UN Women’s “Knowledge Gateway on Women’s Economic Empowerment” (known as Empower Women since 2015) is a platform designed to be a comprehensive and interactive one-stop shop for learning, sharing best practices, and networking on the topic of women’s economic empowerment. Launched in September 2013 in collaboration with the Government of Canada, it filled an important gap in the online offer regarding the topic. The project targeted at sharing knowledge and building connections amongst three main beneficiary groups:
1. Ultimate beneficiaries: women entrepreneurs, workers, and farmers.
2. Intermediaries who can help reach these ultimate beneficiaries, both through raising awareness of EW and through implementing the knowledge that they have acquired via the platform on how to target people from this group.
3. The wider support system, in order to create an enabling environment through gender-responsive laws and policies, which would ultimately benefit people from the first group.
Since its launch, the platform’s features have been continuously expanding based upon the interests of each target group, as well as being complemented by different offline initiatives. By September 2016, almost 15,000 women and men from the private sector, civil society, academia, governments, and international organisations across 198 countries had registered to the platform and the website had been visited almost 800,000 times.
In 2016, GlobalCAD joined the project as an external evaluator. The objectives of the evaluation were to provide an overall narrative of the project’s achievements beyond the initial programme document, and assess the results achieved against the stated project objectives, outcomes, and outputs. In addition, the evaluation highlighted conclusions and key lessons learned and provided recommendations for the second phase of EW. GlobalCAD’s evaluation report has been ranked amongst the top-tier evaluations by the UN Women team.
This evaluation report is a useful resource for practitioners, policy-makers and civil society leaders working on the topic of women empowerment and gender inclusion as it analyses the project’s efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability in terms of online engagement and community outreach.