Gender Analysis in Agriculture
HILARY SIMS FELDSTEIN
AND SUSAN V. POATS
Conceptual Framework for Gender Analysis
in Farming Systems Research and Extension
HILARY SIMS FELDSTEIN AND SUSAN V. POATS
WITH KATHLEEN CLOUD AND ROSALIE HUISINGA NOREM
Gender Analysis, Intra- and Interhousehold Dynamics
Farming Systems Research and Extension (FSR/E)
Gender Analysis and FSR/E Activities
Use of the Conceptual Framework
Application of Gender Analysis to On-farm Experimentation
Appendix 1 Worksheets for Gender Analysis
The purpose of this conceptual framework is to revise the bias of gender
which underlies much current agricultural research and extension. In plan-
ning for and implementing agricultural development projects, the household
is generally taken as the unit of analysis and male heads of household as the
principal decision makers and sources of information. The roles of house-
hold members other than the male head of household are frequently ig-
nored. This is to the detriment of the project and those it is meant to serve.
Adult women, senior men and women, and children bring specific skills, re-
sources, and priorities to farm production. To ignore them is to ignore half
or more of the system in which decisions about farming are made.
8 CONCEPT UAL FIAMEWORK
The conceptual framework presented here provides guidelines by
which information on gender roles and the intra- and interhousehold as-
pects of farming systems may be gathered, analyzed, and applied to the
design of improved technologies for agricultural and livestock systems.
Such new technologies are intended to increase yields, improve consump-
tion, reduce risk, stabilize the environment, or otherwise strengthen farm
production possibilities. The framework highlights the information neces-
sary to describe a farming system and the process by which female and
male farmers are included in the research and extension activities of a
given area. It provides a means by which practitioners can organize and
analyze data for use in planning subsequent stages of a project.
In agricultural research or projects using a farming systems research
and extension (FSR/E) approach, agroclimatic, biological, and socioeco-
nomic data provide scientists with the tools for identifying problems and
opportunities and for considering the technical possibilities of new and im-
proved technologies. Socioeconomic data is included from the start and en-
ables scientists to understand farmers' decision making and intentionality
(Jiggins and Fresco 1984), that is, what resources they can bring to bear and
their interest in mobilizing those resources for a particular enterprise, espe-
cially if new or modified (McKee 1985). Together, the technical and social
science data are necessary for pinpointing areas of research which will
meet client needs (Chambers and Jiggins 1986). In most societies, gender
roles and intra- (within) and inter- (between) household relations pro-
foundly affect farmer decision making. The dynamics within and between
households are based on differences of gender, age and seniority or posi-
tion in the household. They are also profoundly affected by class and eth-
nicity (Alice Carloni, letter to the authors, 1985; Schulman and Garrett 1984)
and developmental stages in the life cycle (Guyer 1980; McMillan 1984).
There are two basic arguments underlying this framework. The first is
that differences between men's and women's roles and patterns of intra- and
interhousehold relations are embedded in farming systems and will have an
effect on and be affected by changes in these systems. We know that in every
society women and men do different things, have access to different re-
sources and benefits, and have different responsibilities. For example,
women and men may be responsible for different crops, for different fields of
the same crop, for different tasks in the production cycle (Cloud 1985, 1988).
These differences are rooted in social organization and are supported by cul-
tural beliefs and values. We also know that, in many cases, despite the persis-
tence of beliefs about what people do or should do, these roles are in flux.
Recognition that male or female responsibility for production and re-
production tasks in farming systems vary from one society, race, class or
ethnic group to another has encouraged the understanding that such activ-
ities are socially or gender defined, not sexually determined. As a social
construct, gender roles are mutable and responsive to other changes in the
farming system. In agricultural research, the researcher's task is to observe
and record these gender related differences in behavior and use these data
as part of the analysis leading to the design and testing of improved tech-
nologies. Such knowledge will contribute to improved research. Experi-
mental modifications will be targeted towards better understood produc-
tion :onstraints and opportunities and farmer and user preferences.
The second argument is that FSR/E is an iterative and collaborative
process, one which explicitly calls for continuous assessment and redesign.
It is not linear, there are overlapping cycles of activity: diagnosis, planning
and design, experimentation and evaluation, and recommendation pro-
ceed simultaneously. Each activity encompasses many decisions which are
based on information learned from previous activities. This means there
must be a continuous flow of knowledge, including, most importantly, the
views of the farmers (women and men) whose systems) will be affected.
Because participation and continuous evaluation and adaptation are key,
the framework for gender analysis takes into account how knowledge is
gathered and used and who is involved throughout the project.
This framework is based on the premise that productivity and efficiency
are enhanced when technological improvements are developed and targeted
towards the actual users, that is, those making decisions or actually engaged in
the tasks at issue and those responsible for the use of the final products. This
requires knowing who does what and whose resources must be mobilized.
Issues of equity are also addressed by using this framework. There is an
explicit concern for the welfare of families and individuals within families. Im-
plicit is the knowledge that with improvements in welfare, particularly better
nutrition and a better distributed or less crushing work load, there will also be
increases in productivity. The "maps" or profiles created by the framework
provide the means for pinpointing the distribution of the costs and benefits of
particular changes. Taken together, they will help predict whether the fre-
quently cited goal of improvements in welfare are likely to be forthcoming or
whether there may be negative consequences. Tradeoffs will be explicit.
Farmers, product users, researchers, and policy makers all have preferred out-
comes. This framework provides one tool for assessing proposed activities
against these different sets of preferences. Finally, an improved understanding
of the roles and resources of all members of a household means that those
formerly overlooked will be recognized and their needs and productive op-
portunities can be addressed by agricultural research and extension efforts.
GENDER ANALYSIS, INTRA- AND INTERHOUSEHOLD DYNAMICS:
WHAT ARE THEY?
