International Women's Day 2018

Improving job opportunities for rural women through better results measurement

The ILO and IFAD supported Taqeem Initiative pilots innovative M&E strategies for women and youth in the MENA region.

Press release | 08 March 2018
Queen Rania visits the opening of the nursery at Hashimet University.
Source: Ministry of Labour, Jordan
Jordan’s Labour Ministry is working to increase the number of childcare facilities, especially those located in rural areas, so that young mothers can take up work, bringing more income to the household, while providing a healthy learning environment for the children.

As Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Specialist in the Ministry, Rana Al-Ansari tracks the progress of these day-care centres. “My role has been to work directly with the companies and female employees to understand the diverse set of needs and opportunities that the day-care centres presents,” she says.

Al-Ansari says the training she received from the ILO on results measurement strategies and gender mainstreaming – assessing impacts to ensure gender equality is a priority – gave her “expertise in diagnosing problems and using data to inform our decisions going forward.”

The Ministry of Labour in Jordan is one of 14 organizations involved in the ILO and IFAD “Taqeem Community of Practice,” whose members collaborate with the ILO on results measurement, gender mainstreaming and impact research on rural gender and youth interventions in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA).

The approach of Taqeem, (meaning “evaluation” in Arabic), has been to pilot innovative M&E strategies in rural women interventions, while using impact evaluation strategies such as randomized control trials, to ensure the evidence base for promoting rural women and youth employment is broadened.

To mark International Women’s Day, Taqeem – a collaboration between the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the ILO – released six short reports which tell the stories of Community of Practice members in their efforts to become experts in results’ measurement.

In addition to Jordan’s Ministry of Labour, other Community of Practice members include Alexandria Business Association (Egypt), the International Trade Centre (Morocco), Berytech (Lebanon), RISE (Egypt) and the Business Development Centre (Jordan).

“The Taqeem Initiative, and its progress on fostering evidence on how to promote decent jobs for rural youth and women, is a positive development for a region that struggles providing jobs for those most in need,” says Peter Van Rooij, Director of the ILO’s Cairo Office. “Partners need to join forces and combine resources to promote evidence uptake in policy processes, including governments, employers and workers organizations and development partners.”

"Unemployment rates in most Near Eastern and North African countries are the highest globally" says Abdelkarim Sma, Regional Economist for the IFAD's Division that works in the NENA Region. "Unemployed women in rural areas are particularly disadvantaged because of cultural attitudes, gendered laws and weak support services. The impact briefs developed under the IFAD-ILO partnership show that quality M&E can lead to better use of resources and improved organizational performance."

Organizations in the Arab States and North Africa region interested in getting involved in the Community of Practice can visit the knowledge management site, or contact to receive more information.