4 November 2021 | Report

Investing in Women Phase 2 (2019-23) Mid-Term review

Gender Lens Investing, Gender Norms, Women's Economic Empowerment, Workplace Gender Equality


This independent mid-term review covers IW’s progress since the start of its second phase in July 2019 and provides recommendations to assist IW achieve its end of program outcomes by June 2023. The report discusses how the IW program is strategically aligned with DFAT’s gender equality goals and Australia’s COVID-19 response, significantly enhancing Australia’s influence in women’s economic empowerment in Southeast Asia. Phase 2 shows promising outcomes in WGE services and gender lens investing, though further support for BC sustainability is needed. IW has effectively adapted to COVID-19, supporting partners and reallocating resources. Strong collaborations with DFAT, investors, and international organisations enhance impact, while robust program management and effective MEL systems ensure continued success and influence.

Reviews of Pathways 1, 2 and 3 were undertaken by three different review teams, coordinated by a lead review team. Findings and recommendations have been incorporated into this consolidated review report. The review findings and recommendations are informing the development of a new women’s economic empowerment program in Southeast Asia from 2023.

The management response is available on the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.


  • Strategic Alignment and Effectiveness: IW aligns with DFAT’s strategies, showing promising outcomes in WGE services and gender lens investing, though further support for sustainability is needed.
  • Adaptation and Collaboration: IW has effectively adapted to COVID-19 and maintains strong collaborations with DFAT, investors, and international organizations, enhancing its overall impact.
  • Pathway 1 – Workplace Gender Equality: IW’s BCs in Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Vietnam have successfully built a profile, advocated for WGE in corporate sustainability reporting, and formed strategic local partnerships to advance gender equality.
  • Pathway 2 – Impact Investment for Women’s SMEs (WSMEs): IW has effectively partnered with impact investors to enhance access to finance for WSMEs, embedding gender lens investment practices and positioning Pathway 2 to achieve significant outcomes and support inclusive economic growth.
  • Pathway 3 – Influencing Gender Norms (IGN): IW’s work under P3, guided by the IGN Strategy and strong local partnerships, has made substantial progress in shifting harmful gender norms and promoting gender equality among urban millennials.

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Published by: Investing in Women

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