Gender analysis has become the commonly accepted term for analyzing
gender roles and intra- and interhousehold dynamics within farming sys-
tems and applying that analysis to decisions about agricultural research
Sand development activities. That households can be disaggregated in sev-
eral ways-by age, status, gender-can complicate the methods for identi-
fying constraints and problems of farmers. Of these, gender has proved to
be the most useful category to disaggregate the farm household and ana-
lyze intrahousehold behavior (Cloud 1988). It is also a point of entry into
understanding intrahousehold relations and decision making and to rec-
ognizing where interhousehold relationships have an important bearing
on farmer decisions and activities. This access to the low-resource farm
household contributes to more efficient and more equitable technology
development and delivery.
Gender analysis begins with the recognition that the household is not
an undifferentiated grouping of people with a common production and
consumption function, that is, with shared and equal access to resources for
and benefits from production. Rather, households are themselves systems of
resources allocation (Guyer 1980). The pattern of decision making varies
from one place or culture to another. In some places, households fit the
standard model of a single decision maker or benevolent dictator. In other
areas, household decisions are shared, consultation takes place between
particular members or all members. In some areas, households are hardly
units in any sense of the word. Men and women and children have wholly
separate spheres of decision making affecting production, income and ex-
penditures. And in other places, the degree of participation of some house-
hold members in enterprises controlled by others results from internal bar-
gaining (Jones 1984). Thus, within a given system, individual household
members may share some goals, benefits and resources, be independent on
some, and be in conflict on others. In short, the form of the household and
patterns of decision making cannot be assumed. What we face is complex-
ity, not homogeneity. In a particular farming system or a single enterprise
within that system, even where the household is a useful unit of analysis,
the pattern of activities, resources and incentives of its members are impor-
tant information and must be determined by investigation.
A detailed inquiry into patterns of decision making or intrahousehold
dynamics is rarely possible as part of an agricultural research and extension
project. The purpose of this conceptual framework is to provide categories
for inquiry and analysis which help agricultural researchers identify relevant
information on who does what and the factors underlying farmers' decisions.
There are several ways of looking at intrahousehold characteristics
such as the roles, resources, and incentives of individuals within and be-
tween households. First, members are seen as belonging to a category of
individuals defined by gender, age, position, or seniority: for example,
women and men, adults and children, senior wives and junior wives, rela-
tives and nonrelatives. Such categories frequently carry with them combi-
nations of rights and responsibilities, defined by law or expectation,
which govern individuals' farming activities as much or more than their
membership in a household unit. For instance-men prepare land,
women weed; women raise swine, men raise cattle; women grow cas-
sava, men grow maize; senior wives work on their own fields, junior
wives on those of their husbands and the head of household. Gender
analysis focuses on differences in the activities, resources, and benefits of
different members within the household and on patterns of.obligation,
cooperation or conflict between household members.
Second, within a community there may be different kinds of house-
hold structures which emerge as responses to stages in the life cycle, pop-
ulation movements, or differences in asset holding, residence, or cultural
traditions. Different household structures may have different resources
and face different incentives. For instance, households with young chil-
dren may give priority to adequate food crops and the demands for
women's labor; households with older children at home and more labor
upon which to draw may take on more labor demanding activities. Tem-
porary or permanent migration may leave a high proportion of female-
headed households with less available labor and more limited access to
resources for production. This variation in type (or interhousehold differ-
ences) may be as important as ecological differences for designating ap-
propriate research or recommendation domains.1
When looking at the roles of individuals or household structures, it is
important to keep in mind that roles and resources are influenced
strongly by economic class, especially between smallholders, large land-
holders and the landless. All women are not the same. While there may
be community-wide agreement on women's roles-e.g. "women weed"-
women in well-to-do households may not weed because women from
poor households are hired to do so.
Third, individuals or households may belong to other corporate group-
ings (neighborhood, kinship group, church). These relationships carry with
them patterns of access to resources, and obligations which affect deci-
sions about agricultural production. It is this patterning which is referred to
by the term "interhousehold." Poor rural households often depend on
labor exchanges, exchanges of goods, cooperative activities, and other al-
liances for survival. "Interhousehold dynamics" refers to such patterns of
exchange or dependency of individuals or households with other entities.
We therefore include in gender analysis alternative ways in which one
looks further than the household to understand how resources and incen-
tives are organized and might be mobilized for changes in farm production.
FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND EXTENSION (FSR/E)
FSR/E is an approach used in agricultural research and extension to gen-
erate appropriate technology for specific clients, most commonly low-
input or resource-poor farmers. The FSR/E approach is holistic and itera-
tive, and embodies conceptual and methodological tools to complement
existing national agricultural research and extension systems by making
them more efficient. FSR/E improves efficiency and effectiveness because
it brings research and extension workers together in interdisciplinary
teams to work with production systems, not with isolated crop or live-
stock commodities or thematic issues. Farms are viewed as systems with
interconnected subsystems. Research teams consider the potential impact
of a new technology on the whole farming system because a positive
benefit to one subsystem may have a negative impact on linked subsys-
tems. This systems perspective minimizes the potential cost of producing
and implementing technologies which provide narrow, short-term solu-
tions, yet cause other more difficult problems.
Many different terms and definitions exist for the numerous local
variations of farming systems activities, and several ways to categorize
these have been proposed (Merrill-Sands 1986; Simmonds 1985; Bellon et
al. 1985; Hildebrand and Waugh 1983). A useful approach is to consider
farming systems efforts as divided into two large categories (Norman and
Collinson 1985; Poats et al. 1986). The first comprises those efforts to alter
or change the entire production system of an area, such as a large-scale
irrigation project or the introduction of a completely new farming system
using state-of-the-art technology. It is characterized by the term "farming
systems in the large." The second category, which is most commonly
called FSR/E, includes those efforts operating in a step-by-step, iterative
fashion within the existing production system and recognizes that the
"content and scale of these steps must necessarily be compatible with
farmer resources, their risk ceilings, and their management capabilities"
(Norman and Collinson 1985). This category can be subdivided further
into those projects which define their focus for research based on the di-
agnosis of the whole production system of the target area, and those that
enter the system with a predetermined focus on an enterprise or com-
modity. The terms "in the small" and "with a predetermined focus" char-
acterize these two separate but methodologically related applications of
the farming systems perspective.
FSR/E embraces a wide array of local and national variations in proce-
dures and applications. However, most practitioners agree that the com-
mon elements underlying the various versions include: an explicit focus on
resource-poor clients, a commitment to farmer participation in the devel-
opment of technology designed to meet their needs (Ewell 1988), the use
of an interdisciplinary systems perspective, the integration of on-farm and
on-station experimentation in the design and testing of new or alternate
technologies, collaboration between research, extension and development
entities in on-farm research, and a focus on the farm family or household.
Tying together these common elements is a methodological strategy
that progressively associates farms and farmers within appropriate prob-
lem-focused domains defined by environment, ecology, social criteria,
and the nature of a particular problem shared by farmers. Domains are
not static but shift as farming systems are better characterized through the
process of on-farm research.
The FSR/E approach is currently applied to technology development
in crops, livestock, and agroforestry. Most practitioners agree that FSR/E
has four distinct stages (Poats et al. 1986). The four overlapping activities
--diagnosis, planning and design, experimentation and evaluation, and
recommendations to farmers, researchers, and policy makers-are de-
scribed in more detail in the next section. Each of these stages may be
identified by slightly different names, depending on where it is practiced;
some stages may be subdivided and may vary in length of time depend-
ing on the results of the previous stage. They may also occur cyclically or
simultaneously, depending on the nature of the research program; in most
cases they are continuous activities (Galt 1985).
In some instances, the process may begin with on-farm trials to facili-
tate the diagnosis of certain problems. In others, work may be at a diag-
nostic stage in one community and at a testing stage in another. Or, both
may occur simultaneously in the same area when different problems are
being addressed among the same farmer group. One farmer may be
grouped w ith others into one domain for one identified problem and into
another for a different problem. Ongoing farmer feedback and evaluation
are emphasized at each step in the adaptive research process allowing
"time to learn about the intricacies of farming systems and to incorporate
new insights into more refined measures and project adaptations" (Poats
et al. 1988, 5).
This process-oriented iterative approach of FSR/E and its focus on
farmers and farm households opened a crack in the heretofore closed
arena of agricultural research and development for the introduction of
gender issues and analysis.
GENDER ANALYSIS AND FSR/E ACTIVITIES
The initial diagnosis of a farming system will provide an approximation of
the factors influencing farmer decision making. Continued testing and re-
finement of biological interventions through on-farm testing will benefit
from being accompanied by continued and more focused collecting of
data on gender roles and other socioeconomic factors. As well as organiz-
ing what is known, this conceptual framework helps define what addi-
tional information is needed. During each activity, the information col-
lected and the use of that information will differ, but cumulatively they
refine what is known about a farming system or enterprise and what in-
novations will best meet farmers' needs.
Diagnosis. The collection and analysis of information about a farm-
ing system is used to characterize the farming systems and constraints, to
delineate research or recommendation domains, and to identify problems
and opportunities for improvement. It lays the groundwork for on-farm
research. Diagnosis is an ongoing process throughout FSR/E as additional
agronomic and socioeconomic information is collected and used to refine
knowledge of the farmin system. Information is collected by means of
formal and informal surveys, time allocation or labor studies, meetings
with farmers and users, etc. Gender-sensitive information includes (a) the
demographics of different types of households and other groupings which
are important to the investment i i and labor for farm production and (h)
the activities, resources, and incentives or preferences of different (cate-
gories of) household members.
Planning and design. Planning and design involve the determina-
tion of which technologies might be tested with what anticipated results,
what further agronomic or socioeconomic research is required, and the
actual design of on-station and researcher- or farmer-managed on-farm tri-
als. The problems identified during the diagnosis are examined as to their
causes, the need for further diagnostic research, and possible solutions
(Tripp 1989). As constraints or problems are clarified, potential solutions
are screened according to their availability and their compatibility with
the farming system. This process is called ex ante analysis. For well-de-
fined problems, this involves a determination of whether there is available
technology (off-the-shelf) or a need for on-station experimentation. It is at
this stage that proposed experiments should be examined with respect to
(a) their fit for all the farmers in the area or for particular groups, (b) the
desirable characteristics of all end uses of the output of production from
the point of view of all users, and (c) assumptions about the availability
of particular resources, including labor, necessary for using the new tech-
nology (Carloni 1982).
Trial design includes specification of the experimental variables, treat-
ments and levels; number, location, size, and form of experimental plots; se-
lection of farmer cooperators; and protocols for the establishment and moni-
toring of on-farm trials. Researchers should describe the manner of involving
those whose way of doing particular tasks are being changed. The lack of
data for making some of these decisions may make apparent a useful set of
questions or observations to parallel the on-farm and on-station testing.
That women may be responsible for separate fields, separate crops or
livestock, or separate production tasks calls for more careful determina-
tion of who does what in the system and who has a problem. That the
farmer involved in the task affected by a problem must be involved in the
on-farm research to solve that problem calls for greater involvement of
women as trial collaborators.
Testing and evaluation. The actual implementation, data gathering,
and ongoing evaluation related to on-farm and on-station trials is accom-
panied by continuing diagnostic research on questions raised during the
initial diagnostic and planning phases and by observations which verify or
expand survey information. It is during this stage that gender roles and
intra- and interh usehold dynamics will become better defined by means
of in-depth or focused surveys, field observations, and informal conversa-
tion. Discussions during on-farm trials provide an opportunity for getting
at the more subtle aspects of decision making and tradeoffs made or con-
teinplated with respect to specific new technologies. All individuals in-
volved with the production and use aspects of an experimental technol-
ogy are valuable sources of information. The evaluation of the first set of
trials and an increased perception of gender implications becomes the
basis for a better targeted second set of trials.
Recommendations to farmers, researchers, and policy makers.
The agronomic and socioeconomic information from the experimental
stages are analyzed with appropriate recommendations to farmers, re-
searchers, and policy makers. Testing and evaluation will reveal technolo-
gies which work and those which don't or need further refinement. These
results, positive or negative, need to be communicated to the relevant de-
cision makers. Where technologies are not yet proven useful, data from
the trials and complementary research can be helpful in redefining the re-
search problem or adjusting trial design. Where technologies are ready for
wider dissemination, the availability of and means for gaining access to
inputs, including information, needs to be stated explicitly. Likewise rec-
ommendations for policies to correct for unequal access to resources
need to be explicit about means as well as intent.
USE OF THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
Many people seeing gender and intra- and interhousehold issues ad-
dressed ror the first time may feel overwhelmed and have visions of ex-
haustive data collection. The framework is aimed at selectively identifying
and organizing the information for gender analysis which will contribute
directly to FSR/E in a particular location and in light of a project's objec-
tives. The framework is flexible and may be used to describe a whole
farming system or a particular enterprise (FSR/E with a predetermined
fourr., and the worksheets described below may be used together or in-
dividually. With the worksheets, maps or profiles are created against
which technological solutions may be examined for improved ex ante
analysis, on-farm trials and evaluation, and the organization of extension.
Use of this approach will make research more efficient (quicker, better
16 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
targeted) in specifying desirable characteristics of new varieties and tech-
nologies, in screening for the compatibility of proposed changes with ex-
isting practices and incentives, in recognizing for which farmers the ex-
perimentation may be useful, and in identifying the tradeoffs of
Example of a Gender-disaggregated Activities Calendar
There are four areas in farming systems research and extension where
gender analysis can make an important contribution. These areas of anal-
ysis are (1) labor or activities, (2) resources, (3) benefits and incentives,
and (4) inclusion.2 The first three build the descriptions of farming sys-
tems. Inclusion analysis makes visible the process by which FSR/E pro-
jects collaborate with farmers, that is, who is included and how farmers
are included in each activity of the project. Each area of analysis is de-
scribed below and a worksheet for each area is provided in Appendix 1.
In this section we are concerned with who does what, particularly as this
relates to the agricultural year and other seasonal patterns. Production dif-
ficulties are frequently traced to labor shortages usually at particular time
of the year and often for particular tasks. Therefore we need to know
what tasks are undertaken by men, women, and children which con-
tribute to farm production, to household production (for self-provisioning
or sale), to child bearing and rearing, and to other productive enterprises
including off-farm activities.
Worksheets 1-1 and 1-2 provide a format for analyzing activities by
season and gender. In Worksheet 1-1, "Farming Systems Calendar," the pri-
mary agricultural and other tasks are laid out according to the agricultural
calendar. For each month, the tasks associated with all production are
listed. In addition to agricultural and livestock production, tasks associated
with household production and with other activities which contribute to
family and individual welfare, whether in cash or kind, should be in-
cluded. Once the tasks are listed, gender roles can be marked by symbols
or colors. A sample calendar is illustrated in Figure 1-1. In Worksheet 1-2,
"Activities Analysis," who does what task is designated by gender, age, or
other factors. In some cases, whole areas of activity will be segregated by
gender; for example, men--cattle, women-crops. In others, sequenced
tasks related to the same enterprise may be assigned by gender; for
example, men-land preparation, women-weeding (Cloud 1985).
Once the information is entered, Worksheet 1-1, the seasonal calen-
dar, reveals periods of labor shortage and identifies all the competing
tasks by gender, not just those in farm production. Worksheet 1-2, activi-
I DRY SEASON I
--------m^ ^ ^
Legend 0 Mostly a female adult ta.k
O Moutly a male adult task
Q Ilint a .twty
rlnemal ch -h
--( ion anII hivtlly
I 1miu. of" oI-I atnlllto I vl L)r
I.l11lo tLe sLo sl ,lI.-ovltY
LI' Land preparation
W First weeding
W Second weeding
Source: Based on Mary E. Burfisher and Nadine R. Horenstein. 1985. Sex Roles in the Nigerian
Tiv Farm Household. Women's Roles and Gender Differences in Development: Cases for Plan-
ners, no. 2. West Hartford, Conn.: Kumarian Press
MAR APR MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB
- W O- -
^o11^ -^-- -^-^^-
P W I-ST/SH
ties analysis, indicates who does what. Whose labor will be affected by
proposed changes? What are the competing demands? Who needs to be
taught new methods? Use of the two worksheets, separately or together,
create an activities map or profile with which to screen the identification
of problems, the selection of research priorities, tthe designation of collab-
orating farmers, and the design of on-farm trials. In cases where the use
of labor or the timing of operations are not affected by proposed
changes, activities analysis without the calendar may be sufficient.
Farm management decisions are influenced or determined by the avail-
ability of and control of or access to resources or inputs. Worksheet 1-3,
"Resources Analysis," provides an outline for disaggregating by gender
and age who has access to and control of critical resources. By control,
we mean the power to decide whether and how a resource is used, how
it is to be allocated. By access, we mean the freedom or permission to use
the resource, perhaps with some decision making once access is ob-
tained. Some examples will illustrate this. Where men have control of
livestock for traction, their wives and female relatives may obtain traction
services from them. Women have access to traction, but men have control
of it. Where women keep the cash and make decisions about expendi-
tures, women have control of cash, men have access to it.
The question of access to and control of land can be confusing, but
is also illustrative. For instance, in the case where land is allocated by a
senior male, but decisions about what to plant are left to the person to
whom it is allocated, one would note that both adult males and adult fe-
males have access to land (with some indication that female access is
through males); and that both have control of land, but that male control
is greater (allocation an d decision making on use) than female control
(decision making on use only). The greater control of senior males than
junior males would also be marked.
