Scholarships and women’s leadership: power, privilege and measurement

Ashlee analysed a recent evaluation of the impact of Australia Award scholarships on women’s leadership in developing countries. While overall, she felt the evaluation was positive, she highlighted gaps in the analysis and in the use of tracer studies of former scholarship recipients.

The tracer studies, as interpreted by this evaluation, allow measurement of leadership in three main ways: whether the individual was promoted on return from their scholarship; whether they had increased responsibilities; and whether they were transferring skills to others through formal or informal channels.

This is leadership narrowly defined—it does little to tell us about women’s true influence or power (recent ODI research shows this does not necessarily go hand and hand with increasing access to higher positions), and it doesn’t venture beyond career development markers to look at women’s leadership in a broader, contextual sense.

Read the full blog post here.