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Framing is about the story you are trying to tell with your analysis.

For example, a report into the impact of spending on health could be framed as:

  • a criticism of the government for not spending enough;
  • an example of how gender budgeting could help the government improve its policy-making;
  • as a piece of academic research;
  • or a way of sharing the voices of women.

Framing work to fit in with the priorities of decision-makers can help them engage with the analysis. For example, during the late 1990s and 2000s WBG framed much of its work around women’s poverty and the government’s commitment to end child poverty. We argued that ending child poverty meant tackling women’s poverty: children were poor because their mothers were poor. We highlighted evidence that money paid directly to mothers was more likely to be spent on children than money paid to fathers. This helped persuade the government that tax credits aimed at supporting children in poorer families should be paid to the main carer, usually the mother.

The disadvantage of using a specific type of framing is that it can reduce complexity. For example, in the case described above, our framing might be seen to suggest that women’s poverty isn’t a problem in its own right. Tailoring the framing to decision-makers priorities also often means that their priorities go unchallenged.