II General tips and guidelines
1. Clearly define the ultimate beneficiaries in all project documents. A more specific definition of beneficiaries makes participants more tangible and increases the likelihood of successful project design and monitoring. An explicit description of beneficiaries highlights the relevant parties, helps in the design of an appropriate approach and facilitates monitoring. It becomes more obvious if important beneficiaries have been left out and need to be added.
2. Link specific project activities to specific beneficiaries. Reports often neglect completely the link between activities and recipients. Project documents frequently define groups of beneficiaries vaguely and with little reference to the specific ways in which they will benefit. Indicating how different groups will benefit differently can highlight the ways in which the project works for specific groups. For example, the project objective, "Increase the timber products yield", begs the question "to do what for whom?"
3. See beneficiaries as participants, not passive recipients. Projects should be viewed as collaborative activities that bring together the efforts of beneficiaries and outsiders to improve upon the status quo. The biggest obstacle to genuine participation is an approach in which development is seen as a process and the beneficiaries are thought of as objects and not actors.
4. Use gender-neutral terminology in project documents. Gender-neutral terminology can help prevent the creation of a sense of exclusion. Using the male form of a word to mean both men and women (i.e. "A Forest Economist is needed. He will be expected to...") can be confusing and does not indicate the importance FAO places on working with everyone. The "he" can prove to be self-fulfilling or misrepresentative.
5. Collect socio-economic information to identify project beneficiaries. Socioeconomic information can help determine who actual beneficiaries will be in the various social strata or resource dependent groups: men and/or women. Such information can also help reveal, in advance, the unintended potentially negative and positive impacts of a project on different groups within the project area.
6. Ensure that national counterparts, co-workers and staff support a people-focused approach to development. Project objectives become more persuasive when the goals of FAO and actual projects reflect those of local people. Try to give both women and men input into project design and decision-making. Make sure that national counterparts know the groups that the project intends to serve. Try to work with counterparts who already work with the various beneficiary groups.
7. When possible, integrate both women and men into the central activities of projects. It is generally more effective to involve both women and men in achievement of primary project objectives. If it is possible, women and men should work together, although a "women-only') project may be required where:
_ there are strong taboos against unrelated males and females working
_ together the effects of past discrimination need to be overcome
_ many or most households are headed by women
_ women specialize in tasks that could be made more productive with outside assistance
_ women request a measure of self-reliance to avoid conflict or competition with men (Dixon-Mueller 1988)
8. Disaggregate data by gender in reporting. Disaggregation of data highlights the importance of serving both men and women. It can also facilitate monitoring and reveal potential benefits or problems related to the gender of participants. For example, "Results: those trained, men 15, women 34, Total 49".
9. Maintain a file that documents the impact of the project on beneficiaries. When projects maintain a file that tracks different beneficiary groups based on gender, it helps re-emphasize the importance of both men and women as beneficiaries. It can also make monitoring and evaluation easier. A project's internal reporting system should be efficient so that external reporting is adequate.