The United Nations Foundation and the ExxonMobil Foundation have announced a $1.5 million initiative to identify the most effective global investments that promote economic opportunities for women.

Led by gender and social development expert Mayra Buvinic, the initiative will work to create a tool that enables experts in the field, including program and policy experts at nongovernmental organizations, UN agencies, foundations, multilateral and bilateral agencies, and in the public sector, to identify practical interventions that countries at different stages of economic development can implement for women at different levels of economic participation. Building on recent findings, including those of the World Bank’s 2012 World Development Report, the partners will share findings from the effort with researchers and program implementers, as well as funding agencies in the private and public sectors.

“There is a crucial knowledge gap around the most effective investments that promote women’s economic opportunities,” said Buvinic. “It’s our desire that [this] research will be used to spur strategic investments in quality programs aimed at improving economic outcomes for women and communities.”

According to Suzanne McCarron, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation, the research will demonstrate how best to help women build strong communities.

“When women thrive economically, entire societies are transformed by becoming healthier, more stable and more prosperous,” said McCarron. “We are excited about this opportunity to add to the body of knowledge and to share the findings with the broad community engaged in investing in women.”

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