An Interview With Jeni Klugman, Director of Gender and Development at the World Bank

At the Women Deliver Conference, I had the pleasure to interview Jeni Klugman, the Director of Gender and Development at the World Bank. Answering questions related to accountability, the Women Deliver Conference, and correct data, Klugman provided Girls’ Globe with excellent insight on issues concerning gender and development.


EE: Hi I’m Elisabeth from Girls’ Globe and I’m here today interviewing Jeni Klugman, the Director of Gender and Development at the World Bank. So question number 1, Jeni:

How can we ensure effective accountability for service providers to monitor outcomes in reproductive and maternal health?

JK: Well, accountability is a key part of the equation. Too often, services are of poor quality, staff is not there, supplies are not there. Different mechanisms are being used to try to improve accountability. There are what we can call long routes and short routes. So, long route is by the ballot box, so holding the government accountable. But it is a long route and elections may not be very frequent or they may not be entirely fair in the whole country. So short routes enable more direct feedback. Some of the examples include publishing data about the amount of money that a clinic receives, [and] enabling complaints to be made directly to the clinics or directly to government officials in the area.

EE: And promoting local governance? Is that also something?

JK: Yea, no accountable local government is an important part of the equation as well.

EE: Ok, great.

Question 2: What do you hope the major outcome of the Women Deliver Conference will be?

JK: Well it’s clearly a major conference. I think that the mere fact of getting so many thousands of people together who are passionate about improving maternal health and promoting gender equality more broadly is a major achievement in itself. I think moving the agenda forward in particular ways, [and] recognition of the economic costs of the interrelationships among the different dimensions of gender equality. But I think also the connections among people are very important as well.

EE: Definitely.

Question 3: For women and girls in the most rural, hard-to-reach populations, how do you ensure correct data?

JK: That’s a major challenge. We know that, for the countries that have the worst records in terms of maternal and child health, indeed that data is also the worst. So [there are] different ways of combating that issue [where it] exists. There are short term efforts, so you can [have] a kind of  survey and collect some data and then you know [the data] for a particular point in time. But I think, more importantly, it is critical to build the capacity, the underlying capacity of the local administration and local statistical systems so that they can collect birth [and] death registrations on a routine basis.

EE: So they can collect it themselves. Right.

Well, thanks so much for watching our video with Jeni Klugman, and if you are interested in viewing more of our Women Deliver coverage, please feel free to explore our website and enjoy! Thank you.

Image Courtesy of Women Deliver
Image Courtesy of Women Deliver

For more videos of Jeni Klugman at the Women Deliver Conference, please see below:

Plenary: Investing in Women’s Reproductive Health Equals Investing in Economic and Social Progress for Everyone

Press Conference Day 1: Investing in Girls & Women

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Category: Health
Tagged with: Development    Empowerment    Gender    gender inequality    Global Health    Maternal Health    Public Health    Reproductive Health    Women    Women Deliver    Women's Empowerment    World Bank

Elisabeth Epstein

Hi everyone! I recently earned my Master’s degree in International Development from The New School in New York City in May 2012. With a concentration in International Development and Global Health, I have worked behind the scenes as a Research Intern for the PBS documentary Half the Sky in addition to serving as the Research and Advocacy Intern for The Hunger Project. Globally, I have taught English to kindergartners in China, have researched clean water and HIV/AIDS in Kenya, and have gained first-hand experience understanding how migrants and refugees deal with public health issues in both Mexico and Thailand. I am especially interested in food security, nutrition and hunger and the role of women and girls in each of these issues. In my free time, I enjoy playing with my ever-so-fluffy Siberian Husky, eating delicious food, training for marathons and traveling. Follow me on Twitter @E_Epstein!

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