Climate Sense was asked by Oxfam to develop a process that would identify the key gender barriers to the success of the LFSP project. The aim of the project was to introduce climate resilient agricultural enterprises to small farming families, vulnerable to malnutrition; and strengthen their connections to markets so that income and nutrition could be improved.
Climate Sense’s first task was to conduct a series of decision systems mapping exercises to identify any decisions that create barriers to project success. The most significant unaddressed barriers resulted from the unbalanced power and benefits between husbands and wives in target farming families. The impact is: low uptake of climate smart agriculture, under resourced input by families to improving productivity; and inequitable share of income from markets between husbands and wives, all contributing to inadequate improvement in nutrition. Indeed in some cases connection with the markets under these conditions makes nutrition worse. A series of interventions were developed and the Gendered Action Learning Systems (GALS) approach was scaled up and mainstreamed within the project. The project gender strategy and action plans were reviewed and updated to reflect the findings.
On identifying these barriers, the findings were shared with the Rural Finance and Markets Development components of the project. They recognised the barriers. Climate Sense then supported both components to consider the barriers and opportunities they had to overcoming the gender barriers to project success.
Previously unrecognised barriers to project success were identified and effective approaches developed to overcome them. A community of practice was developed amongst those in a position to address the barriers; to share experience and continuously improve the performance of the project in understanding the opportunities and barriers and how to address them.