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Project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (pro-WEAI)

The project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (pro-WEAI) is a 40-item measure that agricultural development projects can use to identify key areas of women's disempowerment, design appropriate strategies to address identified deficiencies, and monitor project outcomes related to women’s empowerment. The 12 pro-WEAI indicators are mapped to three domains: intrinsic agency, instrumental agency, and collective agency. The measure is adapted from the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) developed by Alkire et. al (2013).

Categories

Geographies Tested: Bangladesh,Burkina Faso,Mali

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults

Items:

Instrumental Agency

Autonomy in decisions

Now I am going to read you some stories about different farmers and their situations regarding different agricultural activities. For each I will then ask you how much you are like or not like each of these people. We would like to know if you are completely different from them, similar to them, or somewhere in between.

Vignette 1: The types of crops to grow or raise for consumption and sale in market

  1. [PERSON'S NAME] cannot grow other types of crops here for consumption and sale in market. Beans, sweet potato and maize are the only crops that grow here.
  2. [PERSON'S NAME] is a farmer and grows beans, sweet potato, and maize because her spouse, or another person or group in her community tells her she must grow these crops. She does what they tell her to do.
  3. [PERSON'S NAME] grows the crops for agricultural production that her family or community expect. She wants them to approve of her as a good farmer.
  4. [PERSON'S NAME] chooses the crops that she personally wants to grow for consumption and sale in market and thinks are best for herself and her family. She values growing these crops. If she changed her mind, she could act differently.

Vignette 2: Livestock raising

  1. [PERSON'S NAME] cannot raise any livestock other than what she has. These are all that do well here.
  2. [PERSON'S NAME] raises the types of livestock she does because her spouse, or another person or group in her community tell her she must use these breeds. She does what they tell her to do.
  3. [PERSON'S NAME] raises the kinds of livestock that her family or community expect. She wants them to approve of her as a good livestock raiser.
  4. [PERSON'S NAME] chooses the types of livestock that she personally wants to raise and thinks are good for herself and her family. She values raising these types. If she changed her mind, she could act differently.

Vignette 3: Taking crops or livestock (incl. eggs or milk) to the market (or not)

  1. There is no alternative to how much or how little of her crops or livestock [PERSON'S NAME] can take to the market. She is taking the only possible amount.
  2. [PERSON'S NAME] takes crops and livestock to the market because her spouse, or another person or group in her community tell her she must sell them there. She does what they tell her to do.
  3. [PERSON'S NAME] takes the crops and livestock to the market that her family or community expect. She wants them to approve of her.
  4. [PERSON'S NAME] chooses to take the crops and livestock to market that she personally wants to sell there, and thinks is best for herself and her family. She values this approach to sales. If she changed her mind, she could act differently.

Vignette 4: How to use income generated from agricultural and non-agricultural activities

  1. There is no alternative to how [PERSON'S NAME] uses her income. How she uses her income is determined by necessity.
  2. [PERSON'S NAME] uses her income how her spouse, or another person or group in her community tell her she must use it there. She does what they tell her to do.
  3. [PERSON'S NAME] uses her income in the way that her family or community expect. She wants them to approve of her.
  4. [PERSON'S NAME] chooses to use her income how she personally wants to, and thinks is best for herself and her family. She values using her income in this way. If she changed her mind, she could act differently.

Response Options:
Yes – 1
No – 2

Self-efficacy

5. I will be able to achieve most of the goals that I have set for myself.
6. When facing difficult tasks, I am certain that I will accomplish them.
7. In general, I think that I can obtain outcomes that are important to me.
8. I believe I can succeed at most any endeavor to which I set my mind.
9. I will be able to successfully overcome many challenges.
10. I am confident that I can perform effectively on many different tasks.
11. Compared to other people, I can do most tasks very well.
12. Even when things are tough, I can perform quite well.

Response Options:
Strongly disagree - 1
Disagree – 2
Neither agree nor disagree – 3
Agree – 4
Strongly agree – 5

Attitudes about intimate partner violence

In your opinion, is a husband justified in hitting or beating his wife in the following situations?

13. If she goes out without telling him?
14. If she neglects the children?
15. If she argues with him?
16. If she refuses to have sex with him?
17. If she burns the food?
18. If she argues with him?

