Mozambique March 2014

MOZAMBIQUE - Promoting Equal Access to Resources and Opportunities in Agriculture for Men and Women

Workshop held at IIAM, Maputo, March 11-13, 2014

Purpose and Background of Workshop

The workshop was proposed by Walter Bowen and Andrea Bohn in response to a perceived need to strengthen the capacity of agricultural scientists and extensionists in Mozambique to address gender in their work, especially in projects supported by USAID.  A team of facilitators was assembled from ILRI and the University of Florida, using workshop materials previously tested in several other countries, which were translated into Portuguese by the University of Florida and revised by collaborators in IIAM.  Once in Mozambique, the team was joined by collaborators from the Gender Unit of IIAM, from the Trilateral Cooperation (US-Mozambique-Brazil) project based at IIAM, from ILRI-Mozambique, and from USAID.  The workshop took place on the main IIAM campus in Maputo.

Daily Sessions - Overview and Outcomes

Day One - Summary

The workshop opened with an introduction by the Mozambique USAID representative, Jesse Leggoe, who provided an overview of the importance of gender for USAID followed by Anabela Zacarias, IIAM representative. The facilitators introduced themselves, then presented the workshop objectives and approach. The workshop began with an ice breaker to get participants to know each other and introduce a second person to the group, by mentioning their name, job and previous experience with gender. Of the 29 participants, a pre-workshop survey showed that 16 had some knowledge of gender issues, 7 knew a great deal about gender, and 6 had no experience in gender. Most people expected to learn how to mainstream gender and use tools to integrate gender in their daily work. After a plenary discussion on what people understood as gender and their experiences with the topic, a PowerPoint presentation presented the concepts around gender. Two videos on gender, agriculture and food security were shown followed by group discussions on the main messages in the videos, and a discussion on gender stereotypes and the importance of thinking critically around gender issues. The Mozambican context was introduced by the participants with an overview of the historical circumstances that affect the current perceptions of gender issues. Problems related to a focus on women only, without a full gender approach, the lack of flexibility by funders to support qualitative gender research that might take more time for results, and gender stereotypes in project proposals were discussed.

The main steps of gender analysis and four basic gender analysis tools were introduced to the group through a PowerPoint presentation and discussion. The final session of the day included a “gender energizer” game highlighting gender stereotypes to open the discussion on gender in sensitive environments. The participants analyzed the results of the game and exchanged other ice-breakers they knew. Suggestions for adjusting the agenda for day two were gathered from participants. As a summary of the day, participants shared their main concerns with gender, which were: how to explain the concept to colleagues, how to integrate gender analysis tools in daily work, and how to report on gender indicators to donors.   

Day Two – Summary

Day Two began with a brief review of Day One activities.

Next, all participants were split into 4 groups. Groups 1-3 worked on the same case study “The Republic of Kashaba,” with each group using a different gender tool that was presented the previous day. Each group was asked to respond to the following questions:

1) What did you do in your group to understand the case study and apply the tool?

2) What did you learn from using the tool?

3) Why or When could you use this tool in your work?

4) How would you use the findings from the tool?

Group 1 used the 24-hour clock tool. Findings from the experience of using the tool:

·        Women multi-task in many activities – difficult to determine which section of the clock different activities fit into.

·        The findings from the exercise with the tool could be used to determine when is the best time to introduce an activity (or meeting) for both men and women.

·        The tool is useful to uncover the different roles of men and women.

·        The tool could be used for data collection as well as monitoring changes in the project.

Group 2 used the activity profile. Findings from the experience of using the tool:

·        Need to separate the groups interviewed based on their triple roles.

·        Difficult to define “reproductive” and “productive” roles – they overlap – and to clearly define these in advance.

·        Focus groups are useful but you must interview individuals for final impact evaluations.

·        This data can be used to apply at the beginning of the project and to guide the project development throughout.

Group 3 used the access and control, 24-hour and activity profile tools. Findings from the experience of using the tools:

·        Believed that each tool complemented the other – used all three!

·        Used the activity profile to determine who does what.

·        Used the 24-hour clock to determine when they do it.

·        They adapted the access and control tool to fit the community activities.

·        Need to define terms, which will help to develop project strategies more clearly. Also need to clearly define the intent of each project, in order to know what questions to ask and what tools to use.

Group 4 was the “advanced” group that had received previous gender training and felt more confident in using gender analysis. They discussed use of the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index tool and how it had been used by one participant, as well as the challenges. All group members had experience with Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), household surveys, and structured and semi-structured interviews. All had experience also with the tools described and with other participatory tools that are often complementary.

The next session began with asking participants: What are you already doing to engage farmers in your activities? Some of the results:

1.      Joint identification and prioritization of gendered constraints.

2.      Involve local government structure (local leaders, SDAE) in the selection of possible project participants, adopting strategies to encourage inclusion of all groups.

3.      Make sure you give clear instructions for identifying target groups so that you get the right persons in your focus groups or household surveys.

