We at William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan (WDI), along with our data collection partners – Dalberg Research and 60Decibels – will share our experience collecting social impact data for five case studies to develop the evidence base for gender lens investing.
WDI is conducting this research for the Gender Smart Enterprise Assistance Research Coalition (G-SEARCh), which comprises six like-minded impact investors committed to promoting gender equity as a core business principle across their portfolios. AlphaMundi Foundation is the lead administrator of this initiative, and members include Acumen, AHL Venture Partners, Root Capital, SEAF and Shell Foundation.
In the session, we will share key celebrations and challenges of collecting data from men and women customers and employees of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), working across sector and geographies, namely, Latin America, East Africa and South Asia. Our goal is to understand stakeholder outcomes from gender-inclusive technical assistance activities implemented by the SMEs, such as mentoring, counselling, use of adapted financial and non-financial products, gender-smart aftercare service etc. Such data is critical to measuring impact and just as critical for adapting operations to VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) realities on the ground to build back better, especially given the pandemic. What makes our data collection trickier than usual is our laser-sharp focus on social outcome data rather than simply output data; and secondly, to counter COVID-19 challenges, our administration of qualitative and quantitative questions over a telephone. We will also share how we co-created indicators with our partners, tested surveys, and trained enumerators on gender-sensitization techniques to share power equitably among our key stakeholders and robustly capture the voice of often marginalized communities. What’s even more exciting is that in this session, WDI will also share how we are using the WhatsApp platform to supplement our data collection through affordable, automated surveys that feel like an interactive conversation with our respondents. Consider this your foremost outcome measurement capacity building session at SOCAP 2021!