Resources include land (and the terms on which it is available); capi-
tal, including cash, tools, and 1 vestock for production or traction; labor
(one's own, family/children's, others'); other inputs, including seed, feitil-
izers, and pesticides; services such as credit and education; and knowl-
edge. If inputs are purchased, who has the cash to purchase them? If
made available to farm operations through local exchanges, to whom and
from whom do they come? If inputs are produced on-farm, such as ma-
nure or mulch material, who controls or has access to them? Knowledge is
a particularly valuable and often overlooked resource. It includes the re-
sults of years of farmer history and experimentation, a practical knowl-
edge of soil variability, traditional risk-reducing strategies, and seed quali-
ties. Such knowledge is often associated with task and is important for
understanding current use of resources and for screening proposed
changes. Resources also include access to markets which in turn may be
influenced by mobility or membership regulations. While a distinction has
been drawn between labor and nonlabor resources, it is important to look
for instances where the use of one provides access to the other, such as
givi ig of labor in exchange for use of land or traction animals.
Access and control analysis creates another screen or map for look-
ing at production constraints and proposed solutions. What are the avail-
able resources? What resources are required for proposed changes? Who
controls them? To whom and how will new resources be made available?
Or whose resource shortage is relieved? Does the control or noncontrol of
key resources suggest separate research domains?
Benefits and Incentives Analysis
acceptancee of and benefits from a new technology depend ultimately on
farmer and user preferences or intentionality. It is important to understand
what motivates people's decisions about the allocation of labor and other
resources to farm production, home production, or other activities. This
depends largely on who benefits from and the intended use of the output
of each enterprise.
Benefits analysis refers specifically to who has access to or control of
the output of production. This includes all the end uses of a product (for
example, of a crop: home consumption, sale, income from sale, fodder,
compost, crafts, building materials, etc.). It also includes the output of al-
ternative or competing enterprises, such as areas which are currently wild
or fallow but which may be the source of important medicinal or food
items, and the output of other resource-using or time-consuming enter-
prises, on- or off-farm, which may compete with farm production. Bene-
fits may also occur through changes in the farming system, such as re-
duced labor demands or reduced risk.
Incentive analysis goes one step further. Associated with each output
ar product are user preferences which underlie farmer incentives to con-
tinue or change what they do. Incentives may be associated with the pro-
duction characteristics of an enterprise, such as particular plant character-
istics, increases in yields or income, stabilization of yields or the
environment, reduction of risk, timing of operations, or reduced labor de-
mands. They also may be associated with the uses of the output, such as
prestige, obligations to family or other groups, taste, marketability, im-
proved nutrition, processing characteristics, or availability of fuel, fodder,
and building materials.
Worksheet 1.4, "Benefits and Incentives Analysis," is for creating a
map or profile disaggregated by gender and age of the incentives and
benefits associated with agricultural and other production. This map di-
rects attention to the desirable characteristics of new plant material or
other new technologies. What should be added or retained in a new vari-
ety? What characteristics may be lost and what substitutes found? It is a
mechanism for screening whether proposed changes in activities or re-
source use by particular (categories of) individuals fit with changes in ei-
ther the type or receiver of benefits. Are those who bear the additional
costs the beneficiaries? It is a guide to the incentives (or lack thereof) for
changing present allocations.
Laying out the distribution of activities, resources, and benefits/incen-
tives between household members as they relate to farm production and
alternative activities is the initial task of gender analysis. It provides a
skeletal understanding of intrahousehold decision making. It may not re-
veal much about the level of communication and shared information. It
does not reveal the actual process of negotiation within the household
concerning the pooling or complementarity of resource allocation, or the
subtler pressures which affect individual and household choices. It does
provide a means for framing questions about the effects of proposed solu-
tions at the household level. What reallocation of labor and resources
does the proposed solution require? Who is affected? What are the possi-
ble tradeoffs? From such analysis, what is learned and predictable is used
in screening proposed solutions for compatibility and for fine tuning the
design of on-farm trials. What is still questionable or unpredictable indi-
cates critical areas for further monitoring, observation, and focused dis-
cussions with farmers and users.
Inclusion analysis deals specifically with technique, with the methodology
for FSR/E. Farmers are central to FSR/E. To understand a farming system
and the practices connected with any specific enterprise, all significant
participants-those who do the work, those who invest their resources,
those who use the products-are valuable sources of information. Inclu-
sion analysis asks who is included at each stage or in each activity con-
nected with farming systems research and extension. A further level of
analysis on inclusion would ask:
1. What type of inclusion? How are women and men included in the
categories or kinds of information gathered, as sources of informa-
tion, and as actors (implementors), decision makers, and beneficia-
ries? Whose interests or preferences are represented at each stage?
2. What are the criteria for including particular individuals? Is the se-
lection random or purposeful? If selection is nonrandom, what is
the rationale? Criteria for selecting farmers often contain uncon-
scious sources of bias such as proximity to the road, identification
by the village head, or membership in an organization which is
restricted to male heads of household (Sutherland 1986). Some-
times the person who actually does the task is overlooked in con-
fining collaboration to the household head. Selection of farmer
cooperators has been identified as the "chronically weak link" in
on-farm experimentation (Ewell 1988). The need to make explicit
the rationale behind purposeful selection should make more evi-
dent where gender is an important variable.
3. What steps are taken to encourage inclusion? The mechanisms or
methodology for collaborating with farmers will also influence
participation and the richness of farmer response. Important con-
siderations include time and frequency of visits or meetings, loca-
tion, rules and means of access, whether joint, individual, or
group interviews, focus of the questions asked, amount of flexi-
bility or open-endedness, attitude of the researchers, and, often,
gender of the researchers. Attention to criteria and mechanisms
applies equally to organizing the extension of promising tech-
nologies and the supply of any new inputs. Merely stating there is
"open access" does not guarantee full participation or response.
