Frequently Asked Questions

Below the Equilo team answers questions we frequently receive from potential users and customers. We are also happy to answer additional questions. Drop us a note at collaborate@equilo.org with questions or to schedule a phone call.

1. What countries does Equilo Dash include?

As of September 2020, Equilo Dash is available with full features for 121 of the total 135 low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) globally. The 20 countries not included at this time are due to data limitations, but will be included as data becomes available. LMIC includes low-income countries, lower-middle income countries, and upper-middle income countries using the latest World Bank GNI per capita classification

 

We have plans to scale the tool globally to address the deep-rooted gender and social inequalities that also exist in high-income countries. For example, we are currently exploring data availability to launch Equilo US to support government, NGOs, and private companies to integrate gender equality and social inclusion in policy-making decisions and business decisions. Stay tuned in 2021 as we improve our global analysis capability.

 

2. What sectors does Equilo Dash include?

The first version of Equilo Dash, launched in September 2020, includes quantitative and qualitative data on general gender equality and women’s empowerment. We are rapidly scaling up to roll out the following sector overlays by early 2021: 

  • Energy

  • Infrastructure

  • Agriculture

  • Health

  • Financial inclusion

  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)

 

Each sector is broken into sub-sectors to ensure the data and information are appropriately refined to be as project-specific as possible.

After that, we will continue to build out other sectors, including: education, environment & climate action, technology & digital inclusion, nutrition & food security, aquaculture & fisheries, industry & investment, mines, urban planning, WASH (water, sanitation, & hygiene), tourism, and peace, justice, and strong institutions. If you are interested in one of these sectors or a specific focus area within a sector, contact us at collaborate@equilo.org and we will be happy to talk through the options and timeline!

3. How is Equilo Dash different from other gender briefs or data portals? What is the value added?

Equilo Dash provides a detailed snapshot of gender equality, including women’s empowerment and gender parity, in low- and middle-income countries globally, telling a story about the specific identity-based constraints and opportunities that individuals in a specific country face. We built Equilo to fill an existing global and industry gap to find comprehensive data analyzed in one easily accessible place. It is different from other gender analysis tools, overviews, and indices for the following reasons:

  • Immediate identification of gender inequality hotspots: Through an easy-to-use interface, Equilo Dash supports users to identify at a glance specific inequality hotspots in a given country. Our Gender Equality Scores and “Top Areas for Improvement” feature save users time weeding through dozens of data sources, pie charts, or long reports, equipping them with the ability to quickly interpret the raw numbers and make data-driven decisions.

  • Comprehensive coverage: Many existing gender indices and tools have a limited scope. In contrast, Equilo Dash comprehensively synthesizes existing data on gender equality across 15 themes, including: education & literacy, entrepreneurship, financial inclusion, gender-based violence, HIV, information & communication technology, land & property ownership, nutrition & food security, personal agency, political participation & leadership, poverty, sexual & reproductive health, trafficking in persons, unpaid care work, and workforce participation. Organized by six TAAP domains, our data facilitates a broader understanding of identity-based constraints and opportunities within a specific country. Plus, COVID-19 and gender impacts are included in a brief context analysis for each of the 15 themes.

  • Data contextualization: Equilo Dash not only provides users with the latest quantitative data, but contextualizes the numbers with compelling content that explains why it matters (the “so what?”). Using both the business case and human rights arguments, we obtain buy-in from diverse audiences—including organization leadership and technical staff that may be unfamiliar with the strategic nature of investing in gender equality and social inclusion—thus enabling greater commitment to transformative gender equality and social inclusion.

  • Action-oriented: Within the tool, the analysis is paired with specific “What Works” sections that highlight a number of evidence-based and promising actions for users to consider integrating in their projects or investments. Each suggested action is accompanied by tools and resources to support practical, on-the-ground implementation.

  • Intersectionality: Our qualitative content not only considers the gender-based constraints that women, men, girls, and boys experience, but also explores the way that other intersecting identity characteristics, such as disability status, race, ethnicity, Indigenous status, migrant status, religion, age, income, education level, marital status, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation, among others, impact the opportunities and experiences of individuals from socially excluded groups. While the first version of Equilo Dash primarily draws upon sex-disaggregated quantitative data, we are working to grow our database and include data disaggregated by other identity characteristics in the user dashboard.

Equilo Dash builds upon our ongoing work to compile an open source collection of existing resources on gender equality and social inclusion called the Super GRL. This includes a number of open source datasets, country reports, and gender indices that all people are welcome to explore, free of cost.

We are also very excited about rapidly scaling in the coming months to provide sector-specific analysis, tailored "What Works" with GESI solutions, survey data collection and analysis capability, and more to continuously add value for users to easily integrate gender analysis into their work. 

