Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Women's access to resources and...
 The gender pattern of access to...
 Factors associated with women's...
 Project differences by regional...
 Project case studies

Group Title: A.I.D. working paper
Title: Gender issues in A.I.D.'s agricultural projects
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090003/00001
 Material Information
Title: Gender issues in A.I.D.'s agricultural projects how efficient are we? : a study of the lessons learned in implementation of A.I.D.'s women in development policy in West and North Africa, the Near East, and Asia
Series Title: A.I.D. working paper
Alternate Title: Gender issues in AID's agricultural projects ..
Physical Description: viii, 26, 45 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Cloud, Kathleen
United States -- Agency for International Development
Donor: Marianne Schmink ( endowment )
Publisher: U.S. Agency for International Development,
U.S. Agency for International Development
Place of Publication: Washington? D.C
Publication Date: 1987
Copyright Date: 1987
Subject: Women in agriculture -- Africa   ( lcsh )
Women in agriculture -- Asia   ( lcsh )
Agricultural development projects -- Africa   ( lcsh )
Agricultural development projects -- Asia   ( lcsh )
Rural women   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (final 3 leaves ).
Statement of Responsibility: by Kathleen Cloud.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090003
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 19540439

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page 1 (MULTIPLE)
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Women's access to resources and the achievement of project goals
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    The gender pattern of access to project resources
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Factors associated with women's access to project resources
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    Project differences by regional bureau
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    Project case studies
Full Text

ThOiu &::::,," DEV'ELOPMZNT, LGC.
"^ .:.'. 20 Si., SUJITE D
:;'i;..;G LL, FL. 32607


A Study of the Lessons Learned in Implementation of
A.I.D.'s Women in Development Policy in
West and North Africa, the Near East, and Asia



Kathleen Cloud
University of Illinois
Office of International Agriculture

U.S. Agency for International Development

April 1987

The views and interpretations expressed in this report are those
of the author and should not be attributed to the Agency for
International Development.



Summary ..................................... ....... .... .... v

Glossary .................................. ... ............ viii

1. Introduction ................... .............. .... ... 1

2. The Relationship Between Women and Agricultural
Development ........................................... 1

3. Women's Access to Resources and the Achievement of
Project Goals .................. ............................. 4

4. The Gender Pattern of Access to Project Resources ...... 10

5. Factors Associated With Women's Access to Project
Resources .......................................... 16

5.1 The Relationship Between Information on Women's
Roles and Women's Access to Project Resources ..... 16
5.2 The Relationship Between Project Design Issues
and Women's Access to Project Resources ........... 16
5.3 Gender Adaptation of the Mandate and Standard.
Operating Procedures of Implementing Institutions.. 19

6. Project Differences by Regional Bureau ................. 21

6.1 West Africa ...................................... 21
6.2 North Africa and the Middle East .................. 22
6.3 Asia .............................................. 23

7. Conclusions ............................................... 23

8. Recommendations ............................... .......... 25

Appendix. Project Case Studies



This report examines data on 22 agricultural projects of
the Agency for International Development (A.I.D.) that were
implemented between 1975 and 1985: 12 from West Africa, 3 from
North Africa and the Middle East, and 7 from Asia. The report
seeks to answer the following questions:

What is the relationship between women's access to
project resources and the achievement of project goals?

Did women receive project resources in proportions that
maximized both equity and efficiency?

-- What factors in project design and implementation
influenced the flow of resources to women?

-- To what degree did strategy and outcome differ by
A.I.D. regional bureau?

Eighteen of 22 project files contained clear evidence that
women were deeply involved in agriculture in project areas. A
strong positive relationship was found between women's accessto
project resources and the achievement of project goals (see
Section 3). Nevertheless, women received lower levels of
resource than did men and received them in fewer projects (see
Section 4). Training was the most commonly shared resource:
women received training in 5 projects, men in 14. Women's
access to technical assistance, credit, and rural labor markets
was even more limited.

The most useful lessons that emerged from this evaluation
of agricultural projects are that gender analysis of the
targeted system is important and that such analysis must be
accompanied by gender adaptation of technical packages, delivery
systems, and Institutional arrangements it women are to gain
access to productivity-increasing resources (see Section 5).
Among the elements that may need to be adapted are the gender
composition and training of staff; the requirements for access
to such project resources as credit, technology, and training;
the location and timing of service delivery; and the incentive
structures for staff and beneficiaries.

Project documents that included a discussion of women's
roles in agricultural production and that related these
activities to project goals were associated with projects that
targeted resources to women. Shorter, less complete discussions
were characteristic of projects that did not do so. Documents
on projects that did not target by gender had very little


description of gender issues relating to implementation, but
some, particularly on projects in the Near East, discuss the
issue again in the summative evaluation. The presence of gender
analysis in planning documents seemed to reduce, but not
eliminate, the tendency to overlook women's need for produc-
tivity-increasing resources.

Targeting resources to women was associated with evidence
that they gained access to resources, although it did not
guarantee access. As noted below, the local context was
sometimes powerful enough to influence the flow of resources
toward women even when they were not targeted by the project.

Influence of AID and contractor female staff was most
pronounced in Africa, where they were involved in all project
phases although not on all projects. Unlike their male
colleagues, expatriate women responsible for women-in-
development technical assistance were overwhelmingly local hire
with no institutional backup. This seriously reduced their
access to knowledge of lessons learned elsewhere and their
ability to pass on what they learned. In the Near East Bureau
projects, expatriate women were visible only in project
evaluations, and their recommendations for more attention to
women were not implemented. In the Asia Bureau projects, it is
hard to find any indication that women participated at all on
the donor side, although several documents note the presence of
large numbers of host country professional women.

Although there was no indication in project documents that
professional or paraprofessional host country women were hired
by A.I.D. in Asia and the Near East, African professional and
paraprofessional women were employed on six A.I.D. projects, and
their presence was associated with efforts to deliver resources
to women farmers. Female staff training needs were as great as
those of their male colleagues but were not as well met.

The local context--cultural, economic, political, and
institutional--also had major influence on women's access to
resources. It is clear that contextual constraints to access
differ by region, and it is reasonable to assume that solutions
will also differ.

There are striking differences in the strategies of the
three A.I.D. regional bureaus, both in their perception of
women's agricultural roles and the projects' relationship to
them (Section 6). Of the three regions, only the Africa Bureau
specifically recognized women's roles and resources by gender.
The Near East Bureau addressed the issue of women's roles


briefly in social science annexes and in evaluations. With few
exceptions, the Asia Bureau ignored the issue entirely except
for occasional passing remarks.

Given the difficulty involved, is it worthwhile to try to
deliver agricultural resources to women? This paper provides a
strong empirical argument for doing so, on the basis of
efficiency alone. Forty-three agricultural projects were
evaluated (22 in this paper and 21 in another document--Fortmann
1985). The projects were randomly selected from the total
universe of A.I.D.'s agricultural projects over a 10-year
period. Because a statistical analysis of the relationship
between women's access to project resources and achievement of
project goals is positively significant at the .001 level, it is
possible to say that when women's access to resources is high,
agricultural project success is high and, conversely, when
women's access is low, agricultural project success tends to be
moderate or low.

Causality runs in both directions. Efficiently designed
and managed projects are better able to deliver resources to
women, and projects that deliver appropriate resources to women
are generally more successful projects.

The strength of the interaction between female farmers'
access to project resources and achievement of project goals is
largely a result of the importance of women's management and
labor in the targeted agricultural activities. Ignoring women's
roles can lead to reduced labor inputs, increased learning time
for new production techniques, and loss of producer feedback,
all of which reduce project success. Attention to gender roles
can reduce production bottlenecks, increase willingness to adopt
new practices, assist in the successful transfer of technology,
and facilitate crop diversification.

The reasons for these findings are discussed more fully
below, but the basic finding is clear: both equity and
efficiency are best served by recognizing the roles of women and
men in agricultural systems and by designing realistic ways of
providing them with productivity-increasing resources.



A.I.D. Agency for International Development

JRV Jordan River Valley

ORDs Rural Development Offices

PASA Participating Agency Service Agreement

PBDAC Egyptian Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit

PVO private voluntary organizations

RDEU Rural Domestic Economic Unit

USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture

UV Upper Volta

WID Women in Development


This report examines the gender equity and efficiency of 22
A.I.D. agricultural projects that were implemented in West and
North Africa, Asia, and the Near East between 1975 and 1985.
The report is designed to test the argument of A.I.D.'s Women in
Development Policy Paper that ignoring women's economic
activities is inefficient because it leads to wasted resources
and diminished returns on investment. It also provides a
synthesis of the lessons learned dur ng the 10-year effort to
implement the Congressional mandate for the integration of women
into developing agricultural economies.

To ensure a reliable and comprehensive picture of
implementation, 43 agricultural projects were randomly selected
from all projects in A.I.D.'s computerized data system that had
any mention of women's roles in agriculture. The sample was
then divided geographically. This paper examines 22 of these
projects: 12 from West Africa, 3 from North Africa and the
Middle East, and 7 from Asia. (Another document analyzes 21
projects in Eastern and Southern Africa and in Latin America and
the Carribean.) Agency documents, interviews, previous visits
by the author to project areas, and two onsite project case
studies were used to contribute to the analysis of the
projects. An analytic case study was written for each project
(see Appendix). Goals, delivery systems, and outcomes were then
categorized and analyzed to assess project equity afd efficiency
(see Tables 1, 2, and 5).

After a brief discussion of women's agricultural roles, the
report discusses the possible causes for the strong relationship
found between women's access to project resources and project
success. This is followed by a discussion of the patterns of
project resources actually received by women, and the project
design and implementation factors that affect the flow of
resources to women. The importance of gender adaptation of
standard operating procedures of implementing agencies is also
discussed. Differences in approach among A.I.D.'s regional
bureaus are noted, and, finally, recommendations are made to
improve Agency practice.


Increasing agricultural productivity has high priority for
developing country governments, not only because larger amounts
of reasonably priced food are necessary to feed expanding
populations, but because a thriving agricultural sector provides
capital and markets important to the development of other

-2 -

economic sectors (Mellor 1966). To increase production, choices
must be made about the proportion of resources to be invested in
physical capital, such as roads, irrigation, and biological
technologies, and the proportion committed to strengthening
human capital through investments in health, education,
nutrition, and family planning. Such choices depend on an
understanding of the relative contribution of specific
investments to the desired pattern of growth.

Ironically, emphasis on economic growth has often reduced
women's claims on national resources because of a tendency to
consider only women's social roles. Consequently, women have
been cast as beneficiaries rather than agents of development,
thus providing only equity arguments for their access to
resources. Yet women play important roles in agricultural
production and the generation of family income as well as in the
creation and maintenance of human capital. Changes in women's
behavior are central to the structural transformation of
agriculture. This evaluation will explore the degree to which
data from these agricultural projects support efficiency
arguments for women's claim on development resources.

The past decade has witnessed an explosion of micro-studies
documenting the range and importance of women's agricultural
activities (Cloud 1985). These are complemented by the
re-analysis of three types .of census data to produce more
reliable estimates of women's participation 'in the agricultural
labor force of 82 developing countries (Dixon 1983). The
proportion of women in the agricultural labor force of the 82
countries is 42 percent; for Sub-Saharan Africa, the regional
total is 46 percent; for North Africa and the Middle East, 31
percent; and for Asia, 45 percent. There are, of course,
important differences within regions and, indeed, within

Recent economic models of farm resource allocation have
also made women's productive work more visible by enlarging the
definition of farm production to include household and human
capital production and by viewing women's time as a resource
that is rationally allocated among competing activities (Strauss

The picture that emerges from current micro- and macro-data
sets is not a complete description of women's agricultural work,
but generalizations can be made with increasing confidence. In
addition to the substantial numbers of women documented in
national agricultural labor force data, many other women and
girls work as unpaid family laborers; many are involved
primarily in production of family food supply, while others work
intensively in the fields only during the peak labor season.
Many girls between the ages of 10 and 15 perform substantial
amounts of agricultural labor, particularly in North Africa and

-3 -

the Middle East. Finally, for many women, their work in
agriculture is subsidiary to their other responsibilities, so
they must make constant tradeoffs between agriculture and their
other responsibilities in allocating labor time and other
productive resources .

Because productivity is related to management decisions, it
is important to understand not only who is doing the work but
also who is making decisions about cropping patterns, seed
selection, use of purchased inputs and family labor, and crop
disposal. It is also important to understand who is
implementing the decisions, with what resources, and at what
level of skills. In describing gender responsibilities, five
patterns can be observed.

-< 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 extended family.

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. Woman-Managed Farms. There are two types of
woman-managed farms, de facto and de jure. In de facto
systems, men work away from the farm for days, months,
or even years, leaving the women to manage them. De
jure woman-headed households appear to be increasing on
a worldwide basis, representing up to one-third of the
households in some rural communities (Buvinic et al.
1979). The women may be widowed, divorced, abandoned,
or never married. They tend to be among the poorest
farming households, yet many depend on them for

-4 -

In patterns of separate crops and separate fields, women
are likely to be responsible for the management, labor, and
disposition of production, thus effectively controlling these
cropping enterprises. Often the produce is primarily for
household consumption, but there may be significant surplus for
sale. Labor exchange is common in these systems, paid labor
less so. In patterns of shared and separate tasks, women's
labor may be either unpaid family labor or paid wage labor.
Nonadjusted female shares of national agricultural labor forces
range from 30 to 50 percent, much of which is wage labor (Dixon
1982). In India, for example, according to the 1971 census
there were 31 million women in the paid labor force, of which 81
percent were involved in agriculture.

In woman-managed production systems, women are more likely
to control the proceeds and usually provide most of the labor,
although they may also hire labor or supervise the work of
younger men.

Most farms display mixed patterns of responsibility and
control, combining production cycles for which one gender is
primarily responsible with those in which responsibility is
shared or interlaced. In these systems there are often both
pooled and nonpooled resources, such as land and animals, and
pooled and nonpooled income streams resulting from the use of
these resources. Household decision-making patterns are
complex, subtle, and not yet well understood. It is clear that
they differ from system to system and that differences arise to
a large degree from the gender patterns of resource control, as
well as the division of labor. Knowledge of local gender
patterns of resource control, management responsibility, and
labor is crucial because they have important effects on project
implementation and the attainment of project goals.


To accomplish project goals, new resources such as
technology, training, credit, commodities, and technical
assistance are introduced into existing systems. It is clear
from reading the histories of these 22 projects that some
resource allocation decisions have been more efficient than
others in increasing production and income; that is, some
investment decisions have had better payoffs than others.
Allocative efficiency consists of choosing and investing
resources to achieve the highest possible value of returns to
resources committed. Management efficiency consists of
maximizing returns to the investments chosen through sound
management. Project efficiency is the combination of

-5 -

well-chosen, well-managed investments to maximize progress
toward project goals (World Bank 1983).

Three goals appear repeatedly in the 22 sample projects:
(1) increasing agricultural production, (2) increasing rural
incomes, and (3) improving the quality of life (see Table 1).
It is reasonable to assume that these increases in production,
income, and quality of life were intended for both sexes when
both men and women were engaged in the activities targeted for
improvement. Here, implementation of A.I.D.'s
women-in-development policy consists principally of ensuring
that women share in the new resources and higher returns to
labor for activities in which they are already engaged. To do
this effectively, it is necessary to understand the gender roles
and responsibilities within local systems and to address them
realistically in project design and implementation.

The projects reviewed had varying degrees of success in
achieving their goals. The evaluations contained in project
documents indicate that achievement of project goals was judged
high in 6 projects, likely in 2, mixed or moderate in 7, low in
4, and unknown in 3 (see Table 2). It is clear that some
agricultural projects were successful without explicit attention
to gender, but in many projects ignoring the productive roles of
women reduced project efficiency, thus reducing project
success. Whenever women were major actors in targeted
activities, attention to women's roles was important for the
efficient achievement of project goals. By examining projects
in terms of their stated goals and relative success in achieving
them, it is possible to see, in concrete terms, how gender
interacts with project effectiveness.

The relationship between women's access to project
resources and project success is very strong across all
agricultural projects. Table 3 displays the patterns of
findings for this sample in a matrix that indicates the close
relationship between success in achievement of project
objectives and benefits to women. The chi-square correlation is
significant at .0167. Table 4 displays the combined findings
for the 38 projects in agriculture for which there was
sufficient data to assess the relationship between benefits to
women and project success. Because a chi-square analysis of
these data is statistically significant at a probability of
.001, it can be said that when women's access to resources is
high, project success is high and when women's participation is
low, agricultural project success tends to be moderate or low.