Response Options:
Yes – 1
No – 2
Don't know – 97

Respect among household members

Now I'd like to ask you some questions about how you feel about some of other people in your household or family group and how you think they feel about you.

19. Do you [NAME] respect your [RELATION]?
20. Does your [RELATION] respect you?

Relations:

  • Husbandwife
  • Other respondent within the household
  • IF RESPONDENT IS MALE: Father (or adapt this category to capture other important relationship), IF RESPONDENT IS FEMALE: Mother-in-law
  • Most senior co-wife (the person who was in the household just before you, or, if you are the senior wife, the one who married into the household after you)

Response Options:
Most of the time – 1
Sometimes – 2
Rarely – 3
Never – 4

Instrumental Agency

Input in productive decisions

21. When decisions are made regarding [activity], who is it that normally takes the decision? Enter up to 3 household members.

Activities:

  • Staple grain farming and processing of the harvest: grains that are grown primarily for food consumption (rice, maize, wheat, millet)
  • Horticultural (gardens) or high value crop farming and processing of the harvest
  • Large livestock raising (cattle, buffaloes) and processing of milk andor meat
  • Small livestock raising (sheep, goats, pigs) and processing of milk andor meat
  • Poultry and other small animals raising (chickens, ducks, turkeys) and processing of eggs andor meat

Response Options:
Self only
[enter other household members]
Non-household member
Not applicable

22. How much input did you have in making decisions about [activity]?

Response Options:
Little to no input in decisions – 1
Input into some decisions – 2
Input into most or all decisions – 3
Not applicableno decision made

23. To what extent do you feel you can participate in decisions regarding [activity] if you wanted to? Circle one

Response Options:
Not at all – 1
Small extent – 2
Medium extent – 3
To a high extent – 4

Ownership of land and other assets

24. Do you own any [item]?

Items:

  • Large livestock (cattle, buffaloes)
  • Small livestock (sheep, goats, pigs)
  • Poultry and other small animals (chickens, ducks, turkeys)
  • Fish pond or fishing equipment
  • Non-mechanized farm equipment (hand tools, animal-drawn plough)
  • Mechanized farm equipment (tractor-plough, power tiller, treadle pump)
  • Non-farm business equipment (solar panels used for recharging, sewing machine, brewing equipment, fryers)
  • House or building
  • Large consumer durables (refrigerator, TV, sofa)
  • Small consumer durables (radio, cookware)
  • Cell phone
  • Other land not used for agricultural purposes (piecesplots, residential or commerical land)
  • Means of transportation (bicycle, motorcycle, car)

Response Options:
Yes, solely – 1
Yes, jointly – 2
Yes, solely and jointly – 3
No – 4

Access to and decisions on financial services

25. Has anyone in your household taken any loans or borrowed cashin-kind from [source] in the past 12 months?

Source:

  • Non-governmental organization (NGO)
  • Formal lender (bankfinancial institution)
  • Informal lender
  • Friends and relatives
  • Group based micro-finance or lending including VSLAsSACCOs
  • Informal creditsavings groups (eg. Merry-go-rounds, tontines, funeral societies, etc.)

Response Options:
Yes, cash – 1
Yes, in-kind - 2
Yes, cash and in-kind – 3
No – 4
Don't know - 97

26. Who made the decision to borrow from [source] most of the time? Enter up to 3 household members.

Response Options:
Self only
[enter other household members]
Non-household member
Not applicable

27. Would you or anyone in your household be able to take a loan or borrow cashin-kind from [source] if you wanted to?

Response Options:
Yes – 1
No – 2
Maybe – 3

28. An account can be used to save money, to make or receive payments, or to receive wages or financial help. Do you, either by yourself or together with someone else, currently have an account at any of the following places: a bank or other formal institution (eg. Post office)?

Response Options:
Yes – 1
No – 2
Don't know – 9

Control over use of income

29. How much input did you have in decisions about how much of the outputs of [activity] to keep for consumption at home rather than selling?
30. How much input did you have in decisions about how to use income generated from [activity]?

