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Topic: Vulnerability

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Gender and Agriculture: Inefficiencies, Segregation, and Low Productivity Traps

Women make essential contributions to agriculture in developing countries, where they constitute approximately 43 percent of the agricultural labor force. However, female farmers typically have lower output per unit of land and are much less likely to be active in commercial farming than their male counterparts. These gender differences in land productivity and participation between male and female farmers are due to gender differences in access to inputs, resources, and services. In this paper, we review the evidence on productivity differences and access to resources. We discuss some of the reasons for these differences, such as differences in property rights, education, control over resources (e.g., land), access to inputs and services (e.g., fertilizer, extension, and credit), and social norms. Although women are less active in commercial farming and are largely excluded from contract farming, they often provide the bulk of wage labor in the nontraditional export sector. In general, gender gaps do not appear to fall systematically with growth, and they appear to rise with GDP per capita and with greater access to resources and inputs. Active policies that support women's access and participation, not just greater overall access, are essential if these gaps are to be closed. The gains in terms of greater productivity of land and overall production are likely to be large.

Andre Croppenstedt,  Markus Goldstein and Nina Rosas

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Localizing Demand and Supply of En vironmental Services: Interaction With Property Rights, Collective Acti on, and the Welfare of the Poor

Payments for environmental services (PES) are increasingly discussed as appropriate mechanisms for matching the de mand for environmental services with the incentives of land users whose actions m odify the supply of those environmental services. While there has been considerable discussion of the institutional mechanisms for PES, relatively little attention has been given to the inter-relat ionships between PES institutions and other rural institutions. This paper presents and builds upon the proposition that both the function and welfare effects of PES institutions depend crucially on the co-institutions of collective action (CA) and property rights (PR).

Brent Swallow, Ruth Meinzen-Dick and Meine van Noordwijk

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Sahel Food Crisis 2012 - A Cyclical or Exceptional Crisis?

ROME - A new food and nutrition crisis is hitting the African Sahel, affecting the poorest African countries. A total of 18 million people between Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal are in urgent need for assistance to meet basic needs such as water, food, shelter and healthcare. [...]

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Climate-Responsive Social Protection

In the years ahead, development efforts aiming at reducing vulnerability will increasingly have to factor in climate change, and social protection is no exception. This paper sets out the case for
climate‐responsive social protection and proposes a framework with principles, design features, and functions that would help SP systems evolve in a climate‐responsive direction. The principles comprise climate‐aware planning; livelihood‐based approaches that consider the full range of assets and institutions available to households and communities; and aiming for resilient communities by planning for the long term. Four design features that can help achieve this are: scalable and flexible programs that can increase coverage in response to climate disasters; climate‐responsive targeting systems; investments in livelihoods that build community and household resilience; and promotion of better climate risk management