A project-by-project examination of the sources of this
relationship shows that causality runs in both directions.
Efficiently designed and managed projects are better able to
deliver resources to women, and projects that deliver


Table 1


D I E 0 (

Upper Volta Africa '6-80 L'pper Volta Improved quality of life X X X X
Village Livestock through range management/animal health

Mali Africa "6-83 Mall Crop Increase productivity and commercialization X X X X
Production of cereal crops

Cameroon Africa '6-83 Cameroon Seed Increased yields. sorghum. peanuts. X X X
Multiplication improved nutrition rural income

Upper Volta Africa 7-82 U.V. Women s Roles Improve social and economic well being X X X X
in Development of rural villagers

Cameroon Atrica "7-82 Young Farm Family Increased food production. X
Training Center reduced regional income differences

Mauritania Atrca a7-83 Mauritania Rural Expansion of domestic food production. X X X X
Development productivity, consumption

Mali Africa '8-83 Mall Operation Increase and commercialize food production. X X X
Haute Vallee improve quality of life

Upper Volta Africa "8-8-4 Training of Women Increased economic and social opportunities X X X
in the Sahel for Sahelians. especially women

Niger Africa 8N-8i Luthern World Help drought victims become X
Relief-Niger suh-p self-supporting agriculturalists

Cameroon Africa "9-82 National Planning for To increase income. productivity and welfare X X
Community Development of rural populations

Cape Verde Africa '9-85 Cape Verde Rural employment, increase agricultural and X X
Water Management household water. conservation

Niger Africa 80-85 Naimey Department Self-sufficiencey in food production. X X X
Development II improved rural living standard

Nepal Asia -t-8-4 Institute of Agriculture Institute expanded improved to provide training X X X
and Animal Science for several roles

Sri Lanka Asia "'-82 Mahaweli Irrigation / Increased food production, water productivity. X X X
Water Management standard of living

Thailand Asia 79-84 North East Land To improve quality of life X X
Settlement of the rural poor

Thailand Asia 81-84 Thailand Agricultural Strengthen planning, analytic capability X
Planning of Office of Agricultural Economics

Thailand Asia 81-88 North East Increased agricultural productivity and farm incomes. X X X X
Rainfed Agriculture particular poor farms

Thailand Asia M82-H Thailand Seed Increasing farm use of quality seed / X
Development II strengthing private sections

Burma Asia 82-88 Burma Maize Increase production of maize I oilseeds. X X
and Oilseed Production increased income, nutrition

Jordan Near East 73-80 Jordan River Increase agricultural production X
Valley Development and quality of life in JRV

Tunisia Near East 76-83 Livestock Feed Develop GOT capability X X X
Production to reach small livestock farmer

Egypt Near East 79-MS Egypt Small Increased small farm productivity. X X X
Farmer Production income and employment

I ) I ...un F F-].---.,,n i Im. lgnrtnla n r,.- r.- .-i. .


moJuc!r Table 2

"other donors
Upper Volta Integrated Title XII. Village councils. I U.S. professional. 3 months Mixed. Low
Village Livestock Peace Corps extension, researchers during implementation moderate

Mali Crop Integrated AID Operation staff Unknown Low Unclear
Production and sub-contractors probhabl low

Cameroon Seed Integrated Contractor Extension, local No Mixed Unknown
Multiplication PVO organizations, radio

U.V. Women's Roles WID AID Women's extension and district Professional and para- Low Low
in Development direct hire government professional. AID and GUV

Young Farm Family Component AID Centers, extension I professional. Unknown Unknown
Training Center direct hire 4 paraprofessional

Mauritania Rural Component Contractor Extension and 1 AID, 1 GOM professional. High Moderate
Development community groups 6 paraprofessionals

Mali Operation Integrated AID, Operation Haute Vallee Unknown Low Unclear
Haute Vallee Peace Corps probably low

U.V.-Training of Women WID AID Village organizations, extension, U.S. anthropologist. Low Low
in the Sahel direct hire training center GUV paraprofessionals implementation

Lutheran World Integrated PVO Unknown GON professionals, Peace High Unclear.
Relief-Niger sub-p Corp. Nigerian volunteers probably high

National Planning for Integrated Contractor Training, meetings with local U.S.and GOC professionals, Mixed, Mixed, process
Community Development organizations, government GOC paraprofessionals moderate high
outcome low
Cape Verde Integrated USDA-PASA Local political party Unknown Generally High
Water Management and government high, mix

Naimey Department Component AID, Extension, local organizations, US/GON professionals. GON Likely Likely
Development II Peace Corps coops, centers paraprofessions and volunteers

Institute of Agriculture Integrated Title XII Agriculture school, experiment Unknown, Moderate. Low
and Animal Science station, extension probably low mixed

Mahaweli Irrigation Integrated Contrator Coops, extension, local "CD staff Moderate, Likely
Water Management Title XII organizations, Mahaweli Authority 'secretaries, 'volunteers slow

Thai North East Integrated AID, Extension, newly formed local Unknown Moderate. Low
Land Settlement Peace Corps organizations, contractors mixed

Thailand Agricultural Integrated AID Professional training and GOT 45%, Likely Likely
Planning consultants technical assistance U.S. unknown

Thai North East Integrated Title XII, Extension, media, local organizations. US/none Mixed Low
Rainfed Agriculture Peace Corps demonstration farms GOT-office staff too soon

Thailand Seed Integrated Title XII, Extension, media, industry, public/ Unknown Unknown Unknown
Development II Contractor private committees too soon

Burma Maize and Integrated Title XII New extension structure, media, Unknown, Unknown Unknown
Oilseed Production local government, party GOB probably high too soon

Jordan River Integrated Contractors Private sector, local government Unknown High Mixed,
Valley Development coops, extension, school some high

Livestock Feed Integrated USDA-PASA Extension, local government, GOT "some" High Low
Production personnel training extension agents

Egypt Small Integrated USAID Village banks, extension, 8.5% bank staff, High Mixed

Farmer Production

demonstration farmers

extension unknown


-8 -

Table 3. Benefits to Women as a Factor
(sample: n = 22 projects, 18 with

in Project Success

Success in Achieving Project Objectives
Benefits High/ Low/
to Women Likely Moderate Unlikely Total

High/Likely 5 0 0 5

Moderate/Mixed 2 2 0 4

Low/Unlikely 1 4 4 9

Total 8 6 4 18

a"Benefits to women" is defined as women's access to project

Table 4. Benefits to Women as a Factor in Project Success
(agricultural sector: n = 43 projects, 38 with information)

Success in Achieving Project Objectives
Benefits High/ Low/
to Women Likely Moderate Unlikely Total

High/Likely 8 0 0 8

Moderate/Mixed 5 5 1 11

Low/Unlikely 5 8 9 19

Total 15 13 11 38

a"Benefits to women" is defined as women's access to project

Source: Carloni (1985, 33).

-9 -

appropriate resources to women are generally more successful

The strength of the relationship between woman farmers'
access to project resources and project success is largely
derived from the importance of women's management and labor in
many of the targeted agricultural activities. Labor inputs of
men and women in farm households are not perfectly
substitutable. The opportunity cost of women's additional labor
is often high, and, therefore, her returns to labor will
influence the amount and timing of labor she commits to
project-related innovations. If the increased labor demand
comes when women's labor is already overtaxed, the innovation
may not be adopted, or may be executed poorly. Such effects are
particularly clear in the Thai Rainfed Agriculture project in
this sample, and in the Malawi and Caribbean projects in the
other sample. By contrast, the Cape Verde Water project, the
Arid and Semi-Arid Lands project in Kenya, and several Latin
American projects that took account of the timing of women's
labor, and had attractive incentive structures, were successful
largely because they were able to mobilize women's labor.

Many of the projects addressed production of secondary
crops that were traditionally managed by women: poultry
production was targeted in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso),
Egypt, Mahaweli, and the Thailand Northeast Rainfed Agriculture
project, vegetable and fruit production in Mahaweli, Mauritania,
Thailand, and Upper Volta. Nevertheless, few of these projects
targeted women to receive productivity-increasing inputs, and
even fewer were able to deliver such resources to women for
these cropping enterprises. By and large, the inputs and
resources were delivered to male members of the households.

Such patterns of resource allocation have several effects.
By directing resources to people who are less familiar with
production, learning time and costs for mastering the new
technology are increased. This effect seems to be present in
Egypt, Northeast Thailand, Upper Volta, and several of the
projects from the other sample. In the Mauritania, Egypt, and
Northeastern Thailand projects, feedback from knowledgeable
producers, which could have been used to improve technical
packages, was lost. Each of these effects--reduced labor
inputs, increased learning time, and loss of producer
feedback--reduced the chances of project success in achieving
its goals.

By contrast, the Mahaweli project and several Latin
American micro-projects in the other sample delivered resources
to women for their own cropping enterprises and were able to
capitalize on the knowledge already in the system and hence were
able to increase production more efficiently.


The evaluation summary (Carloni 1987) concluded that in the
agriculture sector, attention to gender can reduce bottlenecks
in production, increase willingness to adopt new practices,
assist in successful transfer of technology, and facilitate crop
diversification. For a number of projects, increasing the
equity of women's access to project resources would have
substantially increased the projects' ability to achieve these
goals; alternatively, improving the efficiency of several
projects targeting resources to women would have improved the
equity of their impact.

The six projects in this sample in which women's access to
resources was judged high (Cape Verde, Lutheran World Relief),
mixed/high (Jordan), or mixed/likely (Naimey, Thailand
Agricultural Planning, Mahaweli) were also judged generally
successful or potentially successful. Only in the livestock
project in Tunisia was project success rated high while women's
access to resources was rated low. Two out of three of the
projects in which resources targeted to women did not reach them
(the Upper Volta women-in-development projects) were ineffective
projects. Only in Mauritania was a women-in-development
component unsuccessful while the rest of the project succeeded,
and in this project women gained some access to resources
through general channels. The message seems clear: both equity
and efficiency are served by projects that take explicit account
of men's and women's roles in agricultural systems and that
design realistic ways of providing them with
productivity-increasing resources.


Given the finding that women's access to resources is
related to project success, how well did women actually do in
gaining access to appropriate resources?

Women were important actors in the agricultural activities
being targeted in all sample projects, yet they received very
few project resources. This reality reduced the effectiveness
of a significant number of projects. Often women had major
management responsibility for their own enterprises as well as
for those of the household. Their resource constraints were the
same as those of the men: difficulty in gaining access to
capital, credit, technology, information, and training. Yet
their difficulty of access was greater in every case, not only
within traditional systems but also within the projects
themselves. With few exceptions this was because project
designs ignored women's economic roles or gave them low priority.

Yet the Foreign Assistance Act calls for preference to
projects that are both equitable and efficient in their use of


resources. Therefore, for the purposes of this study,
implementation of A.I.D.'s women-in-development policy was
defined as delivery of economically productive project resources
to women as well as to men in a manner that maximizes both
equity and efficiency.

This concept of maximizing joint efficiency and equity is
illustrated in Figure 1, which represents an agricultural system
in which both men and women are engaged in productive activities
targeted for project interventi n. The vertical axis represents
quantity of men's production; the horizontal, quantity of
women's production. The wavy line represents the production
possibility frontier; that is, the various combinations of
production technically possible for a system to generate, using
currently available resources. The closer production is to the
frontier, the more efficient the farmers.

Because traditional farming systems are considered "poor,
but efficient," we can assume that when the project begins,
production is fairly close to the frontier. Thus we can locate
total production at point Al. Ql is the quantity produced by
each population.

All other things being equal, allocative efficiency would
be the principle used to decide how to divide project resources
between the activities of women and men. Resources would be
invested in each population up to the point where the combined
value of their production was highest in relation to the cost of
production. Value could be analyzed in terms of crop
production, cash, or nutrition, depending on the goals of the

Whatever the economic efficiency of particular resource
allocation decisions, equity would demand that neither men nor
women be deprived of the resources to maintain current
production and income. To satisfy this condition, resources
should be invested to shift the production frontier outwards in
the area of constrained efficiency between point Al (current
production), point x (all production growth to men's
activities), and point y (all production growth to women's
activities). Solutions outside this area would either increase
productivity of one group at a cost to the other or decrease
production in both. The objective in implementing A.I.D.'s
women-in-development policy is achievement of the highest and
most equitably distributed productivity gains attainable with
the available resources. That goal is indicated as the point of
constrained bliss (CB), which is the point of highest possible
combined efficiency and equity (McMahon 1982). The projects are
rated in terms of their approach to this point. Tables 2, 3,
and 4, and the basis for the ratings they contain, are discussed
in detail in the appendix.

CB Point of
constrained bliss
(highest combined
efficiency & equity)

Women's goal
related production

Figure 1 Gender equity and efficiency
in allocation of productive resources

Men's goal
related production



Although quantitative information on actual resource flows
is sketchy, project descriptions permit a general assessment of
the types of resources reaching women, although often not the
amounts. It is unambiguously clear that women received lower
levels of resources and received them in fewer projects. As
some measure of the difference in resource levels, in Niamey
Production II, which was probably the most equitably designed
and implemented of the projects, women were targeted to receive
US$50,000 in agricultural credit, men, US$12 million.

In the 22 projects, women's access to resources was judged
high, moderate, or likely in 9, while men had high or moderate
access in 21. The gender patterns of resource flows displayed
in Table 5, when tabulated by project, are presented in Table 6.

Training was the resource most often targeted to women, and
several projects targeted training of more than one kind. In 4
projects, training was directed to women's household and human
capital roles; in 6, to their agricultural roles; in 3, to their
income-generating activities in the informal sector. In no case
did women receive inappropriate training, but they could have
used a great deal more than they received. This was true at the
level of the farm household, where women in the Tunisia and
Upper Volta projects needed information on poultry care; in the
Cameroon and Thailand projects, where they needed more
information about production of specific improved seed
varieties; and in a number of farming systems, where they needed
a range of production and management information. It was also
true at the institutional level, where women received
proportionately much less in-country and out-of-country training
than men in the same institutions.

The same pattern is evident for technical assistance, with
less information flowing to both farm women and professional
women. Technology flows were even more constrained. In 3 out
of 5 projects, the technology delivered was primarily for
household production: household water and cookstoves in Niamey,
Mauritania, and the Jordan Valley. Only in the Lutheran Niger
project, and to a lesser extent in the Mahaweli and Mauritania
vegetable production projects, do women appear to have received
agricultural technologies for the crops they were producing. In
the Thailand Northeast Rainfed Agriculture project, women
received sericulture technology of limited value.

