Africa / ASSP / Capacity Development / Capacity Strengthening / CGIAR / East Africa / Ethiopia / Gender / Goats / ICARDA / ILRI / Livestock / LIVESTOCK-FISH / Research / Sheep / Small Ruminants / Value Chains / Women

Advancing the gender agenda in small ruminant value chains in Ethiopia

A recent gender capacity assessment study by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) revealed that low or lack of gender capacities among research and development practitioners is one of the bottlenecks in the development of gendered livestock value chains in Ethiopia. This has implications on the ability of the different partners in the CGIAR research program on Livestock and Fish to effectively and efficiently perform functions, solve problems, and set and achieve objectives in a gender responsive manner.

The assessment covered three research and three development partners, and evaluated six core gender capacities that are required to enable the design and implementation of gender responsive interventions. The assessment evaluated existing capacities against the desired capacities, to generate an understanding of capacity assets and needs that can serve as input for formulating a response strategy to addresses the capacity gaps, and optimize existing capacities that are already strong and well founded. This kind of assessment also helps set the baseline for continuous monitoring and evaluation of progress against relevant indicators, and create a solid foundation for long-term planning, implementation and sustainable results.

Overall, on a scale of 1-5, the gender capacities of the research and development partners was low, particularly, the capacity to conduct gender analysis and strategic planning, and use of innovative gender responsive approaches.


Figure 1 Organizational and individual gender capacities of research and development partners

The assessment findings was shared with the partners involved in the study, who  appreciated its importance and noted that it provided the much needed motivation to engage in activities that could help them develop their own gender capacity. The capacity assessment exercise also helped the partners to developed action points constituting priority gender core capacities, activities to enhance the capacities, desired capacity level, responsible body, indicators and expected results. A Gender Capacity Development Committee (GCDC) has been set up by respective partners to rollout these initiatives.

Using this information, ILRI and ICARDA gender teams in collaboration with Transition International have developed a tailor-made Gender Capacity Development strategy, organized in a series of four training workshops, complemented by coaching. The first training workshop on Gendered Value Chain Analysis starts today in Addis Ababa.  This workshop will be attended by the GCDC members, regional gender focal persons and heads of the respective organizations that were assessed. Participants will be exposed to the concepts of gender and value chain analysis, gender analytical frameworks, basic tools to conduct gendered value chain analysis and approaches to achieve balanced participation among others.

The activity was funded through the Livestock and Fish CRP and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-funded SmaRT Ethiopia Project – Improving the Performance of Pro-Poor Sheep and Goat Value Chains for Enhanced Livelihoods, Food and Nutrition Security in Ethiopia.

Additional sources of information

Brief: Gender capacity assessment and development methodology and tools: The case of Ethiopia

Feedback report: Gender capacity assessment feedback and validation report for the small ruminant value chain in Ethiopia

Blog post: Scaling-up of gender capacity assessment and development in Ethiopia

Guide: Gender capacity assessment and development guide

By Wole Kinati (ICARDA) and Annet Abenakyo Mulema (ILRI)


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