In 2016, DFID Bangladesh requested support from Business Environment Reform Facility BERF to understand how issues affecting women and girls can be addressed more effectively in its business environment reform work. This report contains a review of the evidence on the most effective ways of conducting gender-sensitive business environment reform and the results that can be achieved by effective programmes. This report recommends the following:
Results should be disaggregated by gender for all programmes.
Ideally, a country-specific diagnostic should be conducted before programme activities are specified.
Diagnostics should include simple primary research to fill data gaps and to test whether official procedures are implemented as written.
Where primary research is not feasible, a lighter touch diagnostic analysis should be undertaken using the many existing sources of information.
There is insufficient evidence on which reforms have the greatest impact for women. There is strong evidence that greater legal rights for women are associated with a wide range of positive social and economic outcomes. Many of these rights are important to women as workers, entrepreneurs, and investors and would fall within the scope of business environment reform. There is also good evidence that interventions in childcare and women’s associations can improve outcomes for women.
This research was part of the Business Environment for Economic Development programme
Hetherington, D, (2016) Gender and Business Environment Reform: What is ‘Best Practice’? Business Environment Reform Facility