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Gender Issues in Agriculture
and Natural Resource Management
In cooperation with
Edited by Bruce Horwith
ROBERT R. NATHAN ASSOCIATES, INC.
Office of Women in Development
Bureau for Program and Policy Coordination
U.S. Agency for International Development
TABLE OF CONTENTS
List of Figures .. .... .... ... .. .... ......... .. .. .. ................ v
List of Case Studies .................... ........................... vii
Preface ...................................... .................. viii
Acknowledgments ................................................. ix
1. Introduction .... ..... .... .... ... ...... .. .. ... .. .... .. ... .... 1
1.1 The A.I.D. Women in Development Policy . . . ..... . ... 1
1.2 Women in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management ................ 4
1.3 Organization of this Document ....................................... 6
2. Integrating Gender Issues into A.I.D.'s Programs, Projects,
and Non-Project Assistance ........................................ 9
2.1 Incorporating Gender Concerns into the CDSS and Action Plan ............. 9
2.1.1 The CDSS Document ........................................ 9
220.127.116.11 Review of Recent Performance ................ ........ 9
18.104.22.168 The Mission Assistance Strategy .................. ..... 11
22.214.171.124 The Mission Portfolio Strategy ...................... ... 12
2.1.2 The Action Plan ........................................ 13
2.2 Incorporating Gender into A.I.D. Projects ................ ............ 14
2.2.1 Project Identification Document ................ ............. 14
2.2.2 Project Paper .................................... ....... 14
2.3 Incorporating Gender into Non-Project Assistance ................. ...... 17
2.3.1 Is Gender an Issue in Non-Project Assistance? ................... 17
2.3.2 Policy Reform and Budget Support ................. .......... 17
3. Integration of Gender Issues into the Design of Agricultural
and Natural Resouce Management Projects ....... ...................... 21
3.1 Agricultural Project Design Issues ................ ................ 21
3.2 Gender Analysis in the Project Paper ............................... 21
3.2.1 The Social Soundness Analysis .............................. 26
3.2.2 The Technical Analysis .................................. 26
3.2.3 The Economic Analysis .................. ................ 26
TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued)
3.3 Incorporating Gender Concerns into Project Components
33 1 A i l l Ed ati and Trainin
J.,.J. 2-^11,%UILU1L J-rUUl.i
3.3.2 Agroforestry and
3.3.3 Capital ......
Natural Resource Mana. .
Natural Resource Mana
. . . . .
. o. ..
. ,. .
Data Collection and Planning .......
Farmer Organizations ............
Input Supply Systems ............
Irrigation Infrastructure and Management
Land Reform and Tenure .........
Livestock Systems ..............
Management Development .........
M marketing ...................
Roads and Other Infrastructures .....
Storage and Processing ...........
Technical Assistance ............
4. Project Implementation, Monitoring, and Evaluation ......................
4.1 Im plem entation ............................................
4.1.1 Selection of Institutions, Technical Experts, and Delivery Services .......
Criteria for Selecting Institutions . . . ... . ..
Criteria for Selecting Technical Experts ..................
Criteria for Selecting Delivery Systems ...................
4.2 M monitoring and Evaluation .....................................
4.2.1 Overall Indicators of Women's Participation .....................
4.2.2 Techniques for Evaluating Women's Participation in Agricultural
Developm ent .........................................
Direct Observation ........
Community Interviews .....
Informal Surveys ........
Household Record Keeping .
Purposive Sampling .......
PPC/W ID Resources ....................................
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
. . . . .
LIST OF FIGURES
1 From Gender Blindness to Gender Adaptation: Useful Definitions 3
2 Advantages and Disadvantages of Three Methods of Including Women in Projects 7
3 Incorporating Gender Concerns into the CDSS 10
4 Steps in the Gender Analysis Process 15
5 Issues for Gender Considerations in Non-Project Assistance (NPA) 18
6 Designing Policy Analysis and Reform Components in Agricultural Projects 21
7 Patterns of Gender Responsibilities in Agriculture 22
8 Addressing Gender Issues in the Design Team Scope of Work 23
9 Incorporating Gender Concerns into Project Design: Issues and Answers 24
10 Addressing Gender Issues in the Project Paper 25
11 Addressing Gender Issues in the Project Technical Analysis 27
12 Addressing Gender Issues in the Project Economic Analysis 28
13 Primary Agricultural and Natural Resource Management Project Components 29
14 Designing Agricultural or Natural Resource Management Training Components 30
15 Designing Natural Resource Management and Conservation Components 33
16 Designing Capital Components in Agricultural and Natural Resource Projects 35
17 Designing Credit Components in Agricultural and Natural Resource Projects 38
18 Designing Data Collection and Planning Components in Agricultural and Natural
Resource Projects 39
19 Designing Extension Components in Agricultural and Natural Resource Projects 40
20 Designing Farmer Organization Components in Agricultural Projects 41
21 Designing Input Supply System Components in Agricultural Projects 42
LIST OF FIGURES (Continued)
22 Designing Irrigation Infrastructure and Management Components in Agricultural
23 Designing Labor Components in Agricultural Projects 46
24 Designing Land Reform and Tenure Components in Agricultural and Natural
Resource Projects 48
25 Designing Livestock Livestock Components in Agricultural Projects 52
26 Designing Management Development Components in Agricultural and Natural
Resource Projects 53
27 Designing Marketing Components in Agricultural Projects 54
28 Designing Research Components in Agricultural and Natural Resource Projects 55
29 Designing Road and Other Infrastructure Components in Agricultural and Natural
Resource Projects 58
30 Designing Storage and Processing Components in Agricultural Projects 59
31 Designing Technical Assistance Components in Agricultural and Natural Resource
32 Ensuring Gender Adaptation in Agricultural Projects: Project Officer Responsibilities
for Project Implementation and Monitoring 62
33 Sampling Strategies 71
LIST OF CASE STUDIES
Case Study Page
1 Increasing Women's Involvement in Agribusiness 36
2 Incorporation of Women and Gender Analysis in a Rice-Based Farming
Systems Project in the Philippines 45
3 Dairy Goat Production-Women's Projects vs. Integrated Projects 51
4 Incorporating Gender as a Variable in Agricultural Research in Ecuador 56
5 Integration of Farmers' Criteria in Bean Variety Testing 57
6 A Successful Project Adaptation to Gender Concerns 72
This is the fourth document in the Gender Manual Series produced by the Women in
Development Office. The authors were asked to address the needs of A.I.D. staff to incorporate
gender considerations into their agriculture and natural resource assistance work. The manual
examines issues in these sectors that arise from differences between men and women in their access
to and control of resources. It explores the gender implications of these differences, and suggests
strategies to ensure that gender is considered in an appropriate manner. Although the manual was
developed for A.I.D., we hope that others in the development community find it useful as well, and
we encourage others to adapt this manual to meet the needs of their organization.
The Gender Issues in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management manual was developed
concurrently with a handbook that will soon be distributed by the Office of Women in
Development, the Gender Information Framework (GIF). The GIF was originally designed as a
training tool to increase awareness of and skills to deal with gender issues in A.I.D. It provides
planners with a set of tools that can be applied to any sector to help build gender considerations
into programs and projects.
Gender Issues in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management is meant to be a practical,
"hands-on" manual, thus one constantly subject to revision and updating. Its fluid status is
deliberate as the gender consideration process is constantly evolving and being revised to reflect
research and results from field applications. We welcome your comments as you use this handbook
and have provided a response tear sheet in the back for your convenience.
This manual has been a long time in the making, and has evolved through the efforts of many
people. Helen Henderson identified the major issues in a background paper that contributed greatly
to this present version. The team that produced this manual, the authors and staff of the Women in
Development Office, brings together diverse technical skills and extensive experience with A.I.D.
Special thanks to Kathleen Moran (PPC/WID) who assisted in the final editing and prepared the
report for publication, and to Jeffery Franklin (PPC/WID) who battled with the incompatibilities
between the various word processing programs and printers with his usual good spirits.
Women in development (WID) has become an increasingly important development issue in
recent years, in large part due to the shift of emphasis away from equity concerns to recognition of
the productive roles played by women and the contribution they can make to economic growth and
development. Efficiently designed and managed projects are better able to deliver resources to
women, and projects that deliver appropriate resources to women generally have been shown to be
In most agricultural and natural resource projects, "the household" is taken as the basic unit of
analysis; males are assumed to be heads-of-households and, thus, the principal decision makers and
sources of information. The roles of other household members are frequently ignored-to the
detriment of the project and to those it is meant to serve. Yet, in every society women and men
have different roles, have access to different resources and benefits, and have different
responsibilities. Adult women, the elderly, and children bring specific skills, resources, and
priorities to farm production; to ignore these is to ignore half or more of the system in which
decisions about farming and use of natural resources are made. With this in mind, the authors of
this manual have called upon the techniques associated with Farming Systems Research (FSR) (see
next page). While there are numerous factions that can be considered under the FSR rubric, most
practitioners agree that the approach relies heavily on farmer input throughout the research cycle,
from diagnosing needs through to dissemination of results. The principles embodied in FSR
comprise an essential component of any strategy to improve the well being of farmers, be they
male or female.
Gender has proven to be the most useful category to disaggregate the farm household and
analyze intra-household behavior.0'47 This handbook explores the ways by which gender analysis
can be used as a tool for better understanding the relationship among social, economic, and
technical factors at work in the agriculture and natural resource sectors (see Figure 1).
1.1 The A.I.D. Women in Development Policy
The policy of A.I.D. on women in development derives from the Percy Amendment to the
Foreign Assistance Act, which directs that the United States government's bilateral assistance
programs should be administered
so as to give particular attention to those programs, projects and activities which tend to
integrate women into the national economies of foreign countries, thus improving their status
and assisting the total development effort.2
Farming Systems Research"s
Farming Systems Research (FSR) refers to an approach to agricultural research
and extension that emphasizes social and economic factors in addition to technical
factors, including those that operate on the farm and those that are outside of, but
affect the farm. FSR is an approach to, and not a substitute for, conventional
agricultural research. It developed and continues to evolve in order to enhance the
effectiveness of agricultural research, particularly in reaching resource-poor farmers.
Numerous factions exist that can be considered under the FSR rubric, but most
practitioners agree that the approach relies heavily on farmer input into four stages
of technology development and diffusion:
1. an iterative process for diagnosing needs, problems, and constraints in the
2. identifying priority problems, analyzing proposed solutions, and developing
field trials to test proposals;
3. farm-level experimentation, including monitoring, modification, and
verification of proposed solutions; supportive on-station research; and
evaluation of adoptability; and
4. dissemination of farmer-approved results to relevant groups of farmers.
Agricultural research and extension is more effective when an FSR component is
included, but there is a cost to using FSR to support conventional research.
Sociological data, for example, on intra-household dynamics and gender issues, must
be collected. Anthropologists, sociologists, and economists are hired to complement
the agronomists, plant breeders, and others to form multi-disciplinary teams. Some
of this expense may be reduced in the future as agronomists and other natural
scientists receive training to incorporate social science perspectives more effectively
into their research methodologies. There are also expenses associated with farmer
participation and on-farm trials. Meaningful cost/benefit analyses do not exist yet
for FSR. This is not unusual for a relatively new discipline, especially given the
time-lag for the effects of agricultural research. More problematic is that as an
adjunct to conventional research, FSR is difficult to evaluate independently. Many
of the benefits, such as greater sensitivity on the part of researchers to the
disadvantaged members of a target group, are not easily quantified.
The principles embodied in FSR will be an essential component of any strategy
to improve food security. This is especially true in Africa, where failure to take
into account non-technical factors, such as labor bottlenecks and shortages, has
repeatedly thwarted attempts to introduce technologies. An approach like that of
FSR will be a valuable tool in helping to mitigate such factors, as well as in
identifying gender, age, ethnic, and class differences that affect development
From Gender Blindness to Gender Adaptation:
Women versus gender:
Gender is a socioeconomic variable to analyze roles, responsibilities,
constraints, and opportunities of the people involved in the
development effort. It considers both men and women, and thus
should not be confused as being an equity issue.
The inability to perceive that there are different gender roles and
responsibilities; the perception that farmers and technology are male
(or neuter); and the failure to realize that project activities can have
different effects on men and women.
The analysis of the intersection of male and female roles and
responsibilities with project goals, strategies, and outcomes at any
stage of the project cycle.
The application of gender analysis to development assistance
activities to ensure that both men and women will be involved
The 1982 A.I.D.'s Women in Development Policy Paper stresses that gender roles constitute a
key variable in the socioeconomic condition of any country-one that can be decisive in the success
of development plans. Failure to include women in the development process has consistently led to
failure in achieving project goals. Thus the strong economic argument in the Women in
Misunderstanding of gender differences, leading to inadequate planning and design of
projects, results in diminished returns on investment.
1.2 Women in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management
The roles women play in agricultural production and natural resource management are
critical to the economies of developing countries, yet the value of these roles has often been
ignored or dismissed. Among the factors leading to the invisibility of women's contributions
are: women commonly work in family enterprises or are self-employed rather than work as
wage earners; their work is seasonal rather than year-round; they tend to be informally rather
than formally employed; and women engage in diverse and shifting economic activities." In
addition, there is rarely a clear-cut distinction between domestic production for household
consumption and for economic agricultural activities; between economically active and inactive
persons; and between agricultural and non-agricultural tasks.
The majority of the world's food producers are women. Recent United Nations estimates
indicate that they provide 60 to 80 percent of the agricultural labor in Africa and Asia and 40
percent in Latin America." National statistics on women's roles in agricultural production vary
widely, yet analyses by several agencies indicate that women participate in the entire food
system to a much greater degree than is routinely reported. Women contribute as producers,
distributors, processors, stores, and marketers. They are involved in every type of agricultural
activity, putting in as many or more hours than men, and participate in crop production
activities ranging from land clearing and preparation through harvesting and processing. They
tend to all types of livestock; process foods for home consumption and for the market; manage
natural resources through their use of fuel and water and their crop and animal activities; and
market their products at the local, regional, and national level.
Despite women's significant contributions to agricultural production and to rural households,
generally they have less access to land, capital, credit, technology, and training than men in that
same system. The constraints women face in gaining access to these resources significantly
reduce the productivity of both the rural sector and the entire national economy. Some
researchers believe that until women's agricultural participation is targeted to appropriately
reflect the work they do, food crop production is destined to remain at current stagnant levels.
Development activities in the past have focused on women's reproductive, health care, and
nurturing roles. While women will always have these roles, they are concurrent with their roles
as agricultural producers in most developing countries. Development activities must take into
account these multiple roles of women. A.I.D.'s Women in Development Policy Paper
recognizes these concerns as follows:
1. The gender- and age-linked division of labor by crop and ethnic group must be fully
comprehended as a basis for all project planning.
2. Male and female differentials in access to and control of key productive resources must
be understood and planned for in projects. These resources include land, capital, labor,
credit, information, seeds, tools, fertilizers, water, and fuel.
3. The specific farming responsibilities which are uniquely and particularly assigned to
female members of the household or society must receive an appropriate share of
attention in project identification, design, and implementation. These responsibilities
may include "women's animals," "women's crops," weeding, transporting, marketing,
preserving, processing, and storage.
