Now available: The project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index Distance Learning Module


by Ara Go and Emily Myers | March 9, 2021

Empowered women make their own life choices. About family, finances, farming—and much more. Many development projects say they want to contribute to women’s empowerment. But as we observe International Women's Day (March 8), important questions remain: How do we know that what we’re doing works? How can we ensure our good intentions translate into good results?

These questions guided the development of the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), launched in 2012. The WEAI not only measures women’s empowerment, but how it compares to that of the men in the same household. The project-level WEAI (pro-WEAI) was later developed to better monitor how individual agricultural development projects were doing at helping women reach higher levels of empowerment, as well as other important factors such as intimate partner violence.

WEAI has now been used in 56 countries by 108 organizations. Given this rapid uptake and the overwhelming demand for technical support, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and A4NH, has developed the pro-WEAI Foundations Module, the first in the pro-WEAI Distance Learning Course. The module’s aim is to train researchers and practitioners on the pro-WEAI tool, from its background to its practical application within the project context. If that sounds like it might be useful to you and/or your project, consider taking this module. It provides conceptual frameworks, tools and resources, and approaches to integrating the index tools into your project, based on real-world experiences from the team that developed it.

The pro-WEAI Foundations Module is comprised of three units, which take about three hours to complete in total. There is also a final exam, which takes approximately 45 minutes. The four principal learning objectives of the course are:

  • Gaining an understanding of how empowerment is defined in the suite of WEAI tools, as well as the Reach, Benefit, Empower Framework that inspired the index’s development.
  • Becoming familiar with key elements of the pro-WEAI tool and its methodology.
  • Understanding how the qualitative protocols may be used in concert with the quantitative tool.
  • Learning how to interpret the results of a pro-WEAI project.

The module is free and takes place entirely online. It is currently available in English only; a French version is scheduled to be released later in 2021. Digital certification will be provided upon successful completion. More modules will be added to the course as they become available in coming years.

This post first appeared on the IFPRI website. Click here to access the pro-WEAI Foundations Module.

Click here to see a short trailer for the pro-WEAI Foundations Module.  For more information, contact:

Ara Go is a Program Manager with IFPRI's Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division (PHND); Emily Myers is a PHND Research Analyst.

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