Posted February 1998
PLANNERS throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America are increasingly called upon to engage in "bottom-up" participatory planning that will benefit women as well as men. In fact, however, participatory, gender-responsive agricultural planning is rarely practised. Why? One important set of reasons revolves around the question of method. It's not clear just "how" to conduct participatory planning or how to change current planning procedures to make them more responsive to gender and other differences among farmers. But as the projects represented at this workshop amply demonstrate, progress is being made.
This paper reviews ten case studies written about FAO field projects that tested methods and tools for gender-sensitive participatory agricultural policy making and planning. The projects' shared goal was to facilitate gender-responsive agricultural planning. Three important challenges influenced how these agricultural development projects were implemented: (a) the lack of disaggregated information appropriate for gender and socio-economic difference responsive planning; (b) the inadequate mechanisms to link or scale up the priorities of women and men farmers to district and national planning processes; and (c) the lack of capacities, at all levels, to institutionalise participatory gender-responsive agricultural development planning. The projects developed and tested participatory methods to address these challenges.
This review focuses on project successes and difficulties in four areas: producing gender disaggregated information relevant to planning, training agricultural officers and field staff in participatory methods, linking farmer's priorities with policy-making and planning processes, and promoting institutional change.
The paper is addressed to workshop participants, agricultural planners and policy makers, and all who are interested in participatory, gender and socio-economic sensitive approaches to agricultural development. It has two objectives:
Section 1 of this review, Gender and participation in agricultural planning, sets a framework for these discussions by briefly describing the major processes involved in agricultural planning and by indicating what we mean by "gender and difference-sensitive participatory agricultural planning".
Section 2 presents a Comparative analysis of the case studies organised around the issues that each case study considered:
The paper concludes with a review of Best practices, plus an Annex, Brief review of the agricultural planning literature, and a Bibliography.