top of page


How does it work?

The EWI tool directly tracks empowerment, agency and participation in the context of water, sanitation and hygiene, using a set of indicators to create empowerment profiles for male and female respondents. EWI calculates who is empowered, as well as the level of that empowerment.


The outputs can be used to make comparisons between different countries and regions over time or to identify decisive disempowerment factors, disaggregated by gender. Such robust monitoring will help us collect evidence and identify how to empower women and how to improve gender equality outcomes overall. 


Illusration of the EWI applicaton in Asufiti North District, Ghana

A respondent is scored for their achievement on each of the 12 indicators based on if she or he attains a particular threshold (e.g. the respondent gives a high level of input into decisions on household water management).


Respondents are identified as empowered when a minimum of 75% of the indicators is achieved. In this way, a respondent can achieve a particular indicator, such as household decision-making in WASH, but still, be considered disempowered if they are not rated high on other indicators. A comparison between empowerment scores for men and women from the same household is conducted to calculate a gender parity index (GPI).

What is it for? 

EWI has two major applications: monitoring and evaluation as well as diagnostic and design.


Information on each indicator is combined into an EWI score which can be used for monitoring changes in empowerment from an initial baseline. The EWI score can also be disaggregated to track progress on particular indicators. This type of output facilitates communication of complex information about women’s empowerment and gender equality outcomes, that is easier for decision-makers to understand and apply.


Design of better interventions - The tool can be used for diagnostic evaluation to understand what areas contribute to disempowerment and design gender-integrated context-specific WASH interventions that target these areas.

Who is it for? 

Development organizations, practitioners, governments and donors can use the tool to monitor and evaluate WASH initiatives, or in the planning and design of interventions.


EWI can also be used by researchers interested in investigating pathways between empowerment and WASH services or other development outcomes such as those related to health and wellbeing.

bottom of page