4.      Training should be mostly in the field setting, with demonstrations and practical examples, rather than in classrooms.

The participants watched a PowerPoint presentation on using participatory strategies to engage farmers and were then asked the same question again regarding how to engage farmers. Discussion points that followed included:

1.      Should we have groups separated by sex or have one group only with both sexes – IT DEPENDS! Maybe women will feel more comfortable if the groups are separate in the beginning but could be joined later.

2.      Most extension officers are men – Two problems with this: Are women allowed to talk to male extension officers? And often male extension officers tend to focus on men as they are mostly involved in cash crops – they often don’t see the women as farmers…

Statements to think about:

·        There is never a project that doesn’t include gender

·        “Gender is not about changing men (only); also women need to change!”

·        When going to the field, don’t go with ASSUMPTIONS – often you will be proven wrong! And always look at who has the OPPORTUNITY to adopt a new activity.

In the last sessions for the day, participants broke into four small groups based on value chains related to: 1) beef cattle; 2) cassava; 3) mango; and 4) maize. The groups were asked to outline (in general terms) the value chain of different commodities.  They were then asked to “genderize” them based on who does what where in the chain, and who has access and control of resources in each component of each chain.

Findings from the exercise included:

·        From the group presentations it appeared that sometimes we don’t know much or enough about a value chain and we make a lot of assumptions that may be wrong.

·        It is important to indicate the location of the particular value chain described as there are many geographical differences (even if there are commonalities).

·        In understanding the value chain, identifying actors is an important step when working on value chains. We need to understand all the actors, as working only with farmers may not be the solution; often the only way to ensure adoption of new technologies is if the farmer gets a better price at the market…

·        Last exercise – in the value chains described earlier, indicate if men or women dominate AND then look at the access and control of the services of benefits.

·        Interesting: we need to think carefully about how to conceptualized and analyze access and control throughout the value chain. How can we do a better job in this regard- possibly a future workshop with greater focus on applying the tools to real projects.


Day Three – Summary

Two participants summarized the main findings from the previous day.

The third day began with presentations from Ms. Mary Ellen Duke who introduced the USAID gender policy and answered some questions by the trainees. Ms. Shannon Howard introduced the USAID gender indicators on which future USAID-funded projects will have to report. The following presentation introduced the idea of developing project indicators to monitor progress on gender-sensitive activities, identifying tools to assess change in the indicators, and then integrating the new learning into project activities to better progress towards desired outcomes.

The second part of the morning focused on individual participants developing concrete plans to integrate gender into their own work plan in the next 6 months, and then discussing this work with colleagues with whom they collaborate. Participants presented and discussed the work plans in plenary, as well as the main difficulties foreseen for implementation and needs for further training and technical assistance. The discussion on work plans was an opportunity to suggest specific practical ways that participants might integrate gender into their projects and activities, and how to integrate principles of gender equity beyond a simple gender-balanced participation of community members. A number of projects focused on variety selection (of various crops) and the most common gender issues in variety preferences were highlighted. Most trainees expressed concerns about their capacity to respond to the gender indicators needed to report to USAID, and to carry out deeper analysis of gender-disaggregated data. These were discussed as priorities for possible follow-up activities in the future.

Participants were asked to fill in the workshop post-evaluation form and to share a brief workshop evaluation with the rest of the trainees. The complexity of gender theory was mentioned, together with the importance of thinking critically, and the usefulness of practical measures to facilitate the involvement of women (such as organizing a crèche during project activities).  

The day concluded with a simulation of the trainees receiving their certificate of participation and briefly discussing next steps after the workshop. IIAM will send the certificates to participants at a later date.

Main Outcomes, Recommendations and Next Steps

Some participants in the workshop had greater familiarity and experience with gender, but all groups of participants clearly needed further support, training, and assistance to translate gender into practical changes in their work.  The group that was relatively new to gender analysis received a strong introduction to the topic, but clearly demonstrated a need for further support in deepening their understanding of basic concepts and how to translate these into practice. Those with more experience with gender articulated a need for further training and technical assistance in order to effectively transmit gender insights to work colleagues, and to understand how to design and implement monitoring instruments, how to analyze data collected, and how to integrate findings into concrete project activities on an on-going basis. 

These reflections demonstrate the importance of understanding gender analysis as part of a longer-term learning cycle that includes discussing and reflecting on specific work experience, understanding and integrating new concepts and tools for addressing gender, and applying these new ideas in an on-going process of practical adaptation and monitoring.  Even with previous exposure to gender training, it takes time and practice in concrete community and institutional applications in order for people’s thinking to mature to the point that abstract concepts can be effectively understood and translated into continuing practices, much less effectively conveyed to others. In order to take advantage of the adult learning cycle, workshop participants need support and on-going technical assistance to experiment with concrete practical activities in their daily work, punctuated by further trainings to deepen skills in gender analysis and communication, to exchange ideas and learn from one another, as well as to learn about emerging new ideas and approaches to gender.  The most effective way to facilitate this process and disseminate gender integration among scientists and extensionists is to support the development of a Mozambican learning community in which participants can learn together and support one another in their efforts to innovate with gender integration in Mozambican agriculture, and even to contribute to global learning on this important issue.

