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How Web design can show the forward march of gender in project design

Molly Norris's picture

Fighting poverty means helping women not as an afterthought, but as forethought. Women’s disproportionate share of the poor makes them a special demographic. And we’re targeting them more and more.

Last year, 45 percent of lending operations looked through a gender lens when planning their projects -- up 10 percent from the year before. Project planners ran gender assessments, set aside resources for gender initiatives and broadly incorporated gender into project components.

Enter the Web. Mouse over the infographic below to take a look region-by-region.

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  Total Projects Projects with Gender 2-Year Trend
Africa 230 101

-4%

East Asia & Pacific 107 46

+15%

Europe & Central Asia 204 49

+8%

Latina America & Caribbean 109 60

+27%

Middle East & North Africa 40 19

+16%

South Asia 75 44

+1%

 

Source:
Feature- World Bank Increases Gender Support and Lending in Developing Countries
Report- Implementing the Bank’s Gender Mainstreaming Strategy: FY08 Annual Monitoring Report (PDF)
 

Comments

Molly's infographic up there is just one of the steps we're taking to make our information more easily processed and easy to understand. The focus on gender is quite timely as well, as the New York Times recently spoke of women's rights as one of the most pressing issues of our time and referenced the Bank's focus on this topic as well. Here's a link to the NY Times piece: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/magazine/23Women-t.html If you think these kinds of infographics are a good first step in making the Bank's information easier to process, let us know and we'll keep it up. If you have any comments or suggestions to make it better, we'd love to hear them.

Submitted by Martin Dimitrov on
Molly, very nice, a picture is worth a thousand words indeed! It would help to elaborate on what “gender component” means and define detailed, moderate and minimal in that context.

Submitted by Paul Cadario on
These are great examples of what the technology can do. Adding very brief interpretations of what we mean when we say "minimal" or "include" would help the reader, provided the site is not too text or footnote heavy. If we have to do a lot of explaining and defining, though, maybe we should go back to the definition and find something clear and unambiguous.

Submitted by Katie Bannon on
This is great way of how to use the web to better visualize and understand data. Would love to see more of this type of thing throughout the website, especially in the Projects Database.

Great idea. Data visualization holds immense promise for the Bank. This is looking forward to more. A few observations about this specific graphic though -- -- perhaps it's my browser acting up or my unfamiliarity with emerging Web conventions but shouldn't an image area to be clickable if the cursor changes on rollover -- the 'trend text' is helpful but sometimes users want to delve deeper right from the image -- curious also about the choice of a column chart. Once again it's probably my dim-wittedness but the infographic doesn't really seem to convey its core message (about trending) unless the reader rolls over the graphic. So readers that just scan the page will miss the point (though the basic proportion information is helpful too). Did you consider other chart types that might have been more intuitive Nice job.

How do the regions literally stack up against each other in mainstreaming gender in project design? That was the central question I attempted to answer with this visualization. Columns showed both total projects by height and those that contained a gender component via red shading. (Mr. Das, I'd to know what you would consider more intuitive?) At a glance, you can see where most projects are based and the share that’s considered to have a decent gender component. What a suspiciously vague term: gender component. Here I definitely agree with Mr. Dmitrov. If you read the source report and feature story, they don’t fully define the term gender component and parameters of “minimal” to “detailed” gender coverage that I borrow from their graphs to make the legend for my visualization. However, they do both site examples, 1) All poverty assessment integrated gender issues as part of their labor market analysis, 2) Many projects leveraged additional funds from the Bank’s Gender Action Plan for work on women’s economic empowerment, 3) Country assistance strategy documents in African and East Asia and Pacific regions included gender analysis. In lending, where many of the largest gender gains were made, the report waxes unspecific. The Web editorial team discussed whether we should be creating a definition of a gender component. Is it within the Web’s scope to create institutional definitions as we explain ourselves and our work to those outside of the Bank? There’s a thirst for such action, as these comments demonstrate. In this case, however, a gender component doesn’t seem more or less vague than say a financial or educational component. We wouldn’t feel the need to explain these terms. So, we decided to let the phrase gender component pass. Perhaps, it was a mistake and we should more aggressively require units to work out their taxonomy online, like a public coming to terms on terms. An interesting discussion. A whole-hearted thanks for your comments.

Hmmm...guess the column graph works if your central objective is to show the proportion of projects that have a gender component. I (obviously mistakenly) misread your central message to be the fact that that the gender component in Bank projects has steadily been increasing. Had the latter indeed been true, you might have considered a clustered column or a 'pie of pie' (and probably several others). Great post though and this is looking forward to more.

Submitted by Anonymous on
Molly, very nice, a picture is worth a thousand words indeed! It would help to elaborate on what “gender component” means and define detailed, moderate and minimal in that context.

I (obviously mistakenly) misread your central message to be the fact that that the gender component in Bank projects has steadily been increasing. Had the latter indeed been true, you might have considered a clustered column or a 'pie of pie' (and probably several others).

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