Gender Learning 2021 - It Takes Two: Evidence on Targeting Couples for Economic Impact

"Evidence-based policy solutions — as well as some pitfalls to avoid — for those interested in strengthening women’s empowerment and improving development outcomes."

Learn about evidence-based solutions to enhance the impact of development programs by targeting couples.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in development spending are channeled towards women’s economic ... view more


Opening Remarks by Maria Beatriz Orlando, Lead Social Development Specialist from the World Bank.


Why Target Couples: A Cautionary Tale from the Philippines by Hillary Johnson, Economist, East Asia, and Pacific Gender Innovation Lab at the World Bank. 


Getting Couples to Plan Together: Experimental Evidence from  Côte d'Ivoire by Aletheia Donald, Economist, Africa Gender Lab at the World Bank.


Linking Women to Value Chains: Experimental Evidence from Uganda by Michael O’Sullivan, Senior Economist, Africa Gender Innovation Lab at the World Bank. 


Strengthening Women's Land Rights: Evidence from Uganda by Joao Montalvao, Senior Economist, Africa Gender Innovation Lab at the World Bank.

About the Presenters

Hillary C. Johnson

Economist, East Asia, and Pacific Chief Economist Office, World Bank

Hillary C. Johnson is an Economist with the East Asia and Pacific Gender Innovation Lab in the East Asia and Pacific Chief Economist Office at the World Bank. Her expertise is in applied research, including impact evaluations and survey design. She has worked on various topics, including gender, entrepreneurship, and socioemotional skills development, and her work has been published in journals including Science and the Journal of Southeast Asian Economies. She holds a Master's degree in International Development Economics from Université Paris Dauphine.

Aletheia Donald

Economist, Africa Chief Economist Office, World Bank

Aletheia Donald is an Economist at the Gender Innovation Lab, within the World Bank’s Africa Chief Economist Office. Her research focuses on identifying and addressing gender-based constraints to productivity, property rights and prosperity, and improving the quality of their measurement. Before joining the World Bank in 2014, Aletheia was a Research Fellow at Harvard’s Evidence for Policy Design and Head of Research for the NGO Empower Dalit Women of Nepal. She holds an MA in International and Development Economics from Yale University.

Joao Montalvao

Senior Economist, World Bank, Africa

Joao Montalvao is a development economist at the World Bank’s Africa Gender Innovation Lab, where he is the Thematic Leader for Property Rights. He conducts randomized control trials, generating evidence to improve policy aimed at promoting women's economic empowerment in Africa. Joao has a Ph.D. in economics from the University College London.

Michael O’Sullivan

Senior Economist, World Bank, Africa

Michael O’Sullivan is a development economist and deputy head of the World Bank's Africa Gender Innovation Lab. His research interests include questions around women’s access to and control over land, gender and agricultural markets, and rural women’s access to credit and savings. He holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He previously worked on USAID projects for Chemonics International and Mercy Corps and served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso.