Gender Integration in Agri-food Systems Research Development

While agri-food systems research is gaining ground, challenges remain when it comes to effectively integrating gender. Gender integration in agricultural research to-date has tended to focus on the production domain with relatively scant knowledge and systematic learning vis a vis integrating gender within a broader agri-food system perspective. Taking a systems perspective spotlights trade-offs, interconnectedness, and dependencies within the chain: interdisciplinarity becomes central.

This conference theme focusses on what effective gender integration means: it will surface key challenges as well as state-of-the-art learning regarding strategies, methods, and tools for integrating gender in agri-food systems research. This includes considering the implications of rapidly transforming agri-food systems and of development investments in gender equality/equity on gender gaps and opportunities, as well as what those mean for food security, health and nutrition, and livelihoods of vulnerable groups.

Key goals are: to examine the role of intersectionalities in determining opportunities available in the agri-food systems;  and, to unravel and measure economic and social impacts to inform research priority setting and investment decisions. We welcomed papers that capture the processes of gender integration and related learning, in addition to examples of gender-integrated agri-food systems research. This exchange is anticipated to highlight the opportunities and challenges gender and social science researchers face in the agri-food system domain, and explore ways to achieve more effective gender integration.

Five sessions on this theme were run over the three days.

  1. Gender Integration Approaches: Lessons from the Field. Chair: Cynthia McDougall
  2. Institutionalizing Gender Integration in Policy and AR4D. Chair: Ranjitha Puskur
  3. Spotlight on Methods and Tools for Gender Integration: What’s on the Horizon? Chair: Cynthia McDougall
  4. Gender Integration in Value Chains and Market Systems Research: Strategies and Way Forward. Chair: Ranjitha Puskur
  5. Capacity Development for Gender Integration: Insights from Experience. Chair: Cynthia McDougall

Gender Integration Approaches: Lessons from the Field

Chair: Cynthia McDougall


Integrating gender in agrifood systems research: Principles, pitfalls and ways forward

Julie Newton

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with Kruijssen, Froukje; and McDougall, Cynthia

While gender has advanced as a field over the past decades, the effective and meaningful integration of gender in research for development remains opaque for many researchers, particularly for those who are not from social science disciplines. This is even more challenging as research moved from relatively ‘simple’ production systems to more complex agri-food systems. This paper will present collaborative advances to address this challenge in the context of aquaculture and small-scale fisheries. Specifically, it will present experiences and lessons learnt for ways forward for gender integration throughout the research cycle, including critical questions, pitfalls to avoid and strategies at different junctures. Within this, it will use illustrative examples from WorldFish to surface challenges and opportunities to engage with intersectional analysis, as well as assessing risks. It examines how tools such as ‘Theory of Change’ and the ‘Research Project Cycle’ can be used to engage non gender technical scientists around the ‘rationale’ for gender integration (the why) and operationalization (the how) of gender integration. The presentation will draw on the collaborative work of KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) and WorldFish to develop gender integration guidelines for the CGIAR Research Program on Fish AgriFood Systems (FISH).

Working innovatively for agricultural productivity enhancement and rural transformation through gender inclusiveness – A case study of Pakistan

Munawar Raza Kazmi


Advancement in gender equality and women empowerment are the key priorities for the Australian Development Assistance as this is fundamental to economic growth and sustainable development. Pakistan is primarily an agro-based economy and women play a major role in the agriculture sector but occupy a subsidiary position in decision making (agency) and direct access to resources. ACIAR through its engagement in Pakistan has been helping local researchers to develop research strategies leading to economic development with prime focus on gender inclusion. Gender has always been a strategic area of intervention for all donors as well for development workers, but impact has been very limited. Therefore ACIAR has taken a different course, requiring a major change in attitudes and approaches by biophysical researchers – in the past, studies of the position of women would have been undertaken separately by “gender specialists. Now, the goal is to mainstream Gender Inclusiveness into (i) research planning; (ii) research teams; and (iii) partner institutions. Projects are working towards this ambitious goal individually and collectively, using an adaptive learning strategy facilitated by ACIAR Pakistan. The strategy is based on a review of past work to understand the socio-cultural factors of women involvement in income generating activities. This identified key topics and associated literature within the broad overlapping perspectives of Policy, the Implementation environment and Practice, with a separate focus on the Rural Perspective. This paper describes the process used to move from theory to practice, the progress to date, how this is measured and the scale of the future challenges ACIAR Pakistan strives to improve gender engagement opportunities through agriculture research and development projects