Women's access to land did not appear to be directly
affected by any of the projects, except Mahaweli and perhaps the
Thailand Resettlement project, in which registration of land
titles was a government effort. In several projects women's
title to land, or the lack of it, directly affected their
ability to receive credit necessary to increase their
agricultural productivity. Most Egyptian women were denied
direct access to credit for improvement of their traditional


"other donors "other donors "other donors
or GSL or GSL or GSL
Upper Volta Agriculture Commodities. training, credit. None Techni(al asis tanc-.
Village Livestock technical assistance roosters

Mali Crop Agriculture Commodities. technical assistance. None Unclear
Production training, credit probahlv low

Cameroon Seed Agriculture Seeds, training, technical None Unknown
Multiplication assistance, credit

L.V. Women s Roles Agriculture, household. Technology. credit Technology. credit. Credit.
in Development and informal training training, technical assistance technical assistance, training

Young Farm Family Agriculture. household. Equipment. personnel. Training Training
Training Center human capital buildings, training

Mauritania Rural Agriculture Agriculture, livestock, tree inputs, Agriculture. and tree crop. Agricultural inputs.
Development credit, training, technology credit. training technology training. technology

Mall Operation Agriculture, household. Training, commodities, credit None Unclear
Haute Vallee human capital clinics roads research probably low

U.V.- Training of Women Agriculture. informal. Training, credit. Training, credit. Training, technical
in the Sahel household, human capital technology, commodities technology, commodities assistance

Lutheran World Relief- Agriculture, household. Commodities, technical assistance. Unknown Training. agricultural
Niger Sub-Project human capital training inputs, technology

National Planning Human capital Training, technical assistance. Training. technical Training, technical
Community Development commodities assistance assistance

Cape Verde Agriculture. Training, technical assistance. Wages Wages. tree seedlings
Water Management household, wages wages, tree seedlings

Naimey Department Agriculture, human capital. Training, technology, credit. Training, technology, credit. Training. technology
Development II household, informal training centers training centers training centers-
technical assistance

Institute of Agriculture Agriculture, human Training, technical assistance. Training. Training. a
and Animal Science capital commodities, dorms a dormatorv house trailer

Mahaweli Irrigation / Agriculture, human Technical assistance, "land. 'seed. '2 maternity wards. 'Agricultural credit, "land.
Water Management capital, household tools, building materials, "credit. 'ag. extension training. 'health. ag. & income
'irrigation water ag. & CD staff jobs generation training
Thai North East Agriculture, household Technical assistance.training. None Low. water
Land Settlement roads, ponds, tanks failed

Thailand Agricultural Agriculture, human Technical assistance. "Some" training "Some training
Planning capital training

Thai North East Agriculture Training, technical assistance. None Sericulture training
Rainfed Agriculture plants, seeds, fish

Thailand Seed Agriculture Commodities, technical assistance. None Unknown
Development II training, credit

Burma Maize Agriculture, Commodities, technical assistance. Unknown Unknown
and Oilseed Production employment training, machinery

Jordan River Agriculture, human capital. Dams, roads, industries, credit. Unknown Training, technology
Valley Development household, employment training, clinics employment

Livestock Feed Agriculture, Commodities, training. None Low levels
Production human capital technical assistance of extension

Egypt Small Agriculture Credit, technical assistance. None 8% of credit directly


poultry and animal production because they lacked land title; in
Mahaweli, an estimated 30 percent of the total credit is going
to women who have land titles. Both the Egypt and Mahaweli
projects were large credit projects that had no targeting by
gender, but the conditions for receiving credit were gender
related. In the 4 African projects that earmarked small amounts
of credit for women, only 1, the Upper Volta women-in-develop-
ment project, was able to deliver any credit to women; in the
others, because of poor management or low priority, women did
not receive credit. This parallels the finding of the sectoral
study on credit and income generation (Lycette and Self 1984)
that women actually received more credit from the large credit
schemes when they could meet general qualifications than they
did in the smaller schemes that targeted credit to women.

Table 6. Gender Access to Agricultural Project Resources

Projects Targeting Projects Delivering
Resources Resources
Resources to Women to Men to Women to Men

Training 8 19 5 24
Technology 4 9 4 7
Credit 4 10 2 8
Technical Assistance 5 14 5 12
Salaries From Project
(host country
personnel?) NA 22 6 22

Access to rural labor markets was affected in two ways by
the projects. Three--Cape Verde, Jordan Valley and
Mahaweli--generated new employment opportunities. Projects also
directly employed professional and paraprofessional host country
employees. Here again, women were included at lower rates and
in fewer projects than men. Staff women were most visible in
projects that attempted to deliver resources to women farmers,
such as Niamey and Mahaweli.



5.1 The Relationship Between Information on Women's Roles and
Women's Access to Project Resources

In agriculture projects there was a very high correlation
between explicit attention to women's roles and their access to
project resources. Discussion of women's roles in agricultural
production was present in 12 out of 20 project planning
documents and absent in 8; for 2 projects, the planning
documents were not available. Longer discussions relating
women's activities to project goals were associated with
projects that targeted resources to women. Shorter discussions,
ranging from two sentences to two pages, were characteristic of
projects that did not target resources to women.

Nontargeted projects had very little description of what
happened in implementation, but some, particularly in the Near
East, did discuss gender issues again in the summative
evaluation. Gender analysis in the planning documents seemed to
reduce, but not eliminate, the tendency in projects to overlook
women's need for productivity-increasing resources. Table 6
demonstrates that although targeting resources to women improves
the probability that they will receive them, it does not
guarantee access.

5.2 The Relationship Between Project Design Issues and Women's
Access to Project Resources

The evaluation began with the hypothesis that certain
project design elements also influenced women's access to
resources. Among these were project type, the presence of
female staff, and the targeting or earmarking of specific
resources for women. Across the total sample, neither project
< type_nor presence of female staff had consistent effects. They
mattered, but other factors often seemed to matter more. The
general finding for these two hypotheses was "it all depends."
What it all depends upon in agriculture is discussed below.
Other project factors that appear to influence gender resource
flows are also discussed.

There are three basic ways of structuring projects to
deliver resources to women: women-only projects, women's
components of larger projects, and completely integrated
projects. Each has its own strengths and problems.


Women-only projects often have the advantage of cultural
acceptability. They can build on the infrastructure of existing
women's delivery systems, and they provide control of project
resources and administration for women. Their problems arise
from their marginality in many government structures. They are
often underresourced, and personnel may not have the skills and
technical orientation for the tasks they are charged with. For
example, educators may be charged with executing credit and
agricultural projects, as in the two Upper Volta
women-in-development projects in the sample. The problem of
marginality also characterized the women-in-development projects
from the other sample in Eastern Africa, but the women's
projects in Latin America had a somewhat stronger record. This
seems to be due to Latin America's generally more efficient
bureaucracies with better trained women.

Women's components of larger projects are used to address
some of these constraints. They bring women's programming
directly into mainstream projects, although here, too, there is
a tendency to address women's household work to the exclusion of
their agricultural and income-generating work. When agriculture
and credit activities are included, women's components can
borrow appropriate technical skills from the larger project to
supplement the skills of their own staff. Women's components
often suffer in competition for scarce project resources and may
have less access to project resources such as transportation.
The three women's components of larger projects in the sample
display all of these patterns. In Niamey Production II, terms
of reference included attention to women's agricultural roles
and their need for extension and credit. Appropriately trained
host country and donor personnel were recruited to staff the
component. In the Mauritania project, although the planning was
similar, inexperienced personnel and poor project administration
of the component marginalized the component within the larger
project. In the Cameroon Young Farmer Center project, project
design seems to have addressed only women's household roles.
The Mahaweli case study also noted that training and
income-generating resources were delivered effectively through a
women's component funded by the Government and other donors.

In the best of all possible worlds, most projects would be
integrated projects, where resources flowed to those who could
use them most efficiently. There would be no need for special
attention to women, because they would receive appropriate
resources as a matter of course. Seventeen projects within the
sample used an integrated strategy, but most contain little data
on the types and levels of resources reaching women. As noted
below, there are strong regional differences in choice of this

In both agricultural project samples, targeting resources
to women was associated with evidence that they had access to


resources, although (as Tables 5 and 6 show) it did not
guarantee access. There are strong regional preferences for
targeting as a strategy: 7 of 11 Africa projects targeted
specific resources to women, and in all of these projects the
women received resources, although not always of the types and
quantities targeted; 4 of the East Africa projects in the other
sample also targeted resources to women, and in each, women
received a proportion of what was targeted. As noted in the
section below, the local context was powerful enough in Cape
Verde to influence the flow of resources toward women even
though they were not targeted by the donor.

With the possible exception of the Jordan Valley projects,
the Near East Bureau does not appear to have targeted any
resources to women, and it is difficult to understand from
project documents what project resources women actually received.

A.I.D. targeted resources to women in 1 of the 7 Asia
projects, the Nepal Institute of Agriculture and Animal
Sciences. A women's dormitory was planned, but the plan was
abandoned because funding ran out. As a substitute, the
contractor contributed the house trailer intended for short term
project visitors, and three women students were living in it
on-campus. The Mahaweli Irrigation project has several other
donors including UNICEF, and although the A.I.D. portion of the
project did not target resources to women, both the Government
of Sri Lanka and other donors did so; the case study reflects
the total flow of resources, and it is on this basis that the
project is rated. In Mahaweli, women received some of the
resources targeted to them, but at lower levels and later than
men in the same project areas. In the other Asia projects it is
impossible to determine from project evaluations whether
untargeted resources are actually reaching Asian women farmers,
because gender is not discussed as a variable. The Thailand
Northeast Rainfed Agriculture case study would suggest little
cause for optimism (Blanc-Szanton and Viveros-Long).

Influence of A.I.D. and contractor female staff was most
pronounced in Africa, where across both agricultural samples
they were involved in all project phases, although not on all
projects. Their effectiveness varied, as did that of their male
colleagues, but in several projects, such as Niamey Production
II and the Botswana, Tanzania, and Malawi projects in the other
sample, their efforts were directly responsible for women's
access to project resources. Unlike their male colleagues, U.S.
women responsible for women-in-development technical assistance
were overwhelmingly local-hire personnel with no institutional
backup. This seriously reduced their access to knowledge of
lessons learned elsewhere and their ability to pass on what they
learned. In the Near East Bureau, U.S. women were only visible
in project evaluations, and their recommendations for more
attention to women were not implemented. In the Asia Bureau


projects it is hard to find any indication that women
participated at all on the donor side, although several
documents note the presence of large numbers of host country
professional women. The lack of information on women in Asia
Bureau projects may be due to this asymmetrical pattern.

Although there was no indication in project documents that
professional or paraprofessional host country women were hired
by A.I.D. in Asia and the Near East, African professional and
paraprofessional women were employed on six A.I.D. projects, and
their presence was associated with efforts to deliver resources
to women farmers. Their training needs were as great as those
of their male colleagues but were not as well met. This pattern
was also present in the other agricultural project sample.

5.3 Gender Adaptation of the Mandate and Standard Operating
Procedures of Implementing Institutions

A major lesson of the evaluation has been that gender
analysis must be accompanied by gender adaptation of technical
packages, delivery systems, and institutional arrangements if
women are to gain access to productivity-enhancing resources.

When possible,.it is useful to establish that the mandate
of the project includes appropriate outreach to both women and
men. Some projects in other sectors were able to modify
elements such as eligibility requirements without such a
mandate, but for many others, including the Tunisia and Egypt
projects, lack of a mandate led to lack of action.

With (and sometimes without) a mandate, the system for
delivery of resources may need adjustment. Depending on
circumstances, this may include the addition of female staff or
retraining of both male and female staff in techniques for
reaching women. Standard operating procedures may also need
revision if they exclude women from necessary resources. Two
important procedures that need careful examination are
requirements for access to project resources and the location
and timing of opportunities for access. Requirements for access
often include land title or official status as head of household
as collateral for credit and technical packages. These
requirements tend to exclude women's microenterprises from
direct access to inputs that generate increases in productivity
and profitability. One alternative that has been successfully
used in non-sample projects is extension of credit to groups
whose members are jointly responsible for repayment. Another is
to extend resources on the basis of personal reputation
(Overholt, et al. 1985).


Location and timing of access to inputs also demand close
examination because the constraints on women's mobility and time
use may be greater than on men's. Credit or technical packages
that require several full days away from the village may limit
women's access. So may the choice to dispense such resources in
a traditionally male setting, as was the case with the
information on animal vaccinations in the Upper Volta Livestock

The location and timing of training and extension can also
serve to exclude women. In the first phase of the Naimey
project, although both men and women worked side by side in the
demonstration fields, agricultural training was provided to men
while women prepared the meals. With the introduction of millet
grinding mills to reduce the labor, and a change in schedule,
women were able to share in the training in the second phase of
the project. In the Thailand Rainfed Agriculture project, women
were not included in the week-long off-site training for
livestock and poultry raising although they had major management
responsibility for production. They were, however, offered a
25-day off-site course in sericulture, scheduled during the peak
period of demand for women's labor in rice transplanting.
Despite the high opportunity cost, women farmers attended the
course, but half left before it was over because the technology
was of limited value and they could not afford more time away
from their other pressing responsibilities. Adding insult to
injury, women with children were excluded from village training
sessions in poultry raising, traditionally a major source of
women's income, because they might bring children who would be
noisy and disruptive.

Another major area of project adaptation is that of
incentive structures. Projects must take account of the reality
that men and women in farm households have different stakes in
the activities targeted for change and different incentive
structures for participation. Women skilled in managing their
own cropping enterprises are more likely to be efficient in
using productivity-enhancing inputs than men who have never
produced that crop. Their incentives for productivity are also
often higher, because their opportunities for cash income are
more limited. Conversely, project interventions that demand
high labor inputs from women but provide only low returns to
their labor are likely to be subverted by women's resistance to
that demand. This may take the form of passive resistance or an
active campaign to discourage use of certain inputs or
production of certain crops. Such resistance is clear in the
Thailand Rainfed Agriculture project, in which women are
actively opposed to growing kenaf, and in several projects from
the other agricultural sample. It is particularly marked in the
Caribbean Agricultural Extension project, where women are
strongly influencing crop diversification strategies on this


The incentive structures of implementing institutions may
also need to be adapted so that delivering resources efficiently
by gender is rewarded. The Cape Verde Government did this
explicitly in mandating and then monitoring equality of access
and pay on food-for-work activities.

Projects can adapt their own incentive structures, but many
of the changes in operating procedures and incentive structures
require changes in host country institutions as well as donor
practices. Change therefore depends on host country as well as
donor policies. Although a U.N.-sponsored World Plan of Action
was adopted in 1980 by 137 national governments, committing them
to deliver appropriate agricultural resources to both men and
women, there is great unevenness in the commitment of developing
countries to its implementation. Countries such as Cape Verde,
Thailand, Tunisia, Burma, Niger, Sri Lanka, and Jordan are
actively seeking to increase the flow of resources to rural
women. Others may give the issue low priority or see it as
primarily a cultural issue. No matter what the posture of the
national government, everyone understands that issues of gender
equity in access to scarce resources can be highly charged
politically and emotionally, and Agency personnel are sometimes
understandably reluctant to address them. Yet arguments from
tradition as well as from economic efficiency can often be made
in support of women's access to resources for their traditional


There are striking regional differences among the A.I.D.
projects in how women's agricultural roles are viewed and how
projects relate to them. Of the three regions, only the Africa
Bureau targeted or earmarked resources by gender. The Near East
Bureau addressed the issue briefly in Project Paper annexes and
in evaluations. For the most part, the Asia Bureau ignored
gender issues entirely except for occasional passing remarks;
two exceptions are an excellent discussion of Burmese women's
economic roles and an account of the difficulties in funding a
women's dorm in Nepal.

6.1 West Africa

In West Africa most people are food producers. They farm
in low-technology systems that were once well adapted to
difficult environmental conditions, but as populations have
increased, these systems have not been able to keep pace with
food needs. Little improved technology of any type is currently
available. The technology transfer system is weak for men and


even weaker for women. Literacy is low, and the numbers of
trained professional or paraprofessional women are small. In
recent years, a fairly complete picture of women's agricultural
roles has emerged from project documents. Many have noted that
women and men are responsible for separate cropping enterprises
and share responsibility for others. A number of projects made
explicit attempts to reach women producers, but with varying
degrees of success.

Difficulties were due to weak delivery systems, low levels
of allocated resources, and choices made in deploying them.
Training and extension were the resources most often targeted to
women. Technology and credit were seldom targeted and even more
seldom received. Labor bottlenecks are a serious constraint to
production, yet few of the projects addressed women's labor
overload. Resources were often used for animal traction plows
to increase the cultivated area, thus increasing the demand for
unmechanized family labor tasks such as weeding; yet few project
resources were devoted to labor-saving technologies such as
wells and grinding mills. Given women's major agricultural
responsibilities and the low productivity of current
technologies, it is reasonable to assume that high birth rates
are, in part, a rational response to'this dilemma. A.I.D.
projects have only begun to address this reality.

6.2 North Africa and the Middle East

In North Africa and the Middle East, by contrast,
agricultural systems employ a range of technology, and
improvements move through the formal and informal systems quite
steadily. A smaller proportion of the population than in West
Africa depends on agriculture for a living and education is
widespread. The bureaucracies responsible for delivering credit
and technology are large, if not always efficient, and women
professionals are included in their ranks. In two of the three
projects reviewed, however, the women were doing the lowest
status office jobs, well below their professional

Women farmers are only dimly perceived in project
documents. They are portrayed as "inside the household," and
although they are briefly acknowledged as important to targeted
project activities, (dairy production in Tunisia, poultry and
livestock production in Egypt, rural industries in Jordan),
project design and implementation documents treat them as social
rather than economic actors. That is, no project resources have
been directed toward them, and there is little indication that
they have received any. The one exception is the Jordan River
Valley Development evaluation, which examined the effects of a
series of projects on rural women.


