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Gender and Women's Empowerment 

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Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication, and inclusive economic growth. Women make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home. In this respect, provision of quality and affordable childcare is important not only for the well-being and development of children but also in terms of its impact on female labour force participation and hence directly on women’s empowerment and household welfare. Failure to fully unleash women’s productive potential meanwhile represents a major missed opportunity with significant consequences for individuals, families, and economies. At Development Analytics, we focus on barriers to women’s social, economic participation in society and develop techniques to measure women’s empowerment for field-based programs. We also focus both on developing models of affordable and quality care, as well as measuring the availability, quality, and prices for care in our fieldwork.


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Case Study on KEDV Women’s Empowerment and Community Driven Development Model

Women's Empowerment

October 2018 - March 2019

The overall objective of this project is to analyse women cooperatives as a development model and reveal the role of the Foundation for the Support of Women’s Work (KEDV) in women’s cooperative movement in Turkey and its implementation model as a case. This project provides a review of i) the literature to understand recent developments in understanding the role of cooperatives in developing countries, ii) KEDV’s model, including value statements, processes, internal reports, assessments, and policy documents, iii) and cooperative case studies to understand the role of KEDV and women in the social cooperative movement in Turkey.

A mixture of a desk review of policy documents, articles, reports, and strategic plans and qualitative fieldwork (i.e. key in-depth-interviews and focus group discussions done with selected women cooperatives) are used to gather data and present findings for this project.


Life in Transition Survey- Gender Analysis and Gender Modules

Gender, Care Work

November 2016 - August 2017


Gender Analysis using the Life in Transition Survey (LITS III) deals with a number of gender-related issues for 34 countries where the survey was collected. The study focuses on gender differences in four key areas: i) employment and entrepreneurial activity ii) asset ownership iii) the burden of care in the household and attitudes towards its need and provision and iv) norms on gender roles and attitudes towards the gender balance in household decision making. The Life in Transition Survey (LITS III) was conducted jointly by the World Bank and EBRD and is a combined household and attitude survey. The third round of LITS was implemented in 2015-2016 in 34 countries, with an average of 1,500 households per country. The survey consists of a number of modules covering a broad range of individual and household attributes. Crucially for the present study, and in contrast to previous implementations of the survey, two key changes were made to LITS III permitting the gender analysis outlined above. Firstly, new questions were added relating to asset ownership, care demand in the household, and gender norms. Secondly, the responses to the asset and employment modules were expanded to include those from a secondary respondent of the opposite sex.

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Evaluation of Women's Human Rights Trainings

Women's Human Rights

May 2016 - September 2016


In the scope of “More and Better Jobs for Women: Women’s Empowerment through Decent Work in Turkey”, an Implementation Agreement with Women for Women’s Human Rights-New Ways (WWHR) was signed to deliver women’s human rights training for 2000 women and human rights seminars for 1250 men and women in project provinces of Ankara, Bursa, Konya, and İstanbul. Women’s human rights group training is provided to women participating in the vocational training courses offered by the municipalities in project provinces in line with the work-plan of the project. The monitoring and evaluation of the on-going training are planned to measure the effectiveness, quality of the training in various aspects, as well as to receive recommendations on how to improve the training for the second phase, as planned to take place in September 2016 until the end of December 2016.

The purpose of the evaluation is to:

  1. Determine if the trainings have made progress towards its stated objectives and outcomes and explain why/why not.

  2. Provide recommendations on programme improvement and further action for the second phase of trainings between September-December 2016.

  3. Where necessary, identify the possible need to refine content, duration, methodology, trainer approach.


Final Evaluation Report for "A Fair Start for Young Children in Turkish Rural Communities" Project

Early Childhood Care and Education, Gender and Women's Empowerment


November 2014 - August 2015


“A Fair Start for Young Children in Turkish Rural Communities” project was conducted by the Mother-Child Education Foundation (AÇEV) in Tokat from 2012 to 2015. The purpose of the project was two-fold: (i) to improve the physical, mental, social, and emotional development of young children in rural Turkey by engaging them in an early childhood education program, and (ii) to increase community awareness in early childhood education.  The mixed-methods evaluation of the project utilized quantitative data that was collected from treatment and control villages in the baseline and post-test surveys, as well as qualitative data from 16 focus groups with beneficiary and non-beneficiary mothers and fathers in the program area, in-depth interviews, and a short quantitative survey of teachers in the final phase of the program.


