Diagnostic of constraints for strengthening women’s income earning opportunities and empowerment in low-income rural communities in Uzbekistan
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PROJECT TITLE: Diagnostic of constraints for strengthening women’s income earning opportunities and empowerment in low-income rural communities in Uzbekistan

CLIENT: The World Bank

PERIOD: 2016


Qualitative field research aimed to assess the aspirations, opportunities and barriers faced by rural women across the three broad outcome themes: human and physical capital, access to livelihoods and voice. Field work included approximately 26 focus group discussions with rural women and about 70 interviews with local business women, officials of neighborhood committees (Mahallas), Women Committee etc.

The objective of this diagnostic study was achieved by a set of activities that include:
  • Analysis of available and credible quantitative survey data on women’s labor force participation and access to financial services;
  • Collection and analysis of primarily qualitative data through (i) focus group discussions with rural women; (ii) interviews with local business women, officials of local neighborhood committees (Mahallas) and with other local officials, and possibly (iii) a needs assessment;
  • Literature Review and Documenting Existing Experiences: A review of the literature on the barriers and enablers of women’s economic empowerment in Uzbekistan as well as of documented donor and government experiences in that area. This includes micro-finance services, targeted community infrastructure investments, knowledge transfer and participatory planning;
  • Value Chain Analysis: Selected value chain analysis of goods that are currently produced and sold by rural women or that they could potentially produce, and assess what needs to be done to enable them to sell their products in higher value markets.


For the purposes of contract preparation and costings, the following activities are agreed between the World Bank and Al Mar Consulting for primary data collection and presentation:
  • Consultation regarding design of qualitative, sampling strategy and field guides;
  • Translation of the draft field guides for FGDs and key informant interviews from English to Russian and Uzbek;
  • Training and selection of the facilitators by Al Mar Consulting in collaboration with the research team;
  • Pilot of field guides in two raions of Syrdarya – Mirzaabad and Sardoba (one village each in each raion). Pilot will include 4 FGDs – one with women and one with men, plus two in-depth interviews. We will require write-ups, but not require transcripts of these FGDs;
  • Revise questionnaires and field guides, and agree on write-up format based on completed pilots;
  • Conduct fieldwork in four oblasts following sampling strategy and record interviews with consent;
  • For 26 FGDs, provide transcripts (about 20 pages long)in Russian, and write ups (about 5 pages) in English (write ups will include completed exercises, and will follow mutually agreed format);
  • For 70 in-depth interview, provide transcripts (about 15 pages long) in Russian and write ups (about 5 pages) in English (format to be mutually agreed);
  • Provide photographs of FGDs, village infrastructure and employment activities;

The presentation and delivery of the qualitative summaries should adhere to a format agreed and refined by the World Bank and the research firm following the pilot testing.

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