Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender Equality Division

©FAO/A. K. Kimoto

The Inclusive Rural Transformation and Gender Equality Division (ESP) coordinates FAO’s work on various social dimensions including on rural institutions, services, social protection, gender equality, decent rural employment, tenure rights and the right to food.

ESP works with member countries and other partners through a rights-based approach, to empower people by enhancing social protection systems and extending their coverage to rural areas, diversifying rural employment opportunities, reducing gender gaps and other social inequalities, strengthening producers’ organizations and improving governance of tenure and the rural poor’s access to natural and productive resources and financial services.

ESP delivers under all five of FAO’s Strategic Programmes to achieve FAO's goals to eradicate hunger, malnutrition and poverty and the sustainable management of natural resources.


Structure of the Division

The ESP Division is composed by the Office of the Director; the Social Protection (SOCPRO) Team; the Gender Team; the Decent Rural Employment (DRE) Team; the Rural Institutions, Services and Empowerment (RISE) Team; the Land Tenure Team; and the Right to Food Team.

The Office of the Director coordinates and leads the work of the ESP Division. The Office of the Director ensures that social issues are well integrated into the main areas of work of FAO, including food security, nutrition, poverty reduction, sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry and rural development. The Office of the Director provides administrative oversight of the Division's work and ensures a direct link with the Economic and Social Development stream (ES).

Contact: Mr Benjamin Davis

The Social Protection (SOCPRO) Team contributes to strengthen social protection linkages with agriculture, food security and nutrition, and resilience. It supports countries in extending social protection to rural areas and it produces relevant knowledge based on evidence generated by the From Protection to Production (PtoP) project. 

Contact: Mr Alejandro Grinspun

The Decent Rural Employment (DRE) Team works with governments and partners to create decent farm and non-farm employment, providing technical support and informing policy dialogue. In particular, the Team promotes innovative approaches at global, regional and country level to address key issues such as youth employment, child labour, women and decent work, migration, green jobs, working conditions and availability of data and evidence. 

Contact: Mr Peter Wobst

The Gender Team is responsible for strengthening the capacity of governments and other stakeholders to formulate gender-sensitive agricultural and rural development policies and programmes. The team also coordinates FAO's cross-cutting theme to empower women and
reduce gender inequalities in agriculture and rural development.

Contact: Ms Tacko Ndiaye
             Ms Susan Kaaria

The Rural Institutions, Services and Empowerment (RISE) Team 
works to promote inclusive rural institutions and effective service systems to create an enabling environment for rural people to actively participate and seize opportunities to improve their livelihoods in a sustainable manner. The Team supports countries in applying territorial approaches in policy making and development planning; promoting pluralistic rural services and financial systems; strengthening producer organizations and empowering rural women and men through gender-sensitive participatory and community-driven approaches to policies and programs.

Contact: Mr Adriano Campolina

The Land Tenure Team 
supports initiatives in over 60 countries in collaboration with FAO technical units, governments and partners to improve tenure rights through the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) and the support to improve land administration . The team helps to develop strategies, policies, tools, applications, legislation and the creation of multi-stakeholder platforms while supporting the capacity development of various actors and institutions (including land administration), as well as knowledge generation and management for the responsible governance of tenure.

Contact: Mr Adriano Campolina

The Right to Food Team
in collaboration with FAO technical units and decentralized offices, supports Governments, Parliamentarians, CSOs and other stakeholders with the implementation of the Right to Food Guidelines. As part of FAO’s contribution to the human rights mandate of the UN, the Right to Food Team provides technical and capacity-building assistance in the areas of assessment, institutional analysis, policy dialogue and monitoring; all of which are relevant for the right to adequate food.

Contact: Mr Juan Carlos García y Cebolla