Demand for Child Care and Elderly Care in Western Balkans and Central Asia: A Cross-Country Qualitative Assessment

Childcare, Elderly Care, Gender

November 2014 - July 2015


The Project involved the coding and analysis of the qualitative data that were collected via 66 focus group discussions in seven countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine, Armenia, and the Kyrgyz Republic. The report focused on women’s care responsibilities in ECA Countries, how care responsibilities impact women’s lives, as well as their perceptions and demand for centre-based childcare and elder care services.  The project was part of a larger work program by the World Bank focusing on supply and demand-side assessment of child and elderly care services in ECA Countries.


Supporting Access and Continued Employment of Women by Enhancing Child Care Services

Female Labour Force Participation, Early Childhood Care and Education

November 2014 - April 2015


This study evaluates the possibility of expanding childcare facilities by analysing the demand conditions currently in the market for undertaking private-sector childcare investments in order to enhance female employment. It also aims to provide a demand assessment for possibilities of investments by the private sector, organized industrial zones (OIZs), and municipalities. In this sense, the study aimed to collect qualitative data from municipalities, organized industrial zones, and corporate firms as providers of private childcare services in three provinces of Turkey. A total of 50 in-depth interviews were carried out with stakeholders at municipalities, organized industrial zones, corporate firms, and financial institutions for the feasibility study, and results were compiled using a coding structure that enabled the team to code and analyses the qualitative data in a quantitative format.  In order to achieve these objectives, the report gives (i) an overview of the childcare services sector for Turkey looking at public and private provision and assessing the institutional set-up of the sector, (ii) assesses demand for child care by households using data from a recent World Bank study on child care in Turkey; (iii) focuses on private and local providers of child care in Turkey, first looking at the microeconomics of private providers (cost and pricing structure) in the sector and then focusing on fieldwork results taken from in-depth interviews carried out for this study with agents at workplaces (Corporates, Organized Industrial Zones) as well as municipalities.


Supply and Demand for Child Care Services in Turkey: A Mixed Methods Study

Early Childhood Education and Care, Female Labour Force Participation


April 2014 - September 2015


This study is a mixed-methods study that investigates the status of childcare services in Turkey, particularly from the angle of quality, affordability, accessibility, and sufficiency of such supply. The overall work was done considering the potential interaction between such services and female labour force participation and productivity. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected for the study in 5 provinces of Turkey: Istanbul, Samsun, Eskisehir, Denizli, and Gaziantep. The study has 4 main components:

(i) Mapping of Child Care visually maps the availability and capacity of existing childcare and early childhood education supply in relation to the potential demand (i.e. number of children), female labour force participation levels, and (information allowed) average household income levels, both at the national level and in selected provinces.

(ii) Supply Side Assessment  includes the collection of quantitative data from 603 preschools and child care centres in Turkey and investigates the types of childcare services available to households, both public and private, as well as community-based and other models, and explore their quality, cost, and accessibility in detail.

(iii) Demand Side Assessment explores the normative and social aspects of the use and access to childcare services. It will include both focus groups and individual questionnaires to better understand care needs of families with children, household preferences when it comes to childcare, and barriers to access childcare, as well as women’s and men’s expectations of a new childcare support model. The demand assessment is structured around the dynamics of care demand and supply at the household level, having women and their labour force engagement as the centre. includes 25 focus group discussions with working, non-working mothers and fathers in 5 provinces.

(iv) The costing exercise investigates the actual operating costs of childcare centres in these provinces. The exercise also takes into consideration average family income in those provinces as well as household willingness to pay for childcare centres. 

📖 Download the Report in (English) / in (Turkish)

📖 Download the Infographic in (English) / in (Turkish)

📖 Read the Article: "Investing in women and the next generation: The case for expanding childcare in Turkey"


Estimating the Economic Value of Unpaid Elderly and Child Care by Turkish Women

Female Labour Force Participation, Early Childhood Care and Education

March 2014 - September 2015


The study estimates the economic value of unpaid elderly and childcare activities provided by Turkish women in the household. We plan to use two established methodologies to estimate the value of time spent on care activities by women in Turkey: (i) the opportunity cost method and (ii) the proxy good method (Berg et al 2004). Two household data sets will be used for the estimation, the Turkey Labour Force Survey (2011) and Time Use Survey (2006), both collected by TURKSTAT representative at the national level in Turkey.


