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Training on Gender Mainstreaming in Projects and Programs

Farm Mechanization and Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification (FACASI) Project-

Farm Mechanization and Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification (FACASI) Project- Training on Gender Mainstreaming in Projects and Programs

Plate 1: 2WT modified into 4WT in Bungoma, Kenya by Local Artisan, Is this more gender friendly?Although mechanization has the potential to close the gender gap in agriculture, past efforts based on large four-wheel tractors have generally led to inequitable access to mechanization, favouring wealthier farmers, and have often widened the gender gap. Similarly, although most of the labour burden in agriculture is placed on women, it is often men’s tasks that are mechanized in priority. FACASI project with this in mind was designed to address the issue of declining farm power in Eastern and Southern Africa, and reduce the labour burden that comes with low farm mechanization, by promoting small-scale mechanization based on two-wheel tractors. Thus, one of the critical aspects to this project was to see how gender issues are addressed through small mechanization and how it relates to farm power, the project has seen different activities in this aspect implemented at different levels as the project implementers or partners strive address the above main gaol. Gender analysis studies in Kenya and Ethiopia has been carried out and a workshop on Gender matters in Farm Power organized in Addis Ethiopia on October 2015 to share and validate findings.

Plate 2: Training ParticipantsThis training has come as another additive to enhance the focus of Countries project implementers and partners on gender mainstreaming on projects and programmes within and beyond FACASI. It was aimed at building capacities of FACASI national gender focal persons and partners representatives in order to ensure gender mainstreaming in general, but more specifically to explore lessons learnt to get prepared for eventual follow up interventions in agriculture. The training took place between the 22nd and 25th of February 2016 at Equator Hotel in Arusha Tanzania with five FACASI National implementers and partners gender focal persons from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Ethiopia participating. At the end of the course participants were expected to be able:

  • To integrate basic concepts of Gender in Project and Programme Management in the FACASI project
  • To identify gender issues and remediate these in the different phases of the life cycle of an project or programme; in identification, formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation
  • To design a theory of change to support gender mainstreaming in the planning stage of various development interventions of their own expertise.

In this course FACASI’s partners build their confidence in dealing with gender equity in development interventions and society. They will practise the use of different (management) tools and models to implement strategies and understand opportunities for gender inclusion and mainstreaming.Plate 3: Participants take through Theory of Change process or pathways Through interactive course sessions they learned to systematically analyse gender differences and define concrete strategies intervening at deeper causes of inequity, to help them achieve equal development benefits for all beneficiaries. The national counterparts learned to work with change management processes and networking to explore their capacities as change agents.

During the training, focus was on the following concepts and topics considered sufficient to introduce gender dimensions and mainstreaming:

  • Understanding need for gender mainstreaming which included sharing personal gender story, differentiating Practical needs and Strategic interests in gender and development, Key concepts in gender and development and Social changes
  • Gender Based Identification, situational analysis, this basically Field Visit in direct surroundings of venue what was called gender and analysis of observation and participatory photographs from gender perspective.
  • Life cycle of an intervention, introduction, this captured stages in the intervention cycle and gender analyses, Factor analyses and Actor (stakeholders) analyses
  • Formulation of an intervention with clear focus on developing a theory of Change for an intervention with gender mainstreaming
  • Monitoring and evaluation which involved identifying and formulating gender sensitive indicators, monitoring of change and action plan Development

Plate 4: Participants during the presentation of Group work on Stakeholders analysis The training was conducted by experienced trainers and facilitators with a solid background on gender, leadership and management training from MDF Training & Consultancy (MDF), a global training & consultancy agency with over 30 years of experience in international co-operation focus on helping projects & programmes, professionals, organisations, partnerships & networks to achieve sustainable results and results that matter for a better world.

During the training, many participants could admit that most of the activities were eye-openers and have transformed the ways of views things within their environment. They have learnt not judge situations based on what is directly in front of them but to do an in-depth analysis every time and appreciate through the gender lens the multi-coloured capabilities of women and men within their environment. In addition, Participants observe that there is quit a difference between implementing new learned skills and develop the capacity of others to use these new skills. Especially use of outcome oriented and adaptive programming approaches supported through outcome monitoring results to steer towards change of involved actors is a new mind-set. However, changing the mindset of colleagues towards the use of a theory of change as a starting point and its related pathways of change is complex and requires adequate capacity building and influence. During which also network, alliance building, lobby and advocacy have their value and space, ensuring impact and agricultural development with equality and social justice. At the end of the training, participants had the following citations from their experiences and what was learnt for the training:

< I was walking without taking into consideration of who is doing what and why... Gender was not sticking in my head as of importance for the things I am working on, but with this course I realise that everything I do has a gender aspect...> "I thought that I was sufficiently but I have now realised that I was just including them in the actions. Since we started the gender mainstreaming course I will say I am stunned by the realisation of how our programs were really not gender mainstreamed at all. "I have been equipped with the gender lens, no I am able to see how to include men and women ‘s roles, values, power and access levels in program activities in a manner that will contribute to gender equality and gender equity. "I can design relevant gender sensitive indictors to ensure the project can measure impact of the actions on gender values, roles, power and access around small-scale agriculture mechanization." "During the stakeholder analyses and theory of change, I became able to understand that you always need to consider strength and weakness regarding power and relations at the start of the intervention visioned to cause significant change in society." "The training proofed me being wrong and re-shaped my thinking, attitude and refocus my perception towards gender issues." "It enhanced my analytical skills and go beyond the obvious."

Article by Weldone Mutai, ACT Capacity Building Officer

 

 

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