4. Explicit strategies to address gender-role aspects of farming must be built into all
projects in which outreach to farmers is attempted (extension, training, research). In
particular, integrated services to address females' multiple responsibilities in farm
households are required. These responsibilities would include human nutrition/ health,
animal nutrition/health, farm management, family resource management, and time/labor-
An extensive review conducted by the Center for Development Information, and Evaluation
(CDIE) examined more than 100 A.I.D. projects to document how A.I.D. has interpreted its
WID mandate over the years and how A.I.D. policy in this area is being implemented.7 It
found that in agricultural projects, attention to gender issues can result in the:
o Elimination of bottlenecks to production;
o Successful transfer of technology;
o Willingness to adopt new practices.
The CDIE review and subsequent experience indicate that there are three main approaches
for promoting and using women's contributions: women-only projects, women's components
within larger projects, and mainstreaming (or integrating women into projects) (see Figure 2).
While each of the approaches has unique advantages, integrated projects usually are the most
effective.7 Furthermore, integrated projects minimize two major risks: first, that the project
will translate their productive goals into a welfare approach to women; and second, that the
project will further marginalize women from access to resources by creating mechanisms that
separate them from mainstream activities.6
1.3 Organization of this Manual
This manual provides methods, guidelines, and examples that will facilitate the integration
of women into agriculture and natural resource development projects. Throughout, extensive
use has been made of lists and question sheets to highlight important points. Chapter 2 begins
the discussion of incorporating gender issues in agriculture and natural resources into A.I.D.'s
programs, projects, and non-project assistance. This discussion continues in Chapter 3 with a
focus on project design. The final chapter focuses on integrating gender concerns into the
implementation, monitoring, and evaluation stages of projects. Appendix A contains information
about related women in development documents available from the PPC/WID office. Appendix
B contains information on several methodologies that lend themselves to gathering gender-
Advantages and Disadvantages of Three Methods
of Including Women in Projects
Women receive all of the project's
benefits. Beneficiaries may
acquire leadership skills and
greater self-confidence in gender-
segregated environment. Skills
training in nontraditional areas
may be much easier without
These projects as a whole enjoy
more resources and higher priority
than WID-specific projects, which
can benefit the WID component.
Women are ensured of receiving at
least part of the projects resources.
Women can "catch up" to men
through WID components.
Women can take full advantage of
the resources and high priority that
integrated projects receive. If
women form a large proportion of
the pool of eligibles, their benefits
will probably be high even without
detailed attention given WID issues.
Type of Project
These projects tend to be small scale
and resources and underfunded. Imple-
menting agencies often lack technical
expertise in raising productivity or
income. WID-specific income-
generating projects rarely take market-
ability of services into account and thus
fail to generate income. Women benefi-
ciaries may be required to contribute their
time and labor with no compensation.
Women become further marginalized or
isolated from mainstream development.
The WID component usually receives far
less funding and priority than do the
other components. These components have
tended to respond to women's social roles;
thus, domestic activities may be empha-
sized to the exclusion of any others.
Awareness of the importance of gender
in the project's other components may be
Unless information on women's activity
and time use is introduced at the design
stage, projects may inadvertently exclude
women through promotion mechanisms,
location, and timing of project resources,
etc. If women form only a small
proportion of the eligibles, they may not
be included in the project. Women may
be competing with men for scarce project
resources and lose out because of their lack
of experience in integrated groupsettings
and their relatively low status in the family
Integrating Gender Issues into A.I.D.'s
Programs, Projects, and Non-project Assistance
This chapter provides an overview of how gender concerns should be incorporated into the
range of assistance activities undertaken by A.I.D. Although the manual is not intended to provide
in-depth guidance on all these activities, suggestions are given as to where and when gender issues
should be addressed in the Country Development Strategy Statement (CDSS), Action Plans, project
documents, and in non-project assistance.
As the above documents are discussed, the reader may want to refer to the GIF for additional
information and insight regarding the tools and techniques used by the WID Office in guiding
A.I.D. Missions and bureaus in the integration of gender considerations into their programs and
projects (see Appendix A, Item A).
2.1 Incorporating Gender Concerns into the CDSS and Action Plan
Comprehensive information and analysis of gender issues can be used to strengthen the CDSS
and Action Plan program documents. The CDSS typically includes three areas:
1. Analysis: A review of recent economic performance in the country, including
macroeconomic policy changes and structural adjustment as well as growth performance of
the major sectors, to identify the main constraints on national development.
2. Strategy: A discussion of the mission's strategy for overcoming these constraints, laying
out a set of goals or targets relevant to the mission's proposed strategy.
3. Resources: A review of the mission's portfolio strategy for overcoming these constraints,
emphasizing the relationship between the proposed strategy and the planned mix of
Gender-relevant information can be introduced into each section of the CDSS. Figure 3 and the
subsequent discussion examine methods for the integration process based upon a recently submitted
CDSS for an unnamed African country.
2.1.1 THE CDSS DOCUMENT
126.96.36.199 Review of Recent Performance
The analysis section should identify the development problems the country is facing with an
emphasis on the conditions and problems of the poor, including the position of women in society.
Impediments to women and an assessment of women's participation, e.g., a description of the role
Incorporating Gender Concerns into the CDSS
ASSESSMENT OF RECENT PERFORMANCE:
o Discuss how policies have affected men and women, including those in low-
o Discuss whether difficulties in reaching women as well as men in low-resource
groups have affected government and donor project success
DEFINITION OF MISSION ASSISTANCE STRATEGY:
o Identify strategy areas where women's participation is important
o Describe how women's participation will contribute to implementing the strategy
o Describe how women as well as men will benefit from this strategy
DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT PORTFOLIO:
o Identify women's participation in and benefits from projects
o Identify constraints and opportunities to full involvement of women as well as
o Summarize actions taken or planned that will remove these constraints or take
advantage of these opportunities, thereby ensuring the full involvement of the men
and women targeted for assistance
of women in small farmer productivity, should be included. This section should be supported by
relevant statistical data that has been disaggregated by gender wherever possible.
Examination of the CDSS of the African country selected for this example reveals that there is
an indepth discussion of recent developments in the country's agricultural sector, both in the text
and in annex materials. The impact of ongoing reforms is also discussed, noting that rural areas
are no longer self-sufficient in food, despite large investments in expanding support services to the
Women's labor in the rural sector and their management of cereal plots for home consumption
are very important to this country's economic well-being. Therefore, it is appropriate to question
how this issue could have been strengthened in the CDSS by observing that development efforts in
this sector have failed, in part, because they have not reached women farmers. An appropriate
question from the gender perspective is:
Are current policies or economic conditions a major barrier to more rapid growth or higher
income in sectors where women's activities are concentrated?
According to a study conducted in the country, past policies have, in fact, discouraged food
production by women. For example, policies that subsidize peanut production for the export market
have increased demands for women's labor on cash crop plots. Moreover, the policies have
channeled assistance to the rural sector through institutions that generally do not provide inputs,
credit, or technical advice to women. The study also found that development of private sector
channels, encouraged by economic reforms, was beginning to make an improvement in women's
access to inputs, but that the transition was far from complete.
In response to these issues, the CDSS discussion could be strengthened by examining whether
low-resource food producers, including women, have benefitted from the economic reforms; and if
not, what additional steps would be needed to assure they become beneficiaries of the reform as
188.8.131.52 The Mission Assistance Strategy
The strategy section of the CDSS should describe how each of the proposed problem-specific
strategies will address women's as well as men's issues. This section should specify which groups
in the population are expected to make progress toward the benchmarks, specifically addressing the
impact on demographic categories such as the poor and women.
The assistance strategy for the agricultural sector of the African country example, emphasizes
improvements in grain marketing, promotion of income-generating activities, and support to forestry
activities such as village woodlots. The appropriate gender question relative to these emphases is:
What roles do women play in the sectors and sub-sectors identified by A.I.D. as priorities
Women in this country, according to recent studies, take a leading role in establishing private
sector grain trading systems; they constitute the majority of participants in such important income-
generating activities as vegetable production and fish processing; and their responsibility for
firewood supply suggests that they would be the most logical targets for efforts to establish village
By recognizing the importance of women in A.I.D.'s priority subsectors, the CDSS could both
demonstrate the mission's understanding of those aspects of the local economy that it seeks to
influence, and pave the way for the design of project activities that respond to gender differences in
roles and resources.
184.108.40.206 The Mission Portfolio Strategy
The CDSS discussion of the mission portfolio of this country emphasizes the role of women in
family planning and rural health activities, but overlooks their activities in the agricultural sector.
Two questions from the gender perspective are appropriate to this part of the CDSS:
1. Which projects will directly affect women's economic activities and what will that effect be
on women as well as on men?
2. How will women's activities and women's capacity to respond to new opportunities affect
the success of A.I.D.'s strategy?
With regard to the first question, it is evident that several projects in the portfolio will affect
grain production and input markets-two activities performed by women in this country. A.I.D.'s
primary project in the country promotes the development of privately organized farmers' groups for
purchasing inputs and assists private sector input distribution channels with credit and technical
Treatment of gender issues in this CDSS could be strengthened by:
o Recognizing that women in the country frequently form women's farmer groups for the
cultivation of millet and other crops;
o Committing the mission to promote favorable conditions so that women's as well as men's
groups can participate in project activities;
o Recognizing that women are already taking an active role in establishing private marketing
systems, but that their ability to benefit from new opportunities will be limited by barriers
to credit for small entrepreneurs, many of whom are female.
o Identifying access to credit as a target for A.I.D. policy or program assistance.
With regard to how failure to reach women will affect project success, the CDSS sets a target
of five percent annual increase in millet production from the use of improved seed and fertilizer.
Women produce a significant portion of the millet, in addition to working on family plots, and are
likely to be responsible for applying fertilizer on the majority of the millet plots as well as for
making decisions regarding fertilizer purchases for their own plots. In many countries, the
percentage of national millet production derived from women's plots is not known, but a study
conducted in Burkina Faso estimated that Burkina women produce 13 percent of the nation's
dryland food grains on their own plots.23
The CDSS discussion of a five percent annual increase in millet production and the feasibility
of reaching it could be strengthened by:
o Recognizing that low-resource farmers, including women, do not now have access to
fertilizer for grain production.
o Including a discussion of how mission projects will ensure that these farmers have access
to fertilizer and knowledge of its use in the future.
2.1.2 THE ACTION PLAN
The preceding discussion illustrates how an understanding of women's participation in African
agriculture could improve the development of A.I.D. strategies for the agricultural sector.
Unfortunately, this type of information may not exist in many countries. The annual Action Plan
provides an appropriate forum for reporting on and updating the mission's understanding of gender
roles in agriculture and rural activities.
An Action Plan is basically a scaled-down version of a CDSS; it emphasizes mission actions to
be taken during the coming year to further the strategy developed in the CDSS. Because this plan
emphasizes project and program development and implementation, the incorporation of gender issues
into the Action Plan should be based on an examination of how modifications in the project and
program assistance strategies will negatively and/or positively affect women.
A delay in implementing reforms in the agricultural input system in the African country
reviewed above, would be expected to result in a delay in improving access to inputs for women.
This delay should be identified in the Action Plan as part of the discussion of policy reform
The Action Plan should also discuss progress in implementing the gender strategy identified in
the CDSS. If, for example, the CDSS proposed a strategy for assessing project impacts on women
through the collection of gender-disaggregated data, the Action Plan would be an appropriate place
for an update of mission information on gender and a discussion of how this information affects
If mainstream projects were identified as expected sources of benefits for women farmers or
entrepreneurs, the Action Plan should include an assessment of whether women are participating in
these activities. Therefore, projects should be required to gather gender-disaggregated data in their
baseline and monitoring.
2.2 Incorporating Gender into A.I.D. Projects
The CDIE review suggests a ten-step sequence to follow when doing gender analysis (see
Figure 4).7 These steps are not intended as a checklist requiring that each issue be resolved before
moving on to the next. Nor is it suggested that a design team always must conduct in-depth
baseline surveys. This manual can serve as a tool for ensuring that gender concerns are raised and
addressed appropriately. In many cases, questions such as the ones raised in this manual can be
used by team members without requiring the addition of a "WID specialist." In other cases, rapid
appraisal of the proposed project areas by a gender-focused team may be needed to answer
questions such as who will undertake particular activities, and with what degree of access and
control. Addressing gender issues from the onset will lay a sound foundation that will support
project design, implementation, and evaluation activities, and systematize the inclusion of gender
concerns into project documentation.
2.2.1 PROJECT IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENT
The Project Identification Document (PID) presents a short, concise proposal for a project. It
outlines the description, rationale and estimated cost for a new project; it should reflect both A.I.D.
and host country development strategies. The PID describes the perceived problems and presents
ways in which the project will address the problems.
Development projects need to be responsive to the social, economic, and political factors of
their environment. As pointed out in the A.I.D. Handbook 3, consideration of these factors,
including the definition and examination of project participants and intended beneficiaries, is
expected to begin with the earliest stages of project identification.' It should continue throughout
project development so that relevant knowledge about beneficiary populations can be applied to the
project design, and that future feasibility and implementation problems can be minimized.
In identifying problems and constraints, and in explaining how the project will contribute to the
overall goal of meeting human needs, the PID should show the differential impact of development
on women and men. In describing the characteristics of the beneficiaries, direct and indirect, care
must be taken to delineate gender differences. What are the factors that will facilitate or constrain
the progress of the project and are these factors gender-related?
2.2.2 PROJECT PAPER
After a PID has been approved, the mission, in collaboration with host country counterparts,
prepares the Project Paper (PP). The PP presents the rationale, a thorough analysis, and the plan,
schedule, cost estimate, and recommendations for the new project along with other supporting
documents. The PP summarizes the analyses carried out during project development and represents
the final proposed design.
Steps in the Gender Analysis Process7
1. CLARIFY GENDER ROLES AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR PROJECT
Examine project objectives in terms of anticipated participation of and benefits to men and
women. What activities will be affected by project interventions? What is the existing
division of labor in these activities? How do these activities conform to the overall pattern of
household productive and domestic activities? What innovations are being proposed? What
are their behavioral implications for different household members?
2. ANALYZE ELIGIBILITY TO RECEIVE PROJECT INPUTS
Examine the inputs provided by the project. Identify which household member should receive
them in light of the existing division of labor. If women are responsible for an activity slated
for project intervention, can they qualify to receive inputs in their own name? What are the
prerequisites for eligibility, and how many households in the target group can meet those
3. DEFINE PREREQUISITES FOR PARTICIPATION IN PROJECT ACTIVITIES
Considering the division of labor, which household member should participate in activities
such as soil conservation, water user groups, training, and extension? Regardless the lack of
formal discrimination against women, how will the location and timing of activities affect their
participation? Does the proportion of women in the pool of eligible participants correspond to
the division of labor?
4. EXAMINE OUTREACH CAPABILITIES OF INSTITUTIONS AND DELIVERY
If analysis of the division of labor shows that an activity slated for project intervention is
women's responsibility among smallholders, to what extent do existing institutions and delivery
systems have direct contact with female smallholders, or with any women?
5. ASSESS THE APPROPRIATENESS OF PROPOSED TECHNICAL PACKAGES
Are the technical packages applicable to all households or only to those with certain types of
resources, such as irrigated land, several head of cattle, or a labor surplus? How many
households in the target group have the right kind of land? How many, given the gender-
typing of tasks and male migration, can meet the additional labor requirements? How many
can raise the necessary cash? What implications do gender differences have for the spread of
technical innovations to poor households?
