Request for Proposals 2021

Women's Economic Empowerment (WEE) Social Norms Measures

Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Social Norms Measures


WEE Social Norms RFP: Overview and Instructions – Spring 2021

EMERGE is calling for proposals for the development, implementation, and psychometric testing of novel social norms measures. Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. IST on Friday, April 2, 2021.

EMERGE [Evidence-based Measures of Empowerment for Research on Gender Equality] is a project focused on gender equality and empowerment measures across multi-country settings to monitor and evaluate programs and to track progress on UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5: To Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Girls. To shift the field forward, improved science of gender equality/empowerment measurement is needed. In particular, our review of measures indicates a paucity of survey and other social science measures of social norms affecting women’s economic empowerment. This Request for Proposals invites submissions from investigators who focus on social norms and women’s economic empowerment measurement to develop and pilot test social norms measures related to women’s economic empowerment. We want to especially encourage investigators from low and middle income countries (LMICs) and organizations/universities, as well as investigators who are members of the Social Norms Learning Collaborative (SNLC). [Sign up here to join the SNLC.] Preference will be given to these individuals. For field-based proposals, we welcome measurement testing in the context of evaluation/implementation projects as well as primary field-testing of new measures as an independent study. Secondary data analysis can also come from implementation, evaluation, or large-scale survey data, provided there is innovation in social norms measures related to women’s economic empowerment. If a researcher is uncertain about whether a research project is eligible, please email
Researchers are invited to submit proposals for development, implementation, and psychometric testing of novel social norms measures related to women’s economic empowerment in the following key areas: income generation and labor force participation, enterprise and entrepreneurship, economic autonomy in households, financial inclusion, and unpaid care. Grants may be 1-2 years in length for an amount not exceeding $20,000 and must result in a publishable manuscript or publicly available online report. Manuscripts must be submitted for publication to an open access, peer-reviewed journal, per Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation guidelines. All manuscripts/reports will be required to include details regarding measure validation efforts inclusive of all relevant psychometric and formative research. Published measures developed through this RFP and demonstrating sound validity and reliability will also be scored and featured on the EMERGE website ( All data from these grants, either collected through new field based or implementation studies or used in secondary data analysis will be required to be publicly available within 12 months of deliverable submission. We will prioritize those proposals that focus on measurement of novel GE/E data for which there are gaps in the gold standard or accepted measure or gaps in measures able to operate at scale for purposes of SDG5 monitoring. Funding focus is not on the variable construction of existing measures. Please refer to the EMERGE Roadmap for Measuring Agency and Social Norms in Women’s Economic Empowerment to confirm that your measure of focus includes key aspects of social norms including:
  • Injunctive Norms
  • Descriptive Norms
  • Strength and Sensitivity of Norms
  • Sanctions
    • For more details on the EMERGE project, please see our resources and publications here. These reports provide a shared understanding of GE/E terms and definitions as well as recommended methods to develop and test quantitative GE/E measures.i

• RFP Release Date: Jan 15, 2021
• Proposal Due Date: April 2, 2021 (COB 5 pm IST)
• Award Notification Date: June 2021

Geographic Focus: Researchers from low and middle income countries are encouraged to apply.

Funds: The maximum amount award for measurement grants is $20,000.

Important Information: If your proposal is accepted for award, you may be asked to provide:
– IRB approvals from your host institution accepting review for the project, unless the project has been deemed exempt. We also ask that you provide any local IRB approvals

Related Initiatives: J-PAL’s Gender and Economic Agency Initiative (GEA) funds randomized evaluations of strategies to enhance women’s economic agency. GEA is now calling for proposals from J-PAL affiliates, J-PAL postdocs, and GEA invited researchers for full research projects, pilot studies, travel/proposal development grants, and measurement grants. Proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, March 26, 2021.

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