The W+ Standard

The W+ Standard is a unique certification label developed by WOCAN that endorses projects that create increased social and economic benefits for women participating in economic development or environment projects, including those that provide renewable energy technologies, time and labor saving devices, forest and agriculture activities, and employment opportunities.

The W+ is thus an innovative framework to quantify and monetize the social capital created by women, to recognize and reward their contributions to sustainable environments and communities.
The W+ measures women’s empowerment in six domains: Time, Income & Assets, Health, Leadership, Education & Knowledge and Food Security. It produces quantified women-benefit units that contribute towards post 2015 Sustainability Goals (SDGs), Climate Financing or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targets.

Vist W+ Standard website for more detail: www,

Why a W+ Standard?

In much of the world, women comprise the majority of farmers and natural resource managers, yet are often excluded from decision-making and do not have an equal access to resources. Strengthening women’s empowerment will provide environmental, social and economic benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation, resilience and food security.

Governments, development agencies and investors are increasingly funding women’s empowerment/ gender equality, based on women’s rights and evidence of improved project outcomes. However, what is lacking for many is a robust means of measuring these outcomes in a way that can be simply communicated.

How will the W+ Standard be Implemented?

Existing or new projects should assess how the W+ can be integrated into their project.  Any type of economic development or environment project is potentially applicable: forest, renewable energy, clean water, agriculture, etc.  Projects must plan for and measure progress in at least one of the six domains: Income and Assets, Time, Education and Knowledge, Leadership, Food Security and Health.  Once projects are defined and underway their outcomes will be monitored and measured and verified by an external auditor that has been approved by WOCAN. Organizations/projects that have obtained satisfactory results will be issued W+ certificates for a specific number of units which can then be sold to corporations, investors and individual buyers. The W+ will also provide a new revenue stream to women and their groups through benefit sharing mechanisms required by the Standard.

For more information go to W+ Website:

Technical Assistance 

WOCAN provides technical assistance in building capacities for gender and women’s empowerment programming and monitoring and evaluation, and can guide Project Developers in each step of the W+ standard application. Project Developers will gain knowledge and expertise on how to measure women’s empowerment using the W+ Standard as a result of receiving this assistance.



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March 28, 2016
WOCAN's Headquarters is relocating back to the US, to San Francisco as of May 1; we will maintain the office in Bangkok for regional coordination in Asia. Look for news of new partnerships and alliances to come from our establishment in the city of innovation, San Francisco.
March 25, 2016
WOCAN staff and Board of Directors are developing a new Strategic Plan that is expected to be completed in July 2016. Based on experiences and lessons learned over the last 10 years of our existence, we have revised our Theory of Change (TOC). We welcome and encourage you, as members and partners,to send us your comments at and/or indicate your 'like'. Our...
March 8, 2016
International Women’s Day provides chance to reflect on what we have achieved and are planning to achieve for women. This March 8, I would like to introduce a regular note to share thoughts and updates on our work at WOCAN, particularly with the development of the W+ Program. This month began with an inspiring video and note from Melinda Gates on what she sees as a key constraint...
In programs: The W+ Standard
February 25, 2016
Sunitha Bishan, WOCAN Core Associate, was on the panel discussing, ‘Balancing Work-Life in a Raging Climate’ during the ASEAN Work-Life Balance conference held from 23-25 Feb in Malaysia. Sunitha reflected on her experience as a government delegate at the COP21 which was held in Dec 2015 in Paris. She also presented the W+ Standard as a social innovation to support women's...
March 3, 2016
Meena Bilgi, WOCAN Core Associate, discussed ‘Gender and SDGs’ at the National Consultation on “Taking the Sustainable Development and Climate Agenda Post 2015” held on 21 Feb in Pune, India. The objective of the consultation was to discuss what lies ahead for the climate and development agenda in 2016 and beyond. The Consultation explored how best to engage with the...
February 21, 2016
Nisha Onta, Knowledge Management Coordinator, attended the Asia-Pacific Regional Seminar in preparation for the CSW 60th session: “Transformative financing for the achievement of the gender equality by 2030” held from 18 to 19 Feb in UNCC Bangkok. This inter-governmental Seminar was organized in ESCAP, in partnership with UNDP and UNWomen. The seminar started with the overview of...
January 13, 2016
The African Women’s Network for Community management of Forests (REFACOF) with the support from WOCAN organized the Women Leadership Circle in Agriculture & NRM (WLCAN) at Akonolinga on 29 October and at Edéa on 26 November. The objectives of WLCAN were to: Share information on the results of the study “An Appraisal of Women's Rights concerns through a Gender...
January 28, 2016
The WOCAN Board meeting was held from 27-29 January in San Francisco, California, USA. The members of the WOCAN Board of Directors areKaren Frost, Lee West, Kanchan Lama, Mary Mbura Njenga, Kimberly Ann Easson, Chris Grieve, Candice Eggerss and Jeannette Gurung.
January 7, 2016
Jeannette Gurung and Barun Gurung, WOCAN Lead Trainer, met with Tomo Hamakawa, Director of Strategic Initiatives andAnna Boranova, Senior Analyst of Kopernik, on 3 Dec in Bali, Indonesiato learn more about each organization's work. Kopernik distributes low-cost technologies to recipients in less-developed countries. Their donors fund the upfront costs of introducing technologies...
In programs: The W+ Standard
December 9, 2015
Jeannette Gurung attended the workshop on Facilitating Inclusive Financial Markets held on 2 Dec in Bangkok. The workshop was organized by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and discussed the principles of undertaking a market systems approach for financial inclusion projects. The objective of the workshop was for the...
In programs: The W+ Standard


