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Pro-Poor Measurement Tool

Page history last edited by Alexandra Pittman 9 years, 8 months ago


“Tracking and promoting gender equity — a pro-poor measurement tool.” Oxfam Great Britain (OGB).


Oxfam Great Britain (OGB) feels that most of the current tools to measure gender equity in development have one or a number of weaknesses. These include a lack of moral rationale, where one dimension of gender inequity is preferenced to the exclusion of others and without justification; a false sense of universality, focusing on broad based categorizations, such as poverty that anyone can experience, while not accounting for specific deprivations related to women, such as related to pregnancy, household burden, sexual violence, etc…; bias toward the privileged, through a focus on the privileged in indicator development, such as women in parliament; and a lack of integration, resulting in lists of indicators, instead of integrated or interconnected gender analysis. 


Measures with the above characteristics do not allow for effective resource allocation decisions.  In order to contribute to stronger foundation for development and for decisions to be made, Oxfam GB believes a more transparent and integrated measurement tool that tracks general impact within a population and according to males and females is needed. The development of a pro-poor, gender conscious measurement tool will account for the interaction of theory and practice.  In-depth theoretical work will be conducted to ensure that the measure draws on the finest social justice work accounting for important statistical methods of reliability and validity. A variety of perspectives will be drawn upon including fieldworkers, who will highlight the factors that matter most to poor women as well as feedback from a sample of aid agencies to better understand how underlying decisions are made regarding fund allocation decisions. The goal of the tool is to develop a “rigorous tool for analyzing the interdependencies among these various development dimensions and their — direct and indirect — impact on what is of ultimate importance: sustainable development with gender equity.” The tool will have the following characteristics: 

  • have grounding in the best and cutting-edge work on social justice,
  • be sensitive to the special burdens women face,
  • have greater weight for serious deprivations among the poorest, and
  • allow for deeper comparisons across countries and regions, across periods (for trend analysis), and across alternative resource uses (for selecting, prioritizing, and adjusting development projects and strategies).




  • The development of the tool through a multi-stakeholder consulting process, including field staff, existing research, and international donors, enhances the likelihood that this will be a relevant and useful tool in a variety of development domains. 
  • The tool may foster greater transparency in aid allocation decisions.


Weaknesses (or not designed for):


  • The tool could be strengthened by more explicit inclusion of the grassroots in defining important factors to add.
  • Broader analyses of contextual factors and power differentials are not apparent.
  • It is not immediately apparent that qualitative indicators will be included in the tool, limiting the ability to understand how change happens according to individual’s different positionings.


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