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Impact Evaluation of Cash-Based Transfers and Gender in Kenya: Inception report

18 July 2023 — By World Food Programme

Gender inequality in economic autonomy is pervasive, particularly in developing countries, and its potential welfare implications are concerning. The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report for 2022 ranks Kenya as 57th for the Gender Gap on Economic participation, and an opportunity index score of 0.729, suggesting that this is an area for improvement.

Economic development, gender equality in labour market opportunities, and gender equality in autonomy are all strongly linked, but causality is still unclear. The World Food Programme’s (WFP’s) Office of Evaluation (OEV), Cash-based Transfers (CBT) Division, and Gender Office, partnered with the World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) department to create the CBT and Gender Impact Evaluation Window (the Window). The Window aims to understand the impact of CBT interventions targeting women on gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as food and nutrition outcomes. The first round of impact evaluations selected for this Window aim to assess the impacts of increasing women’s participation in work outside the household, as a conditionality of CBTs, and directly receiving a wage (the CBTs) on their social and economic empowerment.

The Kenya impact evaluation aims to understand the specific impacts on women participating in food assistance for assets (FFA) programming on both income and asset loss, while also aiming to understand the longer-term implications of the response on gender equality and women’s social and economic empowerment. The main direct outcomes of the intervention are to increase women’s earnings and supporting them to alter their time use. The theory conjects that (in the medium term) these outcomes have an impact on perceptions of gender norms, attitudes, agency, consumption patterns, and well-being (physical, social, and psychological).

This inception report also builds on a pre-analysis plan (PAP) registered with the American Economic Association’s registry for randomized controlled trials. The PAP includes detailed information on primary outcomes, research design, randomization method, randomization unit, clustering, sample size (total number, number of clusters, and units per treatment arm), and regression specifications. The purpose of the PAP is to outline the set of hypotheses and analyses that will be performed on the data before it is collected.