Worksheet 1-5, "Inclusion Analysis: FRS/E Activities," is a matrix for
looking at who and how women and men farmers and product users are
included in the full range of activities encompassed by the FSR/E ap-
proach. Inclusion analysis using Worksheet 1-5 creates a profile of research
and extension activities for evaluating sources of information and farmer
response. It is useful for planning and monitoring research and other activ-
ities. For instance, if farmer response to a new technology or participation
in experiments is weak, an analysis of the process of including farmers
may provide clues to improved research and extension practices. Does the
criteria for the selection of participants include all or exclude any signifi-
cant persons? If certain groups are not included because they lacked nec-
essary resources, are there other, more appropriate technologies which
could be tested for this group? Are the mechanisms or methodologies em-
ployed ones which make participation comfortable for all parties?
APPLICATION OF GENDER ANALYSIS
TO ON-FARM EXPERIMENTATION
As indicated in the discussion above, gender analysis provides a frame-
work of information for considering the consequences of decisions about
research or recommendation domains, researchable problems, the design
~VIIC~LI I U~~ L L~NIIL~ yl~
^um-C^Jlual i iauitLwrjii\ I
22 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
of on-farm trials, and extension. This means screening each possibility for
its gender implications. At the center of the farming systems approach is
on-farm experimentation, working with farmer collaborators to evaluate
promising solutions to their problems. A detailed discussion of this appli-
cation is found in Poats and Feldstein (1989). Worksheet 1-6 highlights the
main points and provides a framework for applying gender analysis to an
on-farm trial. For each aspect of the design and implementation, what are
the gender implications? What are the explicit, gender-related features of
the design? Why or why not is gender taken into account? If gender is .not
pertinent, make this assumption or finding explicit.
The application of the analysis suggested by this conceptual framework
will help protect research from gross errors of inefficiency or inequity in
outcomes. It offsets the prevailing bias toward concepts of a unitary
household and male heads of household as sole decision makers and
sources of information. It provides the rationale and means for under-
standing gender roles and intrahousehold dynamics as they affect farm
production, and it will contribute to improved planning of on-farm re-
search and extension.
1. A research or recommendation domain is the grouping or targeting of farmers for
whom a particular or series of proposed technologies is likely to be appropriate. The
term "research domain" is a newer term. It generally refers to the initial broader
grouping and reflects readily identified agroecological and socioeconomic critiera.
"Recommendation domain" has been used for this broader grouping, and, more
recently, is being used to recognize subgroups that are identified after solutions have
been tested in light of farmer response to the experiments and refined understanding
of agroecological and socioeconomic differences within the original research area.
Both research and recommendation domains may be discontinuous reflecting the on-
the-ground presence of variability. For a more detailed discussion, see Wotowiec et al.
2. The framework presented here builds substantially on pioneer work in conceptualizing
gender roles and developing the gender analysis framework by Catherine A. Overholt,
Mary B. Anderson, Kathleen Cloud, and James E. Austin (1985).
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Guyer, Jane I. 1980. Household Budgets and Women's Incomes. Prepared for the Symposium
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International Rice Research Institute. 1982. The Role ofAnthropologists and Other Social Sci-
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Jiggins, Janice. 1986. Gender-Related Impacts and the Work of the International Agricultural
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Jiggins, Janice, and Louise O. Fresco. 1984. Sociological and Anthropological Aspects in Pre-
production Testing and Production Programmes Involving Upland Rice. In Proceedings
of Upland Rice Conference. Djakarta, Indonesia: International Rice Research Institute.
Jones, Christine W. 1986. Bargaining Processes Among Members of Agricultural Production
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Systems, edited by Joyce Lewinger Moock. Boulder: Westview Press.
McKee, Katharine. 1983. Methodological Challenges in Analyzing the Household in Farming
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State University's 1983 Farming Systems Research Symposium. Farming Systems Research
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1986. Making Intrahousehold Studies More Useful to Farming Systems Research. In
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McM'llan, Della E. 1984. Monitoring the Evolution of Household Economic Systems Over
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Method and Application, edited by Jane I. Guyer and Pauline E. Peters. Workshop spon-
sored by the Joint Committee on African Studies of the American Council of Learned
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Merrill-Sands, Deborah. 1986. Farming Systems Research: Clarification of Terms and Con-
cepts. Experimental Agriculture 22: 87-104.
Moock, Joyce L., ed. 1986. Understanding Africa's Rural Households and Farming Systems.
Boulder: Westview Press.
Norman, David W., and Michael E. Collinson. 1985. Farming Systems Research in Theory
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an International Workshop held at Hawkesbury Agricultural College. 12-15 May,
edited byJ. V. Remenyi. Richmond, N.S.W., Australia.
Okali, Christine, and James E. Sumberg. 1986. Examining Divergent Strategies in Farming
Systen.s Research. Agricultural Administration 22, no. 4: 233-53.
Overholt, Catherine, Mary B. Anderson, Kathleen Cloud, and James E. Austin, eds. 1985. Gen-
der Roles in Development Projects: A Case Book. West Hartford, Conn.: Kumarian Press.
Peters, Pauline E. 1986. Household Management in Botswana: Cattle, Crops and Wage
Labour. In Understanding Africa's Rural Households and Farming Systems, edited by
Joyce Lewinger Moock. Boulder: Westview Press.
Poats, ;usan V., Daniel L. Gait, Chris O. Andrew, Lisette Walecka, Peter E. Hildebrand, and
J. Kenneth McDermott. 1986. Farming Systems Research and Extension: Status and Po-
tential in Low-Resource Agriculture. Report prepared by the Farming Systems Support
Project, University of Florida/U.S. Agency for International Development, for the Office
of Technology Assessment, Congress of the United States.
