About GAP

About GAP

WAPPP’s Gender Action Portal (GAP) is a collection of summarized research evaluating the impact of specific policies, strategies, and organizational practices to close gender gaps in the areas of economic opportunity, politics, health, and education. GAP focuses on experimental approaches to evaluate policies – both in the field and in the laboratory – and draws from multiple disciplines, including economics, psychology, and organizational behavior. GAP serves as an online tool for decision makers across sectors to utilize evidence-based research in order to create better informed policies and procedures.

We thank the Women’s Leadership Board and the Abigail E. Disney Endowment Fund for the seed funding to launch the Gender Action Portal and ExxonMobil’s Women’s Economic Opportunity Initiative for its investment to advance and scale the impact of this online research tool.

Our Methodology

The research included in GAP primarily focuses on experimental approaches, with an emphasis on Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) conducted in the field or laboratory. In RCTs participants are randomly assigned to control and treatment groups, thus testing the impact of a given intervention on two (statistically) identical groups of people. By comparing the outcomes in the treatment group with those of the untreated (control) group, we can evaluate the impact of a new policy, management practice, or leadership style and demonstrate causality.

In a small number of cases, GAP also includes studies utilizing quasi-experimental methodologies (e.g., difference-in-difference, instrumental variable regressions) in order to include evidence that either cannot or has not been evaluated experimentally. The primary distinction between these quasi-experimental methods and RCTs is randomization: RCTs require that participation and non-participation in the treatment is determined randomly. As a result, RCTs allow researchers to make clean causal inferences between interventions (or treatments) and outcomes, whereas this is more complicated when employing quasi-experimental methods.


For questions regarding the GAP selection process, summary production, or media inquiries please contact Anisha Asundi, WAPPP Program Fellow, at anisha_asundi@hks.harvard.edu