Gender and development People

Posted February 1999

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Good practices in gender mainstreaming and implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action

FAO Project sheet: Sikkim (India)

Project title: "Development of Small-Scale Livestock Activities in Sikkim, India"
Project duration: 2 years (October 1994 - October 1996)
Executing agency/agencies: FAO
Implementing agency/agencies: Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services (AHVS), Government of Sikkim.
Project cost: US$ 100,000 (FAO)


Sikkim is a former Himalayan mountain kingdom that was, until recently, geographically and culturally isolated and is now annexed to India. In 1994, a modest Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) was begun that had far-reaching impacts in terms of introducing new methods and approaches. Activities focused on livestock breeding, and on training of agricultural and forestry extension staff and community development workers in a range of new approaches and methods. These included participatory assessment, planning, and monitoring; gender analysis; and rapid appraisal of tenure. As with other projects studied in this series, the training focused on looking at differences in access to various resources by gender and age. The training also emphasised applied, field-based practical tools and techniques to allow the trainees to explore the differences in the activities, constraints, and priorities for adult men and women, boys and girls, and elderly men and women.

A strong participatory and gender focus emerged early on in the course of project planning. It was considered that most goats in Sikkim receive their day-to-day care from women, who also look after chickens. The scope of the proposed project was broadened to include village poultry production, and to include a gender focus. In addition, the original project scope was expanded to include agro-forestry, soil and water conservation, and fodder production elements. This occurred in part because of the concern related to conservation and sustainability issues, but also because later participatory rural appraisal (PRA) research strongly confirmed that both gender responsibilities and natural resource constraints would influence the ultimate success of the project.

Specific changes resulting from the project

What was planned

To improve livestock management practices by small farmers in the East and South Districts, resulting in increased incomes; and to improve skills and outreach of the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services extension staff.

What was the strategy

Who was involved

The responsibility for implementation of the project rested with the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, who provided the National Project Director (NPD). The day-to-day operational activities were coordinated by the Project Liaison and Training Officer (PLTO). The PLTO and Sikkim's only Goat Development Officer (GDO) were seconded to the project for technical, training, and monitoring activities. Recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of the project, a Steering Committee/Interdepartmental Working Group was established, with members drawn from several different GOS services. Technical backstopping, additional training, and monitoring support was provided by the core team of international consultants, each of whom visited Sikkim at least three times. In addition, the technical officer from Rome provided a monitoring visit toward the end of the project.

Replication/spin effects

Follow-up projects have been proposed to continue the successful initiatives of the pilot TCP project. Unfortunately, funds have not yet been available to refine the project methodology, expand project impacts to new villages, or to initiate additional activities that have been identified as key to resolving problems of resource degradation in Sikkim. Efforts are underway to identify possible donors to sustain the momentum initiated by this small but successful project.

What was learned, factors contributing to success

For more information, contact:
Women in Development Service
Women and Population Division
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100, Rome, Italy
Tel: +39.06.5705.5102 Fax: +39.06.5705.2004

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