A Practical Guide to Measuring Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in Impact Evaluations

Policymakers and practitioners around the world are increasingly interested in supporting women’s and girls’ empowerment, and many researchers are grappling with how best to measure empowerment in impact evaluations.

J-PAL’s research resource, A Practical Guide to Measuring Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in Impact Evaluations, gathers insights from the experiences of J-PAL affiliated researchers around the world and offers practical tips for how to measure women's and girls’ empowerment in impact evaluations.

It is designed to support the work of monitoring and evaluation practitioners, researchers, and students. Throughout the guide, we emphasize the importance of conducting in-depth formative research to understand gender dynamics in the specific context before starting an evaluation, developing locally tailored indicators to complement internationally standardized ones, and reducing the potential for reporting bias in our instruments and data collection plan.


The guide also has two appendices. Appendix 1 provides a catalogue of examples of survey questions and modules related to women's and girls’ empowerment that have been used by J-PAL affiliated researchers in previous impact evaluations. The Appendix is broken up into seven different categories:

  1. Economic indicators
  2. Social indicators
  3. Intimate partner and family indicators
  4. Political and civic indicators
  5. Psychological indicators
  6. Education indicators
  7. Health indicators

Appendix 2 includes examples of non-survey instruments that can be used to measure women’s empowerment, the pros and cons of each approach, and tips on how and when to use them.