Dear WEESA Community Members,

Training programs can include anything from financial literacy classes, and technical or vocational education. Skills training programs offer a promising supply-side tool for closing the gender gap in labor force participation. But how successful are these programs in improving women’s economic empowerment and how can we boost their effectiveness? This month, the WEESA Community of Practice curated a list of resources to help answer these questions. 

Happy reading!
Amna Javed
Featured Resources
Money or Management? A Field Experiment on Constraints to Entrepreneurship in Rural Pakistan
This paper reports on a field experiment where respondents in Pakistan are provided business training and participate in a loan lottery. The program increases business-related knowledge for respondents, though business and household outcomes only improve for men. 
Read more
Gender Mainstreaming in Skills Development: Guidance Paper and Tools
This guide highlights good practices in skills development at the policy, sector, and implementation levels. Using India as a case study, the report underlines some of the challenges faced in gender mainstreaming in skills development and explores ways to address them. Read more 
Adapting Skills Training to Address Constraints to Women’s Participation
This note identifies solutions to address supply-side constraints for women to enroll, participate in, and graduate from skills and training programs. 
Read more 
Small Business Training to Improve Management Practices in Developing Countries: Reassessing the Evidence for “Training Doesn’t Work” 
This paper assesses the evidence on small business trainings designed to improve business practices in developing countries. The article highlights priority areas for research going forward, including running experiments over a longer-term five-to-ten-year period. Read more 
Spotlight
A Systematic Review on Women's Economic Empowerment: What Do We Know About Interventions to Increase Women’s Economic Participation and Empowerment in South Asia? Skills And Training Interventions
This brief presents early findings from a meta-analysis of interventions with effects on measures of women’s economic empowerment. The review offers insights and impact findings from skill-building interventions targeted for women in South Asia and highlights a significant lack of rigorously evaluated interventions and policies targeting women’s skill-building in the region. However, the selected programs all successfully improved economic empowerment and participation outcomes, especially interventions targeting prevailing socio-cultural norms. Findings suggest that programs that tailored design and implementation to address women specific barriers had higher impacts. Read  more
Blog
Five Ways to Make Skills Training Work for Women
The blog lists five ways to help skills training programs improve women’s participation in the workforce, including relieving financial constraints, providing childcare, and encouraging women to enter traditionally male-dominated occupations. Read more
WEESA Corner
Can Skills and Training Interventions Improve Labor Market Outcomes for Women in South Asia?
This “What Works” snippet summarizes the results of causal literature studying the impact of skills and training programs on income and labor market outcomes for women in South Asia. The summary finds that all programs improved some measures of labor market outcomes for women. Read more
Can Skills and Training Interventions Improve Empowerment Outcomes for Women in South Asia?
This “What Works” snippet summarizes the results of causal literature studying the impact of skills and training programs on women in South Asia. The summary focuses on empowerment outcomes and does not find evidence for improvements in decision making, perseverance, self-sufficiency, or civic engagement. Read more
Skills & Training Best Practices: Pratham and BRAC
Organizations throughout the South Asia region have pioneered innovative skills training programs addressing women’s participation in labor markets.  This blog shares the work of two notable projects led by organizations in the region: BRAC and Pratham. Read more
WEESA Infographic on Skills Training
Skills training programs for women in the South Asia region generally focus on vocational skills training, such as tailoring, stitching, and hairdressing. However, skills training plus programs, which are a combination of interventions, are becoming more common. Read more
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