Guidelines for gender analysis in local innovation development

In 2017–18, Chesha Wettasinha from the International Support Team (IST), based at KIT (Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam), worked together with Mona Dhamankar, also from KIT, in developing guidelines for gender analysis in local innovation development (GALID). This initiative was supported by FAO and supervised by Susan Kaaria, Senior Gender Officer, Social Policies and Rural Institutions Division.

In 2017, Chesha and Mona made two country studies in Nepal and Ethiopia to find out how agricultural research and development (ARD) practitioners in these Prolinnova Country Platforms had tried to integrate gender into their local innovation and participatory innovation development (LI/PID) activities. A key finding was that ARD field practitioners were aware of gender as a concept but struggled to operationalise it in their LI/PID work. Far fewer innovations by women were discovered and documented than those of men. Very few of the women’s innovations were selected for farmer-led joint research. There was a lack of gender analysis throughout the LI/PID process.

Based on these findings and drawing on KIT’s expertise in gender, Chesha and Mona developed a set of guidelines that could help ARD practitioners better integrate gender into their LI/PID activities. They prepared possible questions that could be used in eliciting gender-related information at different stages of the process – in identifying women’s innovation; in analysing, documenting and sharing women’s innovation; and in engaging women innovators in farmer-led research. The draft guidelines were peer-reviewed by two Prolinnova network members with expertise in gender: Brigid Letty from Prolinnova–South Africa and Ann Waters-Bayer from the IST.

In 2018–19, these guidelines were tested with a group of ARD practitioners in Prolinnova–Kenya. This started with a training workshop in 2018 to introduce the guidelines to 14 ARD practitioners who were active in the Promoting Local Innovation for Food and Nutrition Security (Proli-FaNS) project in Makueni and Kisumu Counties in Kenya. At the end of the workshop, each participant prepared a workplan on how s/he would integrate gender into her/his daily work. These plans were implemented over a period of nine months. In September 2019, Chesha and Mona returned to Kenya and made a field visit and held feedback sessions with all the workshop participants. Each participant explained how s/he had implemented the post-training assignment and the challenges faced. Based on this feedback, Chesha and Mona revised the GALID guidelines and are now waiting for FAO to give final approval of the submitted document.

The reports of the activities undertaken during development of the GALID guidelines are:

  1. Report on the design of guidelines for GALID (Dec 2017) 
  2. Report on GALID orientation and validation workshop (Nov 2018)
  3. Report on follow-up visits to GALID workshop trainees (Sept 2019)

The draft guidelines can be found here; the final version will be posted after approval from FAO.