The workshop revealed several concrete examples of the need for on-going training, technical assistance, and collaborative learning for participants:

·        Greater depth in understanding of gender-related concepts: In using the 24-hour recall tool, participants had difficulty understanding how the results could be used to design or modify their projects.  Some people had difficulty understanding such basic concepts as “reproductive work” or “access and control” over resources.  Many people tended to equate gender with the establishment of equal numbers of male and female participants, without fully comprehending the logic of deeper gender analysis.

·        Elaboration and use of gender indicators: USAID will require that future projects incorporate gender indicators, and workshop participants articulated their lack of expertise to develop indicators within the logic of their own project goals and activities.  Further assistance and training will be needed to assist people in understanding how gender indicators can be incorporated as part of the cycle of each specific project, and how specific projects and activities may contribute to changes measured by more global gender indicators.

·        Learning about new gender tools and approaches: With the resurgence of concerns with incorporation of gender into agricultural programming and projects, new gender approaches and tools are being generated, and Mozambican scientists and extensionists need to gain access to these emerging ideas and approaches, and have the opportunity to contribute to knowledge and practice based on their own experiences and innovations.  For example, one workshop participant shared the experience of using the “Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index” (WEAI) – a new gender tool – but expressed difficulty in applying the approach.

·        Incorporation of participatory approaches: Use of participatory approaches in work with agricultural communities was a small segment of the workshop but participants articulated a need for assistance to develop their skills in this arena.  A simple participatory conversation – such as a focus group discussion on the characteristics of specific crop or animal varieties – can generate much useful information related to gender, but participants lack training and practice in gender-sensitive participatory methods, especially researchers.  A simple matrix tool was presented in the workshop for participatory assessment of varieties, comparing groups by gender.  Some participants had difficulty grasping the usefulness of this tool until it was translated specifically to the crop that was the focus of their own work – demonstrating the need for more specific technical assistance in applying even simple gender tools in concrete projects.

·        Integrating gender in the project cycle: Many participants expressed difficulty in understanding how to integrate gender analysis into their projects and programs, ideally from the beginning design phase, but also as needed in on-going programs.  They found it challenging to make the connections between the ultimate goals of their work – and the diversity of potential final “users” of their project results -- with gender-differentiated impacts.  This was especially difficult for researchers, who often felt that understanding “users” was not a part of their role, and who failed to focus effectively on the role of their work in broader institutional missions.  The “value chain” analysis exercise stimulated much in understanding the broader context of specific agricultural project activities, and raised many questions about gender issues throughout the system.  This exercise provided a useful point of departure for future follow-up training and technical assistance, helping to make linkages between gender concepts and practice. 

·        Need to capacitate teams, rather than individuals: Specialists such as plant breeders, socio-economists and plant pathologists have different disciplinary perspectives and understand gender in different ways, yet all parties need to understand the broader perspective of gender in order to effectively incorporate gender analysis into projects.  It is unrealistic to expect one individual of a diverse team to take on the role of sole gender specialist, and to train their colleagues, without greater support for learning about training methods and how to translate gender concepts into terms that are relevant for their colleagues.  Most workshop participants’ work plans included passing on their learning to colleagues in their home institutions, but many expressed the need for support in helping to build the learning community on gender.

·        Expand attention to gender in extension: Two extensionists participated in the workshop, but this is a sector of urgent need for greater gender expertise.  The extension participants had relatively little gender experience or understanding.  Strengthening gender attention in Mozambican extension is an urgent priority.

·        Creating a community of practice in the context of Mozambican agriculture: The workshop revealed the need and opportunity to invest in development and support for a longer-term community of practice around gender and agriculture in Mozambique.  Researchers and extensionists need greater understanding of how their work applies to the broader context of national gender policies, and how to incorporate and test new concepts and approaches in their concrete work in order to contribute to this broader effort. 



“I am very pleased with this important course and hope that all the theoretical lessons will be converted into practice, implemented in research proposals and later in the communities - always considering gender mainstreaming”.

Anabela Zacarias, Technical Director,
Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Follow-up Actions:

·        April 2014: IIAM Gender Unit partners will present a proposal to the Platform for proposals to integrate gender support across activities of the partners in the next phase of the project.  Trilateral Project partners (IIAM-UF-MSU-Embrapa) will discuss possible follow-up activities to address gender issues in the value chains of interest to the horticulture project in Mozambique.

·        April-June 2014:  IIAM Gender Unit partners will follow up with IIAM workshop participants in specific regional centers and programs in order to support the implementation of the individual and group work plans elaborated in the workshop.  These activities will help to identify priority needs for specific future training and technical assistance, and the potential sources of funding to support these activities.


Available separately:

·        Workshop agenda,

·        Participant list

·        Gender Workshop Manual (in Portuguese)

·        PowerPoint Slides (in Portuguese)