6. EXAMINE THE DISTRIBUTION OF BENEFITS AND ITS EFFECT ON INCENTIVES
Given the gender division of labor and the control over income from different crops by men
and women in some regions, what interest would women have in intensifying production? Do
the direct returns to women outweigh the additional effort? If the project affects marketing,
are women likely to lose an independent source of income?
7. CONSIDER THE RELIABILITY OF FEEDBACK MECHANISMS
If women play a major role in project-related activities such as farming vegetables, how will
the project find out whether the proposed technical innovations are acceptable to them? What
provisions are made for local women and men's participation in selecting and testing
technologies and in evaluating results? Do monitoring and reporting systems distinguish male
and female participants?
8. ANTICIPATE PROBABLE CHANGES IN THE ROLES AND STATUS OF WOMEN
How will the project affect women's access to and control over land, labor, capital, and
expertise? Will women's workload increase or decrease? What will happen to their
independent income, to their control of crops and the income from their sale, or to their voice
in household decision making on expenditures and other issues?
9. LINK CHANGES IN THE ROLES AND STATUS OF WOMEN WITH THE EXPECTED
How will changes in women's access to and control of land and productive resources affect
food availability? How will changes in women's ability to earn an independent income affect
household cash flow? How will it affect their ability to provide for their families? How will
changes in women's workload affect such things as child care and family nutrition?
10. IDENTIFY NEEDED ADAPTATIONS
Using the previous steps as a guide, specify what changes are needed in institutions, delivery
systems, technical packages, and feedback mechanisms to overcome the barriers to women's
access to project inputs and their ability and incentive to participate. evaluation activities, as
well as provide guidelines in preparing the necessary documentation of gender inclusion
The PP should establish criteria against which the project's performance and success in
involving women as well as men as participants and beneficiaries can be evaluated. It should
outline activities planned to ensure that women will be involved, and set target dates and goals to
indicate that activities have been achieved. Finally, the PP must be flexible to allow for
adjustments as changes that affect women occur in a country. Chapter 3 discusses how to integrate
gender considerations into agricultural and natural resource initiatives at the design stage, and
provides a more thorough analysis of how the project paper reflects this integration process.
2.3 Incorporating Gender into Non-Project Assistance
2.3.1 IS GENDER AN ISSUE IN NON-PROJECT ASSISTANCE?
Gender concerns have rarely been addressed in non-project assistance, but growing recognition
of the importance of considering gender issues argues for its inclusion (see Figure 5). There are two
questions to ask when deciding whether gender concerns are relevant to non-project assistance:
1. To what extent do women participate in activities that are likely to be affected directly or
indirectly by this assistance?
2. To what extent is the impact on women likely to differ significantly from that in the sector,
given gender differences in roles, resources, and other factors?
2.3.2 POLICY REFORM AND BUDGET SUPPORT
Programs to support policy reform generally target macroeconomic and agricultural policies that
are believed to restrain growth in the agricultural sector and to reduce rural incomes. Many of
these policies affecting the agricultural sector, including macroeconomic policies, clearly do not
affect all parts of the sector in the same way. Much of the recent attention given to the impact of
macroeconomic policies on the agricultural sector has concentrated on the distorting impact of over
valued exchange rates. This analysis has generally focused on the distortion of individual and
collective decisions engendered by these policies and the consequent loss of economic efficiency.
Recognition of the importance of policies has rarely extended to the differential impact that policies
may have on the various groups within the agricultural or rural sector.
The existence of differential impacts does not imply that the policies are designed to affect
women or other low-resource groups differently from others, or even that those responsible for the
policy are aware of the differences in impact. On the contrary, the separate roles of women in the
agricultural sector are rarely mentioned in policy documents relating to market interventions. Nor
do all policy impacts work to the disadvantage of women. For example, women may be helped as
well as hurt by an over valued exchange rate. One of the main effects of government policies that
maintain an over valued exchange rate is to discourage production of crops for export and crops
Issues for Gender Considerations
in Non-Project Assistance (NPA)
1. WHEN ARE GENDER CONCERNS AN ISSUE IN NON-PROJECT ASSISTANCE?
Gender concerns may be an issue in non-project assistance if it is used to support
government activities or policy reforms that are likely to have significant impacts on
activities in which women participate; and gender-based differences in roles and resources
result in impacts that are different for women than for men.
2. WHY WOULD THE EFFECT OF POLICY REFORMS DIFFER BY GENDER?
The impact of policy reforms may differ by gender if there are significant gender-based
differences in roles and access to resources in those parts of the agricultural sector affected by
the policy reform. If women grow food crops while men grow cash crops, for example,
policies affecting the relative profitability of these two activities will have differential impacts.
If women have less access to formal credit than men, policy reforms affecting formal credit also
will have differential impacts.
3. WHY IS GENDER AN ISSUE IN BUDGET SUPPORT TO AGRICULTURE?
A.I.D. budget support is generally aimed at encouraging activities identified as important in
achieving sectoral goals such as increased rural incomes, improved nutrition, etc. Women's
contributions to the agricultural sector are important determinants of whether these goals are
reached, yet women farmers generally benefit less than men farmers from government services
such as extension and support to cooperatives, and assistance to women often receives low
priority in the allocation of funds, because of under-estimation of the importance of their role.
Funding to improve government outreach to women farmers therefore may be expected to
increase the effectiveness of government agricultural support programs.
4. SHOULD A.I.D. EMPHASIZE SUPPORT TO WOMEN FARMERS IF THE HOST
GOVERNMENT IS UNRECEPTIVE?
This decision depends on two factors: (1) the priority assigned to gender concerns in the
mission's total development strategy; and (2) the effect on achievement of the program's goals
if gender concerns are not addressed effectively. It may be more productive to emphasize the
negative impact on production and rural incomes of failing to extend program benefits to
women, than to emphasize equity concerns or WID issues.
that directly substitute for imports, by making such production relatively less competitive with
goods produced in other countries. Agriculture in Africa is widely believed to have suffered
seriously from this policy in the past. In Africa, however, it is men farmers and state farms that
are primarily responsible for production of cash crops and food grains that directly compete with
imports such as rice (this generalization does not, of course, apply to every case). Consequently, to
the extent that women's agricultural activities emphasize production of local food grains for home
consumption and the non-cash economy, women's activities may have been harmed less by this
policy than men's activities. On the other hand, women farmers have generally not been as well-
positioned as men farmers, corporations, and state farms to benefit from the implicit subsidy on
fertilizer, machinery, and other imported materials provided by an over valued exchange rate.
Recent examination of differential policy impacts on women suggest two general hypotheses
regarding policy impacts on women and other low-resource groups. These findings, while general,
provide a point of departure for the analysis of any particular case:
The direct impacts of government agricultural policies on women are generally lower
than those on other groups, because women are less involved in the market and
therefore less likely to benefit directly from, or be directly harmed by, government
taxes, subsidies, and other market interventions.
The indirect impacts on demand for women's labor, on the income received for their
labor, on the competitiveness of their crops, and on other women's activities may be
very significant and often run counter to the government's stated intention in introducing
the market intervention.
Figure 6 summarizes the gender-related issues and strategies for consideration for policy
analysis and reform activities. Because women farmers produce a significant portion of the
total agricultural output in most countries and because they are among the poorest farmers,
special consideration of how policies and policy reform affect them is consistent with the goals
of A.I.D. The low priority accorded women's agricultural activities has often kept resources
allocated to women to a level well below that which is consistent with their contributions to
agricultural production and resource management.
Factors leading to this inequity include:
1. The low level of attention women farmers receive from many host governments;
2. The difficulty of reaching women farmers-they are often illiterate or may not speak
the official language;
3. Women are less likely to belong to formal groups such as government-sponsored
4. The emphasis governments put on cash and export crops that are less likely to be
grown by women;
5. A lack of information on how to design credit programs and other economic devices to
serve women clientele;
6. A poor understanding of the role women play in decision making about agriculture and
A reallocation of resources that would increase extension and other support services to
women farmers would improve the overall effectiveness of many policy programs, even where it
might be more costly to reach women. This issue has been explored through two research
activities funded by the Office of Women in Development, the Agriculture Policy Analysis
Project and the Gender Resource Awareness in National Development project (see Appendix A
for more details.)
Designing Policy Analysis and Reform Components
in Agricultural Projects
o Women farmers often differ from men in their roles and access to resources. Will the
analysis of current policies and alternative reforms examine potential differences in
policy impact by gender?
o Are women farmers more or less likely to grow and market crops targeted for government
o Are women farmers more or less likely to grow and market crops that are taxed by the
o Are women farmers more or less likely to participate in programs such as government-
subsidized credit, provision of inputs, etc.?
o Will the analysis of alternative reforms examine and disaggregate effects on different
groups within society, including women-headed households, or will it focus only at the
o Will the analysis examine indirect impacts of possible reforms on such factors relevant
to women as demand for and return to family labor, profitability of traditional crops
(especially food crops), relative return to livestock and crop-growing activities, small-
scale marketing, etc.?
o Is there sufficient information on women's participation in the agricultural sector to
examine this issue in the context of policy analyses?
* Design analytic activities to examine disaggregated impacts as well as aggregated
impacts of policy reform.
SInclude analysis of women's role in the agricultural sector in the proposed analytic
agenda if existing data are inadequate.
*Consider a target funding component in appropriate ministries such as Agriculture and
Integration of Gender Issues into
the Design of Agricultural
and Natural Resource Management Projects
3.1 Agricultural Project Design Issues
As discussed in Chapter 1, the importance of considering gender in agricultural projects goes
beyond the equity issue; it is an economic issue as well. Throughout the world, women's work
and contributions to the economy have been underestimated. It is important to understand not only
who is doing the work, but who is making the decisions about cropping patterns, seed selection,
use of purchased inputs and family labor, and crop disposal." It is also important to know who is
implementing these decisions, with what resources, and at what level of skills. Five general
patterns of gender responsibilities in agriculture have been identified as shown in Figure 7. In
addition to these agricultural responsibilities, women typically have the main responsibility for child
rearing and household maintenance. In this context, women usually are responsible for providing
for water and fuel wood needs, thus they are the primary managers of the natural resources in an
area. The key design issues at different levels to be considered during the planning stage are
presented in Figures 8 and 9.
Incorporation of the identified strategies may or may not require a project budget reallocation
for effective implementation. In the majority of cases, however, a serious effort to incorporate
women into agricultural projects will have implications for the project budget. Where additional
expenditures are required (bringing in social scientists, reaching out to women's organizations;
organizing additional field days for women farmers), these expenditures should be planned as
integral components of the project budget.
3.2 Gender Analysis in the Project Paper
In general, project design and analysis are concurrent activities. Analysis tests the feasibility
and effectiveness of the design, possibly leading to modifications, which are then re-analyzed.
Gender analysis should be an integral part of all aspects of the project paper, as shown in Figure
10. The incorporation of gender into the social soundness analysis, the technical analysis, and the
economic analysis is discussed below.
Patterns of Gender Responsibilities in Agriculture
1. SEPARATE CROPS:
Men and women are responsible for production and disposal of different crops. Women are
often responsible for the livestock, vegetables, and tree crops near their dwellings.
2. SEPARATE FIELDS:
Women and men produce the same crops, but in different fields. This pattern is common in
West Africa, where private fields are part of a larger system in which both men and women
also contribute their labor to communal fields. In such cases, there may be three interlocking
systems: fields worked by each wife, fields worked by the husband, and fields worked by the
3. SEPARATE TASKS:
In this pattern, some or all of the tasks within a cropping cycle are assigned by gender. For
example, rice transplanting is often carried out by women, plowing by men.
4. SHARED TASKS:
In this pattern, which overlaps other patterns, men and women undertake the same tasks on the
same crops. In some systems, most tasks are shared; in others, only labor-intensive tasks, such
as weeding and harvesting, are shared.
5. WOMEN-MANAGED FARMS:
There are two types of women-managed farms, de facto and de jure. In de facto systems, even
though men legally own the land, they work away from the farm for days, months, or even
years, leaving the women to manage the farm. De jure systems in which women have legal
ownership of the farm, appear to be increasing worldwide. They tend to be among the poorest
farming households, yet many people depend on them for survival.
What Should Be Included in the Design Team
Scope of Work to Address Gender Issues?
BASIC DESIGN ISSUES FOR ALL PROJECTS
Project Background and Problem Statement: Analyze the extent to which gender differences and
the roles of women affect the basic problem (e.g., inadequate transmission of technologies to
Project Strategy and Feasibility Analyses: Identify the extent to which effective incorporation of
gender concerns (e.g., involving both men and women in an afforestation project) will be necessary
for project success. What is the impact on the project of failing to incorporate such concerns
Choice of Host Country Institutions: Determine the effectiveness of the primary implementing
institutions (e.g., the extension service) in addressing gender concerns and identify measures needed
to improve their performance in this area.
Project Budget and Financial and Implementation Plans: Include the cost of measures necessary
to reach women farmers or otherwise address gender concerns effectively. Describe measures to
ensure that gender concerns are adequately addressed in the selection of the technical assistance
team, participant training programs, and project activities.
1. Sector-Level Projects Design Issues
Project Background and Problem Statement: Describe the extent to which sectoral
institutions are currently addressing gender concerns (e.g., in collection of data on the
agricultural sector) and determine the impact of their performance in this area on overall
Project Activities (Outputs): Identify activities necessary to improve institutional
performance in addressing gender concerns (e.g., gender disaggregation of farm manage-
ment data) and include such activities in project input planning.
2. Field-Level Projects Design Issues
Project Background and Problem Statement: Determine the role of women in
agricultural and natural resource activities in the project area relevant to the project's focus
analyze gender differences in constraints, problems, and resources at the farm level (e.g.,
differences in credit access, technologies used, and economic strategies).
Project Activities (Outputs and Inputs): Identify measures necessary to reach women
effectively and include such activities in project input planning; if sufficient information to
design such measures is not available during design, specify additional data needed, how it
will be gathered during project implementation, and how findings will be incorporated.
Incorporating Gender Concerns into Project Design:
Issues and Answers
1. IS IT NECESSARY TO HAVE A WOMEN-IN-DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST ON
No, not if gender concerns are adequately covered in the design team's scope of work. A
WID specialist may, however, be necessary on design teams for projects with a heavy field
orientation, where information on women's roles in the project area is scarce. This will
ensure that team resources and expertise are sufficient to collect information, analyze
constraints and opportunities, and to identify appropriate design actions despite data
2. SHOULD RESPONSIBILITY FOR ADDRESSING GENDER CONCERNS BE GIVEN
TO THE DESIGN TEAM MEMBER RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SOCIAL
No. Responsibility for addressing gender concerns should usually be assigned to the team
leader. Discussion of gender issues in the social soundness analysis rarely constitutes an
adequate approach to addressing gender concerns. Too often the social soundness analysis
only emphasizes women as indirect beneficiaries, and in many of these cases the project
would have benefited if gender analysis had addressed women as participants. Gender issues
should be reflected in the design of the project's activities, in the implementation plan, and
when necessary, in the budget.
3. WHAT IF THE HOST GOVERNMENT COUNTERPART INSTITUTION IS
INDIFFERENT OR EVEN HOSTILE TO GENDER ISSUES?
