Gender equality is essential for equitable and sustainable development. We invite you to explore Banyan Global's gender projects.
Working for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Banyan Global both assessed existing strategies and recommended new strategies to address limitations to women’s entrepreneurship in the Middle East. While women represent a substantial share of micro-entrepreneurs, few are able to develop their businesses into small and medium enterprises. To understand the market constraints and to help IFC design appropriate interventions, Banyan Global developed a research manual and tools for market research on SMEs and gender in the Middle East. Banyan Global piloted the tools in Egypt and prepared a report on women’s entrepreneurship and recommendations for IFC engagement in Egypt. Our tools are being used to conduct similar market research throughout the Middle East region by the IFC.
Through USAID’s Strengthening Evaluation and Assessment of Poverty and Conflict/Fragility Interventions, Banyan Global contributed to best practice in monitoring and assessment of enterprise development programming in relation to gender, poverty, and conflict mitigation. Banyan Global designed a monitoring and evaluation framework aimed at assessing the impact of enterprise development and employment generation programs on household and community level conflict and poverty. We have also designed a baseline and final assessment tool to assess the impact of entrepreneurship support and employment generation interventions on poverty and conflict, focusing on the employees of supported enterprises, and particularly examining the impact of support to women-owned enterprises.
This work included Banyan Global co-facilitating a three day USAID Speakers Corner (January 2011) on the topic of designing and implementing evaluations of poverty and conflict/fragility interventions. Discussants included 102 individuals from 55 countries. Key discussion points were raised each day, including tool design, indicator development and interviewing techniques. Participants shared design strategies to encourage more effective partnerships between academics and practitioners, and on reconciling research agendas with resource constraints and implementation objectives. The second day’s discussion on indicators focused on the challenges of identifying and operationalizing indicators in conflict and fragile environments, and how to develop indicators that directly test a theory of change and causal model. The final day’s discussion, facilitated by Banyan’s Adina Saperstein, focused on designing and adapting evaluation tools in conflict and fragile environments. The three days of discussion was highly participatory and offered many practical solutions, examples, and lessons learned are summarized and posted on the USAID microlinks website www.microlinks.org
E-ATP facilitates increased intraregional trade of key staple commodities to address regional food security, increase incomes, and create jobs. The project addresses systemic constraints in the millet and sorghum, rice, and poultry value chains to tap into growing end-market opportunities. Banyan Global is a subcontractor to Abt Associates, providing gender mainstreaming and access to finance support.
Gender Mainstreaming: Banyan Global is responsible for the gender-mainstreaming component of E-ATP. We support the integration of gender-equity considerations into the project’s broader food security goals through value chain analysis and value chain development interventions, advancing policy reform initiatives, facilitating market information and financial services, and building the capacity of institutional partners. Banyan Global conducted gender-mainstreaming training for the entire management, technical, and administrative teams. Additionally, Banyan Global is providing technical assistance to women’s trade associations and is supporting the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to respond to gender imbalances in regional cross-border trade and establish a new gender center. As a result of our work, gender advances are being made within all targeted value chains, including increased access to finance and expanded trade.
Access to Finance: Banyan Global is leading E-ATP’s work to facilitate increased access to finance for female traders, farmers, cooperatives, and associations. This work entails capacity building of institutional partners to become more business oriented and integrate more modern financial management practices. Banyan Global’s work includes supporting private sector financial institutions (such as banks, microfinance institutions (MFIs), and credit unions) to support the design of products and services that better meet the needs of female entrepreneurs. Banyan Global is also providing a negotiation skills training focused on expanding opportunities for female value chain actors.
Banyan Global conducted a global inventory of ‘international best practice’ access to finance initiatives for the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The project’s objective was to identify financial products, services and initiatives targeted to increase access to finance for women business owners across the micro, small, medium and corporate spectrum. Focusing on emerging markets, Banyan Global examined innovative approaches to targeting women entrepreneurs and prepared case studies on programs that were successful in reaching scale, sustainability and impact. We made recommendations on how programs can effectively reach female entrepreneurs, and successful models were shared with both the public and private sector to enhance provision of finance to women’s enterprises. An important practical application of the research has been in the development of training materials for lending officers of commercial banks and other financial institutions on reaching women entrepreneurs.
