Last week from August 19- 22, 2013, the full LIVES team had a four day interactive training session on gender and value chains in the LIVES project. The team, with different levels of experience and background in research and development, refreshed their knowledge on gender concepts, revised the LIVES gender data collection and analysis tools, and pre-tested the tool through farmer group discussion (FGD) with groups of male and female focus group farmers two kebelles of Lume district.
The LIVES gender specialist took the lead in organizing and providing the training along with LIVES/IWMI colleagues and the LIVES Knowledge Management expert. The training had interactive conceptual and hands on sessions. Issues such as differences between gender attributes and sex/biological attributes; the evolution of gender since the 1970s and after, practical needs and strategic needs and the gender analysis framework were discussed. The group exercised and discussed the process of identifying and categorizing roles/jobs and gender needs; the importance of customized sets of skills/interventions to different skill sets (men and women) rather than the rhetoric equal opportunities to all while dealing with development. The training enabled the trainees to be aware of differences in gender roles and exercise mapping these roles in a given context.
The team, comprising LIVES regional staff (Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray), LIVES HQ team and the capacity development unit of ILRI, brainstormed strengths, weakness/ limitations, and possible opportunities, and threats of the LIVES project during its implementation of gender sensitive commodity development approach.
On the second and third days, participants reviewed and tested the gender analysis tools developed by ILRI and customized for the LIVES project. After interviewing separate groups of men, women and mixed group farmers on poultry value chain development, participants recognized the importance of separate group discussions and identified possible hiccups in terms of getting quality data, with additional advantage of saving staff time and project resources. Based on this field exercise the regional teams drafted their action plans to carry out gender analysis across LIVES intervention areas.
Following the workshop, a half day session looked at fruit and fruit seedling development and the importance of environment in value chain development; and possible areas of gender mainstreaming in irrigated fruit and vegetables were highlighted. Discussions were followed by a field visit to the fruit and vegetable fields of Melkassa research center where tropical and sub-tropical fruit and vegetable varieties are tested and released.
More from the training event