The primary reason for incorporating gender concerns into A.I.D. projects is to increase
project effectiveness. Host government participation in the project design team and project
negotiations should be used as opportunities to help decisionmakers understand the need to
address gender concerns (e.g., reaching women as well as men farmers with improved
technologies) in order to achieve the purpose of the project.
4. IS IT NECESSARY TO HAVE A "WID COMPONENT" TO ADDRESS GENDER
No. On the contrary, experience indicates that integrating efforts to reach women farmers
and entrepreneurs into the project's central activities is generally more effective than a
separate effort directed at women.
Addressing Gender Issues in the Project Paper
Introduction and Problem
Briefly identifies role of women in agricultural, livestock, and
resource management activities to be addressed by the project
and relates their role to the problem the project will tackle
(e.g., role of women in grain storage in a project to reduce
Discusses how incorporating women in project activities will
help solve the identified problems.
Describes how project activities will involve women farmers
and traders, relates their involvement to achievement of the
project's purpose, and describes how project inputs have been
adjusted to ensure women's participation (e.g., inclusion of
gender expertise on the technical assistance team).
Financial Plan explicitly identifies costs associated with
reaching women (e.g., special training programs for women,
additional technical assistance).
Implementation Plan includes benchmarks for developing
and implementing activities to reach women, as appropriate,
and discusses responsibilities for addressing gender issues
(A.I.D., host government, and contractor).
Evaluation Plan describes how project data collection and
evaluation activities will generate and make use of gender-
Social Soundness Analysis discusses social constraints on
involving women and how they are addressed in the project
Technical Analysis discusses applicability of project approach
and project-supported technologies for women.
Economic Analysis identifies costs and benefits to women
and Sensitivity Analysis reviews impact on project returns of
failing to incorporate women in project activities.
Institutional Analysis describes capabilities of implementing
institutions to reach women in their target groups, and
discusses measures to enhance this capability.
3.2.1 THE SOCIAL SOUNDNESS ANALYSIS
As discussed in detail in A.I.D. Handbook 3, the Social Soundness Analysis is used to shape the
design, to strengthen and provide information for other analyses, and to confirm the socio-cultural
feasibility of the overall activity. There is a growing recognition in the development community,
however, that "Social Soundness" must be an integral part of the design of any project, not
restricted to a few pages in a document." Rather than listing questions to answer in a separate
section of the Project Paper, systematic consideration of gender, as suggested by this manual, will
greatly enhance the social soundness of agricultural and natural resource management projects.
3.2.2 THE TECHNICAL ANALYSIS
Although it may be argued that "technical" is a gender-neutral term, it is unlikely that there are
any technical aspects of a project that do not affect people. For example, if construction of
physical facilities is the only project element, the question to be asked is "Who will be using these
facilities?" If it is a school, is it coed? Is it for boys only? Is it a girls' school? Is only for
adult education? In many cultures, a school that does not provide separate facilities for girls and
women will automatically exclude them. If an agricultural technical package provides seeds, what
are the eligibility requirements for receiving seeds? A list of gender issues to be addressed in the
technical analysis section is presented in Figure 11.
3.2.3 THE ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
An economic analysis determines whether a project is a worthwhile investment for the country
and usually compares real benefits with real costs. A.I.D. has not identified a single a methodology
for economic analyses since the application of even standard methodologies varies in different
sectors and projects. Regardless of the methodology, the information gathered (e.g., wages, income
distribution) should be disaggregated by gender and the effects of the proposed project on women
should be considered. Gender issues to be addressed in the economic analysis section of the
Project Paper are summarized in Figure 12.
3.3 Incorporating Gender Concerns into Project Components
There is considerable overlap in the types of gender concerns that need to be addressed in the
various components of an agricultural project. Thus, the figures that follow in this chapter contain
some redundant material. This adds to the length of the manual, but should make it more useful
by providing stand-alone sets of issues and strategies that can be easily used. Neither the issues
nor the strategies shown are comprehensive; they merely represent a point of departure for project
designers to build upon.
Gender Issues to be Addressed in the
Project Technical Analysis
ISSUES RELATED TO TECHNICAL FEASIBILITY AND APPROPRIATENESS OF
1. What barriers to reaching or including women in project activities are present in the
project's technical environment (for example, higher illiteracy or lower education among
2. What technical measures are incorporated in the project design to overcome these barriers
and what is their expected effectiveness?
3. What will be the impact on project success if women do not participate in project
4. Will the technical assistance team include gender expertise?
5. Will women have access to project-funded facilities, e.g., has the proposed design and
location of training facilities been adjusted to make them consistent with local norms for
ISSUES RELATED TO PRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES TO BE DISSEMINATED OR
1. Does sufficient information exist regarding women's participation in the agricultural sector
to determine how project-supported technologies are likely to affect women? If not, how
does the project design ensure that this information will be made available during
implementation to ensure that the project is technically relevant to women as well as to
2. Do project-supported technologies favor high-resource or low-resource farmers (including
3. Are the technologies applicable to women's productive activities (e.g., for a seed
multiplication project, will seeds for women's crops be produced as well)?
4. Does the technology increase demand for women's labor or displace women from existing
sources of income? If the technologies will cause a change in labor patterns, what
measures are included in the project to ensure that women are adequately compensated and
are able to make the change in their labor patterns required to adjust to project-supported
5. Does the technology require inputs and/or expertise that women farmers do not have? If
so, how will the project ensure that women farmers gain access to inputs and expertise
needed to adopt project-supported technologies?
6. How will women be informed about project-supported technologies and what measures are
included in the project to ensure that this process is effective?
Gender Issues to be Addressed in the Project
BENEFITS TO WOMEN PARTICIPANTS IN THE PROJECT
.What benefits will the project provide to women farmers, entrepreneurs, and others
who participate in the project? Can these benefits be quantified?
ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY OF PARTICIPATING IN THE PROJECT
Will participation in the project require economic resources, such as land or
capital, that women do not have? If so, how has the project design been adjusted
to ensure that women are able to participate? Will participation in project
activities be economically attractive to women, compared to alternative uses of
their time and financial resources? Will participation be as attractive for women
farmers (entrepreneurs, etc.) as for men in these same groups? Is participation in
project activities riskier or costlier for women than for men and, if so, how has
the project design been adjusted to balance this difference?
OTHER IMPACTS ON WOMEN
Will the project create new economic opportunities for women? Will it displace
women from functions they currently perform? Will the project increase women's
productivity? Will the project increase their earnings? Will the project increase
the demand for women's labor and, if so, does it appear that women will receive
appropriate compensation for their additional inputs? Will the project increase the
earning potential or profitability of those who compete with women (e.g., large-
scale male and corporate poultry producers versus small-scale women producers) in
ways that reduce the competitiveness of women-managed activities?
IMPACT ON PROJECT BENEFITS IF WOMEN DO NOT PARTICIPATE
S How would project benefits and economic return be affected if women did not
participate as expected, either directly as decision-makers or as members of
participating families (e.g., how would project benefits be reduced if women do
not provide increased labor for family production)? What additional costs (e.g.,
additional staff) are associated with reaching women and what is the expected
return on these costs?
DISTRIBUTION OF PROJECT BENEFITS
S Will women in the agricultural sector participate in and benefit from the project in
proportion to their role in the economic activities and subsectors targeted by the
project (e.g., poultry production, credit use)? How does the mechanism for
providing benefits to women differ from that for men (e.g., will women benefit
primarily as wage earners in processing plants while men benefit as producers of
the goods processed)?
Primary Agricultural and Natural Resource Management
Agricultural Education o Labor Reform and Tenure
Agroforestry and Natural o Livestock Systems
Resource Management (3.3.12)
Capital (3.3.3) o Management Development
Credit (3.3.4) o Marketing (3.3.14)
Data Collection and Planning o Research (3.3.15)
Extension (3.3.6) o Roads and Other Infra-
Farmer Organizations o Storage and Processing
Input Supply Systems o Technical Assistance
3.3.1 AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Designing Agricultural or Natural Resource Management
o What percentage of the current student population is female?
o What percentage of the population from which students are drawn (e.g., graduates of secondary
technical schools) is female?
o Will a targeted effort be made to identify and encourage women applicants?
o Do formal entry requirements make it difficult for women to qualify (e.g., literacy, knowledge
of official language?
o Are requirements that tend to decrease women's participation, such as a secondary school
degree necessary to the training?
o Will the design of in-country training program (location, selection criteria, etc.) facilitate
o Does training cover traditional, low-resource technologies used by women farmers (and low-
income men farmers) or does it assume a high-input orientation?
* Monitor women's participation in training and, where inadequate, identify and remove limiting
* Where there are not enough qualified women applicants consider designing programs to prepare
women so they can qualify.
* If an inadequate pool of women for participant training exists, broaden the program to include
undergraduate training for women.
* Eliminate entry requirements that are not job-relevant.
* Provide training in local languages.
* Add part-time or other non-degree training for women candidates who cannot meet formal
* Provide training at times and in places that fit into women's existing workload and ability to
* Provide training on how to reach women farmers and traders, and include information on the
role of women in the agricultural sector and the technologies used by women in the training
* Consider establishing training pyramids where a small number of women are trained, return to
their villages and train other women.
* Decentralize training and substitute several shorter courses for one longer one to facilitate
* Include on-farm, post-harvest management in the curriculum.
* Include instruction on low-resource technologies, traditional crops, and livestock in the
3.3.2 AGROFORESTRY AND NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Agroforestry is any system of land use that deliberately combines, in space or over time, woody
plants with crops and animals. This definition applies to a variety of land use systems ranging
from very intensive farming to extensive pastoral systems, including bush fallow farming; managing
fodder trees in private or communal grazing land; planting trees and shrubs along farm boundaries
for fuel wood or timber; intercropping tree cash crops with food, fodder, and soil-improving crops;
intercropping hedges with grain crops for leaf mulch; home gardening of all types in which trees
and annual crops are mixed. In many of these systems, women are primarily responsible for
planting, tending, gathering, harvesting, processing, and using woody plants, in addition to
performing their roles in crop and animal production within the larger farming system.7
Agroforestry systems reflect the prevailing gender division of labor, skill, responsibility, and
control. The problems and opportunities inherent in the gender division of access to land, labor,
cultivated and wild plants, and products present a special challenge to planners. Gender-based
differences in legal status, use of and access to land, type of activities, and control over labor and
resources all have a direct bearing on what type of plants can be planted, managed, used, and
Although these differences may limit the scope and nature of agroforestry technology and
project design, they may also offer opportunities. Women's knowledge of wild plants used for food
and medicine is generally much wider than men's knowledge. Since wild food may form a
significant percentage of children's diets, development planners should try to enhance this resource
when possible. Reforestation and revegetation schemes should use local plants when possible.
Women's access to funds with which to invest in agriculture is a major constraint in their
efforts to purchase inputs, to hire labor, or to invest in labor-saving technology. One development
approach to assist women has been through income-generating projects. These projects focus on
handicrafts, sewing, tailoring, and other domestic activities or on small-scale agricultural production
such as vegetable gardening. But, there are problems associated with this type of project. Rural
women usually have limited leisure time; the market for the handicrafts or vegetables may be very
limited because of distance from urban areas; transportation may be a problem; and there is a
tendency to flood the market with the same products at the same time; and if the project seems
profitable, men tend to step in.
Women may be culturally constrained from earning their own income. In India and
Bangladesh, for example, having "idle" women in the family confers a high status. Women may be
forced to hide their income-earning activities by working only in their homes or in homes of
Designing Natural Resource Management
and Conservation Components45
o What roles do women play in natural resource management decisions?
o How does women's use of renewable resources differ from men's (e.g., women may use wood
for firewood while men use wood for construction, crafts, or sale)?
o How is women's role a factor in the management of livestock that are depleting natural
o Do women's plots tend to be located on land more subject to erosion or to other environmental
damage than plots owned and managed by men?
o How are women's household maintenance activities, such as firewood collection and maintaining
the water supply, affected by environmental degradation, and what impact do these changes
have on women's income-generating activities (e.g., reduced time for farming)?
o Is women's status in the land tenure system a factor in poor resource management?
Include women farmers in conservation programs in proportion to their role in managing fragile
lands, as farmers, as livestock users, and as resource managers.
Analyze interactions between women-managed activities and men-managed activities before
devising conservation solutions.
Analyze potential impacts on women's income and labor use, including household requirements,
as part of the design of resource management interventions.
Consider both ownership-based and use-based rights (e.g., grazing rights, gathering of wild
plants) in designing resource management strategies for land designated for multiple use.
Include components to improve women's land tenure security to encourage sound long-term
land management practices.
friends, or by working early in the morning and late at night. Despite the surreptitiousness of their
labor, low-income women may work as many hours for wages as do men. That these activities
may be hidden from both the husbands and the interviewers does not mean they do not occur.
Women are often able to produce surplus of some sort from their kitchen gardens, from gathering
wild foods, or eggs from chickens, providing them with the proverbial "egg money." Agricultural
wage labor is another source of income for women. As Case Study 1 illustrates, the ability of
women to control the income they earn can be critical to project success.
Access to formal credit services is often an insurmountable barrier to women. Most lending
activity is focused on larger, male-dominated firms, not on microenterprises where most females
farmers and entrepreneurs are found. The minimum size loan is often larger than what is needed
by women, given the smaller scale enterprises they pursue. Furthermore, banks are often unwilling
to service smaller loans because of their high overhead costs and women often lack adequate
collateral such as land, houses, or vehicles. Reduced collateral requirements can be achieved through
greater reliance on the repayment capacity of the borrower or by broadening the concept of
collateral to include group lending or guarantees by members of the borrower's community. Group
lending will also help reduce a project's unit cost of lending. When tangible collateral is required,
it need not be restricted to formal titles to land and business registrations, but could include jewelry
and other resources available to women.
There are also hidden costs to borrowing. Few banks operate in rural areas, so women must
take time from their day to travel to the bank or credit outlet to apply for and then regularly repay
the loan. Illiterate women in particular hesitate to approach large institutions, knowing that most
loan officers are male.
Little wonder that most women prefer informal credit sources. Informal loaning
institutions-called contribution clubs, savings clubs, lending groups, women's clubs, or
cooperatives-are usually found in every village and are operated by local residents. While each
club has its unique features, it is their similarities that makes them popular among women. They
can borrow small amounts and repay the loan in similarly small increments, sometimes in kind
rather than in cash. For instance, borrowing money to purchase seed or fertilizer would be repaid
with seed, or a cash loan to purchase a cow would be repaid by turning over the first calf.
Although flexible repayment schemes may be costly to administer, they tend to dramatically reduce
the rate of default on loans. When terms of lending are conducive to women's participation, they
will comprise a high proportion of loans granted. Conversely, when lending terms are adverse, few
women will apply for or receive loans, regardless of efforts to target them.35
Designing Capital Components in Agricultural
and Natural Resource Projects
o What local cultural constraints might prevent women from earning their own income?
o What type of "hidden" income-generating activities are already present among local women?
o If wage labor in agriculture is a potential income source, what constraints keep women from
participating (e.g., childcare, domestic duties)?
o What benefits and job amenities, if any, are available to women if they can participate in wage
o If women bring home wage earnings, do they maintain some or all control over how it is
o If special income-generating projects are being considered, have all the potential pitfalls been
identified and considered?
o Have the primary participants and beneficiaries been consulted throughout the project planning
Identify all hidden sources of income for women before launching projects to ensure this source
of income is not affected by introduction of a project.
