Editorial Chief: Jemimah M. Njuki, Africa Centre for Gender, Social Research and Impact Assessment

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Vol 3, Issue 2, pp 1-19, 2018

How do agricultural development projects empower women? Linking strategies with expected outcomes

Author: Nancy Johnson1, Mysbah Balagamwala2, Crossley Pinkstaff3, Sophie Theis4, Ruth Meinzen-Dick5 and Agnes Quisumbing6

1Senior agricultural officer at the CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council Secretariat at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome. She was a senior research fellow for the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), Washington, DC, when this paper was written.
2Research Analyst, CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) when this paper was written
3 Research Analyst, Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, DC.
5 Senior Research Fellow, Environment and Production Technology Division, IFPRI, Washington, DC.
6 Senior Research Fellow, Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division of IFPRI, Washington, DC.
*corresponding author, nancy.johnson@fao.org


Increasing numbers of development agencies and individual projects espouse objectives of women’s empowerment, and there is a growing body of conceptual and empirical work on how to define and measure empowerment. What is missing is an evidence base on how and how much agricultural development projects can contribute to empowerment. What activities or combinations of activities contribute to empowerment, through what mechanisms, and in what contexts? While it will take time to fill that gap, this paper makes two contributions in that direction. First, it develops a framework for clarifying the objectives of development projects that differentiates between projects that seek to reach, benefit or empower women. Next, the paper identifies and analyzes the strategies of 13 agricultural development projects that were designed to empower women. Strategies are analyzed in terms of activities undertaken and domains of empowerment targeted. While strategies vary across projects, they have several characteristics in common that would be expected to contribute to empowerment.

Keywords: Women’s empowerment, agricultural development, projects, gender strategies, monitoring and evaluation

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DOI: 10.19268/JGAFS.322018.1
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