Blog post by Esther Njuguna-Mungai, Scientist – Gender Research, Grain Legumes

Gender coordinators from 15 different CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) met at the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, Colombia on 19-20 May to discuss two important agendas: (i) The indicators for the common Intermediate Development Outcome (IDOs) on gender and empowerment and (ii) devising standard methodology for the global case studies on gender. I was excited to represent the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes (Grain Legumes).

What are common IDOs?
Common IDOs are a framework that all the CGIAR Research Programs agree, work and contribute to. These ‘common’ IDOs are irrespective of the research programs they belong to – whether they are commodities (eg, cereals, legumes or roots) or systems (eg, humid tropics, drylands, and water) or processes.

IDO on gender and empowerment
There are 11 common IDOs identified by the CGIAR. One of them is the IDO on gender and empowerment. In a panel discussion led by Dr Jacqueline Ashby, Senior Advisor, Gender and Research at CGIAR and Dr Cherly Doss, Gender Coordinator, IFPRI the following questions were discussed to define the indicators:

  • What are the indicator(s) that each research program should measure as baseline and monitor to show its research activities are contributing towards empowering women and vulnerable groups?
  • How would it be measured?
  • Are there baseline data available for those ‘indicators’?

After discussions in groups, two indicators were identified for recommendation: (i) Women’s control of assets and (ii) Women’s participation in decision making. These recommendations will be forwarded to the IDOs Design group of the CGIAR for ratification and communication to the research programs for adoption. Measurement of these IDO indicator data will be included in our monitoring, documentation and reporting to the CGIAR at the Product line level.

Study on global evidence
The CGIAR Gender and Agricultural Research Network has proposed to implement a global case study that focuses on ‘Gender norms, agency and innovations in agriculture and natural resources management’. Dr Ashby explained that this study is motivated by a need to have ‘global evidence’. There are many small and isolated gender studies that are usually context specific, which focus on norms and agency in agriculture and natural resource management; but generalizing the findings to global trends is always a challenge. Gender research expert, Patti Petesh, is leading a process of using a ‘standard methodology’ to have these case studies implemented across different CGIAR Research Programs across different countries, sites and cultural contexts.

Grain Legumes will be participating in this study. Together we will work towards finding answers to whether there are gender norms that affect management of grain legumes seed and its implications on our technology deployment in various Product Lines.  This is going to be an exciting study and I look forward to a very productive time together with the Grain Legumes team.