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A socio-economic and gender analysis can yield both qualitative and quantitative information about household resources. The roles of women and men include their productive, reproductive and community roles. In planning services with rural households, it is important not to assume that all persons in the household have the same resources (access, control, etc). Women and men often have different constraints, opportunities, knowledge, responsibilities, needs and priorities in managing household resources.

Learning about such issues can be achieved through conversation or interviews with men and women individually or in groups. Much can also be learned through observation. Diagrams can simplify complex information, and ranking and scoring are tools to understand the priorities of men and women and the importance of different household resources.

It is necessary to include the views of all relevant sub-groups to obtain a full picture of a situation. Comparing information from several different sources (e.g. information from women’s groups, statistics, statements by local chief) will help ensure that the information is correct.

SEAGA offers three toolkits for use at the field-level

These tools focus on i) women and men as individuals and in groups; ii) socioeconomic differences within and between households; and c) communities as a whole. Ten participatory tools have been included in the toolbox starting on page 25. The tools are most commonly used in communication with groups of people. It is recommended to have separate groups for women and men because they often have different perceptions (e.g. in ranking of resources) and contributions (e.g. different knowledge). Experience shows that it is difficult to have mixed groups in which women participate fully, even if there are no apparent norms that inhibit women from speaking. It is important to remember that specific steps need to be taken to ensure the equal participation of women and men.

Practical suggestions for planning an extension visit

When planning a field visit:

In advance, make a list of what you want to find out about households and their management of resources. Think about:

What to do with the analysis and the results

Analysing data assigns a meaning to the information, stories, observations, and secondary data that have been gathered. It is useful to disaggregate information by sex and age, and where feasible, by ethnic group, or other key variables in order to make sure the differences among groups can be examined and understood. The results of a socio-economic and gender analysis will probably illustrate that women and men of different ages have different needs in terms of extension services.

The pointers below could help you in your overall analysis and understanding of poor households (adapted from Gebremedhin 1997).

Presenting results and making information available

Start with the most important information that you want to present - most people will not read thick reports or pay constant attention through long meetings. The information should be related to action, with recommendations as outlined by the rural households themselves first, then a summary of the main findings, and the next suggested steps. Most importantly, think about the audience who will use the information:

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