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Published by: "Independent Reviewers (December 2018)"

Country / Region: Indonesia , Philippines , Vietnam , Regional/global

Catalytic Capital for Women’s Economic Empowerment: Report of the External Review of Component 2 of the Investing in Women Initiative

06 February 2019

This report summarises the findings of the external review of Component 2 (C2) on impact investing of the Investing in Women Initiative (IW) funded by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The C2 review team has found that Component 2 of Investing in Women has been highly catalytic in its use of capital in Phase 1—with the ultimate aim of boosting women’s economic empowerment. It has deployed its funding in strategic and creative ways that leverage the investments of C2’s partners and other stakeholders to directly empower women entrepreneurs while progressively building the business case and ecosystem for closing financing gap for women-owned businesses in its three programming countries.

This report has also set out recommendations to inform the design and the activities of Phase 2 of the component. In general, the review team recommends that the design of Phase 2 should be based on the following priorities: 1) mobilise catalytic capital, especially Asian capital, for direct market interventions as well as the ecosystem-building needed for sustainable GLI; 2) build the business case using component successes to date to show early indications of commercial viability and learning; 3) lead by example in human resource policies and GLI reporting, to demonstrate the IW journey for partners, investees and supporters; 4) maintain the focussed GLI definition of investing in WSMEs while supporting the adaptations of IIPs and diverse perspectives in the broader ecosystem; 5) achieve thought leadership through the production and dissemination of new knowledge products (e.g. case studies, tip sheets), particularly documenting and reinforcing the business case; and 6) continue to create an enabling environment by leveraging strengths and experiences of all partners and advisors.

The accomplishments of Component 2 to date—which include include, testing and refining a grant-based model to incentivise GLI by investment partners, facilitating an internal strengthening of GLI capacity by impact investing partners, animating an ecosystem-building process in the region and globally, and achieving early significant leverage on private-sector capital in Phase 1 by C2 and its partners—show that IW and DFAT have played leadership roles in increasing capital flows to WSMEs and promoting gender lens investing. Therefore, the outlook for continued success by C2 in demonstrating the business case for investing in WSMEs, and advancing women’s economic empowerment, in Southeast Asia is very positive.

Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Abbreviations and Acronyms
  • Introduction
  • Progress toward Intermediate and End of Program Outcomes
  • Efficiency and effectiveness of program management
  • Sustainability of the Program
  • Directions for Phase 2
  • General recommendations
  • Detailed recommendations
  • Conclusion
  • Annex A: Documents reviewed
  • Annex B: Persons consulted
  • Annex C: Theory of Change table
  • Annex D: Additional background information
  • Annex E: Stakeholder workshop

Related Resources

Investing in Women Phase 2 Investment Design Document Update

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The Global Gender Gap Index Report 2018

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Five years of Workplace Gender Equality Agency data

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How the gender pay gap varies across south-east Asia

Indonesia is the only country where satisfaction over career progression is higher among women than men, according to the December 2017 survey of 5,000 urban respondents in ASEAN economies found that.

Vietnam had the largest proportion of respondents who said that women have fewer opportunities than men.

Women, Work and Care (Indonesia)

This report summarises the current situation of women in Indonesia and discusses how family responsibilities are holding women back in the workplace.

The Landscape for Impact Investing in Southeast Asia

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The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in Asia Pacific

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Gender Gap in Earnings in Vietnam: Why Do Vietnamese Women Work in Lower Paid Occupations?

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The analysis finds that, despite the fact that Vietnamese girls aspire to higher-paid occupations than boys in childhood, women forego higher pay to work in occupations and industries that offer better non-monetary benefits (paid leave, lower weekly hours, health insurance, and social insurance) — a choice that may be driven by an unequal distribution of house- and care- work.

Still looking for room at the top: Ten years of research on women in the workplace

This overview of McKinsey’s research in the last 10 years on women in the workplace presents a strong business case for gender equality.

Work and Economic Participation in the Philippines

Information technology was the most common field of study for all female university students in 2017.
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