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The terms in this annex are used in the context of household resource management. Definitions may vary slightly from place-to-place, person-to-person, and depending on language and context. It might be useful to listen to local people’s (men, women, young and old) perceptions and definitions of ‘household’ and other key terms you might use when talking with them.

Access, control and ownership (of resources): Access to something means having the possibility to use it, e.g. a resource such as land or production equipment. It does not necessarily imply control or ownership of this resource. Someone who has control over something means that he/she decides how it can be used and by whom - it does not necessarily imply ownership. Ownership can be joint (e.g. by different household or community members) or individual (e.g. by one person). Ownership will determine control and access to a large degree. It is not uncommon for a resource (e.g. land) to be owned by somebody while another person uses it or decides about its use (e.g. when there is an owner and a separate farm manager, etc.)

Division of labour: Work is divided between households or household members. It refers to who does what, when, how, for how long etc. and can be disaggregated by gender, age and other socio-economic variables.

Gender refers to the social, economic and cultural roles and relations between women and men, and takes into account the different responsibilities of women and men in a given culture or location and in different population groups (FAO 2003).

Gender roles are the socially, culturally and politically defined roles and responsibilities to which women and men conform. Gender roles are dynamic and can vary among different societies and cultures, classes and ages, and over time. Productive roles refer to work carried out by men & women that supports production (whether paid or unpaid). Reproductive roles involve childbearing, childrearing, cooking, etc. Community roles are those activities that contribute to the welfare and organisation of the community.

Household: A basic unit for socio-cultural and economic analysis. It includes all persons, kin and non-kin, who live in the same dwelling and share income, expenses and daily subsistence tasks. The concept of household is based on the arrangements made by persons, individually or in groups, for providing themselves with food or other essentials for living. A household may be either (a) a one-person household, that is, a person who makes provision for his or her own food or essentials for living without combining with any other person to form part of a multiperson household, or (b) a multiperson household, that is, a group of two or more persons living together who make common provision for food or other essentials of living (FAO, 1999).

Household food security: A generally accepted definition of food security is access to adequate quantities of safe, acceptable, and nutritious food for all people at all times. Households are food secure when they have year-round access to the amount and variety of safe foods their members need to lead active and healthy lives. At the household level, food security refers to the ability of the household to secure, either from its own production or through purchases, adequate food to meet the dietary needs of all members of the household.

Household head is the man, woman or child recognised as such by other household members. This person makes (many of) the key decisions and has the primary responsibility for managing household matters. Prevailing stereotypes often cause the role to be assigned to an adult male even if a female household member makes the decisions and is the principal source of family income.

Household resource management uses the household as an entrypoint to address and understand rural development challenges. It focuses on management systems within households. This includes decision-making, resource allocation, household consumption, and time management in the context of food security and economic development. Engberg (1990) describes household resource management as “the process of making decisions about how to maximise the use of resources, such as land, water, labour, capital, purchased inputs, inputs produced on-farm, cash, agricultural credit and agricultural extension”.

Resources are things that help provide what is needed. Rural households and individuals within households require different resources for their farming sub-systems and activities. Tangible resources (things that can be seen or touched) include land, water, capital, and production equipment. Intangible resources include skills, knowledge, self-esteem, labour, time, group membership, etc. Basic infrastructure is a useful facilitating resource in terms of market access and is usually provided and controlled by the government. Access to a particular resource often differs for different groups of people. For instance, access to financial resources (savings, credit) is more easily obtained by certain groups of rural people (e.g. men with land title) than others (landless, men and women without land title).

Socio-economic and gender analysis looks at the different roles and relations of women and men in different socio-economic groups to understand what they do, how and why; assesses what resources they have and identifies their needs and priorities.

A stakeholder is anyone (individual or group) who has a direct or indirect interest in the outcome of a development intervention, or anyone who is affected by, or who affects, this intervention.

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