Activities:

  • Staple grain farming and processing of the harvest: grains that are grown primarily for food consumption (rice, maize, wheat, millet)
  • Horticultural (gardens) or high value crop farming and processing of the harvest
  • Large livestock raising (cattle, buffaloes) and processing of milk andor meat
  • Small livestock raising (sheep, goats, pigs) and processing of milk andor meat
  • Poultry and other small animals raising (chickens, ducks, turkeys) and processing of eggs andor meat
  • Fishpond culture*
  • Non-farm economic activities (running a small business, self-employment, buy-and-sell)*
  • Wage and salary employment (work that is for in cash or in-kind, including both agriculture and other wage work)*
  • Large, occasional household purchases (bicycles, land, transport vehicles)*
  • Routine household purchases (food for daily consumption or other household needs)*

*Non-agricultural activities

Response Options:
Little to no input in decisions – 1
Input into some decisions – 2
Input into most or all decisions – 3
Not applicableno decision made

Work balance

Now I'd like to ask you about how you spent your time during the past 24 hours. We'll begin from yesterday morning, and continue through to this morning…I'm interested in everything you did (i.e. resting, eating, personal care, work inside and outside the home, caring for children, cooking, shopping, socializing, etc…) even if it didn't take you much time…

31. Hours spent working

Response Options:
[hours]

32. Did you also care for children?

Response Options:
No
Yes [if yes, number of hours]

Visiting important locations

33. How often do you visit an urban center?
34. How often do you go to the markethaatbazaar?
35. How often do you go to visit family or relatives?
36. How often do you visit a friendneighbor's house?
37. How often do you go to the hospitalclinicdoctor (seek health service)?
38. How often do you go to a public village gatheringcommunity meetingtraining for NGO or programs?

Response Options:
Everyday - 1
Every week at least once – 2
Every 2 weeks at least once – 3
Every month at least once – 4
Less than once a month – 5
Never - 6

Collective agency

Group membership

39. Are you an active member of [any groups in your community]?

Groups:

  • Agriculturallivestockfisheries producer's group (including marketing groups)
  • Water users' group
  • Forest users' group
  • Credit or microfinance group (including SACCOsmerry-go-roundsVSLAs)
  • Mutual help or insurance group (including burial societies)
  • Trade or business association
  • Civic groups (improving community) or charitable group (helping others)
  • Religious group
  • Other (specify)

Response Options:
Yes – 1
No – 2

Adequacy note: A respondent is considered adequate when they are an active member of at least one community group

Membership in influential groups

40. To what extent does this [GROUP] influence life in the community beyond the group

Groups:

  • Agriculturallivestockfisheries producer's group (including marketing groups)
  • Water users' group
  • Forest users' group
  • Credit or microfinance group (including SACCOsmerry-go-roundsVSLAs)
  • Mutual help or insurance group (including burial societies)
  • Trade or business association
  • Civic groups (improving community) or charitable group (helping others)
  • Religious group
  • Other (specify)

Response Options:
Not at all - 1
Small extent – 2
Medium extent – 3
High extent – 4

Adequacy note: A respondent is considered adequate when they are an active member of at least one group that they report can influence the community to at least a medium extent

Scoring Procedures

A respondent’s empowerment score is the weighted average of adequacy scores in the 12 indicators (all weighted 1/12). If the score is 75% or higher, or if it is adequate in 9 out of 12 indicators, then it is classified as empowered. Conversely, if the score is below 75%, or if it is inadequate in 4 or more indicators, then it is classified as disempowered. These individual level scores are then aggregated to construct pro-WEAI. The Pro-WEAI score is calculated as the weighted mean of two sub-indices: the Three Domains of Empowerment Index (3DE), with a weight of 90 percent, and the GPI, with a weight of 10 percent.

Original Citation

Malapit, H., Quisumbing, A., Meinzen-Dick, R., Seymour, G., Martinez, E. M., Heckert, J., Rubin, D., Vaz, A., & Yount, K. M. (2019). Development of the project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (pro-WEAI). World Development, 122, 675-692. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.06.018

Psychometric Score

Citation Frequency

Ease of Use Score

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing

Reliability

Internal

Test-retest

Interrater

Validity

Content

Face

Criterion (gold-standard)

Construct

Ease of Use

Readability

Scoring Clarity

Length

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