As a subcontractor to DAI, Banyan Global provides technical and capacity-building assistance to the IDEA-NEW’s Gender and Microenterprise (GME) Unit, which supports and strengthens women’s economic activities in Afghanistan. Banyan Global is focused on integrating the GME Unit’s activities into IDEA-NEW’s broader value chain and private-sector development initiatives by assessing the roles of women in high potential rural value chains and directing project support towards engaging women in key functions. Support has been focused on a commercialization and business planning strategy for a women-operated fruit and vegetable packing facility which will serve a critical role in the competiveness of the horticulture sector. Banyan Global also is providing ongoing capacity-building support to the GME team to incorporate women’s income-generating activities into a sustainable economic growth strategy.
Banyan Global is a subcontractor to AECOM on the $65 million, four year USAID-funded program to increase food security, intra-regional trade, and competitiveness throughout Southern African. Banyan Global leads the work on gender integration and incorporates this cross-cutting concern into the project’s two main technical areas: Trade Integration and Facilitation and Value Chain Development. We have a long-term gender expert on the SATH team responsible for the gender mainstreaming of all activities, gender mainstreaming training for staff, gender monitoring and evaluation, and gender impact assessments. Key technical thrusts of the project include: improved trade and competitiveness of staple food crops, an alignment of regional and international standards, financial services to support trade and investment, and energy planning. With the help of our gender integration work, SATH offers a more effective opportunity to increase regional food security through substantial increases in intra-regional trade and lowering non-tariff barriers.
Banyan Global is a subcontractor to AECOM to support core technical and crosscutting activities, including gender on the USAID-funded ACED project. Banyan Global ensures gender integration in all program activities by conducting a gender assessment during the project start-up to provide ACED with a gender analysis of its programs. We have outlined the main areas where gender and/or other issues exist, and formulated detailed recommendations on integrating gender into the project work plan. Our skilled team has conducted an introductory gender and development training for the entire ACED staff. We have prepared a gender statement and policy to be used by the project and key partners. Banyan Gobal has also developed an implementation plan for using the gender statement with government agencies and counterparts.
The RTLC project fosters economic growth for men and women and improves the competitiveness of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan by upgrading the conditions for international and cross-border trade and transit. The project helps host governments and the private sector to pursue and capitalize on the advantages of greater regional and global economic integration. Activities include targeted support for World Trade Organization accession and post-accession compliance; the reduction of trade barriers relating to transport, transit, border crossing, and customs clearance; and support for regional cooperation for data collection and sharing, including to increase the access of small and medium enterprises to market information within and beyond the region.
As a subcontractor to AECOM, Banyan Global supports gender mainstreaming on the project to enable men and women equal access to project activities, including policy and decision-making, trading operations, access to business opportunities, upgrading of skills, and information-sharing. This has included examining systemic constraints to female traders and entrepreneurs and working with local organizations to adopt more gender-friendly programs and policies. Banyan Global designed the research tools including focus groups and survey instruments, developed a research methodology, and trained non-profit organizations in all of the countries on the research.
Banking on Health expanded access to financing for the private health sector. Banyan Global designed and implemented a four-pronged approach to expand access to financing, which included:
Banyan Global’s work directly impacted women, youth, and HIV/AIDS-affected communities. Banking on Health targeted private health care businesses that offered family planning, reproductive health, maternal and child health, and HIV/AIDS services. By strengthening these private health care businesses, our work helped improve the access of vulnerable groups to essential health services. Many of the private health care businesses that we worked with, such as midwives practices, were owned by women, and women and children were often the majority of the clientele.
By working with a network of female doctors in Jordan, Banyan Global reduced gender barriers women face in accessing family planning services, domestic violence referrals, and breast cancer screening. In Ethiopia, we strengthened an important public-private partnership to improve the accessibility of HIV/AIDS services by building the capacity of private hospitals and clinics to offer antiretrovirals in a sustainable manner. Banyan Global also partnered with Equity Bank to develop a nursing-student loan product targeted at youth in southwestern Uganda. This product has the potential to address financial barriers to education and workforce development, a major issue constraining the health sector in sub-Saharan Africa.