IV Choosing consultants and project staff
THE SELECTION, ORIENTATION and briefing of both consultants and project staff must emphasize the crucial importance of gender-related considerations. The project identification and formulation teams may be composed of different people. Similar considerations should, however, go into the selection and briefing of team members.
The terms of reference (TORs) for the formulation team need to be written within a conceptual framework that emphasizes the need to consider issues related to the intended beneficiaries. The terms of reference should generally include:
_ a statement of the project's origin and rationale;
_ the outputs expected from the team formulation;
_ the general rules the team must follow;
_ the major project selection and design constraints and suggested project activities that might be included.
The following is an example of an identification team TORs that includes the necessary components and emphasizes the need to consider issues related to the intended beneficiaries. In order to maintain the project's focus on the participants, project personnel should be both technically strong and aware of the relevant socio-economic and gender-related issues. The project identification/formulation team sets the stage for the project so careful selection of the team is crucial.
Use of wasteland for farm forestry - project identification team
Terms of reference
a) Farm forestry can be used to grow trees on wasteland and marginal land. It is an effective approach to afforestation when there is the active and willing participation of the local people, both men and women. A community in the arid region of Nicaragua would like to use farm forestry to develop degraded areas.
b) The identification team will need to determine the farm forestry activities needed for the project in the area. The community needs income, has an interest in afforestation and is familiar with cooperative work. The team must identify specific target beneficiaries, goals and potential collaborative institutions/organizations within the community. Project identification must include consultations with different segments of the community including women's groups and farmer's cooperatives. The general objectives for the project will need to be developed using participatory techniques and integrating farm forestry.
c) Every stage and element of the project must be consistent with FAO's commitments to: serving the world's farmers, particularly the smallest and poorest; actively engaging beneficiaries in projects, ensuring that the concerns of both women and men are always specifically taken into account.
d) Ultimately the leadership for the project must come from the community itself. The project must be designed to reflect community members' (both men's and women's) desires, activities, access to and control over resources and constraints.
e) Project activities might include training in leadership, farm forestry techniques, small business operation or cooperative learning techniques. Both men and women need to participate in the project. The team must design an approach that will facilitate full participation. Participatory techniques should be used to implement the activities.
The team leader creates the tone for the entire project identification and formulation processes. It is critical that this individual be made aware of the importance of focusing on and continually considering both beneficiaries in general and relevant groups of beneficiaries such as men and women, individually.
The FAO forestry resource packet on gender analysis and women in development
1. FAO. 1990. "Handouts, incorporating gender concerns into project formulation". Adapted from USAID Gender issues in agriculture and natural resource management, Rome, Italy.
2. FAO. 1987. Restoring the balance: women and forest resources, Rome, Italy.
3. FAO. 1989. Women in community forestry: a field guide for project design and implementation, Rome, Italy.
4. Sivard, Ruth Leger. 1985. Women - a world survey, Carnegie Corporation of New York. World Priorities, Washington D.C., USA.
5. Molnar, A., Women and forestry: operational guidelines.
6. United States Agency for International Development. 1989. The gender information framework: a pocket guide, Office of Women in Development, Washington D.C., USA.
7. Vainio-Mattila, A. and V.L. Wilde. 1992. Field manual on gender analysis and forestry, FAO, Rome, Italy.
8. Wilde, V.L. and A. Vainio-Mattila. 1992. Gender analysis frame work for forestry development, FAO, Rome, Italy.
_ When possible, the team leader should have training in gender analysis prior to or as part of briefing. The FAO training in gender analysis through the Women in Agricultural Production and Rural Development Service is one resource that is available.
_ The team leader should be given the FAO Forestry Resource Packet on Gender Analysis and Women in Development (above) for review. Additional information related to people's participation and gender-related issues in forestry can also be useful tools for the team leader. S/he can retain these as references for the whole team.
_ The team leader needs to understand, and feel responsible for, the centrality of the social or socio-economic issues of the project. During briefing, the team leader should be made aware of the fact that s/he has a mandate to consider the beneficiaries and particularly groups of beneficiaries in all parts and at all times during the analysis.
_ The team leader needs to be able to articulate the need to focus on and work with project beneficiaries, both men and women, and what they do.
It is important that team members are aware of the potential significance of socioeconomic, beneficiary and gender-related issues in project design. Indicators of potential team member's awareness might be:
_ familiarity with the concept and practice of participatory development;
_ previous work with projects that involve the poor;
_ training and/or a willingness to be trained, in gender analysis;
_ background in the social sciences;
_ familiarity with the concept and literature of gender considerations or women in development.