Lessons and outcomes from integrating gender across agriculture and food security programs in the Global South

Jemimah Njuki

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with Wong, Franz; and Danielsen, Katrine

This paper presents an overview of main findings of perspectives and lessons on integrating efficiently and effectively gender in research and development programs, key strategies used at program and project levels and key outcomes. These lessons and outcomes are from a review of the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) that funded 39 projects implemented in 24 countries by 20 Canadian organizations and over with 40 southern organizations. The program worked with over 700,000 women smallholder producers. The first section of the paper looks at key lessons and best practices for integrating gender in a program with multiple objectives (technology, markets, nutrition, policy change), different types of research (from upstream technology development to downstream value chains and extension delivery) and multiple country contexts and analyses the contextual and programmatic factors that enabled this integration. The program offers a rich case study of how gender integration can be promoted and supported in AR4D. The second section of the paper gender focuses on gender integration in specific individual projects, the different strategies that projects used to address and integrate gender and relating those strategies to gender outcomes of the projects. This synthesis shifts the focus of gender integration literature from “why” gender should be integrated or “how” to integrate to “what” works. This is in recognition of the organisational struggles with identifying not only entry points but also how to make gender integration efforts more systematic and impactful given the particular “sticky-ness” and “wicked problem nature” of gender inequality. The paper presents a typology of process and content strategies for integrating gender recognising the importance of feminist principles not just in the research content but the research process as well. Outcomes are measured using the Women Reached, Women Benefit and Women Empowered framework developed by the International Food Policy Review. Results showed that “Women’s Empowerment” outcomes were not stand-alone achievements but the cumulative effect of other outcomes. At the same time, the progression between “Women Accessing Resources and Benefits” and “Women’s Empowerment” outcomes was neither direct nor ‘linear’. Increased access to resources did not guarantee control over resources and benefits, and thus did not necessarily lead to “Women’s Empowered” outcomes. Projects which adopted the strategy to engage men correlated with projects achieving enhanced recognition and status of women, suggesting the critical need to engage men to improve women’s status. The last section of the paper shows how we have used the synthesis to conceptualize a gender transformative food system and presents essential elements from moving from gender integration to transforming gender and food systems.

ROUNDTABLE 1: Don’t diss my discipline – Synergising techos and “people” people

  • Gerard McEvilly Munawar
  • Raza Kazmi

This participatory session will draw on attendees’ experiences to build on three preceding reflections about gender integration in R4D. The topic is universal - the challenges inherent in designing and managing projects that straddle biophysical and social research. A sound understanding of social norms and values can be a foundation for biophysical R4D - as well as a framework, “under construction”, to guide adoption, scale out outcomes and sustain impact. However, questions remain as to how to blend the “technical” and “people” perspectives in a way that is collaborative rather than competitive. For example:-How far can we go along the road from Participatory and community-driven R4D towards Community Development before we cross the line from Research into Development? -How do we balance: “Situation Analysis for generating new knowledge critical for prioritising the research”, with “Situation Analysis as a necessary tool for engaging farmers in the research and its findings”? -How can we capitalise on the strengths of biophysical and social scientists to create integrated, balanced and high-performing projects? The roundtable will enable attendees to reflect on “How” as well as “How not”, or to come up with better questions! The aim is to share these reflections, as far as possible, but also to capture them as a session output. We aim to inspire some principles of good practice in planting rigorous R4D in the fertile ground between the biophysical and social disciplines.

Institutionalizing Gender Integration in Policy and AR4D

Chair: Ranjitha Puskur

Discursive translations of gender mainstreaming norms: The case of agricultural and climate change policies in Uganda

Mariola Acosta

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with van Wessel, M.; Ampaire, E.; Jassogne,L.; and Feindt, P.

