THESE GUIDELINES FACILITATE a people-focused approach to forestry projects. They help project personnel consider the potentially distinct interests and concerns of male and female beneficiaries. While the guidelines begin to highlight some of the ways participants need to be disaggregated if projects are to be designed and implemented considering the full range of beneficiary concerns, it does not present all the relevant people-related issues that need attention. The guidelines focus on gender-based distinctions, one of several social dimensions that distinguish different sub-groups within any community. The full range of interdependent socio-cultural variables that influence different community member needs and priorities is broader (see diagram). Hence, even disaggregation by gender will group very heterogeneous sets of people together.
The diagram - Variables in the socio-economic context
The assumption of the guidelines is that the needs, interests and concerns of intended participants are centrally relevant at every stage in the project cycle. The guidelines provide a means by which gender considerations can be integrated into projects:
_ Who participants are intended to be, who they are
_ What they do
_ What constraints they face
_ Which resources they have available to them
_ Which resources they have access to, which they control
_ How their participation can be monitored
_ How the project's impact on beneficiaries can be determined
They show when participant-related information is going to be relevant and how that information can be gathered.
The implementation and operation of activities will naturally be more people-focused, take into consideration the relevant gender-related issues and lead to more effective and successful forestry projects if
_ local people are involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of projects;
_ "people-related" considerations are consistently the focus of the steps leading to implementation;
_ monitoring and evaluation emphasize the need to look at people, including gender-related aspects of the project; and,
_ the terms of reference for project personnel and consultants emphasize the need to consider and focus on people and gender-related issues.