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Investing in Women Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning from Phase 1

Investing in Women Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning from Phase 1

Investing in Women (IW) showed significant progress in women’s economic empowerment through its four program components in its first phase, from 2016-2019. It supported champions in the business sector to build consensus on the value of workplace gender equality, and to galvanise concrete action at the company level. It helped raise the profile of Gender Lens Investing in South East Asia and leveraged additional resources from the private sector as capital for women’s enterprises. It worked with governments and provided support on policy reforms that promote women’s economic empowerment. It also supported innovative campaigns to help shift restrictive gender norms and encourage women’s economic empowerment in the region.

IW has invested in monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) activities for the following purposes: to build the evidence base around workplace gender equality; track progress and inform decision-making; ensure IW’s accountability to the Australian public and government; and capture lessons that would inform future aid investments. This fact sheet provides a snapshot of MEL findings across the four program components in Phase 1 of Investing in Women.



  • Investing in Women supported large employers in the business sector as founding members of Business Coalitions for workplace gender equality.
  • IW worked on increasing the flow of investment into women-owned and women-led small and medium enterprises (WSMEs) in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.
  • IW partnered with advocacy organisations in developing campaigns that would stimulate conversations around existing gender roles and promote positive alternatives to restrictive social norms.
  • In consultation with the Australian Government and partners in Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, IW identified areas where support for policy change or improved implementation could help overcome barriers to women’s
    economic participation.
  • 28 companies were recruited as founding members of the Business Coalitions
  • There is a positive view of workplace gender equality in EDGE-certified firms, though gender gaps and stereotypes still exist.
  • At the start of IW in 2016, investments that intentionally used gender lens investment (GLI) approaches were minimal despite significant development in South East Asia’s impact investing market since 2013.
  • Through innovative partnerships, IW encouraged established impact investors to move into or expand their local presence in South East Asia, invest in WSMEs and leverage significant co-financing.
  • Innovative blended finance agreements can enable impact investors to increase their investment presence in South East Asia.
  • Engaging local partners as advocates and drivers of change is necessary.



  • Investing in Women in Phase 1
  • Business Partnerships
    • Key achievements
    • Key lessons
  • Impact Investing
    • Key achievements
    • Key lessons
  • Advocacy and Communications
    • Key achievements
    • Key lessons
  • Governments and Partnerships
    • Key achievements
    • Key lessons
  • Investing in Women in Phase  2


Investing in Women’s MEL team conducted a  Social Norms, Attitudes and Practices Survey (SNAPS) during Phase 1 of the program. Check out the SNAPS report.

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Investing in Women