6.3 Asia

In the seven Asia projects, yet another pattern prevails.
Three of the four Asian countries represented in the sample
projects--Thailand, Burma, and Sri Lanka--have successfully
applied green revolution technologies to greatly increase
production of crops such as rice and are now seeking to extend
their productivity gains to other regions or crops. In all
three countries, both male and female literacy rates are high,
and project documents give an occasional glimpse of women in the
bureaucracy and extension service, where they seem to be
employed in substantial numbers. Nepal presents a different
picture, with a lower literacy rate, less infrastructure, fewer
professional and paraprofessional women, and less previous
success in technology transfer.

Documents on two of the Thailand projects made no mention
whatsoever of women's roles in agriculture. In documents on the
other Asian projects, women make one brief, memorable appearance
and then disappear from view. In Burma, Thailand, and Sri
Lanka, the social soundness appendixes to the Project Papers
note in passing that land is often inherited through women and
that women manage the family money and do substantial amounts of
farm work both on their own crops and in household enterprises.
Northeast Thailand and Nepal documents also mention high rates
of male outmigration.

Yet little attempt is made in any of the project documents
to relate these facts to project design, implementation, or
evaluation. No resources are targeted to women, and there is no
indication of whether women have enjoyed equitable access to
project resources. Apparently the Asia Bureau is operating on
the assumption that resources will flow more or less equitably
through these systems and that there is no need to target
resources by gender in order to facilitate the integration of
women into the national economies. Because no evaluation
documents addressed gender issues, this was an untested
assumption until the Asian case studies were done. These
display a very mixed pattern of women's access to project
resources. At least for the Thailand Rainfed Agriculture and
Nepal cases, it is possible to say that project resource
allocation falls far below the point of constrained bliss.


Both increased agricultural production and the increased
human capital production necessary for the structural
transformation of agriculture rest on access to resources:
improved technology, increased capital, and formal education


for both men and women. Yet, as this evaluation has confirmed,
women have less access than men to all three. There is
systematic gender-based distortion in the allocation of A.I.D.
resources in the agricultural projects included in this

Nevertheless, focusing exclusively on women as victims
obscures the other reality: women have always been active and
at the center of history. The women farmers glimpsed in project
documents are energetically involved in socioeconomic
development, not only as laborers but as managers,
entrepreneurs, and the major force in the creation and
subsistence of human capital. If their contributions have been
underestimated and underresourced, this is an effect of
historical development, which it is now within our power to
correct. Lack of information on women's work has interacted
with institutional arrangements that have channeled resources
away from women. Information is no longer lacking, and such
arrangements can be changed.

Agricultural systems throughout the world are evolving, for
better or worse, under the pressure of expanding populations.
As systems change, increasing in complexity and realigning
interest groups, opportunities arise for pressing women's claims
on national resources. The International Women's Decade has
served to organize and amplify worldwide pressure for attention
to these claims.

In order to function as full partners in the household and
the nation, contributing equally to development, rural women
need greater access to productive resources. These resources
are small in number and easily understood.

Better technology for women's agricultural and
household tasks increases women's productivity and
releases time so that girls can attend school.

Improved income flows from more equitable wage
structures, together with increased income from women's
agricultural and informal sector activities, permit
women greater power in the allocation of household
resources and greater ability to invest in the health,
nutrition, and education of the next generation.

-- Availability of contraceptives permits raising a
smaller number of healthier children.

-- Education for girls encourages more productive women,
with lower fertility rates and healthier and more
productive families.



1. A.I.D. should develop a strategy paper for the
implementation of the 1982 Women in Development Policy Paper.
Such a strategy should be region specific, at least for

2. To improve agricultural project design, economic
analysis should include gender as a variable. Gender-related
cropping enterprises and income streams, as well as
gender-related differences in the opportunity costs of time,
should be described and analyzed. Handbook 3 should be amended
to include gender issues in the economic analysis as well as the
social soundness analysis.

3. Based on a disaggregated gender analysis, a strategy
should be developed for each project to ensure that appropriate
production resources reach women. The flow of resources by
gender should be monitored throughout the life of selected
projects, and its impact on both women's welfare and the
achievement of project goals should be assessed. Doing this
systematically for 5 years would give a far better idea of what
works and what does not.

4. Given the central importance of women in African
agriculture, higher levels of project resources should be
devoted to increasing their productivity, income, and quality of
life. African women themselves express a need for improved
biological and mechanical technology, and the credit to afford
it. Women also need greater access to training and professional
education to efficiently utilize their strengths. Such efforts
would have a dual impact on increasing per capital food
availability by increasing production and decreasing rates of
population growth.

5. The Asia Bureau should consider commissioning an in-
depth study of what is happening to resource flows in its
current agricultural projects. Who is receiving credit,
training, technology, and technical assistance? How equitable
and how efficient are current arrangements? Are special efforts
needed and, if so, of what nature?

6. Increased resources should be committed to overseeing
gender issues in regional bureaus and USAID Missions. The
problem is not with policy, which has been clearly articulated
s-i-nce-the-Policy Paper in 1982. The problem rests in
S implementation. Over the past 10 years, according to A.I.D.'s
reports to Congress, the budget lines devoted to this issue have
gone from less than US$1 million to more than US$59 million, yet
the regional bureaus and Missions devote no more staff resources
to gender issues in implementation now than they did then.


Incompetence in this area is becoming an increasingly expensive

7. To ensure appropriate attention to gender issues by
contractors, requests for proposals and contracts should require
inclusion of gender issues, and contractors should be held
accountable for implementing these requirements. A number of
Title XII contractors have explicitly asked that this be done in
agricultural projects so that they have clear authorization to
deal with the issue responsibly.

8. A.I.D. has invested substantial resources in developing
institutional capability on women's roles in agriculture within
Title XII universities. Regional bureaus and USAID Missions
should make better use of this capability. To a large degree,
this would happen automatically if recommendation 7 were

9. A.I.D. should seriously consider funding a cooperative
agreement, or some other appropriate mechanism, to develop a
center of technical knowledge on gender-related agricultural
project design and implementation issues. Such a center should
collect, store, and disseminate information; run training
sessions for A.I.D. and contractor personnel; and, possibly,
provide technical assistance to bureaus and Missions on request.



Agricultural Projects
West and North Africa, Asia, the Near East


1. Introduction....................................... .. A-1

2. Projects Addressing Both Men's and Women's Separate
Agricultural Production Enterprises ................. A-1

2.1 Production and Targeting of
Resources by Gender.............................. A-1

2.2 Projects Targeting Both Men's and Women's Crops
and Attempting To Deliver Appropriate Resources
to Both Sexes .................................... A-4
Naimey Department Development II.............. A-4
Mauritania Rural Development ................. A-6

2.3 Projects Targeting Both Men's and Women's Crops
but Delivering All Resources to Men.............. A-10
Upper Volta Village Livestock................. A-10
Egypt Small Farmer Production................. A-12

2.4 Projects Targeting Both Men's and Women's Crops
But With Resource Flow by Gender Unclear........ A-14
Cameroon Seed Multiplication.................. A-14
Cameroon Young Farmer Training Center.......... A-14
Tunisia Livestock Feed Production.............. A-15
Mali Crop Production............................ A-16
Operation Haute Vallee: Mali................. A-16
Lutheran World Relief: Niger................. A-16

3. Projects Affecting Systems With Pooled Household
Resources and Cropping Enterprises................... A-17

3.1 Projects in Asia ................................ A-17
Northeast Thailand Rainfed Agriculture........ A-17
Northeast Thailand Land Settlements........... A-24
Thailand Seed Development II.................. A-26
Thailand Agricultural Planning............... A-27
Mahaweli Irrigated Basin Development.......... A-28
Nepal Institute of Agricultural and Animal
Sciences ............................. .. ...... A-32
Burma Maize and Oilseed Production............. A-34

3.2 The Need for More Information................... A-35


4. Projects Targeting Resources to Women Only in
Agricultural Systems in Which Both Men and Women
Were Active......................................... A-36
Upper Volta: Women's Roles in Development.... A-36
Upper Volta: Training of Women in the Sahel.. A-36

5. Special Cases................................... .... A-38
Cameroon National Planning for Community
Development ................................ A-38
Cape Verde Water Management................... A-39
Jordan River Valley Development............... A-40




This appendix analyzes the relationship between women's
access to resources and project efficiency on a case-by-case
basis. Efficiency concepts are used to test the basic argument
made in A.I.D.'s Women in Development Policy Paper: neglect of
gender differences leads to wasted resources and diminished
returns on investment.

To permit a consistent economic analysis, the projects are
organized to reflect the difference between projects addressing
gender-distinct cropping enterprises and those targeting more
total agricultural household production systems. There are four
analytic categories:

1. Projects addressing men's and women's separate
agricultural production enterprises (10 projects)

2. Projects affecting systems in which most cropping
enterprises and resources seem to be pooled and in
which project resources may or may not be targeted by
gender (7 projects)

3. Projects in which both men and women are active in
agriculture but in which only women are targeted for
project resources (2 projects)

4. Special cases (3 projects)

Because of the nature of the sample, there were no projects
that targeted only men's crops, although the proportion of these
in the total A.I.D. portfolio is substantial.


2.1 Production and Targeting of Resources by Gender

Figure A-1 represents an agricultural project in which men
and women are primarily responsible for different cropping
enterprises. Such enterprises include production of field and




Figure A-1 Production as project begins


Q0 Q1
Figure A-3 All resources to one crop

Figure A-2 Resources equally to both crops


of men's crop

Men's crop


Women's crop

Women's crop


tree crops, vegetables, livestock, and poultry for which one sex
has principal responsibility for management and disposal of

If the project designers target productivity-increasing
inputs to men's and women's crops in amounts roughly equivalent
to those already in the system, the production possibility
frontier will shift outward with about the same shape,
indicating potential increases in production for both types of
crops (see Figure A-2). If all resources are given to either
men's or women's crops, the frontier will become bowed, with
production possibilities becoming much higher for one crop type
but not for the other. If both men's and women's crops compete
for scarce land or labor, which is likely, increased production
of one type may even reduce the resources previously available
to the other (see Figure A-3). A problem often cited in the
women-in-development literature is the investment of all
resources in men's cash crops and none in women's subsistence
crops (Boserup 1970).

When the existence of women's cropping enterprises is
completely overlooked in project documents, the inequitable
resource allocation reflected in Figure A-3 may be invisible,
but it is very real. Both the literature and practical
experience suggest that some projects in the sample were of this
kind, particularly in Africa (Cloud 1978, Carloni 1983, and
Binswager et al. 1980).

Figure A-2 illustrates an optimal solution. Resources are
directed to both types of crops equally,'with production rising
slightly more for the women's crops, which had been subject to
greater constraints. Q2 is the quantity of each crop after the
new inputs were used. A2 is the new point of total production,
which falls to the frontier near the point of constrained bliss.

Of the 10 projects in the sample clearly identifying both
men's and women's cropping enterprises, none was close to the
optimal solution. Only two were designed to deliver resources
to both men and women for their own enterprises. Even then the
resources allocated to women's crops were substantially less
than those allocated to men's. The more common pattern was to
deliver credit, technology, and training for women's cropping
enterprises to men, thus undercutting women's management roles
and income flows and making women dependent on male family
members for access to these resources.


2.2 Projects Targeting Both Men's and Women's Crops and
Attempting To Deliver Appropriate Resources to Both Sexes

Naimey Department Development II (FY 1981-1986)

The goal of this project was "to establish a village-based
technical assistance/input delivery system" in the regions
surrounding the capital of Niger. The project uses a strategy
common in Francophone Africa: training farm couples nominated
by their villages in Young Farmer Centers for several months,
providing them with credit and technical packages, and
supporting their efforts as model farmers when they return
home. In addition, village-level cooperatives were also formed
to handle credit, extension, and input necessary to increase
production. In the first phase of the project, the villagers
did not understand the purpose of the Centers, and many of the
farmers were not well chosen. During development of the second
phase, efforts were made to improve selection by focusing not
only on male farmers but also on the female member of each

Training for women was also greatly improved. During the
first phase wives had worked in the fields alongside their
husbands, but while men attended training classes on new
techniques, women ground grain and cooked. In planning the
second phase, an A.I.D. women-in-development specialist made it
clear that this arrangement was unacceptable and insisted that
the project purchase grinding mills so that the women could
attend instruction. In fact, the project went even further in
addressing women's roles by establishing a women's component
with earmarked funds and personnel slots. This component
provided for an expatriate women-in-development adviser and an
experienced Niger Animation Service counterpart to upgrade the
training of women both in the Center and when they returned
home. Male and female Peace Corps volunteers were assigned to
each center, and women extension agents were hired to work with
women in the village cooperatives. Fifty thousand dollars in
short-term credit was also earmarked for women.

The allocative efficiency of such resource investment is
based not only on women's involvement in household and human
capital production under difficult conditions, but also on their
agricultural activities. According to the Project Paper, women
manage their own crops--groundnuts, gumbo, sesame, rice, manioc,
tomatoes, chickens, sheep, and goats--and work on the family
millet and sorghum fields. They also use purchased inputs. The
Project Paper noted that in one village, all 36 sacks of
fertilizer sold the previous year had been purchased and used by
women. Women keep the cash from their own enterprises and are
responsible for specific household expenditures. There is no
mention in project documents of woman-headed households or male


outmigration. If not served by the Centers, households headed
by women could be served by the extension agents, model farms,
and cooperative activities targeted to women under the project.

To help women improve their productivity, training at the
Centers is given in the following areas:

Agricultural training, including new techniques in
millet and sorghum cultivation, vegetable gardening,
and raising of small ruminants and poultry

-- Construction of new cookstoves

Health, nutrition, and literacy

At the time of the mid-term evaluation, a drop in uranium
prices on the world market had reduced Government income and all
short-term credit had been discontinued, including the US$50,000
earmarked for women. Men still had access to longer term credit
for animal traction, but fertilizer purchases for both men and
women were constrained by the lack of short-term credit.
Despite this, the first class graduating under the new regimen
showed higher adoption rates for new technologies, and both
graduates and villagers showed considerable enthusiasm for what
they had learned. The mid-term evaluation expressed concern
that packages of new technological inputs for cereal production
were better than traditional practices only in certain zones and
in years of good rainfall. As a result, most farms were
adopting only parts of the package.

At least one parallel USAID/Niger farming system project
was working to develop locally adapted cereal production
packages, and collaboration between the two projects can be
expected. However, there was no evidence that new production
packages for women's crops were being developed or
disseminated. If improved cereal technologies are available
soon enough and the project is able to coordinate the Training
Centers and extension services into an effective system for the
delivery of new technologies, the project will be a model of
reasonably equitable resource delivery. Although women do not
seem to be receiving new inputs for their own crops, they are
receiving training in improved procedures both for their own
crops and household crops as well as household production.
Credit funds were earmarked for them, which they could invest in
their own cropping enterprises.

If cereal technology and credit are not forthcoming or the
delivery system does not prove functional, project equity
conditions may be satisfied while leaving the economic
efficiency of the strategy in doubt.

Ratings: Project Success, Likely; Benefits to Women,


Mauritania Rural Development (FY 1975-1983)

This project took a different approach to increasing
Sahelian agricultural production. Adaptive research and
extension were integrated into one project that was responsible
for a smaller geographic area. The project purpose was "to
develop and test innovations in agriculture, animal health and
nutrition, range management and forestry that are socially
acceptable to the people of Guidimaka, technically feasible and
economically viable. When convinced that the innovations are
extendable... to conduct on-farm trials and begin extension of
them to peasants and herders of the region" (Project Final
Report, p. 2).

After a false start and a change of contractors, the
project in Guidemaka was successful in substantially raising
sorghum production on demonstration fields. Through an
aggressive program of trials using seed from international
sources and the careful introduction of animal traction, sorghum
yields were increased up to 100 percent in trials on farmers'
fields. The project was also successful in increasing
cooperative vegetable production, improving animal health in
demonstration herds, and establishing demonstration tree
nurseries. Because traditional varieties of millet and corn
outperformed all imported varieties, they were retained. In
1982, after a -favorable evaluation and the decision to continue
the project, it was decided to expand these activities
throughout the region. The ability to increase production by
larger numbers of farmers at reasonable costs remains to be
demonstrated, and a second phase was being planned as this
project ended.