While the international norm on gender mainstreaming, UN-backed since 1995, has been widely adopted in national policies, gender inequalities are rarely systematically addressed on the ground. To explain this limited effectiveness, this paper takes a discourse analytical perspective on gender policy and budgeting, with a focus on the translation of the international norm into domestic norms and policies. An in-depth, inductive analysis of 107 policy documents in Uganda examines how the gender mainstreaming norm has been translated at three administrative levels: national, district, sub-county. The analysis finds that during the process of drafting national and sub-national documents, certain gender discourses were either neglected or completely ignored (neglecting gender discourse), gender discourses at sub-national level remained static (gender inertia), prescriptions remained at a very generic level (shrinking gender norms), and gender mainstreaming exercises co-existed with certain contradictory normative cultural understandings (embracing discursive hybridity). Finally, the lack of relevant budgets indicated that gender mainstreaming largely stopped at the discursive level and did not extend to meaningful policy instruments (minimizing budgets). Our findings suggest that the formulation of a global strategy will likely not suffice in dealing with highly localized and context specific gender dynamics, and in dealing with structurally embedded gender inequalities. In this way, the assumption that international gender norms could significantly affect local patriarchal contexts needs to be reassessed. While the institutionalization of gender mainstreaming might be helpful for gaining legitimacy and public awareness on the matter, other strategies will likely need to be in place for its success.

Contesting gender: The translation of gender commitments into action in small-scale fisheries governance in the Pacific Islands

Sarah Lawless

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The prevalence of commitments to address gender inequality in small-scale fisheries governance are unprecedented. These commitment are reflected in the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small- Scale Fisheries, where gender equality features as a fundamental guiding principle. Gender commitments are also increasingly prioritized in regional and national fisheries policies. Yet, in regions such as the Pacific, more progress is needed to translate these commitments into action. Using empirical data from three Pacific Island countries (Fiji, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu), we explore the factors influencing how gender commitments are actioned in small-scale fisheries. Specifically, we examine how fisheries governance actors respond to gender equality as a governance principle. We analyse interviews with >70 governance actors from >30 international, regional and nation organisations and find in most cases gender as a principle is either resisted, rhetorically adopted, or contested. At the regional scale, gender is often pursued by small-scale fisheries governors as a means to increase their organisational legitimacy. In contrast, at the national scale, we find willingness to consider gender is high, but the capacity of national-scale fisheries actors to do so is limited. Gender as a construct is also widely debated and interpretations vary considerably. We conclude that contestation of this principle presents an opportunity for governance actors to negotiate context specific meanings around gender leading to more tangible actions and outcomes. This study intersects with research by Mangubhai who explores capacity gaps around gender integration, and work by Kleiber who is developing applicable indicators for measuring gender capacity in small-scale fisheries governance.

Why gender focal person structures are not working in Rwanda and Uganda’s national agricultural research organizations

Margaret Najjingo Mangheni

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with Musiimenta, Peace; Boonabaana, Brenda; Richard, Miiro; and Tufan, Hale

While gender focal person structures (GFPs) have been widely adopted bynational and internationalagricultural research organizations to support integration of gender in research, many are struggling, and others have been phased out. Anunderstanding of underlying factors explaining their limited success would inform strategies for institutionalizing gender. This paper traces the genesis and operationalization of the gender focal person structures in Rwanda and Uganda’s national agricultural research organizations to unearth factors influencing their performance.We draw on gender and institutional theory to explain how the national and organizational institutional contexts shape and influence the performance of the gender structures.The paper uses document reviews and mixed methods data collected in 2016 from scientists, managers, and gender focal persons in the two organizations.We conclude that theineffective performance of the GFPs in both organizations is explained by the approach used toestablish; operationalise and nurture them within the organizations.GFPs hinged on personalities as opposed to institutional structures.They operated in an adhoc manner without streamlined procedures.They were not embedded in the institutional framework of the organizations. Consequently, they had low visibility within the organizations, were largely informal, driven by voluntarism with unclear terms of reference and accountability frameworks. Sustainability would require that the individual passionate pioneering champions and donors successfully negotiate the embedding of the GFPs into mainstream organization structures with attendant financial and human resources supported from national organizational budgets. Credible evidence to demonstrate the value added is important in making a case for institutionalizing the GFPs.

Spotlight on Methods and Tools for Gender Integration: What’s on the Horizon?

Chair: Cynthia McDougall

Using wellbeing concept to measure economic and social impacts: A case study of the seaweed women’s groups in Indonesian villages

Silva Larson

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with Stoeckl, Natalie; Fachri, Mardiana; Dalvi, Mustafa; Rimmer, Mike; Swanepoel, Libby; and Paul, Nicholas

