEAI module and (b) brainstorm over potential add-on modules to the A-WEAI. The group sessions resulted in some great ideas which will be used by the GAAP2 core team to develop survey modules for the pro-WEAI.

Community of Practice

An important feature of GAAP2 is the CoP which will allow members of GAAP2 to communicate and collaborate with each other throughout the duration of the project. In addition to the GAAP2 CoP, a larger community will be created for those interested in following the project and using the pro-WEAI in their work.


There were many opportunities for participants to get to know each over the course of the workshop. Project teams not only met each other and learnt about their respective projects, but also got introduced to the members of the GAAP2 team who will support the projects with their research.


Resources from the workshop:

Workshop agenda [PDF, 705KB]

Workshop summary report [PDF, 1.31MB]

Recorded sessions

Presentation slides

A-WEAI questionnaire and manual


Additional resources:


This post is part of a blog, the Gender-Nutrition Idea Exchange, maintained by the CRP on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health. To add your comments below, please register with Disqus or log-in using your Facebook, Twitter, or Google accounts. You must be signed-in or registered in order to leave a comment.