In the Guidemaka area, where the experiment took place, the
importance of women's traditional roles in agriculture has grown
with the increase of male migration. According to a study
commissioned by the project and quoted in the revised Project
Paper, collective fields are worked by the extended family and
both men and women also have their own fields. On the
collective fields, women performed specific planting and
harvesting tasks. On their own fields, they specialized in
peanuts, rice, cotton, indigo, and gumbo. A study quoted in the
revised Project Paper noted changes since the drought in the
early 1970s:

Women are producing more and more sorghum at the
expense of their former traditional crops (peanuts,
cotton, indigo), and in some cases the total grain
production from the women's plots was much higher than
that of the collective fields. In the Soninke system,
though the women theoretically retain rights over the
disposal of produce from their own fields, the Kagumme
(household head) may appropriate it in times of


short-fall. As collective yield production declines
through systematic loss of male labor, dipping into
women's production becomes more necessary in order to
sustain consumption levels.... The women claim that
money sent back to them is far from enough to cover
costs now that grain production has faltered and
prices have risen... and they grow millet to sell for
purchase of household necessities.... The women of
Datmange village feel that a woman whose production is
falling has no more place in the community and were
indignant that the project of the region (War on Want)
addresses men as cultivators but not women (Revised
Project Paper, p. 8).

The first Project Paper had noted women's roles only in
passing, but as the new contractor took over and the project was
reformulated, women actively took advantage of programs to
introduce cold-season vegetable gardening. With the active
support of an interested Mission Director, a comprehensive study
of women's economic roles was carried out and a women's
component was added to the project late in 1980. According to
the revised Project Paper, an expatriate and two locally
recruited Mauritanian women interpreters/rural extension agents
were to work with village women in several ways.

1. Food production. According to the Revised Project
Paper, "male technicians cannot, under local customs, work
directly with women in introducing new techniques and
technologies... but women do attend project on-farm
demonstrations where they stand around the periphery and do not
ask questions." Therefore, staff were to follow up with village
women to amplify and demonstrate production techniques set forth
at these meetings. Followup treated not only vegetables, which
had been primarily a women's crop, but also improved cereal
production methods, including animal traction. Women were not
expected to learn to plow for themselves but to understand
plowing so that they could adopt it for their own cereal fields
by hiring or exchanging male labor. Staff were also to give
some direct instruction to village women on improved practices
in cereals, vegetables, and cash crops.

2. Labor-saving technologies for food processing, storage,
and other uses. Project activities included the introduction
and demonstration of technologies such as grain threshers and
winnowers, grinders, mills, and peanut sellers. Testing,
demonstration, and training in the construction and use of
improved Lorena cookstoves were also planned. Finally,
adaptations of other unspecified technologies or techniques that
might result in increased production or labor saving were to be


3. Nutrition. With 2 months of technical assistance from
an expatriate nutrition consultant, project staff planned to
assess the current diet, inventory wild crops and new vegetables
available but not being used, decide what new foods could
reasonably be introduced to improve nutrition, develop training
materials, and teach local women how to prepare and use new

4. Credit. A revolving fund of US$7,500 was planned for
group or individual purchase of labor-saving or
production-increasing technologies such as grain threshers,
grinders, and mills.

How did this extensive and well-researched plan fare in
implementation? Unfortunately, not very well according to the
project director's final report. The expatriate
women-in-development role was filled by the spouse of one of the
project members. According to the report, the woman, who was a
microbotanist, was highly dynamic and intelligent, but not
effective at extension tasks. Again, in the project director's
estimation, only one of the six local women hired as extension
agents was competent. This constrasted starkly with the
report's portrayal of male extension workers: 15 of the 18 male
extension workers were judged competent, as were 12 of the
trainers in the use of animal-traction, 6 assistant trainers in
animal-traction, 5 vegetable gardening extension agents, and
assorted foresters, masons, carpenters, and mechanics. All male
expatriate staff members were also judged competent.

Indeed, the women's component was the only unsuccessful
aspect of the project, according to the final report. From this
distance it is hard to know what went wrong--whether there was a
blight on female competence in that part of Mauritania, or
whether there was something in the project structure or
administration that produced this sad effect. Project documents
provide only fragmentary accounts of what happened: seed
arrived late for a community rice production scheme; the women
did not buy the grinding machines; the single woman pilot farmer
did not follow directions completely.

Neither do reports indicate whether labor-saving
technologies were actually demonstrated or whether the revolving
credit fund for purchase of new technologies was ever made
operational. Apparently, the nutrition expert was never hired,
and it is not clear who offered the demonstrations on cooking
new vegetables. Cookstove demonstrations were not reported.
What is clear is that women continued to seek agricultural
information and inputs in any way they could. According to the
final report, many women continued to participate in vegetable
cooperatives and some had gotten their husbands or brothers to
plow their fields and were using new cereal seeds of recommended


The director's final report concluded that although the
project had a positive impact on women, it had not succeeded as
planned. He expressed "the hope that the second phase will do
better, as the Guidemaka women are hardworking, effective
farmers. However, I do believe that they are best approached as
part of a general extension strategy not as a separate and,
thus, excluded group" (Project Final Report, p. 34). The only
resource proposed for reaching women in this integrated way,
however, was the exclusively male extension service and project
staff, even though by the project's own accounting it is
unacceptable for staff men to work directly with women.

It is hard to see how the project can move beyond the stage
in which women observe silently from the periphery. The one
"competent" female extension agent was explicitly excluded from
the new project unless the women-in-development component was
reestablished. The director did suggest that "if a social
assistant could be assigned to work with women that would be
very good."

The Project Evaluation Summary rather tartly observed of
this strategy:

Development problems associated with women will not be
resolved by a trickle down approach involving men as
the principal actors. Women have their own fields,
their own crops, and most importantly, their own
distinctive economic and social as well as technical
problems.... The project's efforts in this area
represent its first trial in extending its activities
to a specifically targeted group. Failure in this
extension effort calls into question the project's
ability to expand its activities to a significant
number of participants without a more detailed
extension strategy (Project Evaluation Summary, p. 35).

In the planning stage this project addressed both equity
and efficiency. During implementation, women did not have
access to as many resources as men, but some constraints to
increased production were lessened. Working with male farmers
in on-farm trials may not have been inefficient for developing
improved production packages, but in the longer run, new
practices must be adopted by many farmers. Female farmers
constitute a significant portion of those farmers, and they face
different production constraints than those found on either
communal fields or men's fields.

Women's approach to plowing is different from men's because
women are not permitted to plow within this culture. This
constraint is offset by the use of traditional exchange
relationships or remittances and other income to hire labor, but
the economics of these arrangements have not been studied. The


opportunity cost of women's labor is also different. Many
household production tasks, such as grinding and cooking grains,
fetching water, and caring for children, must be done every day
if the family is to survive. Labor-reducing technologies were
intended to relax this constraint, and failure to provide them
was an allocatively inefficient use of project resources that
affected the availability of labor for food production. Access
to cash and credit for purchased inputs is also different for
men and women and may affect production in unexpected ways.

Finally, efficient use of new project resources requires
far more than demonstrations on men's fields, with women as
silent spectators. Dialogue with women farmers and adaptation
of production packages are needed in order to address women's
particular constraints as well as those that apply to men.

Ratings: Project Success, High; Benefits to Women,

2.3 Projects Targeting Both Men's and Women's Crops but
Delivering All Resources to Men

Upper Volta Livestock Project (FY 1976-1980)

This project researched all village livestock
systems--cattle, sheep, goats, and chickens--to find ways to
increase production without damage to the environment. The
Project Paper noted that 22 percent of all livestock production
was in sheep and goats and 14 percent in poultry and that the
profitability of cattle, pigs, and rabbits was low compared with
that of chickens and goats. The social soundness analysis noted
that women own the sheep, goats, and poultry and use the
proceeds for household expenses.

The project selected a small number of villages to organize
men's livestock committees and to test a variety of
interventions. Vaccination programs for cattle, sheep, and
goats were strengthened and made available to those who could
afford them. Livestock corrals were constructed to make
vaccination easier, and a system of color-coded cards was
instituted to help owners keep track of which shots their
animals had received and which they still needed. Because this
information was disseminated in totally male settings, few women
understood or used the vaccination programs for their animals.

Early in the project, an ambitious effort to increase
poultry production by housing imported breeds in new buildings
was introduced to the village men. Success depended on the
well-timed use of vaccines, medicines, and feeds, all of which
were unavailable in the project area. After 2 years and the


expenditure of substantial resources, failure was evident and
the strategy was revised to concentrate on improving backyard

An appendix to the mid-term evaluation provides an
excellent analysis of what promised to be the greater economic
efficiency of this revised strategy, which put poultry back
under women's control. Families were instructed to build roosts
and fences near their houses, and livestock committees were
given six improved cocks to crossbreed with local chickens. In
order to increase chicken and egg production enough to raise
income, the crossbreeding had to be continued through several
generations and the chickens had to be vaccinated. Men built
the necessary roosts and fences, but the first six cocks arrived
just as the project was discontinued. The necessary vaccines
never arrived, although the contractor tried to arrange for the
Government or another donor to provide them. Within a year, the
new cocks died and what should have been an efficient strategy
died with them. Instead, resources had been spent on a
technically and economically inefficient strategy that was
actively harmful to women's control over resources. By the time
the mistake was corrected, the only resource left was six
roosters for each village.

While the poultry project was being revised, Title XII
contractors brought in a social scientist who spent 3 months
working with village women to study their livestock production
needs and assist them in forming a parallel livestock committee
to present those needs to project personnel. In the project's
final report, the social scientist presented the following

-- Women were actively interested in project participation
and knew what they needed and wanted.

Women could be organized into religious/ethnic
subgroups to send representatives to a women's
livestock council that interacted effectively with
project personnel.

Male permission for and approval of women's activities
were necessary and possible to achieve.

Women wanted subprojects separate from men's to protect
their benefit flows.

Unfortunately, the project was discontinued before any of
these insights were incorporated, and actual project resource
allocation did not satisfy equity conditions. The project was
also highly questionable in terms of economic efficiency.
Concentration on cattle and lack of communication with women
about management of sheep and goats reduced the allocative


efficiency of the livestock interventions. The poultry
component was a waste of resources and time. Earlier formation
of women's livestock committees could have increased the
efficiency of both livestock and poultry interventions.

Ratings: Project Success, Mixed, Moderate; Benefits to
Women, Low

Egypt Small Farmer Production (FY 1979-1985)

This project aimed to improve the income and productivity
of small farmers by strengthening the capabilities of the
Egyptian Bank for Development and Agricultural Credit (PBDAC),
the main source of agricultural inputs and the only
institutional source of production credits for Egypt's 3 million
small farmers. PBDAC was responsible for providing credit and
inputs to farmers and for purchasing certain cereal crops. All
farmers deal with the bank on a cash or credit basis for
fertilizer, cotton-seed for animal feed, and other critical
inputs. But farmers complained of late and inefficient
deliveries of inputs, insufficient short-term loan funds, and
lack of availability of medium- and long-term credit.

The project attempted to address these problems through a
pilot effort providing technical assistance, training, and
US$12.4 million for increased credit through 27 village branch
banks in three different areas. Extension efforts were to be
intensified for farms receiving loans, and farm records were to
be kept. It was assumed that most resources would go into
cereal crops, although livestock and vegetable producers were
also eligible for loans. Loan procedures were greatly
simplified, and emphasis in evaluating loan applications was
shifted from collateral to the profitability of the enterprise.
Nevertheless, borrowers were required to hold cultivated land,
either as owners or tenants, thus effectively excluding many
women farmers.

After 3 years of implementation, both internal and external
evaluations concluded that the project had significant impact on
the availability and productivity of credit in the project areas
and had shown that an active extension program does result in
increased production. Contrary to expectation, however, 84.7
percent of the loans had been used for livestock production,
principally broiler chickens (34.9 percent) and buffalos and
dairy cows (33.5 percent). Only 2.3 percent went to field crop
production. Thus, increased production occurred almost entirely
in women's crops, although credit, inputs, and technical
assistance were all given primarily to men.

The Project Paper, while not anticipating this outcome, had
noted that


Women's role in animal husbandry, fieldwork, food
processing and marketing touches many of the-areas
where project efforts to raise income and production
will be made. The inability of male extension workers
to reach and convince women can pose a significant
barrier to technological innovation. While this
problem cannot be addressed in this project... ongoing
social analysis under this project will examine the
role of women in farm management and help to identify
medium-term loan opportunities that will increase the
income of farm women, including such ventures as
poultry and livestock fattening, collecting and
marketing of produce and improvements in home storage
facilities (Project Paper, p. 23).

According to the external evaluation, however, such
ongoing social analysis was not provided for in project
agreements, and the socioeconomic survey funded by the
project neglected the role of women in Egyptian
agriculture. Evaluators also observed that the statement
"provision of extension services to female farmers cannot
be addressed by the project" supported an inequitable
distribution of training in the use of newly available
technologies. According to the evaluators,

Farm women have taken over responsibility for small
chicken batteries and imported livestock purchased by
their husbands but there has been little, if any,
interaction between these women and extension
personnel. The assumption is made that women already
know how to take care of chickens and cows and further
training is not necessary. Other experience has shown
this assumption [to be] false. Disease transmission,
for example, is heightened by confinement of animals
in close quarters. Without proper training the owner
of a small 96 bird battery could find herself wiped
out overnight with disastrous consequences (Project
Evaluation, p. 53).

This lack of training reduces not only technical
efficiency but equity as well. Evaluators noted that

Income from dairy and poultry are considered a woman's
income and are central to maintenance of household
expenditure patterns. There is danger of undercutting
this important source in projects such as the chicken
batteries, where women continue to care for poultry
but both extension and marketing operations are
handled by the male heads of household. Here women
are being cut out of the development process (Project
Evaluation, p. 42).


Shifts in the control of income away from women is less
likely on farms where male migration to the Gulf states has
already left women as de facto farm managers, often with power
of attorney to borrow for the farm in their husband's name.
Because livestock is women's traditional work and field crops
require costly male labor, women managers find investment of
their own unpaid management and labor in livestock production
relatively more profitable than their husbands would.
Government pricing policy also favors production of poultry and
livestock rather than cereal crops. An interesting question is
the degree to which gender amplifies the effects of Government
price and marketing policies in shifting farm investment to
livestock production. Unfortunately, the answer will not be
clarified by this project because loans are made to male family
heads whether or not they are in the country, and farm records
were not designed to include information on livestock production.

Ratings: Project Success, High; Benefits to Women, Mixed

2.4 Projects Targeting Both Men's and Women's Crops but With
Resource Flow by Gender Unclear

Cameroon Seed Multiplication (FY 1976-1983)
Cameroon Young Farmer Training Center (FY 1977-1982)
The purpose of the seed multiplication project in the
poorer and dryer areas of Northern Cameroon was "to increase per
hectare yield of sorghum and peanuts by establishing and
institutionalizing a self-sustaining regional system for
production, distribution and use of improved seeds and thereby
reduce food scarcities, improve nutrition, decrease seed
importation and increase rural incomes" (Project Paper).

Improved sorghum and peanut seeds were to be tested and
multiplied at three centers and distributed to cooperating
farmers who would produce larger amounts for sale. Packages of
improved practices using the new seeds would be disseminated by
extension agents, radio, and a leaflet campaign. In addition,
40 couples per year were to be trained as model farmers in a
Young Farmer Training Center.

The Project Paper gave very little attention to the gender
division of cropping enterprises. The only two sentences in the
document that deal with it noted that women control "the
household financial affairs and have great freedom of action
within their own small domain. They sell the surplus of their
food crops and their husband's, according to the handbook,
neither know nor care how much money women earn or spend."


The Training Center, funded as a separate project, included
a slot for a home economist to work with women, but there was no
indication of what agricultural training was intended for
women. The results of various seed trials were to be
disseminated to both men and women, and the Young Farmer
Training Center was to reach both.

Not until a special evaluation study in 1982 did someone
realize that women's "small domain" included responsibility for
the peanut crop. But this was mentioned only once, in a
footnote to an appendix; it seems unlikely that it became a
central issue in selecting farmers for seed multiplication,
directing the extension campaign, providing seed purchase
subsidies, or selecting agronomists and extension personnel for
further training. Although the documents do not indicate how
project resources were allocated by gender, the extension system
is overwhelmingly male. It seems reasonable to assume that men
received a substantial proportion of the resources directed to a
traditionally female cropping enterprise. To the degree that
this happened, neither equity nor efficiency conditions were
satisfied. The efficiency of the entire project was questioned
in the final evaluation: large quantities of seed were
produced, but the varieties became less and less pure because
on-farm management did not meet professional standards.

