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Meeting recording - https://cgiar-my.sharepoint.com/:v:/g/personal/w_ofori-duah_cgiar_org/EfQTrktp4HBAsy3UoTRlWZkB9D_OoSq_Bh8HxIdKrT16GA

1 September 2021
Virtual via Ms TEAMS
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  1. F. Akinseye – ICRISAT-KANO
  2. M. Bekunda – IITA
  3. B. Boyubie – IITA
  4. W. Brooijmans – IITA
  5. M. Cavicchioli – IITA
  6. Edoh – WorldVeg Centre
  7. G. Fischer – IITA
  8. I. Hoeschle-Zeledon – IITA
  9. K. Jimah – IITA
  10. F. Kizito – IITA
  11. B. Kotu – IITA
  12. F. Muthoni – IITA
  13. A. R. Nurudeen – IITA
  14. W. O. Duah – IITA
  15. J. Odhong – IITA
  16. B. Traore – ICRISAT-NE
  17. I. Sugri – CSIR-SARI

Introduction – Dr. Fred Kizito

I think we should be winding up most of our research papers and pending deliverables. This is a very good platform for lots of information sharing and generating insights to improve the knowledge, products and legacy products that we had developing.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you a colleague who joined the Africa RISING West Africa team recently, specifically around Gender. Her name is Martina Cavicchioli.

  • Martina Cavicchioli – Hi everyone, my name is Martina Cavicchioli. I am very happy to join the Africa RISING team today. That's also my first day at work. I arrived yesterday in Ibadan. I'm joining as part of IITA staff, but my position is part of the a partnership between IITA and the GIZ, the German Agency for Development Corporation, and I think that's a very lucky coincidence that today or my first day, I have the opportunity to join for the first time in the occasion of this presentation of Kipo. I am also very curious about the presentation and I really look forward to it and also to meet you all. Thank you.
  • Fred Kizito – Thank you so much Martina. We're also very glad that you've joined the team. Like you rightly say it, it's by coincidence. It's a presentation around gender, so your presence as well will help strengthen the elaboration on gender activities that we're doing.

Edoh is also on the call. Edoh is with the WorldVeg Center. He's here to represent Jean Baptist. Edoh, have you been part of these calls before or this is your first time?

  • Edoh – Yeah, thank you very much. It is my first time.
  • Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon –Permission to add something to Martina's introduction. I would like to add that Martina is wearing two hats in IITA.

She is partly contributing or 50% of her staff time is contributing to the IITA breeding program and 50% to Africa RISING, West Africa. So this we should probably bear in mind when we come to her ability to be involved in what is needed in Africa RISING, West Africa.

  • Fred Kizito – Thanks. It’s good you're trying to caution us that we shouldn't overburden with a lot of work.
  • Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon – Well, it’s just the expectations. Know that she has two jobs here.
  • Fred Kizito – Expectations are OK. Thank you for that elaboration. I hand over to Kipo and Gundula.

Developing gender-transformative innovation bundles: the case of maize leaf stripping - Gundula Fischer & Kipo Jimah

  • Gundula Fischer – Thank you very much and welcome to this presentation on gender, transformative innovation bundles. The question we are exploring in this presentation is: How can we develop gender transformative innovation bundles? We used a study on leaf stripping in northern Ghana as an example.

The question we are pursuing is a new question, so there's very little research on it and our aim is not to give a definite answer. Also, it's not to present perfect concepts for how gender transformative bundles could be developed. The presentation is meant to introduce some ideas and to make suggestions for discussion within the wider Africa RISING team in West Africa.

The Powerpoint presentation was prepared by Kipo Jimah and I, but the whole study on leave stripping grows out of a broader cooperation we have worked with bio physicists and social scientists at IITA and at the University of Development Studies in Tamale.

Together with them we have evaluated the leaf stripping intervention. That's an intervention meant to improve maize-livestock integration, but we will talk about it later. The leave stripping intervention that we used as a case in point was evaluated with a Sustainable Intensification Assessment Framework (SIAF). We employed CF for Agenda analysis and the main question is therefore: ‘How can Gender Transformative bundles be developed, based on the CF approach?’