4. Where is the data sourced from?

Equilo Dash draws upon a number of internationally validated and open source databases and reports to populate data across the low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) included in the tool. These include:

 

Our primary goal is to provide the user with a robust understanding of gender equality and social inclusion within one country, rather than compare data across countries. Thus, our tool also draws upon alternative or proxy data sources to fill in missing values when data is unavailable through the main databases listed above. Alternative data sources account for approximately 8.2% of our total dataset. All data points are cited within the dashboard to ensure transparency and to allow the user to locate and explore the original data source.
 

5. How often is the data updated?

Our team monitors when our principal data sources are refreshed, actively searches for alternative data sources when principal data sources for countries is missing, and also continuously reviews new data sources and indicators for inclusion in Equilo Dash.

 

Principal data sources are often updated on an annual basis. When updated data becomes available, it is imported immediately into our master database and the user dashboard is updated accordingly. Other updates happen on a daily basis, such as identifying a new source for an indicator that is missing for a country or adding a new indicator. Our objective is to continue making the analysis as robust as possible on an ongoing basis as more and better data become available.

 

Therefore, the model and analysis are dynamic and current; the scores and top areas for improvement for one country might be different when logging in three months from now then what was accessed today.

 

If you are interested in an existing dataset being included in Equilo Dash, please send us your suggestion at collaborate@equilo.org!

6. Do you rely on data from national statistical offices? 

Equilo’s first choice for data are internationally validated and open source databases (see FAQ #4). However, many of these databases do not include data for all of the low- and middle-income countries included in our tool.

 

To address this limitation, we use alternative sources or proxies to fill in data gaps. Alternative data sources account for approximately 8.2% of our total dataset; more specifically, 0.6% of our total dataset is sourced directly from the websites of national statistical offices or government ministries. However, this figure does not account for the fact that national statistical offices also produce much of the data in our preferred data sources, with technical support from international organizations to ensure alignment with data standards. When alternative data sources are used, the Power and Confidence Scores decrease for a gender equality score, indicating to the user that data used is from sources other than the standardized source selected.

 

Due to reliability of data, we first choose data from reputable and reliable institutions and research organizations with credible sampling and research methodology, and use data from national statistical offices as a last result. 

7. How do you treat poor data quality and determine score reliability?

We recognize that alternative sources may produce a less reliable or comparable analysis than the international institutions that we draw the majority of our data from (see FAQ #4). Alternative sources may not comply with internationally established gender data standards due to budgetary limitations, low staff capacity, perceived lack of relevance, or other constraints.

 

To mitigate this, we provide users with two scores: a Power and Confidence Score.

  • The Confidence Score reflects the percentage of available internationally standardized indicator values that have been collected within the past 10 years within a TAAP/theme intersection out of the total number of available data sources/ indicators for that score. For example, if 3 out of the total 9 indicator values within Access to Resources/Education & Literacy are sourced from a preferred, internationally validated database (e.g., UNESCO UIS.Stat) and have been collected within the past decade, that country would receive a Confidence Score of 33%, reflecting low confidence in the overall data quality. 

  • The Power Score reflects the percentage of available indicator values within a TAAP/theme intersection. This includes both values from internationally standardized datasets as well as alternative sources. Using the same example from above, if 3 out of the 9 indicator values in Access to Resources/Education & Literacy are sourced from an internationally validated database, 5 indicator values are drawn from alternative sources, and 1 is missing with no alternative data source, that country would receive a Power Score for that specific TAAP/ theme gender equality score of (3 + 5) / 9, or 89%.

8. Does Equilo Dash draw upon non-English language sources? 

Yes! Equilo’s team draws upon non-English language sources for quantitative and qualitative research, although the majority of our research is currently conducted in English. As we scale up in the future, we plan to enable multilingual dashboard functionality.

9. When will Equilo Dash incorporate deeper insights from qualitative research?

Equilo Dash currently contextualizes country-level quantitative data with high-level, qualitative overviews explaining the gender equality and social inclusion linkages for a specific theme or TAAP domain. However, these overviews are currently limited to broad global trends and may not address country- or region-specific constraints and opportunities. As we scale up in 2021, we aim to integrate deeper insights from context- and sector-specific qualitative research into the tool at national, sub-national, and local levels.

For the past three years, Equilo has been building the Super GRL, an online collection of over 10,000 validated and open-source publications, reports, journal articles, toolkits, data sources, guidelines, and other resources that address specific topics related to gender equality and social inclusion in international development, humanitarian work, and the private sector. This collection compiles resources from reputable organizations and scholars and is one of our primary sources of qualitative research that we will use to scale up our tool. 