The Government of Indonesia provides financial and other support to rural women to operate seafood production and processing groups. Of 186 groups registered in South Sulawesi, 33 process seaweed exclusively, 69 both seaweed and fish, and the remaining 84 fish exclusively. We present use of novel Wellbeing-based method for Impact Evaluation (W-IE), a ‘wellbeing game’ and a questionnaire, which we used to collect face-to-face data from 74 women from 17 groups in 9 seaweed farming and processing villages. We used this approach to explore and measure perceived economic and social impacts of seaweed farming, processing and group membership, as well as women’s satisfaction with the financial and non-financial benefits. Our findings highlight that the crucially important motivational factors, and the perceived positive impacts of seaweed farming, processing and group membership, are not only financial in nature but include those that affect wellbeing more broadly. Several important aspects of the new W-IE method will be discussed: its ability to capture the wider holistic bundle of wellbeing factors using the same metric; going beyond dollar denominated indicators of income to include human and social development; importance of capturing perceptions of beneficiaries themselves (thus allowing capture of negative impacts of interventions such as overburdening and capture of unexpected/unforeseen impacts); and importance of capturing final impacts (i.e. improved housing) rather than indicators of improved income (thus acknowledging that income can be used to both the benefit and detriment of families and in particular women in the households).

Woman in agriculture, and climate risks: Hotspots for development

Nitya Chanana

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with Aggarwal, Pramod; and Khatri-Chhetri, Arun Woman in agriculture, and climate risks: Hotspots for development. There is rising interest among research and development practitioners to arrive at impact driven solutions in the field of gender and climate change adaptation. Gender integration in climate change adaptation interventions can be better targeted by being linked with type of climatic risks experienced by women farmers, their social profile and their needs based on the role they play in agriculture. This study presents a GIS based methodology to identify hotspots where climate change adaptation and gender based interventions, focussed on women, could be prioritized. The methodology is illustrated for India. ‘Hotspots’ are defined in the study as regions with high concentrations of women farmers impacted by a high degree of climatic risk, including drought, extreme rainfall and heat waves. The results suggest 36 hotspots across 10 states in India, where large number of women farmers are impacted by high levels of climatic risks. The target population in these hotspots comprise 14.4% of the total women farmers in the country. A socioeconomic characterization of the hotspot population highlights barriers, such as labor, credit and market access for female cultivators and lower wage rates for female labourers in these hotspots. Based on 17 the constraints as well as the climatic risks faced by these women in the hotspots, the potential of climate-smart agriculture technologies and practices is emphasized (including an example of Betul, one of the hotspot districts). Additionally, a comparison of past research with the results of the study highlights the potential to learn from those efforts for efficient scalability of gender and climate change adaptation interventions.


The hidden mirror: Sexual orientation and gender identities in agriculture

Geoffrey O’Keefe

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with Alver, Jane; and Bett, Bosibori

This paper and conference discussion will question the representation of Sexual and Gender Minorities (SGM) within agricultural research. Through a review of the literature, the authors posit that the majority of gender in agricultural research focuses on binary gender identities, with little space for gender diverse expressions or sexuality outside heteronormative frameworks of the ‘family’. Through these (binary) narratives, researchers work to identify power imbalances between women and, with a view to ‘empowerment’, and, more recently developing understandings of ‘masculinity’. Looking outside agriculture research, gender researchers are beginning to investigate diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. This includes interdisciplinary approaches in the health sector, humanitarian response, and education. Contemporary research is finding through investigation of power and access within societies that SGM groups often have less access to resources, and voice, with development and research interventions almost always overlooking their diverse roles in society and specific needs. Given the pivotal role of gender research in agriculture uncovering inequalities in power and access between men and women, and the resultant impacts on food security, nutrition and production, this framework should be extended to include vulnerable groups such as minority sexuality and gender groups. This paper presents an opportunity to discuss the integration of SGM in agricultural research, to broaden our theoretical and methodological approaches. This can provide greater insight into power dynamics in agriculture that are as yet not studied in the literature. We hope to expand researcher’s understanding of sexual and gender diversity, and collaboratively develop common approaches to integrating greater diversity in agricultural research for development.



How can gender equity interventions in Nepal’s agrobiodiversity become transformative in the rapidly changing rural livelihoods contexts?

