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Addressing Gender Inequalities in Countries Affected by Fragility, Conflict, and Violence

Report to the Board from the Committee on Development Effectiveness

The Committee on Development Effectiveness met to consider the report entitled Addressing Gender Inequalities in Countries Affected by Fragility, Conflict, and Violence: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Support and the World Bank Group draft management response.

The committee welcomed the evaluation, deeming it a relevant and timely input for the Mid-Term Review of the Bank Group fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV) strategy, the new Bank Group gender strategy, and the evolution road map. Members took note of progress reported by World Bank and International Finance Corporation managements on gender in FCV settings, including promoting women and girls’ economic empowerment and tackling gender-based violence. They acknowledged improvements in project design and measures set up to strengthen the impact of gender operations. Aware of the complexity and challenges of FCV settings, members encouraged management to strengthen efforts toward meaningful results and lasting impacts, stressing the importance of transformational change in reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

Members appreciated management’s constructive response to the Independent Evaluation Group’s findings and recommendations. They emphasized that a shift toward a country-driven approach, guided by analytics and inclusive consultations with key stakeholders including local institutions and civil society organizations, is crucial for long-term outcomes. There was a request for the new Bank Group gender strategy to include a results framework that builds on a three-tier set of indicators to facilitate progress monitoring, results reporting, and impact measurement, consistent with outcome orientation principles. Such a framework would also be useful in solving the issue of Bank Group attribution. In addition, members raised concerns about data gaps, particularly in terms of collection, accessibility, and usage, and encouraged management to further increase investments in gathering relevant data at the country level, including the use of Gender Innovation Labs, to help inform Bank Group operations. They also encouraged management to build gender expertise across the Bank Group and in FCV settings to strengthen the World Bank’s interventions.

Members underscored the importance of operationalizing the evaluation’s findings and recommendations. To this end, they urged both World Bank and International Finance Corporation managements to use all relevant financial instruments in addressing gender inequalities, raise this issue to the highest level of policy dialogue with governments, and ensure the systematic and consistent inclusion of gender equality in country strategies.