Ratings: Project Success, Mixed; Benefits to Women,

Tunisia Livestock Feed Production (FY 1976-1983)

This institution-building project provided training and
technical assistance to strengthen the capability of the
Tunisian Office of Livestock Production to reach small farmers
with modern technologies in forage production, animal nutrition,
and livestock management. With these resources, small farmers
would be able to increase meat and milk production and raise
income and nutrition levels. Principal project resources were
training and technical assistance for Tunisian staff.

The Project Paper noted that women participate actively in
paid and unpaid agricultural labor, especially forage
production, and that on family farms they have principal
responsibility for feeding and milking cows and for dairy
processing. More than 5 percent of full-time daily workers and
some livestock entrepreneurs are women. Nevertheless, the
Project Paper made no explicit connections between women's roles
and extension planning or allocation of other resources. Women
with in-country vocational agriculture training were assigned to
the extension program, but mid-term and final evaluations
complained that they were being used as clerical help and urged
that they be assigned to field extension. Out-of-country
training was apparently given only to men. A few widows
reportedly did adopt the new technologies.


This project should have worked better than it did, given
the strong support of the Government of Tunisia for women's
participation in the modernizing economy. The presence of
trained women on the extension staff is a reflection of
Government policy to recruit and train women for suchpositions.
Why women's skills were not being appropriately used is not
clear. A.I.D./Washington kept raising the issue, but responses
to questions about the structure of the delivery system referred
instead to three widows whose farms were doing quite well under
the project. It is unclear whether the vast majority of women
involved in dairy production on family farms had access to
project resources. Therefore, no firm judgment on project
equity and efficiency is possible here. It does seem that the
investment in the training of the Tunisian women
agriculturalists could have been more efficiently managed by a
more appropriate use of these women's skills.

Ratings: Project Success, High; Benefits to Women, Low

Mali Crop Production (FY 1976-1983)
Operation Haute Vallee: Mali (FY 1979-1983)

These two projects were executed in Sahelian farming
systems similar to those described for the Niamey (Niger) and
Mauritania projects. In these farming systems women are very
active in their agricultural enterprises as well as contributing
to the production of the extended household. Both projects were
implemented through host country contracts, and although women's
agricultural roles were mentioned briefly in Project Papers,
there is no information on what attention was paid to their
roles in implementation. Both projects had other serious
implementation problems and did not reach project goals.

Ratings: Project Success, Low; Benefits to Women,
Unclear, Probably Low

Lutheran World Relief Subproject: Niger (1978-1985)

In contrast to the Mali projects, this small project,
implemented by a private voluntary organization, was very
successful in assisting nomadic groups to make the transition to
settled agriculture after the Sahelian drought of the
mid-1970s. Unfortunately, no planning documents are available;
the evaluation describes results, but not how they were
achieved. The project supplied simple materials and technical
assistance to people in several villages to construct their own
wells, to fence gardens, to plant trees for firewood, and to
grow vegetables and cereal crops. Although the delivery system
was not described in detail, the evaluation notes that resources
were deployed efficiently and that women received a fair share.

Ratings: Project Success, High; Benefits to Women,
Probably High



3.1 Projects in Asia

There has been a gradual increase in knowledge of Asian
women's agricultural roles, and it is now more commonly accepted
that many women, especially in poorer households, are
agricultural producers. In many systems there are specific
women's tasks, such as transplanting, but in general, the
division of labor seems relatively flexible. Many farm
households are thought to pool their resources and to allocate
them through either joint decision-making or the decisions of
the household head. Much of the early research using the farm
household utility function was performed in the Philippines,
Java, and Malaysia where the model seems to fit the reality
reasonably well. The idea that women may be responsible for
separate cropping enterprises, or that they may generate and
dispose of nonpooled income streams, is new to Asian research,
and there is as yet little empirical data on these questions in
the Asian literature.

The degree to which allocation of project resources permits
an approach to constrained bliss is much more difficult to judge
in the Asia projects because of lack of data and because the
issues are often more subtle. Where there is strong gender
specialization in production, or where migration patterns leave
women with major decision-making responsibilities, efficiency
arguments for women's access to resources are more plausible.
To the degree that resources are effectively pooled and
redistributed within the household, it is more difficult to make
short-term efficiency arguments for women's direct access to
project resources when the cost of delivery to women appears to
exceed the immediate production gains. There may be powerful
equity arguments for women's independent access to resources,
and it can be argued that there are also longer term efficiency
gains to the process of agricultural development.

In the following paragraphs, the efficiency and equity of
project resource allocation will be explored on a case-by-case
basis, to the degree that the data permit. Discussion of the
Thailand Northeast Rainfed Agriculture and Mahaweli Irrigated
Resettlement projects will draw primarily from the on-site
studies carried out as part of the evaluation.

Northeast Thailand Rainfed Agriculture Project (FY 1981-1988)

The Northeast contains about one-third of the land area and
population of Thailand but almost two-thirds of the population


lives in "absolute poverty" (below US$120 annually in 1979,
according to the World Bank). The land is hilly and the soils
are characterized by high acidity, low fertility, and poor
water-holding capacity. Rainfall is erratic and flooding
common. Until recently, there has been a shortage of
well-trained extension personnel, and market information and
farming inputs have been in short supply. There is some cash
crop production, but farms have concentrated on subsistence-
based survival strategies that minimize purchased inputs and
have relied on short- and long-term migration of family members
for generating cash income. As a result, there are seasonal
labor constraints in the farming systems.

This project is one of several designed to improve living
conditions in the area. According to the Project Paper, the
major objective of the project is "to address the needs of the
rural poor in Northeast Thailand by establishing in 8
subdistricts a replicable, area-based agricultural technology
development system for increasing productivity and farm incomes
in rainfed agricultural zones" (Project Paper, p.l). Major
components of the project are (1) elaboration, demonstration,
and extension of improved farming practices; (2) improvement of
the extension system and its linkage to research; (3)
establishment of a process for matching the Government's
technology development programs with farmers' needs and
problems; and (4) improvement of the land and water resource
base (Project Paper, part l.B).

Eight districts were selected to reflect the agro-climatic
diversity, and village-level specialist farmers were identified
in each. Project staff are to evaluate the range of possible
new crops, cultivation practices, and technology that might be
introduced into the system, and test the most promising.
Project staff are then to share their findings with the
specialist farmers, who test their applicability to the real
world and demonstrate them to the rest of the village.

In the low-terrace area, rice production is to be increased
through greater fertilizer use, and pre- and post-rice cash
crops such as vegetables, watermelon, peanuts, sesame, and mung
beans are to be increased. In the middle-terrace areas,
different combinations of traditional and improved rice
varieties are suggested, along with increased fertilizer use and
mechanical weeders and seeders. In the high-terrace areas, new
cash crops such as peanuts, mung beans, and sesame area to
alternate with the existing cash crops of cassava and kenaf.
Poultry and livestock production are also to be improved through
vaccinations, medicines, hatcheries, and improved forage
production on common lands.

As noted in the social science annex of the Project Paper,
women play major roles in all sectors of the household economy.


Agricultural households are still heavily matrilocal, and land
is inherited primarily through women. Through their land
rights, women also have access to credit. The division of labor
is relatively flexible, with women contributing between 30 and
50 percent of the agricultural labor. Wages for men and women
are roughly equal in local labor markets, but in urban areas
wage rates favor men. This undoubtedly contributes to the
higher rates of male outmigration. Percentages of woman-headed
households range between 5 percent and 33 percent in the eight
villages. Women market most of the household's production,
although men may market some of the major cash crops such as
cassava or kenaf. In any event, women have primary
responsibility for managing the household income. In Palmer's
A.I.D.-funded study of the project area (1982), both men and
women stated that they make decisions jointly. In the same
study, both men and women also expressed a preference for female
extension agents because they were thought to be more
conscientious and knowledgeable.

Yet despite women's management roles and their
traditionally high degree of control of resources, the project
has excluded them from direct access to resources of almost
every kind--not only inputs but also information. Few women
attend the field days held on the demonstration farms, both
because of the timing and, according to the case study, because
female farmers are rarely invited. Most of the demonstration
farmers are men, thus depriving the project of feedback on the
applicability of the recommendations to woman-headed
households. Women are excluded from off-site training on all
crops except silkworms; they are excluded from on-site poultry
training and co-ops because "they bring children who are
disruptive at meetings (Blanc-Szanton et al., p. 21). Such
exclusion has substantial effects on project efficiency.

The farming systems are poor and complex, the innovations
are many, complex, and not always compatible. Therefore farmers
must exercise considerable judgment in adapting and managing the
innovations. In the first 3 years of implementation, the green
manure crops (cowpeas and mung beans in particular) have been
successfully adopted. Planting peanuts before rice shows
promise, but all pre-rice crops have problems with late
planting. New rice varieties have received little fertilizer
inputs to date. Post-rice crops that are deep-rooted, of short
duration, or drought resistant and vegetables with supplemental
water (watermelon, pumpkin) are doing well but have serious
marketing problems.

Farming system data in project documents and the case study
make it clear that the proposed innovations require an enormous
increase in farming labor and that labor constraints are
depressing productivity, particularly during April, May, and
June. According to the project case study cited above, the


operations most often found lacking were land preparation and
planting of pre- and post-rice crops (e.g., deep planting of
peanut or direct-sown rice seeds, plant spacing for direct-sown
rice, planting on ridges for sesame and in rows and beds for
baby corn), activities largely performed by women; hand-weeding,
also largely women's work; and applications of fertilizer and
pesticides, which is done by women when men are absent.

New equipment for both men's and women's tasks, channeled
into the household through the male head, is not being used
regularly by the women when they perform the tasks. Such
equipment includes hand-tractors for land preparation, hand
weeders, jab-planters for tilling, and upland crop planters for
accurate crop spacing. Due to male outmigration and increased
labor demand, young women are now plowing with their carabaos,
but they are not using the tractors. The reasons for this
pattern are not clear.

Women's lack of technical information is clearly
contributing to inefficient use of fertilizers and pesticides.
The project has worked hard to identify the best and least
expensive combinations of fertilizers to correct the serious
fertility problems. The recommendations include liming for
long-term effects on acidity, combined with green and animal
manures, composts, and careful use of commercial fertilizers.
Use of such complex recommendations demands that farmers be
trained to monitor the soils very carefully and make complex
judgments about when to do what. Pest problems present similar
complexity. Because the Northeast is characterized by very
specific and localized pest problems that differ from year to
year, farmers are being trained to identify and monitor the pest
populations in their fields and to anticipate, given weather and
rainfall conditions, what pests are likely and what pesticides
to use preventively.

Although women allocate the cash for purchasing pesticides
and fertilizers, and do much of the application, they are not
receiving this training and do not have the necessary
information on which to base judgments about purchase and use.
According to the case study, the current approach to pesticides
is simplistic, often inappropriate, poses dangers of toxic
contamination of food, and uses poor spraying technology and
techniques. Cases were cited of women spraying pesticides above
the leaves instead of below, with poor results for the crop, and
of spraying while pregnant and nursing, which is dangerous for
both mother and child. Increasing women's information about use
of modern fertilizer and pest control techniques would
undoubtedly contribute to safer and more efficient use of

Crop marketing is another area of project intervention. A
special report was issued on vegetable marketing after early


gains in production glutted local markets. The report
recommended farmer-merchant meetings, encouragement of group
buying and selling, better local processing of perishable items,
a better understanding of national markets for easily
transportable crops such as onions and garlic, and regular
distribution of collected price data to farmers. Nowhere in the
report was it acknowledged that the farming, processing, and
marketing of vegetables, as well as group procurement, are often
women's enterprises or that women play key roles in deciding
which vegetables to plant and when. The first of the
farmer-merchant meetings in 1984 does not appear to have
included women, and there is no indication that they will be
included in future activities.

Village water resource management represents the single
largest item in the project budget because water is a serious
constraint on productivity. It is important to manage heavy
runoff from rain to keep paddies at the proper moisture
throughout the growing season and to increase the dry season
availability of water so that other crops such as vegetables,
watermelon, and tobacco can be produced. Diversion weirs are
being constructed to manage runoff. Two have been completed
with communal labor and others are planned.

Fifteen hundred modified shallow wells are being dug on
farmer's fields to improve production of early dry season
vegetable crops through bucket irrigation. Although neighboring
farmers can use the well, the major advantage goes to the fields
nearest the well. Because selection of the area for each well
site is done by the village headmen and the location on the farm
is selected by the male household head, the case study found
systematic socioeconomic and gender distortions in the
distribution of the first 492 wells. Poorer and woman-headed
households had much less chance for siting a well on their
property. In siting the well within the farm, priorities for
male cash crops, such as tobacco, often override considerations
of irrigation for vegetables or water for domestic use.

Poultry and livestock production are also targeted for
improvement by the project through vaccinations and improved
feed and forage production. Backyard production of chickens and
ducks has long been a female responsibility, but when village
poultry committees were formed and specialized training was
given, it was men, and a few young single women, who received
the training. Among the specialist chicken-producing households
that received hatched chickens, vaccinations, medicine, and
training, the women continue to do the daily feeding and
cleaning, while men concentrate on more intermittent technical
aspects such as vaccinations. The case study concluded that
while women are still active participants in chicken farming,
they are losing their former control over the activity as
backyard production becomes larger scale chicken production.


Both men's and women's labor inputs rise, but most women are
excluded from training on the use of the new technical inputs.

By late 1984 there were also 1,080 farmers, predominantly
men, trained as farmer specialists in the care of cattle and
buffalo. They were responsible for vaccinations, parasite
control, and advice on improved forage cultivation. Village
fish ponds and private fish farmer specialists are also
receiving improved fingerlings and technical assistance. Again,
males received the inputs and training, but women provide much
of the labor. The case study concluded that while both men and
women share in the economic benefits of the poultry, fish, and
livestock outputs, technology transfers in each case directly
favored men.

By contrast, women's traditional sericulture activities
were targeted for both technical assistance and improved
inputs. The quality of current production for family use is low
for several reasons: use of local varieties of mulberry and
silk worms, poor cultivation methods of both trees and larvae,
and low priority in use of resources. It was projected that
with improved quality and appropriate marketing support, silk
production could provide a substantial source of income.

However, this component of the project has been
particularly slow to start, and the technology introduced at the
first training sessions was not appropriate. The first training
sessions were held in 1984 for specialist farmers, the most
important being a 25-day session, which was held at a
considerable distance from home and during the busy rice growing
season. More than half the women left the session at mid-point
because they were urgently needed on the farms and did not
believe that the technology was workable. Those who persisted
and began production with the improved inputs had difficulty
with the design of the rearing rooms and with high mortality
rates among the delicate hybrid silk worms. Some of the tambons
do not have enough land to plant the new mulberry trees, and the
marketing issue has not yet been addressed. The case study
concludes that the one activity specifically aimed at women
farmers has not yet developed successful inputs and has so far
had very limited outputs.

The most striking aspect of the picture that emerges from
the case study is the asymmetry between the powerful role of
women in the traditional production system and their exclusion
from the formal systems for delivery of new resources. Although
women inherit the land, do much of the marketing, manage the
money, and exert considerable power over decisions on
investments in cropping enterprises and allocation of labor,
women have little direct contact with the project. Both the
host country and donor project professional staff are men, and
two-thirds of the Ministry of Agriculture extension staff are


men. Much of the demonstration takes place on the fields of
specialist farmers, in what appears to be a male context. There
is no specific mandate for outreach to women, and both the time
and the setting of current extension activities seem to work
against women's participation. Despite the assumption in the
Project Paper that "there are no socio-cultural barriers against
women's involvement in any agricultural activity" (Annex VII,
pp. 16-17), Boserup's description of women's exclusion from
productivity-increasing technologies fits the reality of the
project delivery system.

What is going on in the rest of the agricultural system?
Are households redistributing productive resources internally?
From the information in the case study, it appears that women
gain access to the use of certain productivity-increasing inputs
(e.g., improved poultry stock) but lose control over the
enterprise. These shifts may influence the control of
gender-related income flows, and these in turn may influence the
household decision-making process, but this issue is still very
cloudy in the Asian context. In the short run, women appear to
be gaining neither access to nor control over the new mechanical

The degree of intrahousehold transfer of information is
unclear. The case study expresses the view that while some
information is undoubtedly shared between husband and wife, it
is unlikely that all observations and steps in the manual
operations would be shared unless they were perceived as very
problematic. The case study gives the example of an excellent
farmer who had been planting her root crop stock incorrectly
(sideways instead of straight), until her husband, who happened
to be bringing her the roots, saw this and corrected her. The
mistake had cost her half of the previous year's crop. The Thai
author on the study also noted problems with field trials when
the husbands migrated temporarily to the Middle East and left
their wives in charge of the demonstration plots without
sufficient information on the new techniques.

