Effectiveness of Donor Support to Women in Formal Political Leadership – Executive Summary

1st November 2018
Author: Émilie Combaz

Pressures to increase the number of women in formal politics have started to bear fruit over the past 20 years. This has led to a greater presence of women in elected, appointed, and recruited positions in public bodies, and (to a lesser extent) to their rise to senior positions in these settings. This executive summary summarises a rapid review which synthesises key findings on the role of donors in supporting women in formal political leadership to be effective once appointed. It is based on evidence selected through a rapid, nonsystematic literature review. Findings and recommendations included in this report should therefore be understood in the context of these limitations. Further, rigorous evidence is scarce and patchy on the support that external aid actors have provided women leaders in low- and middle- income countries. The evidence base offers no comparative rankings on which types of interventions, and which specific interventions, have been more effective. Overall, evidence shows that the most frequent aid interventions have had mixed effectiveness, although on balance outcomes and results seem to be positive.

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Suggested Citation

Combaz, É. (2018). Effectiveness of Donor Support to Women in Formal Political Leadership. K4D Executive Summary. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


1st November 2018


Continent: Global