Poat', Susan V., Hilary Sims Feldstein, and Dianne E. Rocheleau. 1989. Gender and
Intra/Inter Household Analysis in On-Farm Research and Experimentation. In The
Household Economy: Reconsidering The Domestic Mode of Production, edited by
I:ichard R. Wilk. Boulder: Westview Press.
Potash, Betty. 1985. Female Farmers, Mothers-in-Law and Extension Agents: Development
Planning in a Rural Luo Community in Kenya. In Women Creating Wealth, edited by Rita
S. Gallin and Anita Spring. Washington, D.C: Association for Women in Development.
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Lima, Peru: International Potato Center.
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Farming Systems Research Symposium. Farming Systems Research and Extension: Im-
plementation and Monitoring, edited by Cornelia Butler-Flora and Martha Tomecek.
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- 1987. The User Perspective and the Agroforestry Research and Action Agenda. In
Agroforestry: Realities, Possibilities and Potentials, edited by Henry L. Gholz. Dordrecht,
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versity School of Nutrition. Mimeo.
36 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
Application of Gender Analysis to On-farm Trials
Trial objectives: Trial objectives reflect preferences of both men and women
farmers who cultivate the same crop, or, if management practices and
preferences are too different, appropriate trials are designed for each.
Treatments: Experimental varieties of maize include desirable fodder qualities of
stalks (women's criteria) as well as grain yield (men's criteria). Controls
include both men's and women's cultivars if different.
Trial design: Experimental plot size and configuration take into account women's
traditional planting patterns unless these are the experimental variables.
Selection of cooperators: Farmer cooperators include proportionate representation
of female-headed households where those are a significant percentage of
farm population. Where it is not culturally acceptable for male trials assistants
to work with individual women farmers, work is done with women's groups
or a female trials assistant is hired.
Trial operations: In a fertilizer application trial, women and small boys, who are
responsible for this task, are consulted about traditional practice and trained
in new practices. Women are trained in experimental spacing to increase
plant density and regularity.
Data to be collected: The labor and resource use data are collected in a
Evaluation: Men and women farmers and product users have been interviewed
throughout the trial and in the final evaluation of results.
GENERAL QUESTIONS FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF TRIALS
(a) Varieties or species trials: If men and women have different management
practices for the same crop, are trials put on both men's and women's fields? Is
the effect of a shorter season variety on labor patterns being monitored during the
trial? Have postharvest uses been considered in specifying desirable characteristics
and have these users been included in the evaluation?
(b) Cultural practices (such as spacing, timing, sequencing, pruning, weeding,
land and water management): Are those who do a specific task involved in
determining feasibility and in learning how to do a new or changed task? If
different operations are affected, is the data appropriately disaggregated? If
alternative uses of labor are different for men and women, are different
opportunity costs being applied to the economic evaluation?
(c) Plant and animal nutrition and protection (use of fertilizers and pesticides,
building or growing of fences, bird scaring, etc.): Who has control of the local
products or cash needed for new inputs? Is their resource use being monitored?
Do the experimental levels of input use cover the range of resource constraints? If
separately owned crops are on one field, do the trials or practices to protect one
crop, such as the use of herbicides, include the monitoring of the effect on
Application of Gender Analysis to On-farm Trials
Problems being addressed
Random block, etc.?
Number and location of farms?
Number of replications/farm?
Selection of cooperators
Who are they?
What are they?
Who is trained?
Observations and data to be collected
Inclusion Analysis: FSR/E Activities
Who is included? E .
What type of inclusion: interviewed, as consultant, as interviewer or enumerator, 3
as decision maker, as cooperator, as beneficiary
Why included: criteria, rationale o
How included: frequency of contact, location, rules and means of access,
methodology for gathering information (formal and informal surveys, group
meetings, focus groups, forced field analysis, observation, farm and
GENERAL QUESTIONS FOR STAGES OF FSR/E
(a) Diagnosis: Are women as well as men included in formal or informal
interviewing in each household and in the community at large? Are there any
cultural or structural barriers to interviewing certain categories of people and are .2
appropriate efforts being made to reduce those barriers? Are government or >
nongovernment services which have field workers with particular access to c
women (e.g. home economics, community development, primary health centers) .2
included in the collecting of information during initial and subsequent surveys or
in identifying areas of concern? -C
(b) Planning and design: Are women and men farmers as well as women and .
men professional researchers included in determining research priorities and in
the design of on-farm research? Are all categories of farmers for whom the
technology might be useful represented among the collaborating farmers? Are
designs explicit on how the views of all household members are to be included in
assessing new technologies and on-farm trials? Are special efforts made to get the
views of hard-to-reach farmers (such as women with small children or any whose
mobility is otherwise limited)?
(c) Testing and evaluation: Are women as well as men included as cooperating
farmers in on-farm research? for particular enterprises? in fields? in the
management of trials? in interviews evaluating the trials? Are there factors which
inhibit the participation of particular categories of farmers? "
(d) Recommendations to farmers, researchers, and policy makers: Will the "
targeting and means used for dissemination encourage participation from all
farmers? Will steps be taken to overcome barriers of some groups to receive
information on new practices or is having access to new resources required?
SMO O) V
o 3 r. c
| I l 12 P^
^~ S i o
32 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
Benefits and Incentives Analysis
Crop production: maize-cobs, stalks; cowpeas-grain (peas), leaves, stems;
Leucaena leucocephala-fuelwood, timber, shade, mulch, fodder, soil
enrichment; medicinal herbs
Livestock: cattle-meat, milk, manure, draft
Home production: leather goods, beer, snack foods, baskets
GENERAL QUESTIONS FOR STAGES OF FSR/E
(a) Diagnostic: Who (gender, age, position in household) benefits from the output
of current production of each enterprise in terms of subsistence, income from
sales, or other uses? What and under whose control are the important subsistence
crops, particularly for periods of stress? Are there obligations associated with the
output of particular production enterprises? Are processed farm products a source
of income? What are the desirable improvements from the point of view of men,
women, and children? What nonagricultural enterprises are a source of income or
other benefits to household members and how do they compare (profitability,
reliability, seasonality) with farm production enterprises?
