On February 1, 2024, the International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) held a dissemination event focused on the research findings from 2-year-long research activities. The research, funded by a grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under the Nutritious Food Systems portfolio, focused on the impact of various types of infrastructure on nutrition, women’s empowerment, and gender equality. Within the research project, Infrastructure’s Impact on Nutritious Diet, Women’s Empowerment, and Gender Equality (IINDWEGE), five sub-award grants were given to local Sub-Saharan African researchers to explore and uncover evidence around the research focus. The countries represented in the study were: Ethiopia, Ghana, and Nigeria.
In the two years of the research activities, the researchers ventured into rural communities within their respective countries, collecting survey responses and photographs of current infrastructure. They compiled the responses, analyzed the data, and read other existing relevant research studies. Several discoveries emerged, confirming the association between the provision of roads, electricity, communications technology, market and/or storage, and other related infrastructure on outcomes such as improved nutrition, women’s economic empowerment, enhanced gender-inclusive initiatives, and positive community growth.
The dissemination event provided a platform for the researchers to present their findings, highlighting the necessity for awareness of infrastructure’s impact on Sub-Saharan development. It also enabled them to propose evidence-based recommendations for targeted government and community initiatives. The event was an occasion to unveil tools and products that will support policy and decision makers in taking evidence-based actions for sustained impact, including an Evidence and Gap Map (EGM) that highlighted the gaps in current research around the focal research topic.
Attendees of the dissemination event included policy and decision makers, top media personnel, research organizations, several of the IINDWEGE researchers, and, most importantly, local market women, the direct beneficiaries of the potential evidence-based outcomes. The half-day event was deemed a success by participants, particularly the researchers who expressed their hope that the findings they had shared would influence policy and decision makers to take sustainable, evidence-based actions.
For more information on the different sub-awardee projects undertaken within the Infrastructure’s Impact on Nutritious Diet, Women’s Empowerment, and Gender Equality research, click here.
To explore the related Evidence and Gap Map, click here.