Last Thursday, GAAP hosted an outreach event in Washington, DC to present the findings from some of the projects in the GAAP portfolio. The morning event began with a welcome by Agnes Quisumbing and Ruth Meinzen-Dick, two of the four Principle Investigators of the GAAP, who also gave a presentation on the GAAP conceptual framework and an overview of the project.
The event also included presentations from Dan Gilligan and Neha Kumar on the Harvest Plus Reaching End Users (REU) project, from David Spielman on the CSISA laser land leveling project, from Deanna Olney on the Helen Keller International project, from Shalini Roy on BRAC's Targeting the Ultra Poor project, and from Agnes Quisumbing on CARE's Strengthing the Dairy Value Chain (SDVC) project. The presenters were joined by session chairs Keith Weibe and Marie Ruel, from IFPRI.
The event concluded with closing remarks from John McDermott, Director of the CRP on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH).
Summarized findings from GAAP portfolio projects are now available. Project Notes summarizing the key findings from each project are now available on the Findings page, as well as on each individual project page. The full collection of Project Notes is also available. Stay tuned for more detailed findings in the form of papers in the coming months!
The CGIAR's Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) just released a short video interview with Agnes Quisumbing, one of the GAAP PIs and the Senior Gender Advisor to A4NH. In the video, Agnes explains the important linkages between gender and assests and how their relationship can affect people's ability to engage in and benefit from interventions. She showcases two of the GAAP portfolio projects: The Harvest Plus Reaching End Users Project and the Helen Keller International Enhanced Homestead Food Production Program.
A new paper, developed for the UN Foundation and ExxonMobil Foundation research collaboration on "Building a Roadmap for Women's Economic Empowerment" has just been released. This paper, written by several of the PIs and Core Members of GAAP, explores value chains in five of the GAAP projects: dairy value chains in Bangladesh and Mozambique (CARE and Land O'Lakes), horticultural crops in Burkina Faso (HKI), and orange-fleshed sweet potato in Uganda (HarvestPlus).
For the full paper, click here.
For more information on the "Building a Roadmap for Women's Economic Empowerment" research collaboration, click here.
When talking about asset ownership and control for smallholder farmers, land is one of the most important assets to consider. Owning, operating and controling land can influence food security, gender relations, the environment, economic development, conflict resolution, and transparency, among other things. Throughout September, the international development news and business site, Devex, is running a campaign entitled "Land Matters", which will highlight several of these issues.
The campaign showcases innovative solutions to land issues and advances a conversation that now involves smallholder farmers across Africa and other parts of the world as well as land experts, social entrepreneurs, business executives and government officials.
The campaign is being co-sponsored by PIM, the CGIAR program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets, and authors from IFPRI and CAPRi will be among the contributors, especially on the “Land Matters for Women” and “Land Matters for the Environment” themes. GAAP Principal Investigator Agnes Quisumbing contributes her thoughts on why we should care about women's land rights in a op-ed.
Landesa, one of the grantees in the GAAP portfolio, was recently spotlighted in the Wall Street Journal for one of it's projects in India's western state of Orissa.
In particular, it details the establishment of Women's Support Centres in administrative divisions; these centers help to ensure that rural single women can obtain homestead land. The author notes: "If the WSC program extended throughout Orissa, as is likely, more than half a million single women could get land, finally bringing to life the ideals embodied in India’s laws and constitution."
For the full article, click here.
The first part of the series focuses on Landesa's work with landless families, particularly in India. The granting of micro-plots to landless families has proved successful in lifting families out of poverty, contributing to household food security, and freeing up household income usually spent on food to be spent on other purchases, like education. A pilot girls empowerment project works through girl's groups to educate girls in how to grow food for their families; the hope is that endowing the girls with this kind of useful knowledge will make families reconsider marrying the girls off at a young age, allowing them to complete their educations and break out of the cycle of poverty.
The second part of the series focuses on Landesa's founder, Roy Prosterman, a University of Washington law professor.
The series also includes a beautiful Photo Essay, which displays photos from West Bengal, where Landesa's "Security of Girls Through Land" project operates.
On Thursday, March 14th, IFPRI launched its 2012 Global Food Policy Report, entitled Walk the Talk. The report explores the world food situation in 2012; highlights several key issues, including youth employment in agriculture and a green economy; and looks ahead to scenarios in the future of food.
Chapter 4 in the report, entitled “Closing the Gender Gap” focuses on women in agriculture. It points to the growing attention that was given to gender in 2012, particularly through the FAO’s State of Food and Agriculture Report 2010-2011, and the World Bank’s Development Report 2012. It also highlights the Gender, Agriculture and Assets Project as a key example of a project that explicitly pays more attention to gender differences in rights, resources and responsibilities as a way to achieve development objectives. It mentions several of the GAAP portfolio projects, including Land O'Lakes, Landesa, BRAC, CARE, HKI and HarvestPlus. To read the full chapter, click here.
Research and development programming is thus moving from gender-blind to gender-aware, though more needs to be done. In particular, a more solid evidence base on gender in agriculture needs to be built (in particular through more detailed, robust, and longer-term analyses of both quantitative and qualitative gender data); women’s control over assets needs to be strengthened (including natural resources, tools and technologies, and financial, human and social capital); and partnerships with women’s organizations need to be formed (though enlisting men’s support is crucial). A commitment to gender-responsive and gender-transformative agriculture can improve agricultural productivity, food security, and nutrition and thus cannot be ignored.
The event page for the launch event can be found here: http://www.ifpri.org/event/launch-ifpri-s-2012-global-food-policy-report
Transforming thinking about gender was not easy and involved a variety of tactics, including trainings for country and regional staff and country gender working groups, the inclusion of gender indicators in project planning and budgets, the formal recognition of gender targets against which staff would be evaluated in appraisals, as well as engaging men in discussions on the role of women in dairy value chains. Training was also offered to farmer's groups, particularly women, on the benefits of becoming a shareholder in milk-chilling plants. While challenges still remain, particularly in attracting young women to dairying, the project has proved successful: As of June 2012, women made up 29 percent of dairy organization members, up from the 2008 figure of 14 percent.
For the full article, click here.
Last week, the GAAP team met at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the final technical workshop of the GAAP project. The group, which consisted of the grantees, project leaders, GAAP core members, and External Advisory Committee members, enjoyed the beautiful ILRI campus (including resident antelope!), strong Ethiopian coffee, and two and a half days of presentations and lively discussion about the projects.
Grantees were asked to present their findings thus far and their plans for completing their work in the coming months. After each presentation, discussants drew connections across projects and pointed out ways in which the findings could be clarified or explored in more depth. Grantees were also treated to presentations about how to effectively present their message, as well as monitoring and evaluation. Coffee breaks and group dinners offered grantees the chance to discuss similarities and differences across projects and share ideas and lessons learned. A shopping trip to Addis Ababa’s crafts market created opportunities for bonding and boosting the local economy!
On the last afternoon, a large group took a field trip to Debre Zeit, around 30 miles outside of the city, to a women's dairy cooperative to speak with the cooperative members about theexperience of belonging to the group and the challenges of dairy production. Though the bus was briefly delayed by a pack of camels, the field trip was a success! The cooperative members had questions for the GAAP participants too, inquiring how they can access resources to build their business and what smallholder dairy farmers in other countries have been doing. It proved to be a learning experience for everyone, and a nice way to see a bit of the countryside for the many that were visiting Ethiopia for the first time.