Because the functioning of the private sector is not
addressed in either the project documents or the case study, it
is difficult to assess the interaction between the new resources
and the local economy. Clearly, if the planned increases in
production are to be maintained, marketing problems will have to
be solved. The rapid growth of male migration to the Gulf
states is increasing the amount of cash available for purchased
inputs while reducing the supply of available labor. How this
will affect gender patterns of technology use over time is
unclear--whether women will begin to use the new plows and
weeders or whether they will hire male labor for some operations.

The case study expresses concern that cropping
recommendations, by increasing the demand on women's time when


it is already stretched to the limit, may have negative
consequences on child care, child nutrition, and the general
well being of the household. In the case of the poultry coops,
women's child care responsibilities were clearly in conflict
with their ability to access project resources. Improved
household technologies and child care facilities could relieve
much of this pressure, and women expressed an interest in
cooperative day care facilities for families without
grandparents available for child care. It is also important to
understand the constraint to women's increased use of
agricultural technology and how to relieve it, to the extent

The case study noted both equity and efficiency effects of
the project resource flow patterns. Because women are not being
included as full participants in project implementation, they
are falling behind in technological known-how and control of
their environment. They are failing to gain access to control
over important new resources and may be losing control of
traditional enterprises such as poultry production and crop
marketing. At the same time, the new technologies are placing
unrealistically high labor requirements on their shoulders. By
cutting itself off from dialogue and feedback with women, who
are the majority of economic actors in the area, the project has
lost an important asset. Because of failure to use women's
knowledge and creative insights or to gain their full
cooperation and commitment, diminished returns on project
investments seem likely.

Evidently, the problem is not confined to this project. In
1980 the recently formed Thai National Commission on Women's
Affairs, commenting on a series of in-depth studies on the needs
of Tahi women, noted that "Women in the rural areas, the
majority of them farmers, urgently asked to improve their
techniques and technical know-how for their agricultural work.
Therefore... in the next five year plan particular attention
will be given to projects which will directly link with
agricultural work for women in rural areas" (World Conference of
the U.N. Decade for Women, 1980).

Ratings: Project Success, Mixed, Too Soon to Judge Fully;
Benefits to Women, Low

Northeast Thailand Land Settlements (FY 1979-1984)

This project also took place in Northeast Thailand, in
areas with much the same farming systems and much the same
gender patterns of roles, responsibilities, and migration
patterns as the Rainfed Agriculture project. Because this
project was targeted to recent resettlement areas,
infrastructure in the impact area was less well developed than


in the Rainfed Agriculture project. This project was directed
to eight settlement areas characterized by lack of land title,
inadequate water resources and physical infrastructure, lack of
farmer organizations, poorly staffed and trained extension
services, and farmer ignorance of improved agricultural
technologies. In order to stabilize land tenure, land
registration certificates were to be issued. The Department of
Public Welfare was to supervise the building of 250 kilometers
of roads and 250 water resource projects and the training and
assignment of 221 new extension agents. These extension agents
were to organize 300 farmer groups, which would help plan and
initiate the subprojects and receive agricultural information
and inputs. The only reference to women in the planning
document specifically mentions that they are not targeted as
members of these organizations.

Since the project focuses exclusively on land
utilization [which is not the case: ed.], the unit
that utilizes land, i.e. the family, is the
organizational unit to be dealt with. In the Thai
culture, the man, if present, is usually the
representative of this unit, but there are families
where few or no men are present, or are absent during
the dry season. The project will improve the
potential for women to become gainfully employed,
especially in the schemes of intensive agriculture
supported by small-scale water projects (Project
Paper, p. G-9).

An implementation audit carried out in November 1983 by
A.I.D.'s Office of the Inspector General found that after a
2-year startup delay, steady progress had been made in extension
activities and road construction. At the time of the audit, 63
extension agents, 378 farm leaders, and 1,886 pilot farmers were
involved in project activities. Agricultural demonstrations
were underway in all eight settlements, 7,404 of a targeted
25,000 farmers had been issued land certificates, and 26 soil
and water conservation projects were operating in seven

However, the water projects, the one program benefiting
women, were not doing well. None of the five water subprojects
visited had been built to specifications. Water runoff tanks
were mislocated in all five sites. In the three villages where
rain runoff tanks were constructed, only 8 of 31 tanks were
capable of holding water. In another village, a concrete-lined

has no visible catchment area; it can only be filled
by rainfall directly into it.... Monks from a nearby
temple in an attempt to fill the pond had laid
temporary pipes from a nearby roadway, but this only


caused the entry of small amounts of very muddy
water.... The potential utility of the pond for
drinking or raising fish is highly questionable. It
is also a safety hazard because the slope of the
concrete sides is steep, and a person falling in might
have difficulty getting out (Audit Report Memorandum,
p. 3).

In addition, the water and road construction sites were not
selected on the basis of the original needs criteria--8 of the
33 sites actually had surplus water for drinking, household, and
livestock use, and only 1 site was deficient in all three
areas. The new road was barely being used. The audit
criticized the. USAID/Thailand Mission engineers for failing to
participate in final site inspection and recommended much closer
supervision of construction.

There is no mention of gender in the implementation study
and no way of knowing the costs and benefits to women of project
interventions. There is no indication of whether land was being
registered in the name of the husband, the wife, or jointly, and
no indication of the nature or effects of the agricultural
innovations being introduced. With respect to efficiency, it
could be argued that including the user perspectives of women in
the farmer organizations that participated in the planning and
execution of the water projects would have improved them. It
could scarcely have made them worse.

Ratings: Project Success, Moderate, Mixed; Benefits to
Women, Low

Thailand Seed Development II (FY 1982-1987)

This is an institution-building project designed to support
the access of Thai farmers to high-quality seed. In traditional
Thai agriculture, improved seed varieties were exchanged between
close relatives or bartered, but as new high-yielding varieties
are developed farmers who can afford to purchase them have a
distinct production advantage. In an effort to ensure that such
seed will be widely available, the Government is supporting
improved seed production, promotion, and marketing through both
the public and private sectors. Much of this project is devoted
to overseas training of senior staff in the Ministry of
Agriculture Seed Division and to on-site training of public and
private sector seed personnel. Contract seed-producing farmers
and extensionists are also to receive short-term training, and
media campaigns to promote the use of improved seed are to be
mounted. Finally, a vegetable seed processing center is to be
established at Chiang Mai, and 250 farmers will be trained to
produce high-yielding varieties and to demonstrate them to other


Gender is only briefly mentioned in the project plan when
it is noted that "effects of different rice seeds on women are
subtle and have not been investigated. Because they plant and
harvest, flexibility in timing would be helpful to them." There
is no mention of women's predominance in vegetable production
and no discussion of the gender of the contract farmer or the
seed customers. There seems to be an implicit assumption that
the resources will be efficiently and equitably distributed.
With no evaluation documentation available, the assumption
remains untested.

Ratings: Project Success, Unknown; Benefits to Women,

Thailand Agricultural Planning Project (FY 1981-1984)

The purpose of the project was to strenghten the
capabilities of the Ministry of Agriculture's Office of
Agricultural Economics to carry out its rapidly increasing
planning and project preparation work. Over the past decade the
office had grown substantially in size and responsibility, but
its responsibilities were in danger of outrunning its
capabilities in policy advisement, problem identification and
analysis, planning, data management, and integrated project
preparation functions. In its early stages, the project was to
concentrate its attention on the Northeast, with the expectation
that when fully strengthened, the office would be in a position
to assist the Ministry to plan and administer its resources
nationally for the benefit of low-income rural households.

The project proposed to support the training of 5 staff
members overseas at the Ph.D. level, 10 at the Master's level in
Thailand, and 8-10 at the Master's level elsewhere in Asia. In
addition, four full-time advisers and several short-term
advisers would be placed in the Ministry to provide training and
technical assistance in problem identification and project
formulation, data methods improvement, and research and modeling
efforts. Areas of particular concern were statistical modeling
of Thai commodity markets and of the linkages between farm and
nonfarm sectors. There was also a need to improve the
collection and analysis of data in the annual farm survey,,which
includes farm-level production and consumption data.

With regard to the role of women, the Project Paper stated:

The longer-term project benefits will serve large
portions of the farm population, men and women alike.
The [Office of Agricultural Economics] staff itself
includes 93 women within the total professional staff
of over 200. However, women are most significantly
represented at the level of the Bachelor's degree; 29


of the 31 staff members with advanced degrees are
men. Therefore the [project] will explore the
possibilities and work toward the enhancement of the
professional role of women within the [Office of
Agricultural Economics] (Project Paper, p. 34).

Because there are no available implementation or evaluation
documents, there is no way of knowing how much training women
actually received, but it seems likely that they received a
reasonable share. The issue of gender disaggregation of data in
the farm surveys or other data used for planning purposes was
not addressed, and there is no way of knowing whether increasing
the number of highly trained women in the planning office will
increase attention to gender issues in agricultural planning and

Ratings: Project Success, Likely; Benefits to Women,

Mahaweli Irrigated Basin Development, Sri Lanka (FY 1977-1986)

The Mahaweli Basin Development Program of the Government of
Sri Lanka is an extremely large and complex river basin
development scheme utilizing more than US$2 billion from several
international donors, as well as substantial national
resources. The program involves damming the Mahaweli Ganga, the
country's longest river, and gradually developing a series of
irrigated resettlement schemes in the sparsely settled dry
zone. The newly irrigated land is to increase national
production of rice, create employment, and provide a higher
quality of life to settlers from the more densely populated wet
zone. The program has been underway for a number of years.

A master plan that allocated responsibility among donors
was prepared in 1975 by the World Bank, and long-term donor
involvement has been based on that plan. A.I.D.'s current
involvement consists of two projects in support of canal
construction, and a general sector support loan. The evaluation
sample included an earlier irrigation and water management
research project. The on-site case study (Benson and Emmert)
and this discussion are based on the total development effort in
System B, where A.I.D.'s current projects are being implemented,
as well as a discussion of System H, established in 1976, where
A.I.D.'s earlier efforts took place and resettlement is more
fully accomplished.

Project implementation requires clearing large areas of
jungle, creating dams and irrigation systems, surveying and
leveling fields, selecting farm families, and creating an
extensive infrastructure including communities, roads, wells,
health facilities, and training centers. The Mahaweli Authority


also provides agricultural inputs, credit, extension advice, and
marketing services.

Prior to the irrigation schemes, the economy of the area
was based on two kinds of agriculture: (1) shifting dryland
(chena) cultivation of millet, pulses, and vegetables and (2)
tank-irrigated paddy production. Women played the greater role
in chena cultivation, men in paddy, but both men and women were
involved in each type of production. Project roles were quite
flexible, but, in general, men cleared land for chena and did
some of the sowing and weeding. Women participated in rice
harvesting, threshing, and post-harvest processing, as well as
cooking, fetching water and firewood, and child care. Men and
women sometimes earned income independently through crop
marketing and cottage industries and agricultural labor, but,
according to interviews carried out for the case study, income
has always been pooled and managed by either the husband or wife
with substantial joint participation.

Chena land was governed by use rights, while title to paddy
land was inherited by men and women. Traditionally all
marriages are'classified as diga (virilocal) or binna
(uxorilocal or matrilocal). Binna marriages, in which the
husband comes to live with a land-owning wife or her family,
were common. In such a case the married daughter, not her
husband, would inherit the land. Land was often given to a
daughter. During the colonial period, women's land rights began
to erode because tenants were required to name a single heir.
This rule prevails in the inheritance of new irrigated plots in
the settlement areas. For settlers from the wet zone, land is
allotted only to male household heads. Nevertheless, because
prior residents of the area and those evacuated from flooded
areas are entitled to receive land regardless of gender, by
April 1985, 1,179 out of 5,866 (or nearly 30 percent) of the
assignees of irrigated plots were women, according to the
manager of System B (Benson and Emmert). According to the case
study, about 30 percent of the irrigated farms in the project
area are managed by women. Some are widows, but many have
husbands who are employed by the Government or run businesses.

The project allots small farms, usually 2 acres of
irrigated land and 1/2 acre for homestead, to voluntary settlers
from different parts of Sri Lanka. Because rice is a dietary
staple as well as a major cash crop, until recently the Mahaweli
Authority has heavily emphasized paddy production. There is no
provision for chena cultivation, which eliminates a major source
of nutrition for farm families as well as a source of insurance
in case of low rice production. Because female heads of
household could support their families by chena cultivation and
allow their paddy fields to be sharecropped by others, lack of
chena cultivation also removes an important form of social


To some extent, the nutritional and economic benefits of
chena cultivation are to be replaced by intensively cultivated
homestead gardens. Wet zone gardens in the Kandyan highlands,
from which many of the settlers originate, are very important to
the nutritional status of the family and also provide a steady
income throughout the year. These gardens may contain 16 or
more food-plant species, including fruits, vegetables, coconut,
and spices, which are a major cash crop. Officials on System B
are encouraging settlers to establish similar homestead gardens;
demonstration plots have been set up in villages, and seeds and
young trees are being provided. Raising livestock for daily
production is also encouraged on the plots, where additional
land is available for grazing or fodder production.

There are two problems with the plots. First, they are not
irrigated, so crops must depend on rainfall or be watered by
hand. This demands either substantial labor investment or
restricting the varieties that are planted. Some women use
pitcher irrigation, particularly for tree crops, but the project
has not yet investigated the costs and benefits of this
strategy. The second problem is that the homestead plots are
too small. A Project Paper for System B quoted in the case
study states that "the decision to increase homestead size from
less than 0.2 ha to nearly 0.3 was based on complaints made by
women settlers in System H that the smaller size did not provide
sufficient space for gardening, tree crop production, and
livestock raising, all activities in which women were actively
involved" (Benson and Emmert). Nevertheless, according to the
case study, the change in size has not'been implemented in
System B.

Fortunately, other lessons of importance to women have been
transferred. In contrast to System H, where settlers were mixed
without regard to similarity of origin, in System B the decision
to locate fellow villagers or kin in the same hamlets wherever
possible has provided women with important support networks,
especially for the care of young children. Women's mobility and
ability to earn income was severely restricted on System H
because they had no relatives or trusted neighbors to care for
their children. In both Systems B and H, day care centers
supported by UNICEF have been set up; these centers free mothers
for farm work during the busiest season and also serve the
children a high protein meal.

Serious labor shortages occur during peak periods in the
paddy cultivation cycle, and there is seasonal inmigration of
labor. About 20 percent of paid agricultural laborers are
women, many of them young married women with children, who work
to provide necessary family income. In contrast to many other
Asian situations, both men and women receive approximately the
same daily wage for agricultural and construction work.


Professional women are also employed in substantial numbers
as Community Development workers because of a Government
directive requiring that each block have one male and one female
officer, with female officers concentrating on women and on
child welfare. Young women are also trained as health
volunteers. Although they receive no salary, there is
considerable prestige attached to the training and service.
Most of the professional positions filled by women are at the
lower levels and are concerned with household and human capital
development. There are no female agricultural officers and only
a few female field assistants.

The case writers observe that, despite the substantial
number of woman-managed farms, male officials clearly assume
that health, nutrition, and child care are areas of female
interest, and agriculture is not emphasized. However, the
curricula of the female-staffed Home Development Centers diverge
from this pattern by emphasizing agriculture, dairy production,
and income-generating skills such as dressmaking, in addition to
home science and health. These Centers teach a 4-month
curriculum for young women who have completed the tenth
standard, and graduates may return to use the equipment such as
sewing machines and canning equipment to make products for
sale. The income-generating efforts are in very early stages,
and it is difficult to judge"how effective they will be.

At present an abundance of paid employment on project
construction is available in System B for those needing income,
so the need to generate income from small enterprises is still
minimal. In System H, employment from construction has ceased,
and income must now come from crop production, agricultural
labor, and off-farm activities. Concerned about employment for
the second generation, authorities recently established several
vocational training programs, including those at the Home
Development Centers. The need for shops, machinery repair, and
other services has already created new local businesses. One
constraint to the growth of such enterprises is the reluctance
of banks to extend credit except for crop loans because they are
dubious about the profitability of most local businesses at the
current low levels of demand.