Basundhara Bhattarai

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Despite notable policy reforms on gender inclusive development, gender inequality persists in agrobiodiversity management in Nepal. In this paper, I present an in-depth case study to demonstrate how the persistence of gender-based inequality in agrobiodiversity management has, or is likely to have, impacted the local institutional capacity to respond to increased incidence of drought and changing attitudes towards farming that leads to abandonment of some agricultural crops. Informed by feminist political ecology and social ecological systems concepts related to resilience and transformation, this paper analyses the narratives of men and women farmers from a farming village in Kaski district in Nepal, together with insights from government and non-government service providers engaged in agrobiodiversity management and rural livelihoods. This paper argues against three common assumption that guide current policy and practice of gender equality interventions in agrobiodiversity management: that improving women’s access to scientific 15 knowledge on the management of agrobiodiversity may not necessarily lead to positive gender equity outcomes; that critical mass approach may not be an effective solution to gender equity unless it mobilizes women’s voice genuinely; that community focused approach to agrobiodiversity management actually narrows down the conceptual understanding of gender equity and misses out the scale dimension. I further argue for a need to go beyond the current approaches which consider gender relations in silo and as local level issue, and instead as a holistic approach to agrobiodiversity that engages key agents of gender transformative change across multiple levels.


Gender Integration in Value Chains and Market Systems Research: Strategies and Way Forward

Chair: Ranjitha Puskur

How empowering are agricultural value chains? Evidence from mixed methods research from the Philippines

Catherine Ragasa

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with Malapit, H; Martinez, E; Quisumbing, A; Seymour, G; Rubin, D

Women’s participation and empowerment in value chains are key issues and goals that concern many development organizations, but there has been limited systematic, rigorous research to track these goals between and within value chains (VCs). We use the survey-based Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI), complemented by qualitative interviews, to measure and track women’s and men’s empowerment in four 35 agricultural VCs in the Philippines. WEAI results show that intrinsic agency (respect within the household, attitudes about gender-based violence, and autonomy in income) is the largest source of disempowerment for both men and women in all VCs. Work balance, control over use of income, and group membership – all measures of instrumental agency – were also important contributors to disempowerment but varied by VC, suggesting that interventions intended to empower women should be tailored by VC. Control over use of income by women and men is weakest in coconut and swine VCs; work balance is most disempowering among women processors and traders in abaca, coconut and seaweed VCs; and group membership is lowest among men in coconut VC. Across all four VCs, access to community programs is strongly associated with higher women’s empowerment, and access to extension services and education are associated with higher men’s empowerment. Our results show that, despite the egalitarian culture in the Philippines, persistent gender stereotypes influence men’s and women’s participation, empowerment and time use in VCs.

What is possible in women’s economic empowerment at the research business interface: The story of innovation in agricultural systems in Indonesia

Michaela Cosijn

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with Astrina, Ajeng Ayu; Thei, Ruth Stella; Rosmiliwati; Roesmanto, Joko; and Noviryani, Mely

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Government of Indonesia have been working for 4 years to increase farm incomes of 10,000 smallholder farmers in eastern Indonesia in the Applied Research and Innovation Systems in Agriculture Project. Working across 6 agricultural commodities, some where women were already highly engaged (maize, shallots and cassava) to those traditionally dominated by men (sugar, beef and dairy), the project has sought to strengthen linkages between research institutes and private sector companies. The project focused on innovation in market systems so that they are more favourable for both male and female smallholder farmers, with women’s economic empowerment being the strategy to increasing gender equality.Using a gender lens throughout the project, there have been both unexpected successes, especially in the male dominated livestock sectors and some less successful interventions, such as sugar. It is clear that there are now other opportunities emerging, such as in the post-harvest for women which have been untapped. This paper shares what has been possible: our experiences and lessons learnt in applying women’s economic approaches across the 6 value chains in East Java, Madura, Lombok and Sumbawa, and how women’s lives have changed through the project, as well as researcher and private sector ways of working. It also looks at the challenges of the research environment and business environments and what needs to happen in the future for women’s involvement to be truly meaningful.

The challenges with interdisciplinary collaboration in gender research: A value chain study

Nozomi Kawarazuka

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and Roberts, E. Robin

The importance of integrating gender in agricultural value-chain research is increasingly recognized in the value-chain research community. The actual practice of integrating gender requires inter-disciplinary collaboration among researchers, which is best achieved by gender researchers and other researchers working together to identify collaboration points in each research component. In reality, however, interdisciplinary collaboration is often very difficult due to various reasons such as differences in epistemological belief, lack of trust and communication, time and budget constraints, and varied levels of understanding of gender among researchers within the team. The literature on gender and agricultural value-chains is silent on this issue of collaboration although it is critical to the quality of gender-integrated research. The present study is drawn from the ACIARfunded gender-integrated agricultural value-chain research in Vietnam in which 10 agricultural research projects were involved. The study begins with describing experiences of what did and did not work both in terms of human interactions, and developing and addressing gender-integrated scientific research questions for various food system contexts. It then explores one example case with a mango value-chain study. We present how gender is integrated in various research components across the mango value-chain study and discuss the opportunities for, and challenges in conducting meaningful gender-integrated studies beyond collecting sexdisaggregated quantitative data. We conclude with some key factors important for achieving inter-disciplinary collaboration from both research and management perspectives.

