There is increasing awareness that integrating gender into development frameworks is critical for effective implementation of development strategies. In working to alleviate rural poverty, the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) recognizes that “business as usual” gender integration approaches will not deliver lasting and widespread improvements in agricultural productivity, poverty reduction and food security. In response, AAS operationalized a gender transformative approach (see Cole et al. 2014a, 2014b). The approach is informed by conceptual frameworks that explicitly recognize the potent influence of social relations on creating and perpetuating gender inequalities (Kabeer 1994; Locke and Okali 1999). In this way, AAS aims to address the underlying causes of rural poverty and gender inequality in Zambia’s Barotse Floodplain, where people rely extensively on riverine and wetland ecosystems for food and livelihood security.
A central question guiding the research program is “How do social norms and gendered power relations influence agricultural development outcomes?” The findings presented in this report provide insights that help answer this question. The report presents a review of literature relevant to livelihoods, ecosystem services, and gender and social relations in Zambia, with a specific focus on Western Province, where AAS is currently implemented. It also presents a synthesis of findings of a social and gender analysis conducted in 2013 in 10 focal communities situated in and around the Barotse Floodplain. The findings of this study are intended to inform the design of combinations of agricultural and transformative development interventions to foster lasting changes in gender relations across diverse social groups. The findings also provide contextual and baseline data for ongoing monitoring of the processes that underlie these changes. Ultimately, AAS seeks to assess how these transformative changes contribute to agricultural development outcomes, such as poverty reduction and food and nutrition security, through its monitoring and evaluation system that fosters learning in action.
Authors and Publishers
Steven M. Cole,
Karyn M. Fox,
Teoh Shwu Jiau,
CGIAR is the only worldwide partnership addressing agricultural research for development, whose work contributes to the global effort to tackle poverty, hunger and major nutrition imbalances, and environmental degradation.