The Mahaweli settlement has been fairly successful in
increasing agricultural production. By 1985 Sri Lanka was
nearly self-sufficient in rice, which was at least partly due to
the extension of cultivated area in Mahaweli. The first yields
in System B averaged over 100 bushels per acre, about double the
customary yield in Sri Lanka. Nevertheless, a 1982 survey found
the area producing far below the potential technical ceiling.
Major problems included drought, which sharply reduced the
amount of water available for irrigation, and farmers'
inadequate knowledge of water management and lack of capital.
The program has been evaluated as moderately successful and
proceeding slowly toward greater success.


The approach to constrained bliss is mixed. Women are
receiving a substantial share of the project's credit and land,
although much of this share may be lost to the next generation
because of the inheritance laws. Although woman-managed farms
do not appear to have direct access to extension, and
agricultural production on the homestead plots is constrained by
limited land and water, project resources are being invested on
demonstration plots and inputs. Although women are employed at
lower levels professionally, they receive equal pay in
agriculture and construction. They are receiving training in
health, home science, and, to a limited degree, in agriculture
through the Home Development Centers, although not through
extension. All things considered, although the project could be
better, it could also be worse.

Ratings: Project Success, Moderate, Slow; Benefits to
Women, Mixed/Likely

Nepal Institute of Agricultural and Animal Sciences
(FY 1974-1984)

This 10-year institution-building project was designed to
"relieve the trained manpower shortages and maldistribution
effects of recruitment, staffing and placement upon Nepal's
agricultural sector to speed introduction of improved
agricultural practices and viable on-farm production activities"
(Project Logical Framework Goal Statement). It focused on the
Institute for Agricultural and Animal Sciences, the only
institution in Nepal offering Bachelor's and Master's degrees in
agriculture. Inputs included third-country M.S.- and
Ph.D.-level training for faculty; funds for planning and
construction of physical facilities; and technical assistance in
site planning, curriculum development, and faculty research from
the contractor, a consortium of U.S. land grant universities.
From the beginning, the curriculum was strongly practice
oriented, with a heavy emphasis on laboratory and fieldwork,
off-campus projects, and study tours.

The original project plan included development of training
programs for mid- and high-level personnel from the Ministry of
Agriculture, vocational agriculture teachers, and B.S.
candidates and junior technicians who staff the Ministry and the
extension service. Over time, the program has come to focus
exclusively on B.S. and junior technician training. Because the
Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science is the only
institution in Nepal that grants B.S. degrees in agriculture and
animal science, it is central to building Nepal's indigenous
capability in these areas.

Despite fluctuating Government priorities and support and
major problems with the quality and cost of construction, the
project has been reasonably successful. In 1980 the first group


of 80 students graduated, and by 1983 enrollment was approaching
the target of 700 full-time students. Twenty-six faculty
members earned M.S. degrees; 6 Ph.D.s and 15 M.S.-level students
were still in training in 1981.

According to the 1983 revision of the Project Paper,
enrollment of women was not even considered during project
planning. The joint A.I.D./Nepal study on the status of women
in Nepal put women's agricultural work on the public policy

by documenting that women contribute approximately 69
percent more family agricultural labor than do men,
and independently make 42 percent of the farm
management decisions, as compared to 28 percent made
independently by men.... Despite this dominant role
of women in agriculture, very few [Government of
Nepal] extension agents are women, and... it is
sometimes difficult for male extension agents to work
with women. The Ministry of Agriculture is committed
to increasing the number of women employees.... There
are few trained women agriculturalists who could be
employed by the ministry... and it has been difficult
for women to break into the male-dominated [Institute
for Agriculture and Animal Studies]. In 1980, one
woman enrolled, and then dropped out. In 1981-82,
three enrolled, and in 1982-83, four women enrolled on
the main campus, and six at a branch campus.... The
lack of adequate housing facilities has made it
especially difficult for women... who initially had to
live off-campus and walk [3 miles: ed.] to
classes.... In early 1983 [the contractor] turned
over one of the guest house trailers to use as a
temporary women's dorm. This has enabled the three
current women students to continue at the institute,
but will not accommodate increased enrollment in the
next years. A women's dormitory is a priority need
for the campus (Project Paper Amendment 2, p. 14).

Nevertheless, plans for building a women's dorm were
cut from the project because of cost overruns in earlier
construction. Students protested vigorously in public
demonstrations, and the Nepal Government submitted a formal
request to A.I.D. for additional money. A.I.D. responded
that it did not have the money but would try to find
another donor. Other donors expressed reluctance to finish
up what was considered an A.I.D. project, and the money was
not forthcoming.

In a country where women have major agricultural
responsibilities, such resource allocation is neither
equitable nor efficient.

Ratings: Project Success, Moderate, Mixed; Benefits to
Women, Low


Burma Maize and Oilseed Production Project
(FY 1982-1986)

Since the mid-1970s, the Socialist Government of Burma has
given increasing priority to agricultural production and has
initiated a series of institutional and policy reforms designed
to improve the performance of the agriculture sector. According
to the Project Paper, over the past decade the average increase
in food production varied between 1.98 and 2.18 percent, while
the average population growth rate was 2.28 percent. Although
much has been accomplished, population growth is still outpacing
food production, and continued innovation is necessary.

Efforts began with the adaptation of high-yielding
varieties of rice from the International Rice Research Institute
(IRRI); extension activities for the distribution of seeds,
fertilizers, and cultural practices such as double cropping
began with the Whole Township program in 1978-1979. This
program, which involves active participation of elected township
and village councils and party officials as well as extension
officers, has resulted in steady and impressive gains in rice
production, with paddy harvest in the 1980s the largest ever

with increases in rice production underway, the Government
has shifted its attention to increasing the production of maize
and oilseeds, which are key national crops. Oilseed crops
comprise 19.5 percent of total sown acreage, and cooking oil is
second in prominence to rice in Burmese diets. The goal of this
project is "to increase production of oilseed crops and maize in
28 demonstration townships in rural Burma with positive effects
on rural income and employment and on national food supply and
nutrition." Increased production will be almost entirely for
domestic consumption, reducing the need for imports and foreign
exchange. The Whole Township strategy for adaptive research and
extension, which was successful in rice, will also be used for
oilseeds. Four fully equipped and staffed maize and oilseed
farms will also be developed, together with a functional
rhizobium facility for inoculation of groundnuts and soybeans.
Because lack of fertilizer is a major constraint to production,
the project will supply 70,000 metric tons, in addition to
agricultural equipment, technical assistance, and overseas
training for 11 Ph.D. candidates and 25 M.S. candidates.

The social science annex to the Project Paper notes that

Burmese women are independent and accustomed to a high
degree of freedom.... Even when married they carry
their dowry and maiden name with them through
life.... In agriculture, they play a significant role
in both direct production and in making basic farm
management decisions. Household budgeting, adoption


of new cash crop technologies, dealing with government
agency representatives, and actual fieldwork and
marketing of crops are all parts of the role women
play. At the farm level, women will exert an
important influence in the decisions of the average.
farm family to participate in the program.

The literacy rate for both men and women is close to
seventy percent, and women are encouraged to compete
for regional college and university seats. Women now
account for about fifty percent of university
graduates.... Recently, women have begun to make up
as high as sixty percent of the enrollment of
agricultural institutions: 250 out of 400 incoming
students at Yezin in 1980.

Although there are no resources targeted specifically
to women and the mid-term evaluation does not mention
gender, it seems likely that women are being integrated
into the project. The structure of the extension service,
in which 10 or 12 extension workers are stationed in a
production camp from which they service individual
villages, makes it feasible to station women throughout the
system. The high proportion of women agricultural
graduates increases the probability that professional women
will participate in both adaptive research and extension.
The five high-technology sites, at which recommended
practices are first tested on farmers' fields, receive
technical support from the agricultural research station at
Yezin, and it is reasonable to assume that farmer feedback
will be received from both men and women. The active
involvement of the political party at the local level,
given its strong commitment to gender equity, can also be
expected to strengthen the involvement of women, much as it
did in Cape Verde.

Ratings: Project Success, Unknown; Benefits to Women,

3.2 The Need for More Information

It is unfortunate that more information is not
available in the Asian cases because it would be useful to
understand how resources flow through these pooled systems
as modernization occurs. Although many of the Asia Bureau
interviewees spoke of women as co-managers of farm
households, the projects made no attempt to track the flow
of resources by gender. The projects seem to be based on
an implicit assumption that the strength of women's
position in traditional systems would ensure equitable


distribution. The case studies display a more complex

What happens in systems where women have traditionally
inherited land and government land registration is done in the
name of the husband, as is the case in Mahaweli and Northeast
Thailand? What happens when large numbers of women receive an
agricultural education, as in Burma and Thailand? How are they
absorbed into the extension system and the bureaucracy? What
difference does their presence make? Such questions await
further investigation.


Upper Volta: Women's Roles in Development (FY 1977-1982)
Upper Volta: Training of Women in the Sahel (FY 1978-1984)

Both of these projects were designed within a year of one
another in the same country. Both drew on the experience of a
very successful UNESCO project, and yet both suffered similar
difficulties in implementation The UNESCO project had been
successful with individual gardens, collectively owned motorized
grinding mills, collective poultry raising, and collective
fields from which produce was sold for cash to restock the
village dispensary. Each new project was to provide a revolving
loan fund, training, and technical assistance to support the
development of micro-projects for women in carefully selected
villages. The micro-projects were to respond to the expressed
needs of the villagers and were to have high potential for
benefits, self-sufficiency, and replicability within 2 or 3
years. Loan application reviews included village-level
dialogue. A simple feedback system was to provide general
information on what was working and what was not.

The Women's Roles in Development project was housed in the
new national Rural Domestic Economy Unit (RDEU), with five staff
members to supervise 75 women agents in 11 regional Rural
Development Offices (ORDs). In-country training was designed
for paraprofessional and village women; four women professionals
were to receive out-of-country training.

Because A.I.D./Washington was uneasy about the credit
arrangements, these were detailed more extensively than in
other, larger Sahelian credit programs. To ensure
sustainability of the revolving fund, a higher than usual rate
of interest was charged, and a great deal of energy was expended
in trying to keep track of the money. Yet accounting for the
money proved to be the rock on which both projects foundered.
Technical assistance was given to the national RDEU for training


and organizing local women, but 80 percent of the credit was
handled through regional ORDs, which were burdened by the
elaborate procedures necessary to disburse each loan. As a
result, money moved slowly and more went to individual women
than to village groups. There was such confusion among the
regional ORDs about reporting the movement of money that at one
point the USAID Mission blocked disbursement of funds.

The mid-project evaluation concluded that project designers
had overestimated "the abilities of the implementing agency,
RDEU; the linkages between the ORDs and the RDEU and the skill
level of extension agents." The project attempted more than
either A.I.D. or the local infrastructure could support.
Difficulties were compounded because the project had five
directors in 3 years, all hired directly by the USAID Mission.
Just as the project began, the Voltaic counterpart, regarded as
crucial to project success, left with her husband, who was
transferred to a regional post. An adequate replacement was not
available. Within 4 years, the RDEU was dissolved and the
project was transferred to the rural credit agency, but by then
funds were blocked and no new activities could be undertaken.
In her final report, the last director of the project summed it
up in this way:

The designers of the project enormously over-estimated
not only the previous training of personnel at all
levels and the percentage of time these women agents
could commit to the demands of the project but also
the speed with which information could be communicated
within the system. From the beginning the project was
too imprecise concerning activities which would be
sponsored and put much too heavy a managerial load on
an undeveloped women's extension service that was only
two years old.... It seems clear that resources could
be better used if loan activities were limited to a
small number of interventions. Although needs
identification at the village level is essential,
identifying needs is not the same thing as identifying
projects. Village women speak of their need... for
cash income... to reduce hours of labor in food
transportation. The solutions to these problems are
not obvious and will not be found by individuals
working in isolation.... Because the project lacked a
clearly defined program of appropriate income-
generating activities planned by experienced
professionals with local advice, the project was so
shapeless that it could not move forward (Postle 1982,

The final evaluation and the project report differed
on how many loans went to groups, but they agreed that
there was a strong demand for credit, that placing group


loans required more intensive management than placing individual
loans, and that the rate of repayment for both individual and
group loans was high.

The Training of Women in the Sahel project, which began
later, was never fully funded and withered after less than 2
years for many of the same reasons.

Both projects attempted to address equity within the
Mission portfolio rather than within individual projects.
Equity would have been better served had efficiency been
higher. Managing such detailed and complex projects demands
high levels of administrative skill within both donor and host
country organizations. These skills were in short supply not
only in women's projects but throughout the Sahel.

The earlier UNESCO project had been much smaller in
scale--9 villages rather than 60. Technical assistance, credit,
and training had all been administered by one office, which
significantly reduced communication problems. Finally, both the
U.N. Development Program officer and Voltaic project manager had
been outstandingly capable women who were with the project for 6
years. Each of these factors undoubtedly contributed to its
success. Translating a small pilot project into a national
program is always difficult. Administrative structure and
personnel changes in the Ministry and a reduction in USAID
Mission commitment contributed to the difficulties of these
projects and reduced their ability to achieve project goals.

Ratings: Project Success, Low; Benefits to Women, Low


Cameroon National Planning for Community Development
(FY 1979-1982)

This was a small, interesting orphan of a project put
together by a USAID official, who was leaving the country, and
the head of the Community Development Office in a last-ditch
effort to save the office, which was slated to be absorbed into
the Ministry of Agriculture. Within 2 years the project was to
hold meetings all over the country and develop a national plan
for community development that reflected the views and wishes of
all sections of the population. Implementation was the
responsibility of the small community development staff and the
even smaller contractor team of two men and one women.

Improbably, meetings were held in every region, with very
enthusiastic participation on the part of both men and women.
The evaluation makes clear that this was the first time that the


regional community development staff had ever been asked for
their views and recommendations; previous communication had all
been from the top down. According to the contractor's final
report, members of the community development staff had many
useful ideas, and the national plan was based on their input.
Among other recommendations, women were slated to receive half
of all program resources and to be included equally in all
project activities.

Unfortunately, no one outside the Community Development
Offices was interested in the plan, and the Government went
ahead with its stated intention to fold the community
development activities into the Ministry of Agriculture.
Recommendations on women were specifically rejected, in what
appeared to be a clash of personalities, interests, and
management styles between the contractor team and agricultural
officials. Therefore, while women were very actively involved
in project processes, they received no benefits beyond
participation. Because the project was out of phase with
current Government policy, it had little chance of success.

Ratings: Project Success, Mixed/Moderate; Benefits to
Women, Mixed: Process High, Outcome Low

Cape Verde Water Management (FY 1979-1985)

The Cape Verde project was the one project with a clear
record showing that women had received an equitable share of
project resources in an integrated project. Although there were
many woman-headed households, there was no attempt in project
design to target resources to women. The project paid people to
build bunds, dikes, and wells to capture some of the scarce
rainfall and to reduce soil erosion. Eventually, seedlings were
introduced, and people were encouraged to plant them on the
hillsides. The project was successful in providing employment
and restoring the natural resource base. An interesting feature
of the project was that extension agents came to the project
during their rest periods and instructed people on reforestation
and soil conservation and distributed free seedlings.

The national Government enacted new laws during the early
days of the project requiring equal pay for equal work, and as a
result women were paid the same wages as men. More important,
the local political committee assigned the jobs and actively
enforced the ruling that one person from every household should
be employed before a second member from any household could be
employed. Because of the many woman-headed households and the
active role of the women's branch of the political party in
pursuing their interests, this worked to the advantage of women
who worked alongside the men throughout the project. The one
flaw was that none of the women received training in skills such


as carpentry or stonemasonry that would have permitted them to
advance on the salary scale.

Ratings: Project Success, Mixed, Generally High;
Benefits to Women, High

Jordan River Valley Development (FY 1973-1980)

Jordan River Valley Development was not one project but a
series by several donors. Although few planning documents are
available, an A.I.D.-sponsored evaluation of the total effort
included discussion of the changes in gender roles. They found
that the massive introduction of irrigation and rural
infrastructure had produced more prosperous farms on which
women's field labor had been replaced by male immigrants, piped
water had reduced women's work load, many more girls were in
school, and many farm women were working seasonally in a
vegetable packing plant. They concluded that the younger,
better educated women must be trained for interesting jobs, or
they will leave. It is not clear from the evaluation which of
these effects were actively planned for and which simply
unfolded as part of the structural transformation, but the
document gives an interesting picture of the gender effects of
agricultural modernization in a particular setting.

Ratings: Project Success, High; Benefits to Women, Mixed,
Some High


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