Gender inclusion and women’s empowerment strategies to accelerate the uptake of innovations in smallholder-based supply chains

Rene Villano


Recent evidence suggests that investing in women in smallholder-based supply chains helps deliver improved product quality and enhancement of a product brand’s ethical credentials; increased productivity; reduced management and coordination costs; a more secure supply base; a stronger brand and improved access to premium markets; and improved delivery of broader corporate social responsibility goals. However, international experience has shown that there are several challenges in integrating women into market systems programs that must be addressed, especially in understanding the uptake of production and marketbased innovations. The purpose of the paper is to present a framework of gender inclusion and women’s empowerment strategies to accelerate the uptake of innovations in smallholder-based supply chains. Two case studies of research for development projects funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) are used for demonstration purposes. First, we use the case of the IndoBeef Program which examines the role of gender aspects in the uptake of production-based and market-based innovations. Second, we present the case of the “High Value Beef Partnerships” (HVBP) project which is aimed to improve the profitability of emerging and smallholder cattle farmers by developing cost-effective and environmentally sustainable beef value chains that supply cattle to meet the specifications of high-value, free-range beef markets. Gender aspects are being addressed in key activities of these projects with a view to identify factors impacting on smallholder farm business performance and to then design customised intervention strategies to overcome the barriers to practice change.

Is innovation gender neutral? Reflections on the Pili food processing industry of the Philippines

Cresilda M. Caning

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Innovation is the result of novel combinations created by the entrepreneur. It is acknowledged that the successful operation of organizations in almost all industries is becoming highly dependent on their ability to produce innovations. It was also argued that the presence of females in top management improves managerial task performance leading to better firm performance. In this study, I used the OSLO Innovation Measurement Framework to analyze the business practices of Pili processors and determine if gender plays a factor in embedding innovation in the organization. This framework specifies four types of innovation, namely: product, process, marketing, and organizational innovation. Results showed that, being in a mature industry, the entrepreneurs are implementing more of marketing and organizational innovation strategies. They are active in establishing linkage and networks with government agencies as a strategy to generate new product ideas and market channels. Product strategies meant looking for new products ideas while marketing innovation practices are evident in their continuous search for new sales channels, continuing effort to find new ways to promote their goods, and use of branding and packaging as a differentiation strategy. Organizational innovation practices are evident in the participatory leadership culture within the business. Further, the entrepreneurs are establishing relationships with other businesses and government agencies. Findings showed that such efforts greatly contributed to the sustainability of their businesses.

Gender Integration: Insights from Experience

Chair: Cynthia McDougall

integration and impact: Moving beyond individual empowerment to institutional engagement

Kenneth Macharia Mwangi

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with Mulei, Leonard; Taye, Hailemichael; Mbo’o-Tchouawou, Michèle; Nkwake, Apollo M; and Mentz, Melody

Although both men and women make substantial contributions to food production and utilization, there is still very limited capacity to address gender inequalities in many African organizational structures. Lack of effective strategy for building the capacity of institutions for enhancing gender integration is the critical challenge. Traditionally, capacity building interventions have mainly focused on individuals with the assumption that their capacity will be translated into institutional levels changes. Some of these interventions intend to increase the number of women scientists and/or by empowering individuals who integrate gender into agricultural R&D. Given the paradoxical position of women in African agricultural sector, gender integration cannot be treated as an “add-on” agenda. Hence capacity building need to strengthen institutions to systematically mainstream gender in agricultural research processes. This can be achieved by engaging institution’s management and stakeholders with an adequate strategy to review internal policies, practices and management frameworks to be gender responsive. A mix of both individual and institutional capacity building approaches should be encouraged towards effective institutional transformation. This paper reflects on strategies employed by AWARD- a longstanding capacity development program to strengthen African agricultural R&D institutions in gender integration. The program used both individual and institutional approaches. The study found out that individual level capacity building is necessary but not sufficient for individuals to contribute to institutional level changes. Rather, capacity building interventions should focus on institutions with clear strategy, careful planning and involvement of all key stakeholders and institutional champions.