Impact Evaluation of UN-Women Father Training for Violence-Free Families Project

Women’s Empowerment

January 2014 - March 2014

The project evaluated the impact of a 3-year project funded by the UN- Women Trust Fund for Reducing Gender-Based Violence and implemented in Turkey by the Mother-Child Education Foundation (AÇEV). The Father Training for Violence-Free Families Project (FTVFFP) aims to prevent violence against women and girls (VAW/G) by engaging men in a comprehensive and community-based violence prevention program. Throughout the three-year project, fathers and their wives were trained in a program that aims to foster democratic, anti-violent, and gender-sensitive attitudes and behaviours within the family. The impact evaluation study used a mixed-methods methodology using both quantitative surveys and qualitative focus groups and key informant interviews. 

The evaluation aimed (i) to measure improvements and changes in outcomes as a result of the trainings, in terms of the fathers’ attitudes towards their children and wives, and the mothers’ awareness of violence and the existing legal structure in Turkey for protecting against VAW/G; (ii) to describe the external and contextual factors that may have also been at play and influenced the factors measured during the evaluation;  (iii) to identify the strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and trends in the project activities that have implications for strengthening its future administrative, programmatic and strategic directions. 

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Women and Health: Analysis of the Economic Value of Informal Health Care by Women in Turkey

Harvard School of Public Health and the LANCET Commission on Women’s Health

May 2013 - September 2013


The study estimated the economic value of the amount of time Turkish women spend on unpaid, informal health care using the Time Use Survey.  The estimation was carried out using an opportunity cost method for calculations as well as the proxy good methods. Turkey Survey of Income and Living Conditions (SILC) (2011) and the Time Use Survey (2006) were used as the primary data sources for the study. The findings of the study served as background information to the LANCET Commission Paper on "Women and Health".

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Good Jobs in Turkey: Post-Crisis Adjustment and Employment Generation for Men, Women, and Youth in Turkey

Youth, Gender, Employment

July 2013 - September 2013


The paper looked at the composition and nature of employment generation among youth and women in the post-crisis period in Turkey between 2009-2011. The paper discussed changes in trends in employment generation, particularly for youth and women between the pre-crisis and post-crisis periods.  While the rapid growth of GDP and employment in the post-crisis period, coupled with formalization of employment in the labour market and the increased employment elasticity of growth, presented a favourable picture of the employment situation in Turkey, a closer look at labour force surveys suggested that there was not yet reason to assume that these changes in the labour market will have lasting effects. From evidence, the majority of the changes observed could be linked to (i) the agricultural sector re-absorbing a significant portion of the unskilled female labour force into informal employment; (ii) temporary growth in the residential construction sector; and (iii) older people remaining in the formal labour market for longer periods.  Younger cohorts have seen a shift from informal to formal work, if with little overall job growth. However, for youth, a significant change could not be found in the employment trend in the post-crisis period compared to the pre-crisis period. The improvement in female labour force participation, particularly when we disregard returns to the agricultural sector - is not yet significantly above its pre-crisis trend either. 

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Can Father Training Programmes Help Redu

Can Father Training Programmes Help Reduce Gender-Based Violence: Lessons from a Parenting Intervention in Turkey

Gokce Baykal, Meltem A. Aran, Nazli Aktakke

July 2019


Globally there is a growing interest in the design and implementation of preventive gender-based violence programs that target men. This article seeks to extend the literature on the impact of father-training programs on fathers’ attitudes about parenting and gender-based violence, by using a case study from a father-training program in Turkey for men with children of ages 3-6 and 7-11 years old. The paper finds modest improvement in fathers’ approaches and attitudes towards democratic parenting, violence, and gender equality. The evidence of moderate effectiveness of the intervention programme aligns with the subset of other systematic research studies in the literature. Even though the programme impact is limited, the intervention is successful for two reasons (i) in recruiting men for a parenting program, in a country where cultural and social pressures to adhere to the conventional masculinity is a norm, (ii) in learning lessons and evolving the parenting intervention programme by gaining new advocates by conducting corporate-wide projects, seminars on fatherhood and gender equality for keeping fatherhood discussion alive, forming local father networks to sustain learning outcomes after programme implementation, alongside the Father Support Programme.

