Measuring women's time use and exertion in agriculture and nutrition

  • Validation of ICTs for Understanding Women's time use, dietary, diversity and hygiene practices in Uganda (2021-23)
  • Understanding how dynamic relationships among maternal agency, maternal workload and the food environment affect food choices (2018-21)
  • Through the Looking Glass: Applying a Gender Lens to Agricultural Transformation, Labour Intensification and Nutrition Outcomes in Rural Livelihoods in LMICs’ (2019-2020).
    • The project aims to explore the potential of the ongoing technology revolution in consumer-oriented wearable devices to transform empirical research on gender differentials, intra-household dynamics, nutrition outcomes and labour productivity in rural livelihoods (in Telangana and Odisha state). The new metrics can significantly improve the design and impact evaluation of interventions related to maternal and child nutrition, women’s empowerment, and agricultural technology adoption in rural contexts in the Global South.
  • Using Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) to understand the relationships between labour-saving agricultural innovations, women’s time use and maternal and child nutrition outcomes in Uganda (2016–18).

Gender, social difference and food systems

  • Leading Work Package 1 under the RTBfoods project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that is responsible for the creation of an innovative participatory and interdisciplinary methodology to identifying food preferences and socio-cultural dynamics around RTB crop preferences. by gender and other factors of social difference. Working with 11 partners in Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria & Uganda (2017 - present).
  • Understanding gender and social difference dynamics in cassava value chains, along with work identifying socio-economic impacts with cassava market development, value chain upgrading and technology development, given cassava's important role in food security and women's livelihoods. This work is focused on Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda for the Cassava: Adding Value for Agriculture (C:AVA) project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Cassava Growth Markets project funded by the European Commission.
  • Work on the impact of enhancing cassava processing technology is currently being conducted in partnership with CIAT, IITA and CIRAD in their work under the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) in Nigeria and Uganda.
  • Participatory gender and social audits undertaken with value chain stakeholders to strengthen gender and social difference capacity under the C:AVA project in Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.
  • Comprehensive gender and social difference situational analysis and strategy development for yam value chains in Nigeria and Ghana for the Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA) Project.
  • Study on the belief systems and gender dynamics of bambara groundnut in Malawi and its implications for value chain development for the McKnight Foundation.
  • Gratitude project funded by the European Union, on reducing Losses from Roots and Tubers, in reduction of cassava and yam losses. A study was undertaken on the gender dimensions of decision making to reduce post-harvest losses and contribute to value addition to cassava peels.
  • Literature review on gender and social difference aspects on access to finance, as part of a larger project on innovative finance options for addressing food losses in Africa, for the Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

Gender and poverty in global value chains

  • Sustainability standards and corporate codes of practice are now becoming mainstreamed in global value chains. We have conducted significant work during the 1990s and 2000s on the poverty impact of such standards in global value chains. Examples include: Fairtrade, sustainability standards and ethical sourcing on cocoa, tea, flowers, wine and cotton value chains throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia. These studies have all paid specific attention to the efficacy of such codes and standards in tackling poverty and gender issues.
  • An Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-FCDO project explored the politics of private standards, exploring the dominant narratives, framing of the issues and the levels of participation of smallholders and workers in Kenyan-UK agrifood chains (2008–11)
  • An evaluation of Comic Relief's trade programme (2012) explored a wide range of funded projects that aimed to build access to local, national, regional or combined markets for disadvantaged smallholders.
  • Current work includes an evaluation of FCDO's business challenge fund, the Trade and Global Value Chains Initiative, which covers the Bangladesh Ready Made Garment sector, and Kenyan and South African horticulture. This is examining the social, economic and environmental impacts of investment in social upgrading on the business sector, enterprises, women and men workers and farmers (2013–present).

Land rights, gender and social difference

  • Literature review on women's land rights in the drylands for UNDP (2015)
  • Gender and community engagement capacity building for resolving land and natural resources conflict in Mozambique, with funding from FCDO, MCA /MCC and other European donors (2008–2014)
  • Final evaluation of a Women's Right to Land project led by ActionAid in Guatemala, India and Sierra Leone (2013)

Gender, climate change and environmental sustainability

  • Synthesising and curating a portfolio of gender methods and tools related to key areas of gender research for Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) research programme and the Gender Platform of the CGIAR (2021)
  • Depleted by Debt? Focusing a Gendered Lens on Climate, Credit and Nutrition in Translocal Cambodia and South India.
    • Facing growing crises of agricultural productivity and taking primary responsibility for the nutritional wellbeing of their households, women are targeted as credit borrowers globally. Credit provisioning therefore speaks to the push for 'resilience' against climate disasters. But how do we ensure that small-scale credit as a tool for 'climate resilience' does not come at the cost of women's emotional and bodily depletion through processes of household nutrition provisioning? This is the key concern motivating this two-year multidisciplinary project which is set within the political economy contexts of Cambodia and Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Mainstreaming in climate change adaptation projects: Gender, social difference and spatial marginality perspectives integrated in :
    • Exploring urban-rural social and environmental interdependence and impacts of climate change on agricultural and food systems in Malawi and Tanzania in a Learning Alliance with the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Chancellor College, at the University of Malawi (FCDO/IDRC Climate Change and Adaptation programme) (2009-2012).
    • CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) 'Farms of the Future' project in Tanzania and Ghana-Burkina Faso, facilitated by NRI to strengthen adaptive and social learning through study tours guided by the CCAFS climate analogue tool and use of participatory video (2011–2012).
    • Strengthening adaptive capacity of local agricultural innovation systems in a Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) project through a Learning alliance with the University of Dar es Salaam, Chancellor College and others in Malawi and Tanzania (IDRC-FCDO funded) (2007–2011).
  • Postharvest Agriculture in Changing Climates: its importance to African smallholder farmers – this review concludes that women are under-represented in research, extension and policy making and need enhanced roles in postharvest adaptation planning (2013)
  • Gender, climate change and smallholder agriculture – study for CIAT Africa and Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) including stakeholder workshop in Tanzania (2010)
  • Gender, migration and climate change study for UNDP, Vietnam (2010)
  • Gender, generations, climate change, social protection: A literature review and analysis for ODI (2010)
  • Gender implications of biofuels scoping study and literature review (FAO) (2009)
  • Analysis of climate change and gender for Oxfam –FCDO funded (2002)

Strengthening capacity in gender and diversity sensitive approaches

NRI played a lead, strategic role in the Strengthening Capacity for Agricultural Research and Development in Africa (SCARDA) project, which aimed to strengthen the capacity of national agricultural research systems. NRI's activities included the development of the SCARDA gender strategy and a four-country study focusing on the constraints and opportunities in attracting women and minority groups into higher agricultural education.

Group Leaders

Dr Lora Forsythe

Associate Professor in Gender, Inequalities and Food Systems

+44 (0)1634 88 3067

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