ROUNDTABLE 3: True GRIT: Impacts of the Gender Research Integrated Training Program

  • Ann R. Tickamyer
  • Carolyn Sachs
  • Nozomi Kawarazuka
  • Carolina Camacho Villa

The Gender Research Integrated Training Program (GRIT) conducted by Penn State gender faculty in
collaboration with CG system gender post docs and scholars over a 3-year period (2015- 2018) provides an
example of a successful program to enhance both gender research capacity and professional development and
support throughout the system. The specific objectives of the program were to “strengthen research capacity on
gender, enhance the quality of gender research in CGIAR, provide strategies for interdisciplinary collaboration,
and increase publication in high quality journals with the ultimate goals of providing benefits to poor rural
women and men and empowering women and girls.” Over the course of this 3-year period there were annual in
depth workshops conducted at Penn State by the GRIT faculty and guest presenters lasting 2-3 weeks and
featuring immersion in topics and tools for integrating gender into agricultural, climate change, and
development primary research as well as developing mentoring relationships between faculty and CG postdocs.
Other activities included on- site visits between mentors and mentees, webinars organized by the CG gender
platform, and condensed workshops offered in conjunction with the CG Gender Platform annual conferences in
Cali, Amsterdam, and Addis Ababa. A number of ongoing collaborations have developed out of this work. An
edited volume showcasing the collaborations between postdocs and faculty is wrapping up and will be published
by Routledge, and a special issue proposed by the most recent cohort is in the planning stages. This panel will
outline the process by which the program came into existence, how it evolved over different cohorts, the
development of a curriculum, best practices, emerging scholarship, and conclusions about what works, what
doesn’t, and how to go forward in the future. The panel will include both members of the GRIT faculty from
Penn State and former post docs who participated in the program. Panel members will discuss their specific
contributions and experiences and how such efforts can be extended.


Gender integration in smallscale fisheries - The challenge of integration at scale

Danika Kleiber

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Globally, gender has begun to be recognized as a key dimension in understanding and governing small-scale fisheries. However, there is still a fundamental challenge of capacity for gender integration within small-scale fisheries research and governing institutions. More specific identification and categorization of barriers to gender integration and prioritized pathways for effective change are needed. Drawing on a global review I will highlight some of the key issues related to gender and small-scale fisheries, then focus on the process of developing indicators that can effectively measure changes in capacity repeatedly over time. The preliminary diagnosis already underway in the Pacific by Lawless and Mangubhai offers an opportunity to develop an assessment tool grounded in the local governance context. We will also draw on the gender and institutions literature along with the expertise of international small-scale fisheries academics and practitioners to make indicators that can be adapted for and applied to contexts outside of the Pacific. This paper adds to a larger body of work examining, evaluating, and addressing capacity gaps for gender integration in small-scale fisheries research and development in the Pacific region and beyond.

PANEL 8: Effective gender training for agricultural researchers: Lessons learned for best practice

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  • Hale Ann Tufan
  • Margaret Mangheni
  • Brenda Boonabaana
  • Michele Mbo’o-Tchouawou
  • Pauline Bommett
  • Franz Wong
  • Ruth Meinzen-Dick
  • Agnes Quisumbing
  • Hazel Malapit

Tufan, Hale with Mangheni, Margaret; and Boonabaana, Brenda

Redefining gender training for agricultural research teams through interdisciplinarity, phased learning and research mentorship.

Gender Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) is a Cornell University-Makerere University applied training program for skills development in gender-responsive design, implementation, evaluation, and communication of agricultural research. Courses are currently focused on gender-responsive crop breeding. GREAT tests a new training model around three tenets: 1) training interdisciplinary teams of bio-physical and social scientists to work together; 2) a phased delivery approach of theoretical grounding, followed by practical field application, and ending with reflection and analysis; 3) dedicated technical backstopping to teams for data collection, analysis and write up. This paper draws on data from three cohorts of trainees to examine the effectiveness of the GREAT training model. Participants had a positive experience attending in interdisciplinary teams: it helped bridge understanding between disciplines, enabled sharing differential learning from the course, and teams supported one another to share the research workload. The phased structure of the course cemented practical application: teams tested application of concepts they learned in the course, gained field experience and were able to identify gender gaps, and collect gender data in projects where this was not planned. Research mentors helped to bridge theory and practice as teams finalized research tools, and facilitated dialogue over divergent perspectives on research and data collection approaches between team members. Early results indicate that with a firm focus on positionality and self-reflection, the GREAT training model is an effective, applied and impactful means to train agricultural research teams on gender responsive research methods towards gender equitable crop improvement project outcomes.