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Maternal and Child Health in Turkey Through the Health Transformation Program

Meltem A. Aran, Nazlı Aktakke, İpek Gürol, Rıfat Atun

December 2015

Improving maternal and child health outcomes is a major development objective. Targets related to these outcomes were included in the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and they continue to galvanize global support through the Sustainable Development Goals (under Goal 3 health targets). Turkey is among the few successful middle-income countries that have significantly reduced the under-5 mortality rate below the MDG 2015 target levels. This study analyses improved demand-side (health insurance, conditional cash transfers) and supply-side inputs (expanded health services) in Turkey’s health system as part of the Health Transition Program (HTP), as well as contextual improvements (such as improved economic well-being and increased maternal educational attainment), to identify how these input factors have advanced health outcomes. The results show that while demand-side measures, such as universal health coverage through extension of health insurance to low-income families (Green Card program), improved health utilisation variables, the main impact of on maternal and child health was through supply-side improvements which expanded for all women access to free antenatal and midwifery care, regardless of health insurance status.

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Women's Invisible Contribution: Quantifying the Economic Value of Women's Unpaid Care Activities in Turkey and Policy Options to Reduce Women's Care Burden

Meltem A. Aran, Nazlı Aktakke

June 2016


Women, whether in employment or not, spend a significant amount of time in Turkey occupied in unpaid home-based care activities, providing care for children and the elderly in their families. Among OECD countries, the country ranks second in terms of the amount of time women spend on unpaid household chores and activities. This paper estimates the economic value of time women allocate in Turkey to direct care activities at home by using two main methodologies: (i) the opportunity cost method estimates the value of time using each woman’s potential earnings in the labour market, and (ii) the proxy good method calculates the value of time taking into account a constant fixed value of hourly earnings (either the minimum wage or the average wage of a social worker). The value of direct care, which constitutes a lower-bound for overall care activities of women, is estimated to be around 1.37-3.34 percent of GDP as of 2011. Using the opportunity cost of earnings methodology, the paper estimates the economic value of refocusing the time spent on care activities to employment to be 1.5 billion USD for working women and 4.8 billion USD for non-working women.

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Can Child Care Vouchers Get Turkish Moth

Can Child Care Vouchers Get Turkish Mothers Back to Work? Estimating the Employment and Redistributionary Impact of a Demand Side Child Care Subsidy in Turkey

Meltem A. Aran, Herwig Immervoll, Cristobal Ridao-Cano

October 2014


Lack of access to affordable and quality childcare is one of the impediments to increasing female labour force participation rates in Turkey. With less than one-third of working-age women active in the labour market, the Turkish government has been considering options for expanding female labour force participation by providing a demand-side subsidy conditional on employment (or activation). To achieve this, utilization of childcare is being considered as a policy option. This paper considers the labour supply impact and cost-effectiveness of such a demand-side subsidy by evaluating the labour supply model of women in Turkey under the current conditions and simulates -- under various targeting scenarios and for different benefit levels of the subsidy -- (i) the number of women that would join the labour force or become formally employed; (ii) the budgetary implications and cost-effectiveness of the subsidy; and (iii) the potential benefits accrued by the bottom quintiles of society. Given the constrained supply of existing services, the paper finds that the immediate employment impact of such a demand-side intervention is likely to be low, and the distribution regressive in the short term. A targeted subsidy based on the welfare level and employability of the woman is likely to be most cost-effective in the medium term when supply-side constraints on childcare are addressed and concurrent policies to expand the supply of childcare have been implemented. In the short term, when the subsidy is provided conditional on childcare utilization (and there is no targeting of the poor) the benefits are likely to be highly regressive, with only 3 percent of benefits accruing to the bottom quintile of the population. The formal employment impact of the program is also estimated to be low: we find that in the short term the number of women activated through the program would range from 2,800 to 43,000 women (entering formal employment) at a cost varying from 1.4 million TL to 37 million TL per month (not including administrative costs of running the program) if the benefits are fixed at 50 % of the net minimum wage. In the medium term, when the supply of ECEC is assumed to be more flexible and supply of services is not a constraint, the demand side transfer is expected to activate into the formal sector an upper bound estimate of 187,600 women, constituting a less than 1 percentage point change in female labour force participation -- at a cost of about 138 million TL per month.