All team members would need to be aware of some of the basic, relevant differences between men and women with regard to trees and forests:
_ land tenure laws, both customary and statutory, may be different for men and women;
_ some women may retain exclusive rights to leaves, branches, fruits and/or nuts of a tree, while the tree itself may be "owned" by the man;
_ women may choose one crop over another to avoid the need for male labour during land clearing;
_ women and men may make separate and different decisions about the use and sale of forest products;
_ men and women may prefer different tree species based on the tasks they complete.
The various team members will need to focus particularly on varied types of information that differentiate the needs and interests of men and women as well as other distinct beneficiary groups. For example, a legal expert would particularly need to know the differential tenure rights of women and men. Similarly, an economist would need to be aware of the different income earning activities and expenditures of men and women.
The inclusion of a team member who is specifically responsible for gender analysis can sometimes help ensure that the concerns of the project beneficiaries, both men and women, are consistently considered.
A gender analysis expert can relieve some of the pressure on the team leader because s/he challenges the team to report on the relevant beneficiary-related considerations. If there is a gender analysis expert and s/he lacks the full support of the team leader, however, his/her people and gender-related concerns can become peripheral to the mission in any case. The team must appreciate both the integral importance of beneficiary and gender-related considerations to the project and the effect that lack of attention to these issues can have on all aspects of project planning and implementation.
Often a team member plays a dual role; working within his/her professional discipline- sociology, forestry, nutrition or economics, for example - while simultaneously serving as the gender analysis expert. If this approach is used, the expert needs to have his/her dual mandates clearly defined. The terms of reference need to indicate the importance of applying gender analysis and consideration of other beneficiary-related issues across subject specialities. If the "dual role" approach is used, it is not adequate to simply, for example, give a woman on the team responsibility for the analysis of gender considerations. Being female is not enough- the expert must have expertise in the field of gender analysis.
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) recommends that whether or not the gender analysis expert plays a dual role, s/he should have skills that mesh with the project objectives in order to maximize his/her credibility with other team members, partner institution and country colleagues. His/her experience and academic background should be equal to that of the other team members (CIDA 1989).
TERMS OF REFERENCE outline the duties, tasks and obligations of project experts and consultants. TORs usually begin with a statement about who will supervise the consultant and then outline their duties. If the TORs are to help centre the project and design of activities on beneficiaries, they need to link the technical assistance that is provided to the project beneficiaries. To encourage the appropriate kind of research and analysis the TORs must be specific.
For the chief technical advisor to a project, the terms of reference will need to ensure that the approach to implementation and operation considers people-related issues and beneficiary concerns. For example:
"Under the general supervision of the Director of Forestry Department Operations (FODO) and the direct supervision of the overseeing operations officers, the chief Technical Officer will be responsible for management and coordination of the project activities. The work will include:
_ elaboration of a work plan for the project. The work plan will be subject to the approval of FODO;
_ creation of any additional terms of reference for consultants to the project;
_ organization, implementation and oversight of all activities related to the project including extension work, training programmes, field visits, monitoring and evaluation, etc., ensuring that the interests and concerns of both FAO and target project participants are considered in implementation and operation;
_ technical supervision of consultant and expert activities on the basis of their terms of reference;
_ completion of the required project progress reports;
_ supervision of all project activities;
_ selection of national project staff;
_ preparation of a terminal report three months before the end of the project."
The terms of reference for other project personnel will also need to ensure that implementation decisions will be made with the involvement and input of participants. For a project that has the objective "to promote agroforestry on steep-sloping farm land," the terms of reference of a Training and Extension Specialist might read as follows.
Terms of reference - Training and extension specialist
Under the general supervision of the chief technical advisor, and given the project's objective "to promote participatory forest development on steep-sloping farm land," the consultant will perform the following:
· Undertake a quick review to determine the men and women who farm the steep-sloping marginal land;
· Interview at least six local people who farm the relevant land, three women and three men, to gain an understanding of seasonal patterns of land use and time availability and how they differ by gender;
· Determine land use preferences and beneficiary priorities for the land (they may differ by participant subgroup);
· Develop and initiate a locally-adapted training and extension approach that will provide access to services, information and inputs to both men and women farmers in the area;
· Derive a list of specific topics extension workers and training programmes should be prepared to cover based upon participant preferences and land characteristics.