Mbo'otchouawou, Michèle; and Bomett, Pauline

Effective gender training for agricultural researchers: Lessons learned for best practice.

Increased investments are required in building human and technical capacity for the agricultural sector to provide opportunities for improving livelihoods in the continent. Academic programs play an important part in this process but are not sufficient to drive the agricultural transformation. It is also critical to promote soft skills that should be transferred in a way that researchers (both men and women) can equally benefit. In Africa, this is evidently not often the case with the percentage of female students enrolled in science degree programs much higher than the percentage of women actually employed by research institutions and women in research leadership in these institutions.For a decade, AWARD has been investing in African women scientists building on different studies that have analyzed the leaky pipeline from different perspectives (societal attitudes, institutional biases, age differences, resource gaps and lack of role models, mentors, networks, etc.) and using a training approach rooted in its long standing experience in fostering mentoring relationships, enhancing leadership skills and bringing together “hard” “soft” skills to build scientific careers with real impact on the ground. AWARD courses were initially designed with gender-related issues woven into the topics and progressively with the vision that an effective transformative approach in agricultural research and development requires both individual and institutional capacity building efforts. This paper dwells on the specificities of AWARD model, its unprecedented success and impact, the lessons learnt over time and opportunities for more engagement with like-minded institutions to design and deliver effective training with a critical gender lens.

Wong, Franz with Braaten, Yngve; Danielsen, Katrine; Kruijssen, Froukje; Newton, Julie; and Sarapura, Silvia

“Oh, I didn’t know you were a gender specialist, I thought you were just a trainer”: A comparative study of the conceptual basis of gender capacity strengthening in AR4D.

This paper explores gender capacity strengthening as being subversive of dominant frames in AR4D that are not always conducive for women’s rights and gender equality. This requires understanding gender training, for example, as being constituted of both form (how it is designed and approached) and content (the curriculum). Ontological and epistemological assumptions underlie how these are related, where content drives form. We articulate what is particular about gender capacity strengthening for AR4D using our recent experience of working with CIMMYT, Livestock and Fish CRP and FISH CRP. One particularity is the different understandings of gender and how these are situated within wider epistemes of AR4D in which these examples are embedded. The paper illustrates gender training challenging these as well as almost fetishized “tools” of development, such as theories of change or indicator-driven M&E. Another “particularity” is in part the bounded nature of gender capacity strengthening and its performative value. Ultimately, commissioners of such initiatives are often critical gate keepers and participants are key customers. Working within their frames, while also critically engaging with them, is the fine line gender capacity strengthening needs to tread. One line is often the level of comfort of commissioners and participants alike with examining their own epistemes, which are signifiers of expertise in AR4D. Another is the degree to which AR4D organisations themselves are comfortable with critically engaging with their own gendered structures.

Meinzen-Dick, Ruth with Go, Ara; Malapit, Hazel; Quisumbing, Agnes; and Rubin, Deborah

Building capacity to understand and implement the project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (pro-WEAI).

With the development and adoption of Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) and project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (pro-WEAI) by a growing number of researchers and impact assessment specialists, there is increased demand for building the capacity of a cadre of people to implement the index. A program of in-person capacity strengthening sessions planned for South Asia and Africa South of the Sahara has proved insufficient to meet the demand for training. The addition of distance learning can extend access to participants anywhere in the world, reduce the cost (and carbon footprint) of training, and offer flexible timing that accommodates the competing schedules of adult learners. However, there are challenges to creating practical training in a virtual mode, and building a community of practice among those who are trained in how to implement pro-WEAI. Different skills are required for different actors within the pro- WEAI ecosystem. While principal researchers or project impact assessment leads would need to know all of the details, household survey field supervisors, quantitative analysts, qualitative data collectors and analysts would need to know the fundamentals and a more limited set of specialized skills. End users of the information in donor, government, or project implementing organizations would need to know how to interpret the results, but not how to collect and compile the information. We therefore propose to develop six modules: 1 ) Foundations; 2) Survey Fieldwork; 3) Index Construction; 4) Qualitative Fieldwork and Analysis; 5) Analyze & Integrate; and 6) Interpreting the Results. This presentation will provide an overview of plans for capacity building, including options for distance learning and blended learning with in-person interactions.