Promote childcare facilities or arrangements in the workplace.
Promote part-time employment by women which would allow for more women to participate in
wage earning activities.
Promote benefits and amenities on the job for females whether full or part-time employees.
Establish training programs for women to help improve their occupational security and mobility.
Consult with local women while designing any income-generating projects.
CASE STUDY 1
Increasing Women's Involvement in Agribusiness
The goal of the ALCOSA Agribusiness Employment/Investment Promotion project in
Guatemala was to improve the standard of living and stimulate the economy in rural areas
by expanding private agribusiness investments. Villagers produced the labor-intensive
products of broccoli, cauliflower, and snowpeas on contract for the agribusiness firm. Three
villages involved in the project have been selected as cause-effect models of what happens
when women's involvement in a project ranges from low to high.
In Village 1, women neither worked in the fields nor were beneficiaries of the project,
causing the project to flounder due to a labor shortage.
In Village 2, women participated two to three days per week in field work when the
husbands could not be there. This cut into the women's market vending and decreased
their only independently controlled source of income. Women's checks from the firm were
made out to the husband only. Project results were intermediate.
In Village 3, a cooperative had been formed where women worked as partners, rather than
helpers, in the fields. Either spouse could deliver produce and get paid in cash. Women
cut down on their market vending in favor of more field work. The average farmer in
Village 3 had lower costs, higher yields, higher quality produce, and higher net income per
unit of land compared with the other villages. Other factors contributed to this success
story but the fact that women provided more labor (three to four days per week) and
received at least some direct benefits appears to have been a positive element in the
Thus gender analysis and restructuring eligibility criteria and delivery systems are central to
increasing women's participation in credit programs, and to the productive activities that those
programs support. (See Figure 17).
Designing Credit Components in Agricultural
and Natural Resource Projects
o To what extent do women have access to formal credit in cash and inputs?
o To what extent do women currently make use of informal credit, and how do services
compare to those in the formal system (interest rate, waiting time, location, and other
o Do formal credit requirements restrict women's access by requiring title to land, literacy, or
o Is credit equally available for women's and men's income-generating activities?
o Can women receive credit as individuals or only as a member of a group?
o Are the rules different for men than for women (e.g., do loans to women require husband's
approval, but not the reverse)?
o If loans are made to multiple family members, is liability limited to loans in one's own
o Is credit available to small women traders; if so, under what conditions?
o Does access to credit require travel outside the village?
* Provide several repayment options to reduce the rate of loan defaults.
* Design non-collateralized credit programs, or consider accepting substitutes for land collateral.
* Organize group lending or other semi-formal intermediation systems to permit low-income
women to participate.
* Simplify credit application procedures and locate the credit service as close to the borrower
* Make loans on an individual, not household, basis.
* Channel credit to women through informal as well as formal systems.
3.3.5 DATA COLLECTION AND PLANNING
Designing Data Collection and Planning Components
in Agricultural and Natural Resource Projects
A well-designed project needs to develop monitoring and evaluation systems.' It may not be
cost effective to collect detailed baseline information during the design stage. However,
mechanisms to collect this information must be built into the design of the project. Without
baseline data it is difficult to adequately measure women's progress and participation in projects.
The data can be collected in conjunction with monitoring activities; data collected during these
activities will provide the information necessary for evaluation during the life of the project.
Techniques that will allow adequate gender analysis are discussed in detail in Chapter 4.
o Is data collection at the farm household level currently disaggregated by gender to distinguish
women-headed from men-headed farm households?
o Does the proposed definition of the "farm household" as the unit of analysis provide sufficient
information on the different responsibilities, incentives, and disincentives of men and women
comprising the household to allow project success; i.e., is intra-household data necessary?
o Can male enumerators collect data from women or must this information be collected by
women or through intermediaries?
o Will data collection and planning include activities traditionally managed by women in this
society; (e.g., poultry, vegetable production, local marketing)?
o Will participation by women in project activities (e.g., identification of employees for training)
o Will the project include improved understanding of the contribution of women to the
agricultural and natural resource sectors among the sectoral issues to receive project assistance.
Train female as well as male enumerators.
Disaggregate household-level farm management data by gender.
Collect data directly from women as well as from men.
Include women's as well as men's activities in data collection.
Design the analysis and planning of activities to highlight women's participation in the
agricultural and natural resource sectors to improve decision-maker understanding of gender.
Designing Extension Components
in Agricultural and Natural Resource Projects
o What percentage of the current extension staff is female?
o Do local social customs make it difficult for men extension agents to communicate directly
with women farmers?
o Are resources provided to women extension agents (e.g., transportation allowances, vehicles,
housing) so they can function in the field?
o Is the current extension program designed to encourage participation of women farmers
(location of demonstrations, timing of field days, etc.)?
o What percentage of extension agents' time is spent with male in relation to female farmers?
o Does the extension program primarily target heads of household?
o How much emphasis is on traditional food crops, cash crops, livestock production, etc., in
ongoing extension programs?. Does this emphasis reflect their importance to women as well
as to men farmers?
o In what format will extension messages be delivered (written, radio, training, radio, etc.)?
Train male and female agents in how to reach women farmers and farm wives.
Provide additional travel or housing resources for women agents so they can function
effectively in the field and overcome social constraints.
* Use group-oriented extension methods to facilitate participation by women where one-to-one
contact between men and women is acceptable.
* Organize separate field days and other dissemination activities for women if this is needed
to encourage them to actively participate.
* Monitor projects' success in reaching women and revise it if necessary in order to ensure
women's participation in extension programs and their adoption of recommendations.
* Include traditional crops in the extension program in proportion to their importance in the
* Include in the extension program post-harvest management and other on-farm activities.
3.3.7 FARMER ORGANIZATIONS
Designing Farmer Organization Components
in Agricultural Projects
o What is the current participation of women in farmers' organizations that this project will
be concentrating on?
o Is membership limited to heads of household; can both male and female farmers from the
same household join, and can single, widowed, and divorced female farmers also
o Are there membership requirements (e.g., land ownership) that may inhibit women's
o What informal organizations currently exist that might be brought into the program, whether
or not they are oriented towards agriculture (e.g., savings clubs), and what is the role of
women in these groups?
o Will the groups' activities be focused on particular products or activities (e.g., marketing of
grain) and, if so, what are the roles of women in these areas?
o Will the groups build on or replace women's current role in the agricultural economy?
o What special efforts or design features are needed to encourage women to join the groups
and participate actively?
Allow more than one family member to belong to the farm organization.
Direct organizational activities toward those in which women currently perform special
functions, such as in vegetable marketing.
Incorporate traditional women's groups, as well as government-sponsored groups into the
If cultural norms prevent women and men from belonging to the same group, consider
organizing separate women's groups.
3.3.8 INPUT SUPPLY SYSTEMS
Designing Input Supply System Components
in Agricultural Projects
o What role do women currently play in the informal or private sector input supply system
(including on-farm systems such as selection and storage of seed)?
o How will the proposed changes affect informal and private sector systems?
o Will the proposed system displace women's income-earning activities, such as small trade?
o Will the proposed changes in the system limit women's access to inputs (e.g., by linking
purchase to membership in government-sponsored groups that generally exclude w omen, by
linking purchase to formal credit systems with requirements that women cannot meet, etc.)?
o In selecting inputs for the supply system, will the needs of women farmers be met as well
as those of men (e.g., will poultry breeds include traditional as well as hybrid breeds)?
o Will the smaller holding size of women be accounted for by "mini" input packages or other
* Investigate assistance to informal and private sector input supply systems before considering
establishment of a new government supply system or assistance to an existing one.
* Reform existing public systems to allocate supplies by price, without additional requirements
such as use of government credit or membership in specific groups.
* Provide assistance to informal on-farm systems, such as seed selection and storage, to the
* Carefully consider negative impacts on traditional systems before introducing new systems,
particularly if the latter are not to operate on a fully commercial basis.
* Involve women farmers in seed production, production of breeding stock, nursery operation,
and other input supply support systems, either as contract farmers or as employees.
3.3.9 IRRIGATION INFRASTRUCTURE AND MANAGEMENT
Designing Irrigation Infrastructure and Management
in Agricultural Projects
o What percentage of irrigated land is currently managed by women?
o How do women's family labor inputs and women's income per hectare compare on irrigated
and non-irrigated land?
o To what extent do women currently participate in irrigation management, including
allocation of irrigation water?
o Will high-value women's crops (e.g., vegetables) be irrigated or will it be limited to cash
crops or cereal crops managed by men?
o How will irrigation affect the relative profitability of production for home consumption and
o Will user charges be assessed against households or individuals?
o If gatekeepers and other irrigation system employees are to be drawn from the local farm
population, will women be eligible for these jobs and will they be encouraged to enter the
necessary training programs, etc.?
o How will changes in the irrigation or natural watercourse system affect women's household
activities, such as access to water for clothes-washing, food preparation and clean-up,
watering household animals, etc.?
Analyze the potential impact of irrigation system changes on women's labor inputs, income,
production, and household activities to identify problems and solutions as early as possible.
Organize water user groups in ways that give women farmers a voice in the allocation of
irrigated land and irrigation water.
Consider household water use carefully in designing water system changes.
Actively recruit women for water management and maintenance positions.
Organize water user groups so that both male and female farm managers can participate.
Division of labor sometimes is determined by the physical differences between the sexes. More
often, however, the division is gender-based; i.e., based on the social definitions of proper
interaction between men and women46 (see Case Study 2). 'Research shows that women work
longer hours than men in developing countries, low-income women work longer hours than
wealthier women, and rural women work longer hours than urban women. Fetching water is
generally a task allotted to women and children; it can consume a significant portion of their
waking hours, limiting the time they can spend on other agricultural and natural resource activities.
A study by Shubh Kumar and David Hotchkiss entitled "Consequences of Deforestation for
Women's Time Allocation, Agricultural Production, and Nutrition in Hill Areas of Nepal,"
(Research Report 69, International Food Policy Research Institute, Oct. 1988) revealed that
deforestation has led to women having less time and this is the chief constraint to agricultural
production. A study carried out in Burkina Faso by UNESCO/UNDP, Project for Equal Access of
Women and Girls to Education, showed that girls as young as seven worked 5.3 per day hours
compared with 0.7 hours for boys." This same study revealed women had only 1.3 hours of free
time in the first 14 waking hours. Using these data, this project introduced technologies to lighten
the food processing and portage tasks of females.
Male out-migration from rural areas results in de facto women-headed households, which now
form an average of 20-25 percent of all rural households except in strongly Islamic societies. In
countries such as Lesotho, female-headed households constitute as much as 70 percent. Shortage of
male labor for land preparation can cause serious production problems, such as delays in planting,
resulting in lower yields. Women sometimes have access to the labor of men other than their
husbands or sons, draft animals, or the help of other women if they can arrange payment in cash,
in kind, or through exchange. If women do not have these options, they have difficulty
participating in any activity that requires added labor from them.
The intensification of women's workloads occurs not only because of male out-migration but
also because new technologies may increase women's labor while decreasing men's. The increase
in women's weeding labor due to expanded cultivation possible because of the introduction of
animal traction is a typical example. An Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) analysis suggests
that failure to take into account non-technical factors, such as labor bottlenecks and shortages, has
repeatedly thwarted attempts to introduce technologies."4 There are many instances where the
introduction of a new grain or pulse required women to spend much more time processing the
product. Ultimately, they rejected the crop for this reason. Women will not accept intensification
of their workload unless they receive some benefit from that intensification, i.e., control of the
income or product. In addition, when agriculture is commercialized men may call upon women to
supply labor for cash cropping, yet women will still have their subsistence crop activities.
CASE STUDY 2
Incorporation of Women and Gender Analysis in a
Rice-Based Farming Systems Project in The Philippines
The IRRI-sponsored Asian Rice Farming Systems Network (ARFSN) operates a project to
improve existing farming systems by integrating suitable crop and animal production
technologies. The project is developing ways of increasing the use of crop by-products and
residues for animal feed through crop-livestock research. The Women in Rice Farming
Systems (WIRFS) effort within this project aims to institutionalize women's concerns within
research and extension agencies dealing with rice farming systems.
WIRFS representatives began by acting as observers in a project site workshop. This
allowed them to learn about the goals and nature of the project without being responsible
for any actions initially. They discovered that despite a multidisciplinary project team, no
social scientists participated, and existing socioeconomic profiles for the area did not include
information on the participation of women. WIRFS initiated several diagnostic surveys to
identify farming practices and decision making by gender, complemented by a three-day
visit after the surveys to observe activities first-hand.
WIRFS found a gender division of labor in rice production; women are responsible for
pulling seedlings but not for transplanting, as is true in other provinces. Women sell
products and by-products. For mungbeans, cowpeas, and vegetables, women harvest, thresh,
and make marketing decisions. Men are responsible for large animals (cattle, carabao) but
women help with feeding, gathering forage, cleaning shelters and animals, herding, and
collecting and disposing wastes. Swine and poultry are women's responsibilities. Women
process glutinous rice, a major income-generating activity that consumes much fuel and
labor. Available agricultural training is gender-specific with courses on farming for men
and on nutrition and food preservation for women. No training existed for vegetable
production, swine or poultry production, or rice processing. Women do not have access to
formal credit since they are not formally organized and do not have collateral such as land
WIRFS provided this information to the ARFSN team and was asked to participate in a
workshop to design future research. Subsequently, several changes occurred in the research
agenda. The use of mungbean residue for fodder in rice-mungbean cropping patterns was
introduced, and women were included in demonstrations on how to use the fodder, and how
to use better pest management techniques in mungbean production. The focus of research
shifted from large livestock only to include swine and poultry. Women were invited to
attend research meetings and a special class was held to consider women's participation in
crop and livestock activities. A female livestock nutritionist was engaged to explain the
nutritive values of different crop residues and fodders to women. Varietal and processing
research on glutinous rice was initiated to improve production as a source of income for
women. Gradual inclusion of WIRFS team members in the project and provision of useful
analysis of farm production constraints by gender facilitated the incorporation of women's
concerns into the research and extension efforts and led to a broader understanding of the
farming systems of the area.
[Adapted from Thelma Paris44]
Designing Labor Components in Agriculture
and Natural Resource Projects
o What is the anticipated effect on women of proposed interventions; in particular, will it add to
women's work loads and conflict with existing responsibilities?
o What changes in labor requirements have occurred due to male out-migration?
o What resources (credit, other family members, payment in kind) do women have access to in
order to pay for tasks performed for them?
* Analyze current division of labor and tailor proposed interventions to fit into the farming
* Consider introducing labor-saving devices.
* Consider providing childcare, allowing children to accompany their mothers to work, having
flexible hours so women can work part-time, and paying by the task, piece, or kilo so women
can work part of the day.
Establish access to credit for women and payment-in-kind arrangements to broaden women's
options in paying for agricultural labor.