WOCAN has developed a unique certification label, the W+ Standard, that endorses projects which creates increased social and economic benefits for women participating in economic development or environment projects, including those that provide renewable energy technologies, time and labor saving devices, forest and agriculture activities, and employment opportunities. The W+ creates metrics...
In programs: The W+ Standard
Jeannette will be attending the USAID Gender Lens Impact Investing forum in Bangkok, Thailand, 11-13 March 2015, to discuss how to accelerate gender lens investing in Asia. USAID will present findings from recent field visits in Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, but more importantly, use the time to define and shape the direction of gender...
In programs: The W+ Standard
WOCAN Board meeting will be held on 23-24 April 2015 in California, USA.
Jeannette will be attending the 9th Meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board in Songdo, Republic of Korea on 24-26 March 2015. The provisional agenda includes accreditation, proposal approval process and investment framework and cross-cutting matters such as the gender policy and action plan, Private Sector Facility and initial risk management framework. WOCAN is a accredited civil sociery...
Dibya Gurung, WOCAN Core Associate, will attend thehigh level panel discussion on ‘Achieving Broader Access to Energy through Clean Cooking and Lighting– Challenges and Innovative Financing Modalities in the context of Nepal’ organized bySNV Netherlands Development Organization, Clean Energy Development Bank and Scott Wilson Nepal.Honorable Prof. Dr. Govinda...
Jeannette Gurung will attend the three day working session to review theRestoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM)and to provide concrete suggestion. The event is organized by IUCN and being held from 16-18 February in Washington DC, USA.
IFAD's Thematic Group (TG) on Gender bids farewell to two of its most active members who will retire at the end of January: Cheryl Morden (Deputy Director, Office of Partnership and Resource Mobilization & Chief, North American Liaison Office) and Rosemary Vargas-Lundius (Senior Researcher,Strategy and Knowledge Department). Promoting gender equality and...
Jeannette Gurung will present the W+ Standard and the pilot project in Nepal “Time Saving for Women Users of Biogas in Nepal” during the Breakfast with Biruwa organized by Biruwa Ventures on 21 January, in Kathmandu, Nepal. "Breakfast at Biruwa" is an informal networking and knowledge sharing event among Biruwa team members and invited guests. Biruwa Ventures...
In programs: The W+ Standard
Barun Gurung, WOCAN Leader Trainer and Jeannette Gurung is conductingReframing Leadership for Women and Men for Gender Equality Trainingfor The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) project staff on 19-23 January 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal.


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Abstract The empowerment of women, broadly defined, is an often-cited objective and benefit of social cashtransfer programmes in developing countries. Despite the promise and potential of cash transfersto empower women, the evidence supporting this outcome is mixed. In addition, there is little evidencefrom programmes that have gone to scale in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper...
In programs: The W+ Standard
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In programs: The W+ Standard
Authors:Greg Seymour (, Cheryl Doss, Paswel Marenya, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, and Simone Passarelli ABSTRACT Despite recent evidence that decisions about technology adoption often involve inputfrom both men and women, the literature on technology adoption rarely considers gender andintrahousehold issues. In this paper, we use survey data from Ethiopia,...
ABSTRACT This article offers a power analysis of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) process and outcomes, from a feminist perspective. Many see, inthe SDGs, several opportunities for progress on gender equality andwomen’s rights, if not for transformation. Yet there are many reasonsfor scepticism, as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s...
Indonesia, like many other countries, is proneto these gendered risks given the historicallyentrenched male-dominated nature of the forestrysector coupled with growing commercial pressureson forest land, embedded social and cultural normsand religious interpretations that may exacerbategender inequalities in rural communities. Thegrowing calls for “...
Edited by Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Bimbika Sijapati Basnett and Marlène Elias "This book includes reviews of the literature, case studies, and cross-country comparisons of gender and forests, with the main focus on developing countries in the tropics.It proposes a conceptual framework designed for looking at gender in forests (The Gender Box) and provides a better balance in gender...