Empowerment in water, sanitation and hygiene index

January 2021

The Empowerment in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Index (EWI) is a survey-based index designed to measure agency, participation and empowerment in the WASH sector. The EWI can be used to assess gender outcomes of a WASH intervention and to monitor changes over time. EWI has a range of indicators at individual, household, and societal levels. The EWI uses responses collected from a male and female respondent at the same household, and represents the proportion of women and men who are empowered, as well as the level of empowerment. The tool was piloted in Burkina Faso.

Who might find this resource useful and why?

Who:  Researchers, WASH practitioners, M&E advisors and policy-makers

Why: WASH is often considered an entry point for women’s empowerment and gender equality. Water and sanitation infrastructure are assumed to empower women, particularly through reducing the time spent on access to WASH or caring for sick relatives. It is important to better understanding household- and community-level power and gender relations, such as decision-making related to household water or sanitation spending. Yet, limited tools exist to measure women’s empowerment and gender outcomes in WASH. Researchers and practitioners require a greater understanding of dimensions of empowerment that are relevant for strengthening WASH interventions, as well as tracking progress toward gender and social equality outcomes over time. This index can be used to develop more targeted strategies that address gender disparities and promote empowerment, and also monitor and evaluate their effectiveness.

Additional details

PublisherWorld Development
ThemesGender, Gender and equity, Gender transformative WASH, Monitoring, evaluation and learning

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