3.3.11 LAND REFORM AND TENURE
Women's access to land varies throughout the world, its ownership and control being a crucial
variable in agricultural production and natural resource management. Ownership, use of the land
(usufruct), and control are determined by tradition or by law, or a combination of the two. The
control of and access to land within a country, culture, ethnic group, village, and household are
variables that must be known in order to understand the incentives and disincentives, opportunities
and constraints of the men and women who will determine the success of the project. Agricultural
and natural resource projects planned without an understanding of the land tenure system tend to
overlook, ignore, or discourage women's participation (see Figure 24).
Land tenure systems vary from region to region. The first design consideration is how land is
acquired (inherited, held jointly by a group or village, held by the state), and what the status of
women is in the acquisition process. Is land passed from mother to daughter or from father to
son? Do only men have usufruct rights, or can women own or purchase land as well? If only men
have access rights, how do women gain access and can they retain control of those fields once they
start using them? Women often lose out when land tenure systems change from usufruct to state-
controlled because in most countries men have been the usual recipients of such land rights. This
same pattern is found in resettlement schemes, which tend to favor men over women as the
"primary" farmers and recipients of aid. The assumptions appear to be that heads of households are
always men and that they will organize family members' labor and assets equitably. In many
instances, neither is the case.
Research has shown that privatization of land and commercialization of agriculture tend to
decrease women's access to land. In Kenya, for example, land adjudication ignored female farmers,
their traditional usufruct and managerial rights, and their rights to the sale of produce.43 In Kenya,
as in many other countries, holding title to land is essential to gaining access to agricultural
services, credit, loans, and technical assistance, and to joining producer cooperatives. When access
to services is restricted or cut off to women, their productivity and efficiency as farmers declines
along with their incentive to continue to farm.
The commercialization of agriculture, moving from subsistence farming to cash cropping, can
greatly affect women's access to land. As land is lost to cash crops, women maybe forced onto
farm marginal lands or may even lose access to the land. For example, in the traditional swamp
rice production systems of West Africa, women produced rice for home consumption and sell the
surplus for cash. As subsequent projects introduced irrigation, double cropping, and new rice
varieties to male farmers, women lost control and access to these productive swamplands. Women
are now left with less productive lands on which to produce their domestic rice crops, while at the
same time are expected to assist their husbands with the new cash crop.
Designing Land Reform and Tenure Components
in Agricultural and Natural Resource Projects
o How do women gain access to land under current, informal tenure systems (e.g., through
husbands, families, or directly)?
o Do current tenure laws allow women to hold title in their own names?
o How does widowhood or divorce affect women's access to land under the current and
o Will the proposed tenure reform or titling result in assignment of land going only to male
heads of households?
o Must women get permission from male relatives to sell or rent land?
o Will registration fees be low enough so women can gain title to land?
o Does a minimum farm size titling requirement restrict women's participation?
o Will the adjudication process facilitate women's participation when ownership is disputed?
o Will formalization of title reduce access to land by low-resource women farmers. If this
possibility exists, how can it be avoided?
o Will a coordinated effort be made to inform women farmers as well as men of new land
* Undertake an analysis of traditional land tenure and land access systems before proposing
changes in the formal system and consider how the two systems will interact after the
* Monitor impact of land reform and tenure reform on women's access to land and provide
for redesign and adjustment during implementation.
* Strive toward tenure laws that give greater security to women, regardless of marital status.
* Provide titles to both men and women, not just heads of household.
* Eliminate minimum size restrictions for formal titling.
* Lower fees and simplify procedures for formal titling.
Land Ownership and Food Production
Henn2 compared the productivity of Tanzanian Haya women who were
landowners with other Haya women who farmed but did not own their land.
Landowners displayed impressive entrepreneurial and agricultural skills, had a higher
standard of living, received income from cash crops, and hired male laborers. The
ability of women farmers to produce and cam income if given the necessary access to
land is well documented. As argues, "the improvement and expansion of the
traditional women's food sector is likely to be both the cheapest and most reliable
method of increasing domestic food supply."
If single and married women's access to and control of land is hampered by land ownership
patterns, the position of divorced, separated, or abandoned women is even worse. Women whose
husbands have migrated may face the same constraints if land is in their husbands' names only.
Frequently, these women have limited access to land for growing domestic crops, much less for
produce to sell in the market.
3.3.12 LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS
Women's ownership and control of livestock and their byproducts varies from culture to culture.
It should not be assumed that women care for only small stock, that dairying is a woman's domain,
or that only men are involved in cattle or camel production. In some cultures women are
responsible for milking or caring for young or ill animals. In mixed crop and livestock systems
where cattle do not migrate for grazing, women may be responsible to feed animals. In some
African societies, herd management is turned over to a hired herder.
In a project to improve cattle production, then, the question becomes who should be
contacted-the herder, the male owner, or the female milkers? Questions to determine respective
roles of this nature include:
o Who owns livestock? If women do not, do they have access to dairy or other
byproducts from their husbands' or families' livestock?
o What is the gender division in caring for animals-feeding, watering, herding, care of
o What is the gender division of labor in processing animal products-meat, milk,
wool, hides, eggs?
o What is the gender division of control over livestock production?
Small ruminants tend to be "women's animals," that is, under women's care and control, in
many sub-Saharan African countries and the altiplano region of Latin America. Small ruminants
have been used, as have cattle, as a form of savings and investment by women. Recent projects
have introduced the idea that goat milk is an equally valuable by-product of goat production-thus
introducing another potential income earner for women. Where small ruminants are promoted as an
income-generating activity, planners will need to integrate women into the marketing sector. It is
rare for women to be livestock traders but it is important for them to be able to control their
income from byproduct sales (see Case Study 3).
Small animals such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, guinea fowl, rabbits, and guinea pigs are
important sources of income which are commonly found under women's control. Despite the
recognition that such animals are women's responsibility, it has not necessarily resulted in the
delivery of inputs for them.
Commercialization of dairying can adversely affect women by creating more work while
depriving them of their income. The creation of dairying cooperatives does not necessarily ensure
that women will automatically benefit from them, particularly if only men own cattle and only men
continue to be the official cooperative members. Enabling the direct purchase of dairy products
from women is one way to help them retain an income from this traditional source.
Livestock and veterinary services must be targeted to women as well to as men. There is scant
assurance that when livestock information is made available only to men, that it is passed on to
women. Women's animals often have not been brought to vaccination point because they have not
been notified of the activity. As veterinary and livestock technicians are usually male, the usual
constraints on interaction occur in this situation as well. The issues that women face in livestock
projects, and possible strategies are elaborated upon in Figure 25.
CASE STUDY 3
Dairy Goat Production:
Women's Projects vs. Integrated Projects
Several projects have attempted to introduce dairy goat production in Western Kenya, an
area of high population and decreasing farm size. A majority of these projects were
targeted to women through rural women's goat raising organizations. Women's labor was
to be used for general animal care and they were to receive training in goat management.
Women participants were eventually to receive a goat of their own to take home. In fact, it
was men who held the wage labor jobs at project sites and who received the training.
When and if any women took goats home, the males made economic decisions about their
ownership. While project sponsors assumed that any increased income would benefit the
entire family, a majority of the participating women reported increased workloads and
interference with their other work. Women only continued to participate out of loyalty to
the sponsor (a woman Assistant Minister of Education from the area) and to maendeleo, a
Kiswahili term for progress or development.
In contrast, the Small Ruminant Collaborative Research Support Program did not isolate
women in its dual purpose goat project. Instead, all participating farmers were treated
equally, whether male or female. A majority of farmers were female at project villages in
Western Kenya. Farmers received training in goat care and management, veterinary care,
feed production, and milk and cheese production. Farmers were brought to the research
station to participate in training and to teach staff about their farming practices.
Enumerators lived in each area and contacted farmers daily, forming close relationships with
the families. The tendency for male farmers to claim knowledge of livestock care and
responsibility, thus receiving all project inputs, was prevented if enumerators found it not to
be true. Project inputs and training went to the farmer who was actually responsible for the
Project success has been outstanding; both goats and their products are in high demand in
the area. It is widely recognized in Kenya that women farm, so when project staff worked
with the farmer, whoever he or she was, conflicts did not occur. Another likely
contribution to the equitable treatment of all farmers was the composition of the technical
staff, both expatriate and Kenyan. Moreover, the forage agronomist, food scientist, rural
sociologist, agricultural economist, and animal technician were all female at different times
during the project.
[from Noble40 and Russo50]
Designing Livestock Components
in Agricultural Projects
o If livestock ownership is predominantly by males, will women accept added responsibility of
o Will increased livestock care conflict with maintaining other household responsibilities and lead
women to neglect the project?
o If the project is oriented toward commercialism, has there been adequate consideration of
livestock/dairy products needed for home consumption?
o Can women participate in livestock/dairy cooperatives beside men?
o Do women have access to commercial markets (e.g., roads and transportation)?
o What forms of credit are available to women?
o Are women included in livestock extension programs?
+ Include animals associated with women in livestock projects.
Design women's livestock components that fit into women's work schedules.
Reserve a portion of animal byproducts for family use if they are needed for family
Include women as participants in cooperatives or consider developing women's cooperatives.
Provide project marketing inputs to make commercial markets accessible to women-perhaps
through a women's cooperative.
Provide credit for women's livestock investment.
Recruit women livestock extension agents and train male agents for women's outreach.
3.3.13 MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT
Designing Management Development Components
in Agricultural and Natural Resource Projects
o What role do women currently play in management of the institutions to be assisted (e.g.,
district extension offices)?
o What constraints exist to expanding the role of women in management: low numbers of
women in management positions; low numbers of women in positions from which management
cadres usually drawn; lesser degree of formal preparation among women employees; attitudes of
senior personnel, etc.?
o Are women managers more common in public or private sector institutions and would
broadening the training to reach private sector firms increase the number of women eligible?
o In private firms, do social practices conceal the importance of women's role in management?
o Will the procedures to be used to identify candidates for management training ensure that
women are chosen at least in proportion to the share of employees they represent?
o If personnel from private firms arc to receive training, will the size of firm be small enough to
reach women entrepreneurs, who tend to run smaller firms?
Track women's participation in training to identify problems in reaching women at an early
stage in the project.
Include training modules aimed at personnel with less formal preparation.
Expand training eligibility to include female personnel in mid-level positions from which future
managers will be drawn.
Develop procedures for identifying candidates actively, rather than relying solely on nomination
by more senior personnel, who may not view women as managers.
Designing Marketing Components
in Agricultural Projects
o What is the role of women farmers and traders in the current marketing system?
o Do women traders have access to formal credit and other assistance?
o What use do they make of informal credit and other support systems?
o Are women traders adequately represented in the organizations) chosen for project
o Do formal or informal organizations of women traders exist?
o What problems do women traders and farmers face in marketing activities?
o How will the proposed changes in the marketing system affect women traders and farmers?
o What measures are necessary to ensure that women traders participate fully in any assistance
programs provided for traders?
* Include a full analysis of private trading, including activity by women traders and informal
marketing by women farmers, in project start-up activities. Allow sufficient flexibility in
the design to incorporate the findings of the analysis.
* Broaden market information programs and other assistance to traders to reach small women
traders as well as larger traders.
* Design marketers' credit programs with low minimum loan size and limited collateral or
non-collateral requirements to encourage women to participate.
* Analyze the impact of formal marketing systems on the traditional systems operated by
women traders and farmers.
* Monitor program impact on women traders and their relations with other parts of the
Designing Research Components
in Agricultural and Natural Resource Projects
o Will on-farm trials, if any, include women as well as men cooperators?
o What is the role of women in the production of the crops, livestock activities, etc., selected
o Will research consider the economic and technical feasibility of proposed solutions for
farmers with limited resources and access to inputs as well as for high resource farmers?
o Will analysis of the demand for and return to family labor be examined in comparing
o Will women as well as men be asked to evaluate proposed technologies (e.g., improved
varieties, agroforestry practices)?
o Will a special effort be made to ensure that women participate in field days and other
technology dissemination activities?
o Will social scientists be represented among expatriate and national researchers on the research
Include women farmers in surveys and other preliminary activities to define the research
agenda, and include women in on-farm trials.
Disaggregate analysis of proposed technologies to examine their feasibility for low-resource
farmers, such as women, as well as high resource farnners.
Include efforts to develop technologies suitable for low-resource farmers as well as high-
Conduct separate field days for women with local language translation, if necessary, or
incorporate specific efforts to ensure women's participation in general field days and other
Conduct research on traditional food crops, traditional livestock varieties, and other
agricultural activities managed by women as well as by men.
Include social scientists on the national research team and the expatriate technical assistance
CASE STUDY 4
Incorporating Gender as a Variable
in Agricultural Research in Ecuador
In Latin America, it is often assumed that women do not play an active role in farm
production. Through its smallholder production research program, (PIP) the Instituto
National de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP) in Ecuador has discovered that the
reality of smallholder farming systems dictates that gender be included among the key
variables considered in the development and dissemination of agricultural innovations.
Several examples from PIP activities illustrate how sensitivity to gender helped benefit
In many areas, males are typically absent from the household because of temporary or
seasonal migration for wage labor. Men return on holidays that coincide with planting
times, but may be absent for most of the agricultural cycle. If research teams interview
only males about farming practices, the men will "forget" the answers to some agricultural
practices because the women are responsible for them. Good research techniques require
that both men and women be interviewed, but in practice, this is difficult when research
teams are composed of men only. Women are reluctant to speak freely with men,
especially in groups, or may be discouraged by their husbands from participating in
discussions when other men are present. In Indian communities women may not be able to
communicate well with researchers in Spanish. A PIP solution has been to hire and train
female paraprofessional interviewers who can talk to women about their work and obtain
information about production, storage, and consumption practices. These male and female
multidisciplinary teams have been successful in obtaining information about the production
systems that enables them to design appropriate research activities.
Gender is important in the selection of farmers for on-farm trials. If only men participate
in the negotiations, researchers are likely to find on subsequent visits that the men are
absent, and the women may not allow them to come onto their farm. INIAP researchers
now negotiate with both members of a couple whenever appropriate.
Development of a particular variety of maize demonstrates the importance of women's input.
Plant breeders had regarded multiple shoots on a plant as a negative characteristic.
However, women tending animals preferred these extra shoots because they provided
additional fodder. As a result, breeders no longer considered this characteristic a research
At one time INIAP invited only men to their field days and to tours to observe crop trials.
PIP program technicians began to realize that it would be desirable to invite women as
well. When women were invited, however, they would separate themselves from men and
not participate. When language was found to be one reason for their reluctance to join in,
INIAP incorporated a Quechua/Spanish speaker with a megaphone into their presentations.
Thus technicians served as translators and brokers between the community and the
researchers, facilitating both feedback and technology transfer.
[Adapted from Garrett and Espinosa22]
CASE STUDY 5
Integration of Farmers' Criteria
in Bean Variety Testing
CIAT and IFDC are working in Colombia to develop appropriate bean varieties and
fertilizers for small farm systems. A participatory research approach is used to provide
better information to breeders earlier in the project cycle and to minimize non-adoption.
Farms in the area are small, family operations that grow cash crops of coffee and cassava,
and beans for selling in the local markets. Initial on-farm interviews indicated that men
were responsible for crop production while women were in charge of processing foods and
household maintenance. Two management systems were identified-typical and innovative.
Typical management involves low inputs to disease and pest control and high fertilizer
application; innovative management involves higher inputs to pest control including labor,
use of higher producing varieties, and a desire to keep down fertilizer costs.
