Analysing gender transformative approaches to agricultural development with ethnic minority communities in Vietnam

Social Sciences


Vietnam’s National Strategy on Gender Equality (2011-2020) ‘commits to narrowing the gender gap in the economy’ and, specifically, ‘increase the access of poor rural and ethnic minority women to economic resources’.

Experience has demonstrated that when agricultural systems are more inclusive, women farmers possess enormous potential to contribute to long-term food security for their families and impact sustainable nutritional outcomes. However, whilst monitoring and evaluation systems capture change in gender relations at the household and community levels, a more systematic approach with qualitative research into ‘how’ and ‘why’ these shifts in gender occur is needed.

This project will analyse the pathways to change in women’s empowerment that gender transformative approaches achieve, especially for ethnic minority women in the Vietnamese context. It will also focus on capacity development and relationship building in-country, laying the foundation for future long-term qualitative, transdisciplinary action research.


The overall objective of the project is to analyse the process of gender transformation that is facilitated by the suite of tools used in the Technologically Enhanced Agricultural Livelihoods (TEAL) northern uplands project in Vietnam with ethnic minorities, in order to provide an evidence base on how and whygender relations are transformed and women are empowered.

There five objectives are to:

  • Measure initial changes in ethnic minority women’s empowerment in the Arabica coffee value chain, using the project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (pro-WEAI), adapted to the northern uplands context.
  • Employ a Feminist Participatory Action Research (FPAR) approach to provide an evidence base for CARE’s gender transformative approach in agriculture, from the perspectives of TEAL beneficiaries.
  • Build gender analysis capacities of in-country partners and early career social science researchers to advance ethnic minority women’s empowerment.
  • Leverage CARE’s existing involvement with ACIAR projects in order to share knowledge about research outcomes and include project staff in the pro-WEAI trainings.
  • Lay foundations for longitudinal research into how advances in women’s empowerment (as indicated through the pro-WEAI) have demonstrable positive effects on rural livelihoods and agricultural productivity.

Expected Outcomes

  • Build capacity of in-country partners and 10 early career social science researchers through trainings in mixed-method research, including participatory methodologies, and pro-WEAI.
  • Train 12 ethnic minority women in the TEAL communities as co-researchers. Training is expected to be carried out in short blocks over a number of days to fit within the daily schedules of women, so as not to burden them with extra work.
  • Capacity development of in-country partner organisations to use FPAR approach and pro-WEAI in agricultural R4D projects.
  • Co-author two research outputs with in-country women researchers to build track record in scholarly journal publications.

Project Code

Project Area


AU $239,988

Key Partners

  • CARE Vietnam