(b) Planning and design: Do the changes in technology have the characteristics
desired by farmers and users? Do they eliminate any desired or useful
characteristics? Will the technological improvements lead to changes in the uses of
the product and thus in the nature or locus of benefits? Will there be changes in
the characteristics of the product which will affect its use pattern? What are the
incentives for men, for women, or for those higher or lower in seniority to
contribute additional time or resources necessary for improvements? or to change
varieties or practices? What tradeoffs may have to be made?
(c) Testing and evaluation: What incentives or disincentives are actually
associated with the particular modifications being tested as indicated by
observation or answers to questions? Are there incentives or disincentives
associated with being a cooperating farmer? How do the technologies being tested
affect individual income streams? How do users respond to any changes in
product? Are postharvest users of products involved in testing?
(d) Recommendations to farmers, researchers, and policy makers: Has a shift in
use of resources resulted in a shift of beneficiaries? Are increased labor demands
for a particular enterprise matched by increased benefits for the individuals
supplying the labor? Where there are increases in production are there outlets
through increased consumption, adequate storage, or markets? Are these outlets
equally accessible for all farmers?
~s s M
0 | 0
o.4 Cu ,h'
do rj'oa !
6 id iu ob
,30 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
Capital goods: livestock for production, for draft; poultry, farm equipment, food,
storage facilities, fencing, trees
Inputs: seeds and seedlings, fertilizer, manure, fodder, insecticides
Knowledge: seed selection criteria, planting techniques, marker plants for soil
Education: general, specialized courses
GENERAL QUESTIONS FOR STAGES OF FSR/E
(a) Diagnostic: What are the resources required for existing production practices?
Who (men, women, children, position in household, or which households) have
access to and/or control of these resources? Is access affected by exchange
relationships? Is the absence of particular resources a constraint on current
production? Is it a constraint for particular categories of farmers? To what extent
are income and expenditure streams for men and women separate or joint? What
are the income and expenditure streams for men and women including sources,
uses, and timing?
(b) Planning and design: What changes in kind or amount of resources will be
required by each of the technological improvements being tested? Who has access
to or control over these resources? Are technologies being tested which address g
resource gaps of particular categories of people? Will tie value of factors of
production be affected by propo sed changes? U
(c) Testing and evaluation: How and to whom have new resources been
supplied? Who has/has not used them? What networks of relationships or
exchange have been used to obtain any additional resources needed? Can further
constraints in access to resources by particular groups be identified as a result of
(d) Recommendations to farmer, researchers, and policy makers: Has the access or
control of resources necessary to the acceptance of new technologies been taken U
into account in determining its success? Are new or modified systems required to
insure access to (new) resources for particular categories of farmers?
4 C U
U s |-
28 CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
aOr other important categories (ethnic, class, age, position, etc.)
Saul, Mahir. 1981. Sorghum and Women: Production for the Market in Rural Upper Volta.
Africa 51: 746-764.
Schulman, Michael D., and Patricia M. Garreit. 1984. Stratification and Differentiation Within
Smallholder Strata: A North Carolina Case Study. Paper presented at the 1984 Farming
Systems Research Symposium. Manhattan, Kans.: Kansas State University.
Shaner, W. W., P. F. Philipp, and W. R. Schmehl. 1981. Farming Systems Research and Devel-
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Sutherland, Alistair J. 1986. Managing Bias: Farmer Selection During On Farm Research.
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Zeidenstein, Sondra, ed. 1979. Learning About Rural Women. Studies in Family Planning
Appendix 1: Worksheets for Gender Analysis
Worksheets 1-1 and 1-2
Farming Systems Calendar and Activities Analysis
Crop production: food crops, cash crops, trees, home gardens, gathering of wild
foods, medicines; land preparation, processing, storage, transport, marketing
Livestock: cattle, small ruminants, poultry, draft animals; hunting
Household production: food preparation, child bearing and rearing, fuel, water,
building maintenance; beer brewing, craft production, snack food production
Off-farm activities: wage labor, marketing, sales, schooling
GENERAL QUESTIONS FOR STAGES OF FSR/E
(a) Diagnostic: What are the activities (task and time allocation) of members of
the household by gender and age which contribute to agricultural and livestock
production? What are the interactions associated with gender-related segregation
or sequencing of tasks? When are these tasks undertaken? How much time is
involved? Does this vary with age or rank or position in the household? or by
economic class of the household? Does the physical location of the task for
women with small children or cultural limits on the mobility of women influence
whether or not a woman may carry out a task? What time is allocated to other
remunerative or obligatory activities, including household production (for sale or
trade) and c ff-farm enterprises or wage labor? What time is allocated for
household maintenance and family welfare including child care, food preparation,
fuel and water supply, building maintenance, etc.? Is there interhousehold labor
mobilization, whether by individuals or groups, as for work parties? Is availability
of labor for particular activities a constraint on production?
(b) Planning and design: What changes in labor allocation (time required, timing)
are associated with or are desirable from technological improvements being
tested? Whose labor is affected? Will there be increases or decreases in wage or
exchange labor requirements and who will be affected?
(c) Testing and evaluation: What changes in labor allocation, in time or task, are
actually associated with on-farm experiments? Do these contribute to or detract
from increases in productivity or income or decreases in risk for this enterprise? or
for other enterprises or activities of the household? Do they fit what was predicted
in the design?
(d) Recommendations to farmers, researchers, and policy makers: Have the
changes in labor allocation (time and/or task, location, sex or age of the doer)
related to the new technology been taken into account in assessing its success or
in further adaptations? Is the new information required in using this technology
being directed to those who are doing the work?