This member participated in the following discussions
Coming in from the communication and research uptake perspective, I would like to share my personal experience both as a writer-documenter-photographer of rural women in India, and from trying to understand the research-policy landscape where pertinent to rural women while strategising uptake approaches.
I found women from rural communities far more inspiring than most educated ones. The clarity with which they see their problems and come up with brilliant solutions has stayed with me. So, to answer your question: How do some rural women manage to move forward and become successful entrepreneurs, whereas others are trapped in a life of food insecurity and poverty?- a fitting example to share is: the monograph called ‘Trail Blazers: Stories of Women Champions from IFAD Projects’. Downloadable PDF is here: https://www.ifad.org/documents/10180/6566a2a2-0b9f-41cd-9fe4-6f43c22ffde9
This coffee table books presents 23 snapshots of the lives and achievements of simple rural women from IFAD project areas whose immense courage and dynamic leadership helped improve their own lives as well as the lives of their families and communities. These are real life stories of extraordinary achievements of ordinary women - of women who dared to take a stand against all odds to break the mould and of women who were not afraid of being ambitious while continuing to play their traditional roles in the family and society. The book captures the narrative along simple lines of Women Champions who have emerged in the process of institutional building, livelihood development, enterprise development and governance in 5 Indian states – Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Uttrakhand and Odisha.
These are just 23 women – I won’t event dare to declare a percentage of could be out there for us to discover, document and communicate within our country and across the world. My impression is that there so much we are doing to communicate on behalf of rural women, and so much more we can do to get the word out to the right people – that brings me to the Research Uptake part of my contribution to this useful discussion topic.
In a bid to begin to tackle Question 3 - Are we using the right approaches and policies to close the gender gap? – I feel that the dilemma with ‘right approaches’ and ‘policies to close gender gap’ are many and it has always been a complicated and sensitive area for research communication and uptake strategies because we are dealing with customs and people, patriarchy and rights, etc. Policies are intertwined with too much cultural sensitivity, and this makes articulating research findings for policy uptake a much-needed skill. There is great need for gender specialists, social scientists, communication specialists and research uptake / knowledge brokers to work more closely together - understand from the other’s perspectives and together develop a strategic approach to communicate to policymakers. This would hopefully be more sustainable and promise transformative action to close the gender gap.
Dear Paul, I really like that you capture video footage and are able to use the same to shape policies and gain recognition for the intervention. Would you be able to share some Youtube links, as well as some documented success stories of the kind of policy impact you have had please? Look forward!
The Group that discussed food security and nutrition policies in the regional & sub-regional context had many vital contributions for the FSN Forum, and this I felt would be good to put down here since these are bound to expand the FSN Forum role in public policy dialogue.
The following are main pointers for FSN Forum consideration and suitable action:
- Firstly, it was widely agreed that FSN Forum has a larger role to play in the pre-formulation and formulation stage, and a much smaller one in implementation and M&E.
- FSN Forum has always been a facilitator providing conducive ground for wholesome and intellectual discussion. This is very successful, but somehow the process stops once the discussion is analysed and summarised.
- For policy influence and impact, FSN Forum needs not just to have focussed discussion around hot topics / issues with its members (primarily scientific experts), but encourage dialogue among Govts / Donors / policy influencers and then bring the two groups together. This process will bring ownership and strong commitment from the policymaker side.
- Pre-analysis of food and nutrition policies can form valuable baseline for policy-level dialogue and a post analysis looking at policy impact as a result of FSN Forum discussion will address the evaluation need for FSN Forum.
- Connecting with other UN organisation, particularly those with children and women as focus - these are vulnerable population for nutrition, encouraging their participation and agenda in policy-level dialogue. Their endorsement on final summaries / policy document will add credibility and help showcase a wholesome deal for Govts.
- Publish FSN Forum and partner of stakeholder policy process as practice papers, and encourage partners to share widely. This is will encourage citations, and ease the recommendation process.
- Policy advocacy is a role FSN Forum can do because of the huge network
- Capacity strengthening for partners to push the policy agenda once the FSN Forum dialogue has yielded concrete output.
- Sharing of good practices / success stories /failures / etc. by getting in voices from around the world
- Connecting with country / regional / and other global networks working to address undernutrition through farming systems / agriculture route and sharing these networks with partners to help boost the effort toward policy agenda.
- to have media as a vital stakeholder in the policy process dialogue. We will need for policy advocacy and periodic propaganda. Besides, constant pressure from the media keeps the fire lit, and works for many regions to drive public opinion and parliamentary debate
- connect FAO country office / regional office staff with partners to better regional facilitation and stronger policy impact