The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is a private, nonprofit organization that focuses primarily on women in developing and transition countries. The organization is committed to economic and social development with women's full participation. ICRW's policy-relevant research provides information for development planning and policy to ensure that development interventions enhance women's earning power; strengthen their already significant participation in agriculture, industry, and commerce; expand their contribution to economic development, management of the environment and leadership in society; and to improve their health and social status. The center operates through three main program areas: policy-oriented research; program support and analysis; and a communications program in the United States.
Principal StaffSarah Degnan Kambou, President
Lyric Thompson, Special Assistant to the President/Policy Advocate
Kristin Fack, Administrative Assistant
Areas of Expertise:Economic Development & Microfinance , Violence Against Women, Global , Entrepreneurship & Small Business Development , Economic Development & Security , Environment, Sustainability & Energy , Globalization, Human Rights & Security , Health, Reproductive Rights & Sexuality , Violence , Women's & Girls' Leadership 
Projects & Campaigns
Health and Healthcare
Linking Agriculture and Nutrition: Institutional Lessons Learned. ICRW recently completed studies on ways to improve nutrition through the strengthening of women's roles and contributions to household food security in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania. Findings indicate that collaboration among institutions is critical in maintaining proper nutrition and national food security, and that although these collaborations may already exist, they need to be operationalized in a more efficient manner. Thus, ICRW is launching an initiative to support the USAID's Greater Horn of Africa Initiative Linking Food Security and Nutrition. ICRW aims to demonstrate how agriculture and nutrition linkages can reinforce institutional capacities to incorporate gender and strengthen women's roles in achieving food security.
HIV and AIDS. ICRW was one of the first organizations to focus on the rapid spread of HIV and AIDS among women in developing countries. Our first research program on women and AIDS in the early 1990s examined the social, economic and gender factors fueling the spread of HIV and AIDS among women. Today we continue to push the AIDS agenda forward.
Promoting Women in Development. ICRW and the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) are working in partnership on a grants program, Promoting Women in Development (PROWID). Funded by the Office of Women in Development at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), PROWID is a four-year program currently in its third year. The program supports innovative interventions, research, and advocacy activities that help reach women and enhance their full participation in the development process. PROWID aims to improve the lives of women in developing countries and economies in transition by promoting development that is based on practical insights gained from field-tested interventions.
Women in Development Technical Assistance Project (WIDTECH). WIDTECH is funded by the USAID and consists of a consortium of five development organizations. The program provided technical assistance and training services complementary to those being provided by USAID's Office of Women in Development (G/WID); the WIDTECH team works to support those efforts made by G/WID to identify and develop innovative approaches to enhance the effectiveness of the USAID development efforts by addressing women's roles and contributions to the development process.
Adolescent Reproductive Health in Nepal. In a recent project, ICRW is implementing and testing the effectiveness of a community-based, client-centered participatory approach to improving adolescent health in Nepal. The study is being conducted in a project and control site on the outskirts of urban Katmandu and the rural district of Newalparasi and will include quantitative and qualitative data. This project is funded by the Mellon Foundation and in joint collaboration with AVSC International and Nepali partner organizations, New ERA and BP Memorial Health Foundation.
Factors Affecting the Safe Provision of IUDs in Resource-Poor Settings. In 1995, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, ICRW and AVSC International, the Population Council and the Pacific Institute for Women's Health initiated a set of closely linked projects to research what is needed to provide IUD devices in a safer manner. Targeted areas for research are Asia, Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. In June of 1999, ICRW held an event to disseminate the information gathered from these studies and to highlight the need for increased information and availability of IUDs in these parts of the world.
Population and Reproductive Health Policy Communications. In preparation for the 1999 UN Conference, ICRW received funding to accomplish the following: promote International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) dialogue and consensus among the public through educational forums that address population and reproductive care issues; produce an ICPD position paper aimed at policymakers that provides issue background, reviews progress on ICPD objectives thus far, and provides guidelines for what still needs to be accomplished.
Violence Against Women
Violence against women is a global epidemic with serious health and development impacts on women and girls, their families and their societies. It takes many forms including domestic violence, femicide, harmful traditional practices, rape and sexual coercion, and trafficking. ICRW works to end violence against women by addressing its root cause: gender inequalities.