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Recent Trends in Female labour Force Participation in Turkey

Arzu Uraz, Meltem A. Aran, Müşerref Hüsamoğlu, Dilek Okkalı Şanalmış, Sinem Capar

March 2010


The female labour force participation level in Turkey is currently very low at 27% compared with the OECD and EU-19 averages of 61 and 64% respectively. This rate has been declining in the last 30 years from a level of 48% in 1980. This paper looks at the most recent trends and profiles of labour force participation of women in Turkey using three different household-level data sources in available Turkey (HBS, LFS, and TDHS) for the period 2003-2006. The paper also reports a multivariate analysis on the probability of working for women, controlling for various characteristics.

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Meltem Aran, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Meltem is a human development economist with research focusing on poverty, inequality, and overall distributional impact of social policies. Since 2004, she has been involved in various research projects and impact evaluations relating to poverty and human development with the World Bank in East Asia, ECA, and MENA regions.

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Naureen Karachiwalla, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Naureen’s work focuses on education, and specific topics include promotion incentives for teachers, and social distance and learning outcomes. She has previously conducted work for the World Bank, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Oxford Policy Management, and the Young Lives Project. This work has included both research and policy work. 


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Özsel Beleli .Ph.D_
Özsel Beleli .Ph.D.
Research Associate

Özsel’s research and work span a range of topics at the intersection of early childhood development and education policy. She has provided research and analysis services as a consultant to international organizations, including UNICEF, the Bernard van Leer Foundation, and Catholic Relief Services as well as working as a staff member at the European Commission, Istanbul Policy Center, Search for Common Ground, and the Regional Development Agency in Turkey.


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Didem Pekkurnaz, Ph.D.
Research Associate

Didem is an applied microeconomist with primary interests in health and labour economics. She holds a BS degree in Statistics, an MS degree in Economics from Middle East Technical University, and a doctoral degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


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Şenay Özd
Şenay Özden
Research Associate

Şenay is a cultural anthropologist and a researcher. Her research areas include international migration, refugees, Turkish state’s refugee policies, politics of humanitarian aid.

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Lema Zekrya
Social Policy Specialist

Lema is a social policy economist covering issues related to social policy, social protection, and educational policy.  She has experience providing technical assistance and capacity building in public financial management and impact evaluation projects while working at the World Bank, IMF, Abu Dhabi’s DMO, Booz&Company, and Apex2Consulting.


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Amalee McCoy
Amalee McCoy
Child Protection Expert

Amalee is a child protection specialist with over 15 years of experience in the fields of child protection, child and family welfare, and child rights. She was most recently a principal consultant in the development of a five-year strategy on parenting for violence prevention for UNICEF Thailand. 


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Merve Uzunalioğlu
Merve Uzunalioğlu
Research Associate

Merve is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Social Sciences at the UCL’s Institute of Education. Before starting her doctoral studies, she was a full-time team member at Development Analytics. Merve holds a master’s degree in Social Policy Analysis (IMPALLA) from KU Leuven in Leuven, Belgium.


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Safir Sümer
Safir Sumer 
National Health Expert

Safir Sumer is an international development specialist with extensive experience in health systems. She is a national of Turkey, with over 20 years of human development experience. She consulted for the World Bank, WHO, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Development in Turkey, Merck Pharmaceuticals, and the EU Commission on health sector-related projects. Her health sector experience includes results-based financing, health systems, and policy analysis, strategic planning, universal health coverage, public health, health budget and financing, people-centred health care, and integrated care.

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Laetitia Lemaistre
Refugee and Education Specialist

Laetitia Lemaistre is an education specialist who focuses on refugee education, education in emergencies and conflict contexts, and humanitarian coordination. She is a doctoral candidate at the Institute of Education at University College London and her research interests lie in urban refugee children’s access to formal education.

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satanay kaghadou
Satanay Kaghadou
Arabic Speaking Field Coordinator

Satanay holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Sustainable Urban Development and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Damascus University. She has experience in working with private, public sectors, and NGOs. She speaks, Arabic, English, and French.

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