The Food and Agriculture Organization, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO-RAP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) collaborated in a field study in Thailand. The central purpose of the study was to explore technology demand and supply from a gender perspective with implications for rural poverty alleviation. The interagency collaboration has contributed to construction of gendered knowledge of technology availability and access for the three components of production, namely agriculture and farm, post harvest and home production. Special attention was paid to gender divided household responsibilities where women are main caregivers in the family and thus bear multiple responsibilities, which often leads to time constraints and drudgery with hidden costs for economic and social gains. The time scarce life pattern of rural women also tends to pose limitations in their participation in training activities and participation in community planning, with adverse consequences for gender equal human resource development.
The fieldwork was conducted in the provinces of Buriram, Nan, Phitsanulok, and Songkhla to ensure agro-ecological zone representation and these selected provinces also had an ongoing UNDP project. The study design included the following methods: secondary data analyses, desk review of the policies of selected ministries of the Royal Government of Thailand, Key Informant discussion sessions with government officers, village community leaders and civil society representatives at provincial and district levels in the four provinces and participatory assessment with rural communities inclusive of men and women in six villages in the research provinces. A national policy dialogue was organised for a cross section of development professionals and diverse group of stakeholders in Bangkok to present and validate the findings. The scope of the study was small as a pilot but it has significant implications for understanding the rural gender roles dynamics and gender responsive technology identification and for the formulation of technology policies and programmes.
A summary of the study and the salient findings are presented in this FAO-UNDP joint publication titled, Gender Responsive Technology for Poverty Alleviation in Thailand. Our inter-agency collaboration with its focus on rural communities of Thailand demonstrated the commitment of these agencies to address the gender dimensions in agriculture and rural development. The publication will be informative and valuable to a wide spectrum of development stakeholders in Thailand and the region.
We take this opportunity to thank all members of the study team as well as many individuals and agencies who gave their support to this task.
J.K. Robert England
FAO-UNDP SPPD Team: Gender Responsive Technology for Poverty Alleviation
Ms Revathi Balakrishnan, Ph.D., SPPD Team Leader, Senior Officer Gender and Development, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok
Ms Angkarb Korsieporn, Ph.D., National Consultant, Socio-economist - Gender and Participation; Researcher, Social Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok
Mr Sakda Thawichsri, National Consultant, Rural Technology, Bangkok
Ms Panpat Plungsricharoensuk, FAO Young Professional Officer, Rural Institutions
Ms Revathi Balakrishnan, Ph.D., Senior Officer, Gender and
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok
Ms Marlyn Hopper, Consultant, Ireland.