ICRW has studied how best to improve the life options of adolescents for more than two decades, beginning with research on factors that affect young girls' school attendance. Our research today focuses on areas such as child marriage, son preference and adolescent reproductive health.
Reports & Resources
Adolescents and Girls
Vulnerability and Opportunity: Adolescents and HIV/AIDS in the Developing World: Findings from the Women and AIDS Research Program, Ellen Weiss, Daniel Whelan, and Geeta Rao Gupta. Argues that the factors that influence sexual risk among youth, such as the lack of information and services, are social, cultural, and economic forces that result in gender differences in sexual experiences, expectations, and the ability to adopt HIV/STD preventive behaviors.
The Costs of Adolescent Childbearing in Latin America and the Caribbean, Mayra Buvinic. A working paper exploring the social and economic impacts of adolescent childbearing on mothers and children and the degree to which adolescent childbearing contributes to the perpetuation of poverty in the Latin America and Caribbean region.
The Nutrition and Lives of Adolescents in Developing Countries: Findings from the Nutrition of Adolescent Girls Research Program, Kathleen M. Kurz and Charlott Johnson-Welch. A synthesis report summarizing findings from ICRW's Nutrition of Adolescent Girls Research Program, which supported 11 research projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Behavior: A Review of the Evidence from India, Shireen J. Jejeebhoy. Documents the existing research on sexual and reproductive behavior, and explores sexual knowledge and attitudes among adolescents in India.
Research Reveals Gender Divides of Globalization: Impact on Women's Employment. Examines globalization and the transition to market economies that has triggered dramatic changes in patterns of women's employment and earnings that are occurring worldwide.
Women Workers in a Globalizing Economy. Six papers presented at a series of ICRW policy forums held in Washington, New York, and The Hague that demonstrate the positive and negative effects of globalization and underscore the importance of gender-based research in order to understand the differential impact of global economic policies on women and men.
New Directions for the Study of Women and Environmental Degradation, Michael Paolisso. Reviews the available literature on the costs to women of environmental degradation and recommends more multi-disciplinary, gender-desegregated research that integrates concerns about the effects of environmental degradation on women into a wider range of environment and development initiatives.
Women's Responses to Environmental Degradation: Poverty and Demographic Constraints, Case Studies from Latin America, Michael Paolisso and Sarah Gammage. Case study research with partners in Chile, Ecuador, and Honduras on the environmental contributions of women to managing the negative effects of natural resource decline and environmental pollution on family welfare.
Women's Roles in Household Decision Making: A Case Study in Nigeria, Sarah Gammage. Report presenting findings from a study carried out with a sampling of households in three states in Nigeria to examine women's role in household decision making and the factors associated with their level of participation and influence in this process. The study also explored the hypothesis that where women are able to influence the decision making process, they are able to achieve welfare improvements for themselves and their children.
Health and Health Care
Working Paper. Modelling the Impact of Stigma on HIV/AIDS Programmes: Preliminary Projections for Mother-to-Child Transmission . Charlotte Watts, Cathy Zimmerman, Traci Eckhaus and Laura Nyblade. 2010.
Knowledge of HIV status, sexual risk behaviors and contraceptive need among people living with HIV in Kenya and Malawi. Aberle-Grasse, John M; Diaz, Theresa; Anand, Abhijeet; Shiraishi, Ray W; Bunnell, Rebecca E; Jacobs, Krista; Solehdin, Nadia; Abdul-Quader, Abu S; Marum, Lawrence H; Muttunga, James N; Kamoto, Kelita. 2009.
Gender Differences Among Children 0-5 Years: An Opportunity for Child Survival Interventions, Kathleen Kurz and Charlotte Johnson-Welch. In an examination of mortality, health, and nutritional status, and psycho-social development, this report describes how bias against girls was shown consistently for health care utilization, feeding patterns, and attention from health care providers.
Health Consequences of Adolescent Childbearing in Developing Countries, Kathleen Kurz. A working paper focusing on indicators that include maternal morality and morbidity, physical growth during pregnancy, and birthweight and prematurity in infants. A discussion of programmatic efforts to reduce poor health consequences of childbearing by adolescents is also included.
