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Gender and development



Sustainable livelihoods







About SD


FAO's Sustainable Development Department designs policies, strategies and methodologies to foster the active participation of rural people - men and women - in agriculture and rural development. Through its work on improved participatory methods and tools, SD is helping build self-reliant groups of and alliances among rural poor. It also undertakes studies and assists countries in exploring and designing policies and strategies for achieving sustainable livelihoods. The Department's programmes on gender and population provide capacity building and training, increase policy-makers' awareness of gender issues, address women's key roles in food production and food security, and analyse demographic links with environment and food security.

Gender and development

"Local seed systems and external influences: a case study from the United Republic of Tanzania" This case study is based on a research on local knowledge systems and agro-biodiversity carried out in Central Zone and Southern Highlands by the FAO LinKS Project. It highlights and explains how political decisions and socio-economic changes have influenced local seed systems and the availability of local seeds in Tanzania over the past 50 years.

"Energy and gender in rural sustainable development" FAO is looking at ways in which increased attention to energy and gender linkages can help countries promote sustainable agricultural production and rural development, as well as work towards meeting the targets set out in the Millennium Development Goals.

"Gender equity in agriculture in light of economic globalization" The globalization of the economy and the associated market liberalization strategies have tended to undervalue these essential issues of human development and social reproduction, in which the other crucial economic factors are also rooted. Hence, current economic development strategies tend to widen the existing socioeconomic and gender gaps.



"Conflict management over natural resources capacity building program under the community-based rural development project" The purpose of this training manual is to provide a capacity building framework and tools to support the technical and operational implementation of the conflict management training component for this rural development project.

"Toolkit for the application of Participatory and Negociated Territorial Development in transborder zone" The Toolkit is related to the application of Participatory and Negotiated Territorial Development in the context of the Socio-Economic Development Program for the Transborder Onchocerciasis-Freed Zone of Ghana and Burkina Faso.

"Assessing participatory rural environmental management: In the craft villages"In northern Viet Nam, rapid industrial, population and urban growth have put increasing pressure on land and water resources in rural agricultural areas. Overuse and misuse of these resources cause widespread environmental degradation, poor human health and living conditions, and decreased incomes from farming and craft production.



"FAO HIV/AIDS Programme Fact Sheets" The FAO HIV/AIDS Programme has produced a series of fact sheets. FAO has been mandated by its governing bodies to monitor the impact of HIV/AIDS on food security. In addition, FAO supports its member countries in their efforts to prevent the worsening of the epidemic and to mitigate it negative effects on food security and nutrition.

"Population ageing in developing regions: focusing on the oldest old" This note takes a closer look at the oldest old defined here as persons aged over 70 years with the aim to highlight the expected changes in their relative numbers and sketch the implications for development interventions.


Sustainable livelihoods

"Land tenure, food security and investment in postwar Sierra Leone. Livelihood Support Programme Working Paper 22" Postwar Sierra Leone presents a number of challenges in reconstruction and development. Among these is significant food insecurity and investment in the rural areas, which is especially difficult for subsistence producers who are still recovering from the effects of the war.

"Land and water rights in the Sahel. Tenure challenges of improving access to water for agriculture. Livelihood Support Programme Working Paper 25" Demographic and other changes are raising new challenges for water access in the Sahel. With rapid population growth, competition over water resources for agricultural uses is increasing. In many places, water points have been at the centre of tensions and even violent clashes between users.

"Making rights a reality. Participation in practice and lessons learned in Mozambique. Livelihood Support Programme Working Paper 27" In the last decade, several important and innovative policies and laws have been passed in Mozambique, designed in part to enhance rural livelihoods by strengthening rights of people especially the rural poor to natural resources.

"Developing Institutions and Options for Livelihood Adaptation to Climate Variability and Change in Drought-prone Areas of Bangladesh" The impacts of climate variability and change are global concerns, but in Bangladesh, where large parts of the population are chronically exposed and vulnerable to a range of natural hazards, they are particularly critical.



"Second year of activities approved by the SARD-M Project Steering Committee: Reinforcement of activities started and expansion into Sub-Saharan Africa " The SARD-Mountain Project Steering Committee met at FAO Headquarters in February 2006 to review progress of the project in 2005 and to review the proposed work plan for 2006.

The SD-Dimensions "Publications page" makes available hundreds of full-text publications related to issues of gender, population, HIV/AIDS, extension, rural development, land tenure, sustainable livelihoods, communication for development, education, research and technology, energy, geoinformation, and environmental policy. These full-text electronic publications are available on-line free of charge in html and pdf formats. Browse available publications for the entire department, or under the following areas: Environment, Institutions, Knowledge, and People.

Readers of SD-Dimensions and the FAO web site may notice two new features: Ask FAO and the Best Practices web site. "Ask FAO" allows users to pose questions directly to experts in FAO; it also includes a searchable "knowledge base" of answers to frequently asked questions covering issues as varied as how to ask FAO for technical assistance for controlling bird flu to finding out national rates of deforestation. Similarly, FAO's new "Best Practices web site" serves as a one-stop source of technical information on recommended practices and techniques in food production, rural development, natural resource management and other areas. These new sites can be accessed directly through their web addresses or through the icons located on the homepages of FAO and SD-Dimensions.

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(page updated September 2005)

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