The type of beans grown for the market are usually large, opaque, and red. Breeders had
10 varieties available for on-farm testing and had ranked them for presumed farmer
preference. Farmers were then asked to rank the varieties. Four of the varieties included:
Bean variety Grain size and color Rank Rank
A-36 Medium, red opaque 1 3
A-486 Large, pink opaque 2 2
AFR-205 Large, purple mottled 3 1
BAT-1297 Very small, red opaque 10 6
When women were included in the interview and were asked to rank the beans, it was
found that BAT-1297 was preferred by women because of its better cooking qualities.
Notably, it would swell considerably, providing more food from fewer beans.
After on-farm testing of the ten varieties under typical and innovative management systems,
only two varieties, one of them BAT-1297, showed significant response to fertilizer under
More in-depth interviews with the women also revealed that they had more input into
agricultural production than was previously thought. Women's evaluation of the ten
varieties placed three varieties, including BAT-1297, above A-36. Given the results of the
exploratory trial and these two sets of preferences, researchers decided to continue work on
both the larger beans and the very small beans since both have a place in local farming
3.3.16 ROADS AND OTHER INFRASTRUCTURES
Designing Road and Other Infrastructure Components
in Agricultural and Natural Resource Projects
o Based on experience elsewhere in the country, will expansion of the road network tend to
expand marketing activities carried out by women or will small women traders be displaced by
o If women traders tend to be displaced when roads improve, can the program be expanded to
include credit for women traders or other measures to prevent this effect?
o How will the roads affect the relative profitability of production for home consumption and for
sale and how will this affect women farmers?
* Analyze negative as well as positive effects on women traders and design appropriate counter-
measures, if needed.
* Women should be eligible for credit for vehicles on the same basis as men.
3.3.17 STORAGE AND PROCESSING
Designing Storage and Processing Components
in Agricultural Projects
o What roles do women play in storage and processing of crop, livestock, and forest
o What technical problems do women face in storage and processing?
o Can these problems be more easily overcome by improving the traditional storage system or
by shifting to acceptable levels of spoilage?
o What role does on-farm storage and processing play in the overall system for various
o How do on-farm and off-farm storage and processing systems interact?
o Will proposed changes to the system compete with women-operated systems, displace such
systems, or support them?
o Do existing regulations make it difficult or impossible to conduct processing on-farm
without violating such regulations and, if so, are the regulations actually necessary for
public health or other reasons?
Monitor the impact of project storage and processing activities on traditional on-farm
Incorporate assistance to on-farm systems to the extent compatible with the project's overall
Provide financing for on-farm storage and processing.
Revise food regulations and eliminate unworkable standards that discourage small
entrepreneurs or deny them credit.
3.3.18 TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Designing Technical Assistance Components
in Agricultural and Natural Resource Projects
o Do the scopes of work reflect gender concerns and incorporate project design features to
address such concerns?
o Will the team include social science as well as production expertise?
o Will the proposed technical assistance team structure include expertise in women in
o Does the institution (or type of institution) identified as the source of technical assistance
generally have expertise in addressing gender concerns?
* Include gender concerns in the scope of work.
* Include social scientists as full-time members of the technical assistance team where
* Include experience with gender issues as a criterion for evaluating technical assistance team
and institutional qualifications for contract award.
Project Implementation, Monitoring, and Evaluation
The best designed projects can still go awry. This chapter discusses issues to consider during
implementation to increase the likelihood that the project will achieve its desired objectives.
Subsequently, monitoring and evaluation are discussed as tools that provide feedback to ensure that
projects stay on track or indicate when there is a need for changes.
Project revision should be considered as a relevant option because it is an opportunity to
modify project objectives to reflect changing priorities and to revise implementation plans to best
realize these objectives.
Gender-related issues addressed during project implementation and monitoring are summarized
in Figure 32.
4.1.1 SELECTION OF INSTITUTIONS, TECHNICAL EXPERTS, AND DELIVERY
The best designed and most well-intentioned projects may fail because of poor selection of
institutions, technical expertise, and delivery services.
220.127.116.11 Criteria for Selecting Institutions
o U.S. Institutions
When selecting a U.S. institution to design or implement a project, ask the following questions:
Does the institution have a WID program, office, and/or policy?
Does the institution have successful prior experience in addressing gender
Does the group show signs of a strong commitment to WID, e.g., have
staff been trained in this area?
Are female professionals available for technical staff positions?
o Local Institutions
The local institutional situation may be more complicated given that there may be only one
agriculture ministry to work with, or the agency designated to work with women may lack technical
Ensuring Gender Adaptation in Agricultural Projects:
Project Officer Responsibilities for Project
Implementation and Monitoring
1. Determine counterpart attitudes toward inclusion of women as participants and
beneficiaries of project activities and provide information to increase their
awareness of the importance to project success of including women.
2. Ensure that WID skills and gender awareness are adequately represented in scope
of work and RFP evaluation criteria for technical assistance.
3. Once TA team is fielded, determine which members) have WID-relevant skills
and which will have responsibility for ensuring women's participation.
4. Require targets for reaching and including women, and methods for doing so, to
be included in the start-up work plan.
5. Review project data collection systems to ensure that data collected will be
6. Review project implementation monitoring and reporting systems to ensure that
data collected will be gender-disaggregated.
MONITORING AND SUPPORT TO CONTINUING PROJECTS
1. Ensure that gender issues are adequately covered in quarterly reports and other
progress reports, including problems encountered in reaching women, proposed
solutions, reporting on numbers of women participating in various project activities
and the impact of the project on women in the project area.
2. Ensure that gender issues and, where appropriate, targets for reaching women are
included in annual work plans and other project planning documents.
3. Assist in identifying needs for short-term assistance in gender analysis or adapta-
tion that arise during implementation and help to identify in-country or expatriate
sources of assistance.
4. Monitor participation of women in project activities (e.g., percent of participant
trainees that are women) against targets established in annual work plans,
determine reasons for shortfalls. Determine solutions with counterparts and
technical assistance team.
expertise in agriculture. Figure 31 will help in asking the right questions when selecting local
institutions. In addition, the following factors should be considered:
Does the institution have a WID program, office, bureau, and/or
Is there a designated ministry or bureau of women's affairs: is it
structured differently from other ministries and bureaus?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the ministry involved in
the project in terms of women farmers? Do they make specific
attempts to reach women farmers?
Are there female professional staff in administrative, research, and
extension positions? Where are they based?
Can this project strengthen the local institution's interest in and
capacity to involve women, including in training and networking
with other institutions?
18.104.22.168 Criteria for Selecting Technical Experts
The selection of qualified personnel should be based on both technical expertise and gender
sensitivity. There may be situations where it will be easier for female professionals to reach
women farmers. However, there is no evidence that technical staff must be female in order to
understand gender issues, or that being female guarantees gender sensitivity. With these precautions
in mind, the following questions should help in the selection of technical staff:
What is the level of WID training among project staff?
Is WID training for staff mandated in the project cycle?
Are there mechanisms to identify, consider, and select women (U.S. and
local) as project staff?
Are technically skilled people available to implement the productive
aspects of the project?
Is attention to women farmers included in technical specialists' terms
22.214.171.124 Criteria for Selecting Delivery Systems
Delivery systems include extension, training, and the provision of equipment, supplies, and
technology to be used by the project. These systems are vital links that enable a project to reach
and assist women. In many societies, male extension agents and teachers do not have direct
contact with women farmers. In addition to cultural taboos, there are other, more subtle factors
preventing this interaction. Males may only feel comfortable with other males or believe that only
men can understand or adopt a new technology. These attitudes are commonly shared by expatriate
workers as well.42
Male extension staff usually will be accepted by women if measures are taken to introduce
them in an appropriate manner to the community. For example, female extension staff can
introduce male staff members to village women after discussions with village leaders. In Malawi,
where female extension agents were scarce, male extension agents were trained successfully to work
with female farmers in a livestock feeding effort that resulted in increased income for the
participants.51 Questions to consider when planning work that includes extension personnel (see also
What proportion of extension staff are female and where are they
Are women entering agricultural schools for advanced training? Are there
barriers to such training? Are there different criteria for acceptance? Are
curricula for men and women different?
Do women agricultural staff experience constraints in implementing
programs in the field; if so, where do these constraints originate?
How will agricultural information be delivered to women?
Are there cultural constraints facing male extension staff who must work
with women farmers?
How are participating farmers selected?
Project activities, especially training, are often inconveniently located for women. Some
strategies to promote greater participation among women include: changing the activity site;
providing transportation; assisting with child care; providing separate sleeping facilities; scheduling
training during women's off-peak labor hours and seasons; and shortening the length of training.
Day-long training away from the village usually curbs the attendance of most women but the
wealthiest. Often the language in which training is given can be a barrier to women's participation.
Questions regarding training to consider include (see also Figure 15):
What are the qualifications to participate in training programs for
both the staff and for farmers?
Will the training requirements encourage or discourage the
participation of women as staff? As beneficiaries?
Will the location, hours, and length of training program facilitate the
participation of women farmers?
Will the content of the training be relevant to the needs and
priorities of women farmers?
o Equipment, Supplies, and Technology
Eligibility criteria for receiving credit often prevent women from receiving credit which very
likely will excluded them from participating in a project. Typical loans are often larger than
women feel they can afford, repayment schedules (monthly versus weekly) and repayment facilities
are inconvenient, and collateral requirements of land title or fixed assets discriminate against
women. Restructuring eligibility criteria and increasing accessibility will encourage women to
participate more fully in credit programs. Questions to consider include (see also Figure 17):
What is the cost of the proposed technology for intended users and
how will they pay for it?
How much training is needed to use and understand the technology?
Is the equipment and/or technology appropriate to the agricultural
system? Will it require high levels of maintenance or inputs?
Do women have equal access to the equipment, supplies, and
4.2 Monitoring and Evaluation
Conceptually, there is nothing complicated about the gender issues associated with monitoring
and evaluation--data must be disaggregated by gender to the extent possible. Data need to be
disaggregated by gender to allow analyses of male and female participation in project
decisionmaking, direct access to project benefits, and immediate and long-term effects of projects on
men and women. Disaggregation by age and social class is also helpful in determining people's
ability to participate in project activities. For example, in situations of high male out-migration for
wage labor, only older men and women may be able to participate in projects because of the
absence of younger men and the childcare responsibilities of younger women. Even though
disaggregation does not stop with gender, it has proven most effective to start with this category.
Nevertheless, concentrating solely on numbers ignores the larger issue of how the project affects
the lives of the beneficiaries. Numbers may indicate participation but do not reveal much about the
quality of the impact. Collection of data relating to impact, such as higher aspirations, more self-
awareness, improved problem solving capability, ability to work in groups, can be gathered in less
quantitative ways such as with focus group discussions or informal interviews.
If women and girls are not consciously identified as both participants and intended beneficiaries,
they will remain invisible during the implementation and planning processes.25 This deliberate call
for gender disaggregated data as a reminder to examine the distribution of project benefits,
including possible negative consequences. For example, the introduction of animal traction for
lowing may allow more land to be planted and more food to be grown, but it could also greatly
increase the labor required from women for weeding, harvesting, and processing. Even if men
perform the tasks directly associated with the new animal traction technology, women should also
be monitored in order to evaluate the larger implications of the intervention.
4.2.1 OVERALL INDICATORS OF WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION
National population censuses and socioeconomic surveys are usually available but often are
flawed because they are not routinely disaggregated by gender, age, or marital status. Special
interest surveys may offer additional data on nutritional status, prevalence of particular diseases,
labor conditions, and other items of interest. These, as well as public records (e.g., school
attendance registers) are often disaggregated by gender." Such sources of information can give
overall indications of women's roles and responsibilities in the region under study but may not be
specific enough for project evaluations.
While the best indicators of progress come from gender-disaggregated data, overall indicators,
often the simplest and easiest to obtain, can be used for evaluation but only measure the potential
of a project to reach women. Assessing whether a strategy focuses on areas likely to benefit
women can be done using three main indicators:
1. The percentage of project activities focused on areas where women have primary
responsibility and control of decisionmaking
2. The budgetary allocations to areas likely to benefit women
3. The relative numbers of consultants' and contractors' scopes of work that
explicitly require the consideration of gender roles in the areas of concern.45
4.2.2 TECHNIQUES FOR EVALUATING WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION
IN AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
In many cases the adage "the simpler the better" is the best guideline. Current thinking on
monitoring and evaluation favors the use of multiple data collection approaches instead of relying
on a single data collection method.9
Flexible, rapid techniques for appraisal are needed, given the time constraints faced by most
project evaluators. A monitoring system cannot be so cumbersome that it requires an inordinate
amount of staff time.
126.96.36.199 Direct Observation
This is a useful method when information is needed to assess project functions, meetings, and
training sessions. Observations can help reveal who project personnel contact, who attends
meetings, and what is the proportion of males and females.
Two of the best and ultimately most useful mechanisms for monitoring gender inclusion in
projects are trip reports and quarterly reports. These could include a standardized checklist eliciting
the following data:
How many people were contacted? men women
Whose farms/fields were visited? men women
Who was trained? men women
Was this a first or follow-up visit?
Gathering data in this manner is much more reliable than either a one-time, extensive survey
that consumes a great deal of time and energy or relying on recall months later. It facilitates the
sometimes tedious documentation process, decreasing the likelihood of passing on this responsibility
to someone else.
Direct observation will indicate the actual, rather than reported, participation of women in
project activities. For example, it may be reported that a certain percentage of women are involved
in a crop variety trial, yet observations of staff interactions with farmers show that no women were
contacted. A disadvantage of this method is that the evaluators may arrive at a time when no
significant agricultural activities are taking place, such as during the dry season. Single visits can
also result in biased information. Replicable, simple monitoring systems that project staff can
follow and that external advisers and evaluators can understand are essential.
188.8.131.52 Community Interviews
Group interviews are less threatening and cause less suspicion, but may not elicit accurate
information regarding women's participation if men are present and are allowed to dominate the
discussion, or if interviews occur at an inconvenient time or location for women. Interviews held
at mid-day in the village may miss many women who are still working in the field, for example.
Sometimes it may be useful to have two interviewers, one male and one female-beginning with a
mixed group interview, then separating the groups by sex for follow-on questions and discussion.
Since women in many societies have had less experience and exposure to researchers and
interviews, several interviews may have to be conducted before they gain the confidence to openly
discuss farming issues. Also, a series of shorter interviews may provide better information than can
be gathered in a single long interview. Selecting a few key informants is useful if they typify
project participants. While it may be necessary to interview the village chief or elder for political
purposes, a more typical cross-section of the population should also be included. Households may
be sampled for interviews, provided that rich and poor, and male- and female-headed households
are included in the sample.
More detailed discussions of evaluation methods can be found in Dixon12 and Hermann.Y
184.108.40.206 Informal Surveys
Informal surveys, (also called reconnaissance surveys, rapid rural appraisals, sondeos) are quick,
informal, cost-effective gathering devices that attempt to characterize the farming systems found
within a region.2" They can be very effective in presenting, at least initially, the gender dimensions
of agricultural and natural resource issues. Use of informal survey tools have increased
dramatically in recent years and there is a growing list of publications to guide researchers and
development workers in their application.8, 9 11 14. 16 20 41 48, 50
Informal surveys are usually done at the beginning of a project to allow researchers to
familiarize themselves with the key constraints facing farmers in a given area. Five distinguishing
characteristics of informal surveys have been identified by Franzel.21
1. Interviews are conducted by researchers themselves, not by enumerators.
2. Interviews are unstructured and semi-directed, with emphasis on dialogue and probing
for information. Questionnaires are not used; however, many researchers use topical
guidelines to ensure that all relevant topics on a given subject are covered.
