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October 2023

Why Do Localized Indicators Matter for Women's Empowerment and Peace?

Introduction

The Grounded Accountability Model, or GAM, is a research approach that practitioners can use in co-developing localized indicators with the people directly affected by conflict. This analysis explores how locally-generated indicators on people’s everyday experiences of concepts like “women’s empowerment” and “peace” can contribute to a more grounded understanding of impact and greater accountability to communities.

If you work in the peacebuilding, international development, or humanitarian sectors, you have undoubtedly grappled with the challenge of aligning the impact that you measure in your programming with the lived, daily experiences of the communities you serve. With support through the Women & Girls Empowered (WAGE) consortium, this brief aims to shed light on how locally-generated indicators on people’s everyday experiences of concepts like “women’s empowerment” and “peace” can contribute to a more grounded understanding of impact and greater accountability to communities.

The Grounded Accountability Model, or GAM, is one of the research approaches that practitioners can use in co-developing localized indicators with the people directly affected by conflict. GAM is the first pillar of the Peace Impact Framework (PIF) , which provides a structure to capture and evaluate outcomes of interventions in conflict contexts on peace by accounting for the experiences of affected communities and practitioners. It empowers international and local practitioners to analyze the impact of their work and contribute evidence on what matters for peace, drawing on three pillars: lived experiences, aligned measures, and expert observations.

Search for Common Ground (Search) has committed to co-creating localized indicators of peace with people living in conflict around the world through GAM-aligned processes. As a member of the Women and Girls Empowered (WAGE) consortium, several Search country teams implemented WAGE initiatives and were among the first to hold workshops to co-create localized indicators with project participants. This brief draws from these indicators as well as data from similar workshops Search conducted in other locations in Asia, to provide analysis, key findings and trends related to gender inequality and discrimination as a contribution to the WAGE Learning Agenda. The practical insights and examples of localized indicators are valuable for program designers, implementers and evaluators working on Women, Peace & Security (WPS), Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) and Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

The following table lists the six countries where Search facilitated processes to co-create these indicators, and where WAGE initiatives have taken place for this analysis:

 
 

GAM implemented

WAGE implemented

Afghanistan

Yes

No

Indonesia

Yes

No

Kazakhstan

Yes

Yes

Kyrgyzstan

Yes

Yes

Pakistan

Yes

No

Sri Lanka

Yes

Yes

Table 1: List of countries where GAM and WAGE were implemented

In what follows, we give a brief overview of the Peace Impact Framework and discuss who shared their lived experiences with us. We then dive into the analysis of what peace, women’s empowerment, and religious and ethnic freedom mean to local communities across given contexts, and wrap up with suggestions about how practitioners can shift programming, strategy, and investments drawing from the localized indicators as they strive to pave the way for a more peaceful and equitable world.

Read the Report

    The Board of Governors of the American Bar Association (ABA) has neither reviewed nor sanctioned its content. Accordingly, the views expressed in the report should not be construed as representing the policy of the ABA. Furthermore, nothing contained in this report is to be considered rendering legal advice for specific cases, and readers are responsible for obtaining such advice from their own legal counsel. All opinions, findings, and conclusions stated herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the United States Government, WAGE, or any members of the WAGE consortium.

    Author: Aisalkyn Botoeva
    Reviewers: Rachel Walsh Taza & Emily Long

    ABOUT WAGE

    Women and Girls Empowered (WAGE) is a global consortium to advance the status of women and girls, led by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) in close partnership with the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Grameen Foundation, and Search for Common Ground (Search). WAGE works to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations and private sector organizations (PSOs) in target countries to improve the prevention of and response to gender-based violence; advance the women, peace, and security agenda; and support women’s economic empowerment. In this context, WAGE provides direct assistance to women and girls, including information, resources, and services they need to succeed as active and equal participants in the global economy and public life. WAGE also engages in collaborative research and learning to build a body of evidence of relevant promising practices in these thematic areas. To account for the deeply interconnected nature of women’s and girls’ experiences, WAGE’s initiatives employ approaches that are highly collaborative, integrated, and inclusive. WAGE is funded by the U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI).

    This document was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.