Updated Jul 10, 2020

W+ Standard | Ensuring Benefits for Women

www.wplus.org

Jeannette Gurung

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The W+ quantifies impacts of projects on women’s lives in a transparent manner, bringing to light their social and environmental contributions. It gives a monetary value to results and creates a new channel to direct financial resources to women.

The W+ provides a framework to measure results of women’s empowerment activities in six areas: Time saving, Income/Assets, Education/Knowledge, Leadership, Food Security or Health. Projects select at least one of these areas, through consultations with women, and collect data using methods and indicators provided by the W+ Standard for both baseline and results surveys. Independent auditors the...
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The W+ provides a framework to measure results of women’s empowerment activities in six areas: Time saving, Income/Assets, Education/Knowledge, Leadership, Food Security or Health. Projects select at least one of these areas, through consultations with women, and collect data using methods and indicators provided by the W+ Standard for both baseline and results surveys. Independent auditors then verify project results. Projects that meet the W+ requirements are certified and issued W+ units (a quantifiable and realized improvements in a woman’s life). The units are listed on the Markit global registry, for complete transparency and can be sold through W+ brokers and webshops to governments, individuals, companies and investors. At least 20% share of the revenue from sales goes to women and women’s groups of the project to be utilized as they see best fit to address needs and opportunities. Projects can repeat the cycle continuously, to provide and measure more benefits to women, using profits generated from the sale of units. The W+ can be used along side carbon standards e.g. W+ and Verified Carbon Standard have developed a streamlined process to measure carbon benefits and women’s empowerment outcomes of projects generating W+ labeled VCUs, simultaneously contributing to SDG13 and SDG5.
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Stage 4: Transition to Scale

4 projects certified, 10 projects in pipeline. W+ units from Nepal and Morocco sold and a share of the benefits returned to women. Streamlined process for joint W+/VCS certification. W+ added to WB procurement requirements tender for carbon units

Focus Areas:

Gender, Climate Change and Resilience, Finance and 2 MoreSEE ALL

Gender, Climate Change and Resilience, Finance, Agriculture and EnergySEE LESS

Implemented In:

Nepal, Indonesia, Honduras and 5 MoreSEE ALL

Nepal, Indonesia, Honduras, Cambodia, Morocco, Vietnam, South Africa and Sri LankaSEE LESS

8
Key Partners
8
Countries Implemented In
10
Customers
3
Employees
$800,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

The W+ Standard was developed by a global women-led NGO (WOCAN) in response to the significant lack of investment in women and women’s organizations that impedes global goals for sustainable development. This gap maintains or worsens gender gaps and women’s potential to contribute to climate, food and poverty solutions. It also responds to the lack of rigorous, transparent mechanism to measure and validate impacts of projects on women.

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Solution

The W+ Standard measures, quantifies and gives a value to women’s empowerment. It provides rigor to gender measurement and reporting on SDG5 within development and environment projects with an independent verification; incentivizes project developers to increase activities for women’s empowerment with opportunities for generating W+ units or W+ labeled carbon credits; and creates a mechanism to enable direct funding to women through mandatory benefit-sharing with women's organizations.

Target Beneficiaries

The W+ aims at improving women's lives in particular in rural areas in developing countries, who are not compensated for their social and environmental contributions and lack access to finance (benefits for about 13 000 women measured to date). It also serves project developers (governments, development agencies, companies) that want to contribute to SDG5, and measure and report on their impact on women's lives. Investors benefit from a rigorous framework that measures their social performance.

Mission and Vision

Our purpose is to advance women’s empowerment and collective action to tackle climate change, poverty and food insecurity within enabling environments. The W+ ™ Standard is a breakthrough innovation that is leading the way for investing in results – not just processes- to overcome intractable blocks to women’s empowerment and gender equality. It promotes excellence and innovation from the earliest stages of project design and development through implementation and outcomes' measurement.

Competitive Advantage

The W+ is unique as it enables the monetization of results, and includes a benefit sharing mechanism that directs money to women, through the sale of W+ units. It also promotes excellence and innovation throughout a project cycle, featuring: • Results-based: quantitative and qualitative measurement of positive benefits for women’s empowerment that can be more easily and confidently attributed to a project’s activities than a measurement of gender equality, while contributing to it. • Transparency: verification bodies specialized in social– not environmental- impacts • Inclusion in the Verified Carbon Standard • Opportunities to either generate ‘stand-alone” W+ units, ‘stack’ W+ units onto GHG units or generate W+ Labelled GHG units The W+ received the UNFCCC Momentum for Change “Women for Results” Award; was endorsed by the World Bank Group, the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Impact Toolkit

Planned Goals and Milestones

- Build the market for W+ applications (using W+, stand-alone and with carbon standards) and unit sales leveraging existing platforms and partnerships - Training of Project Developers to apply W+ and building a pool of W+ auditors in Africa, Asia, Latin America - Develop an app to facilitate and reduce costs of measurement - Explore the use the W+ as a label to notify consumers of benefits to women made by their purchases of certified products and services.
Funding Goal500,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted50,000
New Implemented CountriesCambodia, Nepal, India, Indonesia
Recruit1 staff and 1 Advisor on W+ Advisory Committee for Certifying Supply Chains
New FeatureW+ app for measurement of results; Broadening the customer base to include companies with supply chains to use the W+ as a label to notify consumers of benefits to women made by their purchases of certified products and services.

The Team Behind the Innovation

Core team (3 women): Jeannette Gurung, innovator and team leader (PhD in gender, 30 years of experience globally and in Asia. Founder/ED of WOCAN). Maria Lee, W+ Coordinator, (MA in international development and 15 years of global experience with WOCAN and other international organizations). Nisha Onta, Regional Coordinator, Asia, (PhD in gender and over 10 years experience in Asia, expertise in climate change) Advisory Council: 13 members, 5 women (https://www.wplus.org/team/)

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestone

May 2020
Key Partnership
 
as part of
 UNECE Gender Responsive Standards Initiative
Jan 2020
Key Partnership
Implementation
 
as part of
 LandScale Intiative
Dec 2019
Key Partnership
 
as part of
 W+ and VCS joint certification
Oct 2014
Key Partnership
Mar 2014
New Country Implemented In
Nepal
Nov 2014
Created

Supporting Materials

White-Paper-Final-July2015-.pdf
W-Webinar-1-Slides-Dec.-6-2018.pdf
W-Brief-for-Climate-2019-1-page-orientation-null.pdf