U.S. Department of State - Great SealThis past Monday, April 9, I attended a briefing on the State Department’s first ever gender policy.   To my mind, this policy is another reason that Hillary Clinton will be leave an incredible mark on the U.S. diplomatic and development agenda.   Global Ambassador for Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer was joined by Carla Koppell, the Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at USAID and  Caren Grown, Senior Gender Advisor at USAID.  The exciting discussion focused on not just the State Department’s new gender policy but also the manner in which State and USAID are working together to ensure that gender is taken into account across all programs in our diplomatic and development efforts.   To me, one of the most interesting parts of the briefing was by Caren Grown, who emphasized the need to look at the impact of the dollars spent by the US government on outcomes.  She outlined the work being done by USAID to look at the impact of gender using metrics that get at not just the numbers of people attending programs, but the difference that those programs make in the lives of communities.   One of dynamic and important measures that USAID has worked on is called The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) which measures women’s control over critical parts of their lives in the household, community, and economy. The WEAI was developed collaboratively by Feed the Future (the US government’s global hunger and food security initiative), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) of Oxford University.   It’s a good reminder that public service and good public policy matter.