The structure of the presentation

  • First we will ask why?
  • Is there a shift in research and donor commitments towards Gender Transformative Approaches? Why do we need gender transformative work?
  • The second question is: What are Gender Transformative Approaches? What are gender norms and how can we imagine Gender Transformative Innovation bundles?
  • Leaf Stripping intervention and the results of Gender Analysis
  • Some ideas on how the leaf stripping results could be used to develop transformative innovation bundles.

New Research/Donor commitment to gender-transformative work

Over the past five years, we have seen a growing donor and research commitment to developing gender transformative approaches in agriculture. These approaches are not completely new. They have been used before in different development fields, for instance in public health and in nutrition interventions. They've been tried out and disseminated by large organizations such as CARE, OXFAM. So, fast innovative studies in agriculture were implemented a little more than five years ago, for instance by SIMMYT and by word fish, and these pioneering studies showed promising results and quite a number of donors have now committed to gender transformative work in their agricultural programs. Among them is ID, Arcgis, set, The European Commission for instance, is currently funding a joint program of FAO, IFAD and the World Food Program (WFP), where everything is about developing these approaches. The FAO demands a paradigm shift to achieve gender equality. What is meant here is a paradigm shift in our gender approaches. So a question would be: Why do we need a paradigm shift? Let's talk a little bit about conventional gender approaches and transformative gender approaches and how they differ. The Conventional Approach or Gender Accommodating Approach concentrates on the participation of men and women in interventions and on the benefits that they generate from this participation. Oftentimes, participation in interventions is biased towards one gender. For instance, there are more women in nutrition interventions, or more men in mechanization interventions. Where men and women participate in the same intervention, they may not reap the same level of benefits. In conventional approaches, you will try to work against biased participation by, for instance, increasing women's participation or by forming women only groups. Or you might give assets to women such as a cow or a goat, or you negotiate a piece of land. In conventional approaches you focus on participation and benefits and you try to work against a bias.

Now participation and benefits are important components and they are not to be dismissed. But if we limit ourselves to participation and benefits only, then we have only two major risks.

One of them is that if we form women only groups and we give women specific benefits within a program, then we can leave men behind and we can create even deeper conflicts, including violence. So we speak about it Backlash. The other risk is that you might see improvements only in the project lifespan or program lives their life span, but there are no sustainable changes. For instance, there are examples of women who, in a project have gained property rights for land, but then they pass on land to their sons and not to their daughters. So it is only a quick change which is then reversed or women are given livestock which is later appropriated by male relatives. So sometimes we have no lasting changes that are beneficial. It's probably not sustainable in the long run. This is where gender transformative approaches come in.

Gender norms, shape participation and benefits

So gender transformative approaches aimed at transforming the norms to make development outcomes more sustainable and equitable. For instance, if we take the example that I have mentioned. If a woman gets property rights over land, if the norms are transformed, she might inherit it to both male and female children. Or if a woman receives livestock from a project and the project also works on the norms, then maybe the livestock remains hers. Or even better, maybe her husband realises that the livestock they already keep is actually not just his but the women is also contributing to increasing the heard by feeding and so on. So a shift in mindset is supposed to make development outcomes more equitable and more sustainable.

For clarification, what are gender norms? Gender norms are a subset of social norms, so a group under group of social norms and they outline what is expected from a woman or a man in a social group.

And they are related to notions of appropriate behavior. So how we should behave what we should do as a man or as a woman, and these notions are embedded in institutions in unwritten rules, and believes cultural beliefs, laws, and so on. Gender transformative approaches promote critical reflection on these norms. And they also encourage people to seek new social arrangements where the arrangements that are already there create poverty and inequalities. What is important to note is that gender transformative approaches are not prescriptive. They are not prescriptive in the sense of telling people what they need to do. There's not one right way, but each household, each community needs to engage in reflection, and they need to find their own fair and balanced arrangements.

What are gender transformative innovation bundles?

This concept is based on the idea that agricultural innovations always have both technical and social dimensions and often there is a strong focus on technical innovations without conscious attention to the social dimensions. So there is a mutual interdependency between technical and social aspects, and we need to look at both aspects of innovations to arrive at viable solutions that are sustainable. It points to the need to consciously design more social innovations and to bundle different innovations to reach development outcomes. In other words, if we want to reach SDG 5 – Gender Equality and 10A – Reduction of Inequalities in general, then Gender Transformation should be part of innovation bundles.