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Study Overview

Women Agribusiness Leaders Network (WALN)
Study is 3ie funded:
Study ID:
Initial Registration Date:
Last Update Date:
Study Status:

In this study the Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) evaluated an innovative mentoring and education program in Ethiopia that targets women agribusiness managers. WALN is embedded in the Agribusiness and Market Development (AMDe) component of the Government of Ethiopia’s USAID and World Bank-funded Agricultural Growth Program (AGP) and part of USAID’s wider Feed the Future programming. WALN aims to improve participants’ business skills and self-confidence, enabling them to be community leaders and change makers. WALN trained mentors, facilitated mentoring sessions and organized network-wide events. This impact evaluation examined impacts of mentoring on both mentors and mentees on four broad research outcomes: knowledge and skills, psycho-social outcomes (e.g. self-confidence, trust etc.), business outcomes (e.g. business performance, resource access, asset ownership etc.), and networking outcomes (e.g. participation in business and community networks).

Registration Citation:

Bastian, G.G., 2018. Women Agribusiness Leaders Network (WALN). Registry for International Development for Impact Evaluations (RIDIE). Available at: 10.23846/ridie138

Agriculture and Rural Development
Economic Policy
Additional Keywords:
Business Training, Mentoring, Agri-business, Networking, Leadership
Secondary ID Number(s):
P148635 : World Bank Group

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Gautam Gustav Bastian
Economist, World Bank/ Africa Region Gender Innovation Lab
Name of Second PI:

Study Sponsor

USAID and World Bank Group
Study Sponsor Location:
United States

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Type of Organization:
Foreign or Multilateral Aid Agency
United States

Intervention Overview


WALN is a business training, mentoring and networking activity targeted at high potential female leaders located in Addis Ababa , Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and SNNPR working in one of the following 8 value chains: chickpeas, coffee, honey, maize, sesame, wheat, livestock, dairy and teff. To enhance the leadership capability of these women in agriculture, and to improve linkages and coordination among women agricultural marketing leaders, WALN comprises of three components: (i) a business training course; here participants participated in monthly two-day intensive workshops for six to nine months, conducted by qualified business specialists and leaders including international experts. The training included administering detailed modules on business development; leadership; mentoring and coaching; and communication. (ii) a mentoring system; participants were encouraged to mentor three to five qualified women (selected from amongst those nominated by the participants themselves while applying to participate in WALN) for a six-month period, and (iii) the build-up of a network; this aims at bringing together women from the Ethiopian agribusinesses to annual conferences

Theory of Change:
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
ACDI/VOCA, The World Bank
Type of Organization:
Foreign or Multilateral Aid Agency

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
USAID and World Bank
Type of Organization:
Foreign or Multilateral Aid Agency

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Start Date:
End Date:
Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Randomized control trial
Other (not Listed) Method:
Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Other (not Listed) Method:

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:

This impact evaluation utilizes a stratified blocked/pair-wise matched randomized control trial design that allows for the estimation of the impact of the program on the mentors as well as the mentees. The randomization process for the program relied on ACDI/VOCA's assessment of the eligibility of applicants to participate in the program based on the selection or inclusion criteria and the responses to long-form questions in the application form. The applicant pool of would-be mentors has been considered in the first stage of the randomization, using a stratified and blocked design. The mentees nominated by these eligible mentors have then been considered in the second stage of the randomization, and also assigned to “program” and “control” groups. A pool of 200 eligible applicant mentors would be gathered, so that 100 could be (randomly) selected into the program, and 100 would form a control group, together with their mentees (“pure control group”). Among the mentees recommended by the mentors of the “treatment” (program) group, half of the eligible ones were also assigned to the program (to receive the mentoring), while the other group would be an “alternative control"

Outcomes (Endpoints):

The key outcome indicators measured in this project will be participant Knowledge; including leadership competencies, business and financial decision making skills, marketing knowledge, contract management, business administration, strategic partnerships, introduction of new business practices, ability to plan ahead and be able to better manage risks. Psychosocial outcomes include; measuring perceptions and aspirations of the participants, and trust. Economic outcomes measure basic business indicators including revenue, income and profit, change in market credibility and business development skills. Lastly, community participation and gender attitudes will be measured to assess the development of networking and leadership skills

Unit of Analysis:
Individual women agribusiness participants

If women’s capacity to play leadership roles in sector organisations; manage businesses profitably and effectively; and network with their peers is expanded through peer training and mentoring, while at the same time receiving technical assistance and resources related to the agriculture and livestock sectors through the larger USAID Feed the Future (FtF) activities, then women’s participation and contribution in leadership and decision making in the agriculture sector will increase resulting in catalysing economic empowerment

Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Number of Clusters in Sample:
Number of Individuals in Sample:
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
Business Training: Treatment mentors: 99, Control mentors: 98. Mentoring: Treatment mentees - 295; Control mentees of treatment mentors - 294; Pure control mentees - 537

Supplementary Files

Other Documents:

Outcomes Data

Outcome data for this impact evaluation was collected through quantitative survey instruments. The survey was designed to capture indicators on the following: Business and income generating activities; Earnings; Assets; Financial literacy and preferences; Empowerment; Social network. The survey included modules on personal information, information about the business registered with WALN, knowledge, finance, networks and participation, household information and decision-making.
Data Already Collected?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Not restricted - access with no requirements or minimal requirements (e.g. web registration)
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Status:

Study Materials

Upload Study Materials:
WALN Baseline Survey Data :
WALN Baseline Survey Questionnaire : WALN Baseline Questionnaire.pdf

Registration Category

Registration Category:
Non-Prospective, Category 4: Data for measuring impacts have been obtained/collected by the research team and analysis for this evaluation has started

Completion Overview

Intervention Completion Date:
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Unit of Analysis:
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Total Observations in Final Sample:
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Preliminary Report:
Preliminary Report URL:
Summary of Findings:
Paper Summary:
Paper Citation:

Data Availability

Data Availability (Primary Data):
Date of Data Availability:
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Other Materials

Survey Instrument Links or Contact:
Program Files:
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External Link:
External Link Description:
Description of Changes:

Study Stopped