This article analyzes the role of frugal innovation in inclusive development through a gender lens. It explores frugal innovation processes as a potential means to empowerment and enhanced well-being of marginalized women. The presented analytical framework balances the need for evaluating whether frugal innovation delivers direct demonstrable value to the lives of marginalized women and where and when frugal innovation may tackle adverse institutions to unlock a more egalitarian flow of benefits and opportunities to individual women, households, and communities. The framework explains how frugal innovation can have a wide variety of positive, negative, and unintended outcomes across market and nonmarket domains. The key focus is on exploring when frugal innovations are more likely to reproduce or transform institutionalized gender-related constraints that structure how men and women can access resources and opportunities. New empirical research to substantiate the framework requires an interdisciplinary approach that combines qualitative and quantitative methods.

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The European Journal of Development Research
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Vossenberg, S. (Saskia). (2017). Frugal Innovation Through a Gender Lens: Towards an Analytical Framework. The European Journal of Development Research, 1–15. doi:10.1057/s41287-017-0118-z