Knowledge for a sustainable world

Development Programme:
Gender and Social Difference

Gender and social difference in staple crop value chains

  • Understanding gender and social difference dynamics in cassava value chains, along with work identifying socio-economic impacts with cassava market development, value chain upgrading and technology development, given cassava's important role in food security and women's livelihoods. This work is focused on Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda for the Cassava: Adding Value for Agriculture (C:AVA) project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Cassava Growth Markets project funded by the European Commission.
  • Work on the impact of enhancing cassava processing technology is currently being conducted in partnership with CIAT, IITA and CIRAD in their work under the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) in Nigeria and Uganda.
  • Participatory gender and social audits undertaken with value chain stakeholders to strengthen gender and social difference capacity under the C:AVA project in Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.
  • Comprehensive gender and social difference situational analysis and strategy development for yam value chains in Nigeria and Ghana for the Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA) Project.
  • Study on the belief systems and gender dynamics of bambara groundnut in Malawi and its implications for value chain development for the McKnight Foundation.

Gender and poverty in global value chains

  • Sustainability standards and corporate codes of practice are now becoming mainstreamed in global value chains. We have conducted significant work during the 1990s and 2000s on the poverty impact of such standards in global value chains. Examples include: Fairtrade, sustainability standards and ethical sourcing on cocoa, tea, flowers, wine and cotton value chains throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia. These studies have all paid specific attention to the efficacy of such codes and standards in tackling poverty and gender issues.
  • An Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-FCDO project explored the politics of private standards, exploring the dominant narratives, framing of the issues and the levels of participation of smallholders and workers in Kenyan-UK agrifood chains (2008–11)
  • An evaluation of Comic Relief's trade programme (2012) explored a wide range of funded projects that aimed to build access to local, national, regional or combined markets for disadvantaged smallholders.
  • Current work includes an evaluation of FCDO's business challenge fund, the Trade and Global Value Chains Initiative, which covers the Bangladesh Ready Made Garment sector, and Kenyan and South African horticulture. This is examining the social, economic and environmental impacts of investment in social upgrading on the business sector, enterprises, women and men workers and farmers (2013–present).

Land rights, gender and social difference

  • Literature review on women's land rights in the drylands for UNDP (2015)
  • Gender and community engagement capacity building for resolving land and natural resources conflict in Mozambique, with funding from FCDO, MCA /MCC and other European donors (2008–2014)
  • Final evaluation of a Women's Right to Land project led by ActionAid in Guatemala, India and Sierra Leone (2013)

Gender, climate change and environmental sustainability

  • Mainstreaming in climate change adaptation projects: Gender, social difference and spatial marginality perspectives integrated in :
    • Exploring urban-rural social and environmental interdependence and impacts of climate change on agricultural and food systems in Malawi and Tanzania in a Learning Alliance with the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Chancellor College, at the University of Malawi (FCDO/IDRC Climate Change and Adaptation programme) (2009-2012).
    • CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) 'Farms of the Future' project in Tanzania and Ghana-Burkina Faso, facilitated by NRI to strengthen adaptive and social learning through study tours guided by the CCAFS climate analogue tool and use of participatory video (2011–2012).
    • Strengthening adaptive capacity of local agricultural innovation systems in a Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) project through a Learning alliance with the University of Dar es Salaam, Chancellor College and others in Malawi and Tanzania (IDRC-FCDO funded) (2007–2011).
  • Postharvest Agriculture in Changing Climates: its importance to African smallholder farmers – this review concludes that women are under-represented in research, extension and policy making and need enhanced roles in postharvest adaptation planning (2013)
  • Gender, climate change and smallholder agriculture – study for CIAT Africa and Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) including stakeholder workshop in Tanzania (2010)
  • Gender, migration and climate change study for UNDP, Vietnam (2010)
  • Gender, generations, climate change, social protection: A literature review and analysis for ODI (2010)
  • Gender implications of biofuels scoping study and literature review (FAO) (2009)
  • Analysis of climate change and gender for Oxfam –FCDO funded (2002)

Gender, social difference and post-harvest losses

  • Gender and social-development expertise is a feature of NRI's 'Postharvest Loss Reduction Centre', which aims to produce knowledge on reducing losses, enhancing financial and nutritional value and ensuring food safety.
  • Gratitude project funded by the European Union, on reducing Losses from Roots and Tubers, in reduction of cassava and yam losses. A study was undertaken on the gender dimensions of decision making to reduce post-harvest losses and contribute to value addition to cassava peels.
  • Literature review on gender and social difference aspects on access to finance, as part of a larger project on innovative finance options for addressing food losses in Africa, for the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

Strengthening capacity in gender and diversity sensitive approaches

NRI played a lead, strategic role in the Strengthening Capacity for Agricultural Research and Development in Africa (SCARDA) project, which aimed to strengthen the capacity of national agricultural research systems. NRI's activities included the development of the SCARDA gender strategy and a four-country study focusing on the constraints and opportunities in attracting women and minority groups into higher agricultural education.