All data sources must undergo a rigorous validation process before they are used in our final outputs. Sources must comply with the following:

  • Be from a reputable author (e.g., a recognized organization, a peer-reviewed journal, or an expert in the field);

  • Have rigorous methodology and/or well-cited sources for the data provided;

  • Reflect excellent and relevant gender equality and social inclusion analysis or data (specifically discussing these issues and including the most recent information available).

 

All research is appropriately cited throughout the dashboard, using modified APA style.

10.  May I share Equilo Dash insights with project or investment stakeholders who have not purchased a subscription?

We welcome Equilo Dash users sharing the downloadable summary briefs with project or investment stakeholders to support their gender equality and social inclusion integration work within their organization and project. Although the dashboard access would be limited to those with organizational log-ins, we believe that more people using our action-oriented tool will translate into greater efforts toward a happier, more just world. Please do not publicly post on the Internet or share Equilo's work outside an organization with others who are not subscribers. 

11. Will organization- and project-specific primary data collection be incorporated into the tool?

Definitely! Our team is currently working on developing a feature that will allow users to conduct organization- or project-level surveys and upload the data to Equilo’s secure platform. The dashboard will be refreshed with this primary data, allowing for more robust and tailored analysis. We welcome comments and suggestions regarding standardized survey questions, types of data to be collected, areas for thematic analysis across sectors, or other areas of interest at collaborate@equilo.org.

12. Can Equilo Dash users suggest new indicators for inclusion?

Equilo absolutely welcomes any suggested indicators! To date, we have reviewed dozens of quantitative data sources to select the most valid, high-quality indicators and data to power our analysis. However, data availability is constantly changing, and we very much welcome any suggestions to add indicators. It is very easy to add indicators for organizational-specific analysis where we would collect primary data vs. adding indicators to contextual country data which depends on availability and reliability of national data sets.

13.  How will you incorporate predictive modeling features into the tool? When will they be fully functional and available?

This functionality is slated to begin development in early 2021, but we are open to collaboration earlier if that is a priority. This is an area that will never be finished, as there are infinite possibilities to use modeling to enhance Equilo’s intelligence. Predictive modeling will serve several functions:

  • Strengthen robust analysis of relationships across social and business dimensions

  • Improve ability to prioritize recommendations to close gaps based on impact predicted, which may identify a specific action as more impactful and/or efficient then another potential action

  • Build a Social Return on Investment (SROI) model to prioritize recommendations and "what works" based on the impact per dollar invested
     

14. Why do some themes appear multiple times within the overview spider chart?

Equilo Dash adopts the Transforming Agency, Access, and Power (TAAP) analytical framework, which encompasses six key domains: 

  • Access to and Control over Assets and Resources

  • Human Dignity, Safety, and Wellness

  • Knowledge, Beliefs and Perceptions, Cultural Norms

  • Laws, Policies, Regulations, and Institutional Practices

  • Power and Decision-Making

  • Roles, Responsibilities, Participation, and Time Use

 

Across these TAAP domains, specific themes that represent key areas for gender equality and social inclusion analysis were identified. These include:

  • Education & Literacy 

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Financial Inclusion

  • Gender-Based Violence

  • HIV

  • Information & Communication Technology

  • Land & Property Ownership

  • Nutrition & Food Security

  • Personal Agency

  • Political Participation & Leadership

  • Poverty

  • Sexual & Reproductive Health

  • Trafficking in Persons

  • Unpaid Care Work

  • Workforce Participation

These 15 themes cut across two or more of the domains, resulting in 32 unique TAAP domain/theme intersections for analysis and scoring. For example, the Workforce Participation theme intersects with four TAAP domains (Knowledge & Beliefs, Roles & Responsibilities, Power & Decision-Making, and Law & Policy), while the Political Participation theme intersects with two TAAP domains (Knowledge & Beliefs and Power & Decision-Making).

The spider web on the landing page depicts the six TAAP domains and 15 interspersed themes. Some themes appear in multiple TAAP domains because a unique score is calculated for each specific TAAP domain/theme intersection. The purpose of this is to analyze the “hot spots” of strengths and weaknesses across one theme and illustrate potentially uneven progress. For example, a country may have strong laws and policies on gender-based violence (GBV), resulting in a high score within the Law & Policy domain, but there may be widespread social acceptance of GBV, resulting in a low score within the Knowledge & Beliefs domain.
 

15. I want to subscribe! What does an Equilo subscription include? 

This is a great step toward improving and accelerating gender equality and social inclusion in your work, and we are thrilled to support you in this. There is a variety of flexible monthly or annual subscription packages that are accessible for everyone, from an individual to large global enterprises. You can view more information about our subscription package offerings here, or click the button below to dive in, subscribe, and begin using Equilo!

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