3. Informal, random, and purposive sampling procedures are used instead of formal
random sampling from a sampling frame.
4. The data collection process is dynamic; that is, researchers evaluate the data collected
and reformulate data needs daily.
5. Generally, informal surveys are conducted over a period of one week to two months
during the growing season.
Additionally, informal surveys are usually conducted by interdisciplinary teams representing both
the natural and social sciences. Although most often used as a project begins, informal surveys can
also be used to define the parameters of more formal, focused surveys, especially those involving
more complex areas of farming systems. Informal surveys can also be used to solicit farmer
opinion and reaction as part of an evaluation strategy or to gather information quickly on specific
questions as they arise in the course of project activities.
If informal surveys are to elicit gender relationships and issues effectively, then care must be
taken to include women and their concerns consistently. Male and female heads of either joint or
separate households should be interviewed concerning farming and natural resource management
practices and decision making. Even if it initially appears that women are not directly involved in
field production, they should still be included because they may exert a strong influence over field
production decisions through their post-harvest, processing, storage, or other roles. Interviewers
should question women directly about their production roles, rather than asking men to describe
women's activities. Questioning women directly may entail special interview procedures, such as
having translators or interviewers with special language capabilities, but this is the only way to
ensure the validity of the information. Special training may be needed to sensitize male researchers
and development workers to the needs of women and methods for eliciting information from them.
220.127.116.11 Consumption-Focused Surveys
Most diagnostic and analytical methods used in agricultural research and extension are focused
on production, that is, they begin with what is grown in the fields or gardens and follow the
system through to marketing and other post-harvest activities. Frankenberger" and others have
argued that a consumption-focused survey can be used to track the food system back to production
and in the process reveal different, often ignored issues, that are obscured by production-focused
methods. Since women most often are responsible for post-harvest and consumption tasks in the
household, a consumption focus will automatically direct researchers toward these areas. This
approach also reveals important gender aspects of the linkages between consumption and production
in farming systems including:
1. Women are most often responsible for the food crop production of the household, and
women's income is more important in determining the nutritional status of children
than is men's income.
2. Children of working women are less likely to be malnourished than children of non-
3. Changes in crop production that increase women's labor time may result in changes in
cooking and consumption habits. Fewer meals may be prepared, less nutritious but
faster to cook foods may be substituted, and food may be prepared too long in
advance, incurring the risk of spoilage. These changes may have a negative impact
on the general nutrition of the household and in particular on children.
4. Increased labor demands may require women to plant less nutritious but less labor-
intensive crops, leading to diminished nutritional value of the food consumed in the
5. Increased labor or changes in labor patterns in agriculture may result in less time for
child care and the quality of care may decrease (less breastfeeding, for example)
resulting in diminished nutritional status."
18.104.22.168 Household Record Keeping
Household record keeping is a tool used to gather more detailed information on activities and
decisionmaking in farming systems. Usually, fewer households are included and thus must be
selected carefully to represent the larger farming community. This method can be quite useful in
determining the actual labor contributions of household members and can accurately determine the
differences between male and female labor allocation. Records can be kept by interviewers or
enumerators who regularly visit the households and record activities, or, household members
themselves may be trained to keep the records. In non-literate societies, records have often been
kept successfully using pictures to represent various activities and the days on which they are done.
Although household record keeping is a commonly used technique, researchers often have faced
difficulties in processing the large data sets they generate. As a result, in performing data analysis,
the tendency has been to aggregate the data from households and to report total labor rather than
retaining gender disaggregated figures. Care should be taken to retain the disaggregated data in
order to determine gender biases or impacts when changes are introduced into the agricultural
22.214.171.124 Purposive Sampling
Purposive sampling is another useful technique for gathering gender related information. It can
be used in conjunction with many of the methods discussed in this manual (see also Figure 33).
Purposive sampling occurs when the set of individuals or households selected for interviews, record
keeping, on-farm trials, or other research or project activities are selected based on a set of
predetermined criteria. For example, since we know that farming practices differ according to the
resources or cash available to a household, purposive sampling can be used to select a determined
number of households from each economic group represented in the project community.
ikewise, we know that in households headed by men, women often perform different
agricultural activities and face different problems than women who head their own households.
By using the purposive sampling method during an informal survey or project activity, both
types of women can be included. The advantage of purposive sampling is that it can ensure that
particular groups of people are included, rather than assuming their representation through random
selection techniques. A disadvantage of purposive sampling is that it requires a more thorough
understanding of the gender situation in the project community in order to determine the criteria for
making representative selections. Nevertheless, purposive sampling can be an excellent tool to
ensure that various groups of women traditionally omitted from agricultural projects will be
or deviant cases
S Sampling typical
of four cases that
represent a range
on some dimension
Avoids systematic bias in the sample; large sample size is important
for making generalizations.
Achieve a representative sample that permits generalizations to the
Increase confidence in making generalizations to particular
subgroups or areas.
Increases the utility of information obtained from small samples;
sampling criteria based on the reputation of programs among key
decision makers and on previous data collected from programs.
Provides decision makers with information about unusual
cases that may be particularly troublesome or enlightening, e.g.,
outstanding successes or notable failures; programs with long waiting
lists compared with programs that have recruitment problems;
unusually high morale and low moral problems.
Avoids studying a program where the results would be dismissed
outright because that program is known to be special, deviant,
unusual, or extreme.
Increases confidence in common patterns; document unique
program variations that have emerged in adapting to
Permits logical generalization and maximum application of
information to other cases because if it's true of this one case, it's
likely to be true of all other cases.
Attracts attention to the study (or avoids attracting undesired
attention by eliminating politically sensitive cases from the sample).
Saves time, money, and effort.
CASE STUDY 6
A Successful Project Adaptation to Gender Concerns
The Arid and Semi-Arid Lands project in Kenya intended to improve production and
preserve the agricultural resources base in the semi-arid highlands by popularizing bench
terracing and water conservation. The Social Soundness Analysis pointed out that women
are the principal farmers and, because of high male out-migration, women's self-help groups
would be the main source of labor for project works such as construction of terraces and
water catchments. The SSA warned that if women were expected to supply free labor for
soil and water conservation during the peak agricultural seasons, targets would not be met.
The recommendation was for the project to pay for the labor or suspend the work during
the peak season.
The original project design ignored the recommendation. Targets were set on the
assumption that work would be carried on throughout the entire year. Ultimately, project
management recognized that the original targets were not feasible and suspended work
during the peak season so that women could finish the plowing and planting. The
economic responsibilities and time constraints of women were a critical factor in securing
their unpaid labor. Women were willing to work on terracing and water catchments when
they could. Gender analysis facilitated project adaptation which resulted in achievement of
project objectives. The Government of Kenya assessed the value of the women's unpaid
labor contribution to the project at $US1.8 million.7
PPC/WID has funded two projects that have enhanced our information about the role of women
at the micro-economic level. These activities and their major accompanying documents are briefly
A. GENDER INFORMATION FRAMEWORK (GIF)
The Gender Information Framework (GIF) presents a process of gender analysis for A.I.D.
project officers, mission staff, and other design team members involved in programming design,
monitoring, evaluation, and review. This handbook provides an introduction to recent findings from
A.I.D. projects and guidelines for collecting gender-disaggregated data and for integrating them into
programming documents. The GIF is based on A.I.D.'s programming cycle from the Country
Development Strategy Statement through the Project Paper; presents guidelines for program
documents that follow A.I.D. handbook and guidance cable instructions wherever possible; and
provides the basis for a common understanding between program designers and reviewers on one
hand, and among those responsible for program and project implementation, monitoring, and
evaluation on the other.
B. THE GENDER MANUAL SERIES
This series of publications was prepared by the Office of Women in Development to provide
development practitioners with practical guidelines and information on how to integrate developing
country women into assistance efforts. Although keyed to the A.I.D. project development cycle and
documentation process, the procedures and methodologies presented in these workbooks are
similarly useful to the broader development community. Other manuals in this series include:
Gender Issues in Latin America and the Caribbean
Gender Issues in Basic Education and Vocational Training
Gender Issues in Small Scale Enterprise
[The document described below has a more specific function for A.I.D. project personnel than
do the two above. While the indicators referred to in this document may have been developed with
a special purpose in mind, they may also be helpful to others who must develop similar
measurement tools to serve as barometers of success in the gender consideration integration
C. INDICATORS FOR ASSESSING INTEGRATION OF GENDER CONSIDERATIONS
INTO A.I.D. ACTIVITIES
A.I.D./Washington has developed a set of indicators to be used to monitor the integration of
women into the Agency's activities. There are three categories of indicators: 1) those relating to
program, project, and reporting documents; 2) those relating to training of USAID staff; and 3)
those relating to participant training. When it is not possible to achieve these indicators, A.I.D.
"will ensure that there is a substantive analysis as to the obstacles preventing completion of such
efforts and an explanation of how these obstacles will be overcome."
a. Program, Project, and Reporting Document Indicators:
Documents developed in the future for new and on-going activities should include the indicators
1. Document includes sex-disaggregated data in all references to participants and beneficiaries.
2. Document identifies constraints to women's participation in all development activities.
3. Document identifies opportunities for enhancing women's participation.
4. Document describes strategies to overcome these constraints or make use of these
5. Document identifies benchmarks to measure progress in implementing these strategies.
b. Training of USAID Staff Indicators:
Bureau WID action plan should include initiatives that have been, or will be, taken to provide
WID training to A.I.D. staff. Indicators used by PPC/WID include description of the training
activity, number, and job titles of staff trained.
c. Participant Training Indicators:
Bureau WID Action Plan should include initiatives that have been, or will be taken to increase
the number of females in participant training programs. Indicators used by PPC/WID include
information on the:
1. Number of men and women included in participant training programs.
2. Constraints to women's participation.
3. Opportunities for enhancing women's participation.
4. Strategies to overcome these constraints or to make use of these opportunities.
5. Benchmarks to measure progress in implementing these strategies.
D. "MAKING THE CASE FOR THE GENDER VARIABLE: WOMEN AND THE WEALTH
AND WELL-BEING OF NATIONS"
This document makes the case for gender as an essential and critical variable in the
"development equation." Empirical evidence is given that demonstrates that: a) women worldwide
make major contributions to the wealth of nations; and b) the use and expansion of women's
productive capacities is a necessary condition for social and economic progress. The discussion
focuses on two intertwined ways in which women contribute to the economic and human resource
"wealth" of nations. These are: a) women's productive activities, which, in many developing
countries, contribute significantly to the food supply, the large informal sector, service and farm
labor forces, and, in some, to the export manufacturing labor force; and b) women's education,
which can lead to lower fertility, better family health, reduced infant and child mortality, higher
formal labor force participation, and greater economic growth.
Copies of all of the above publications can be obtained from:
Office of Women in Development
Agency for International Development
Room 3725-A NS
Washington, DC 20523-0041
[The following activities are exemplary techniques used to gather information that will
better indicate the extent to which gender is a factor in the performance and outcome of
E. THE POLICY INVENTORY
The Policy Inventory belongs to a growing family of methodologies generally referred to as
rapid appraisal techniques. These methodologies permit experienced analysts to assemble and
organize readily available data so that they are of maximum utility for policymaking and project
design. The policy inventory can be used to generate the information needed to determine whether
policy reform should be a priority, to identify interactions between policies and the agricultural
sector, and to explore potential impacts of policies on women.
The Policy Inventory approach consists of a three-step process to modify and expand on
analysis of policy impacts on the agricultural sector as a whole.
1. Describe the role of women producers, laborers, consumers, and entrepreneurs in the
agricultural sector, including the crops they grow, the other products they produce, the
technologies they use, and how they generate income from these productive activities.
2. Define the policies that affect the activities in which women are primarily engaged (if
the analysis of policy impacts on women is being carried out as part of an inventory
of policies sector-wide, this step is not necessary as a separate analysis).
3. Determine how existing policies affect the activities in which women are engaged and
how the effects may have shifted as a result of recent policy reforms.
Experience to date has underscored the importance of presenting inventory findings in a form
that is concise, well-organized, and readily understandable by decision makers. A simple format
has been developed that permits the key policies affecting the agricultural sector to be presented in
a few pages. This format:
Sorts existing policies into macroeconomic, sectoral, and subsectoral policies;
Identifies the institutions responsible for setting and implementing each policy;
S Cites the government's avowed purpose in implementing the policy (e.g., to keep
consumer prices low; to protect local producers);
S Indicates the main impacts of each policy on selected variables of concern to
policy makers (generally including production, consumption, imports, exports, and
government revenues) and assesses their importance by ranking each policy on a
simple scale; and
S Lists the main alternatives to each policy as an aid to discussion and further
F. THE GENDER RESOURCE AWARENESS IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (GRAND)
The Gender Resource Awareness in National Development (GRAND) project is an A.I.D.-
funded project designed to assist developing countries to integrate women and girls more fully into
their national economic development efforts. GRAND designs and implements microcomputer-based
analyses and models which demonstrate the economic impact of effective participation of women
and girls in different economic sectors. These models offer tools for assessing the implications of
alternative policies and evaluating the benefits and costs of associated interventions. They also
provide an effective way to present the results of such analyses to a variety of audiences from
high-level policy and decision makers to mid-level technical personnel. To assure continuation of
GRAND methods of analysis and presentation, GRAND staff provide training and microcomputer
technology to host country collaborating institutions.
All references cited in this manual are available through the A.I.D. Library. A.I.D. research
reports, including project documentation, and policy papers are available in paper or microfiche
format through the A.I.D. Library's Reference Service. (There are no charges for documents for
A.I.D. staff.) To request A.I.D. document searches and copies contact:
Room 105, SA-18
Agency for International Development
Washington, DC 20523-1801
The A.I.D. Library conducts online database searches or can provide a menu-driven
Development Information System (DIS) for users to conduct their own searches. The Research
Services staff will respond to requests within two weeks. USAID Missions can cable PPC/CDIE/DI
or telephone (703) 875-4807. Contractors or consultants working with A.I.D.-funded projects may
also request the services described above. Independent researchers are welcome to visit the Library
and can reproduce materials on site. Mail requests from the general public take approximately one
month to fill.
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35. Lycette, M. A. (1984). Improving Women's Access to Credit in the Third World: Policy
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36. Marlett, M. (1985). Food Production/consumption Linkage. (Gambian Mixed Farming
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39. Nelson, N. (1981). African Women in the Development Process. London: Frank Cass
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This manual has been designed as a "hands on" publication to assist project staff in integrating
gender considerations throughout the project cycle and to help in the preparation of project
documents that will systematize this process. We would like to keep the information in this
manual as useful and representative of current thinking in the field as possible. You, as
practitioners, can help ensure the manual's continued usefulness by sharing with us your field
experiences and comments. We have included this tear sheet for this purpose and look forward to
receiving your comments, updates, and observations. Please send them to:
Office of Women in Development
Agency for International Developmet
Room 3725-A N.S.
Washington, DC 20523-0041