Innovation for Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality. Anju Malhotra, Jennifer Schulte, Payal Patel, Patti Petesch. 2009.
Recasting WID: A Human Rights Approach, Daniel Whelan (1998). A working paper discussing the premise that economic and social development is the realization of all human rights.
Leadership and Leadership Development
From Beneficiaries to Change Agents: The Rise of Women's Leadernship in International Development. Gill, Kirrin; Warner, Ann; Weiss, Ellen; Rao Gupta, Geeta. 2009.
Global Women's Leadership: Lessons From Advancing Women, Jill Merrick with Virginia Clarke-Laskin (1998). Summarizes the discussion at a four-day session organized by the ICRW and the Salzburg Seminar to study progress made worldwide in advancing women's leadership, and highlights the observations made by the participants.
Increasing Women's Involvement in Community Decision Making: A Means to Improve Iron Status. This report summarizes the findings from the intervention research project implemented by the Center for the Study and Promotion of Nutrition (CEPREN) in Peru, which explored the use of participatory methodologies to engage women members of community kitchens in peri-urban Lima in the design, implementation, and evaluation of a trial intervention to reduce iron deficiency among women of reproductive age.
Household Response to Soil Degradation: Gender, Poverty, and Demographic Dynamics in Honduras, Linda Casey and Michael Paolisso. Discusses how rural families in Honduras, most of whom are poor with few resources, are affected by and respond daily to increased resource degradation and changing economic conditions.
Socioeconomic Status of Women
Statistics on Women
ICRW's Global Fact Sheet Series includes fact sheets on women and credit and on women's health.
Women . . . A World Survey (2nd ed.), Ruth L. Sivard. Discusses indicators of women's progress in the last 10 years in the areas of education, the economy, health services, political participation, and legal rights, as well as data on historical trends in the global gender gap.
Quality of Life
Socioeconomic Status of Women
Communiqué to the Second Summit of the Americas. The Women's Leadership Conference of the Americas' recommendations for action to enhance opportunities for women in the Americas.
Improving the Quality of Life of Girls, Kathleen M. Kurz and Cynthia Prather. Explores the constraints limiting the quality of life of girl children, especially related to their health, education, and social well-being.
Investing in Women: Progress and Prospects for the World Bank, Mayra Buvinic, Catherine Gwin, and Lisa M. Bates. A review of World Bank projects that included measures to address the needs of women.
Taking Women Into Account: Lessons Learned from NGO Project Experiences, edited by Rekha Mehra, with Mayra Buvinic, Charlotte Johnson-Welch, Michael Paolisso, Ellen Weiss, and Daniel Whelan. A series of four case studies of the field-based projects of U.S. NGOs that offer replicable lessons learned on working with women, the Regional Oils Project of Appropriate Technology International (ATI) in Tanzania and Zimbabwe; the Warmi and Women-Child Impact (WCI) Projects of Save the Children (SC/B) in Bolivia; WID Initiatives in Agroforestry of CARE in Guatemala; and the Northwest Thailand AIDS Awareness Project and Women's Empowerment Project of the Chiangmai Provincial Centre for Non-Formal Education (CNE) and Laubach Literacy International in Thailand.
Women, Land and Sustainable Development, Rekha Mehra. Examines the linkages between women's land rights, development, and sustainability; demonstrates how restrictions to land rights undermine women's productivity and earnings, and their incentives and ability to sustain land and other natural resources; and suggests ways to strengthen women's land rights.
Determinants of Contraceptive Acceptance Among Cambodian Abortion Patients. McDougall J, Fetters T, Clark KA, and Rathavy T. 2009.
Unmet Need for Family Planning: Reflecting Women's Perspective, Nancy V. Yinger (1998). Discusses the results from a three-year research program in three countries, Guatemala, India, and Zambia, that used a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to examine unmet family planning needs.
Violence Against Women
Opportunities, Grants & Fellowships
Jobs and Fellowships at ICRW
Vacancies in Washington D.C.:
- ICRW President 
- Program Associate, Population and Development 
- Administrative Assistant to the CFO 
Vacancies in India/ Asia Regional Office: