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  • FTA Highlight No. 15 — Advancing gender equality and social inclusion

FTA Highlight No. 15 — Advancing gender equality and social inclusion

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FTA communications

Over the course of its 10 years of research, FTA has shown that effective management of forests, trees and agroforestry systems can help address gender inequalities and support social inclusion and sustainable landscapes. FTA research focuses on the dynamics of forest-dependent people and the power norms that affect decision-making and benefits.

Advancing gender equality has proven positive effects on the estimated 1.6 billion people in the world who live in or near forests.

As part of “FTA’s highlights of a decade,” a new series focusing on the program’s main results since its inception in 2011, FTA is now publishing the volume on Advancing gender equality and social inclusion.

The FTA program has a key focus on policies, institutions and governance. Gender inequalities present structural barriers to the change that is needed to support sustainable and equitable development solutions in landscapes and along value chains. In many of the contexts where FTA works, youth and women do not share equally in the benefits that treed landscapes offer.

In addition to conducting research specifically on gender and on women’s and men’s empowerment, FTA has mainstreamed gender throughout its research portfolio, aiming to make transformative change at multiple scales, from the local to the global level.

This highlight volume outlines FTA’s achievements in this area, including extensive information on gender in relation to forest, land, and tree tenure and governance.

Based on FTA’s Gender Strategy, gender research and action is characterized by two mutually supportive strands of work.

Using this approach, FTA seeks to effect changes in five ways:

  1. create accessible tools and resource materials for integrating gender in project design;
  2. strengthen capacities for gender analysis and research through workshops and training;
  3. establish a Gender Research Fellowship Program;
  4. position gender research within the Flagship Programs; and
  5. hold interdisciplinary dialogues within FTA.

Tools and resources to integrate gender have positioned FTA as a knowledge broker on gender in natural resources management for policymakers, practitioners, academics and students. FTA’s gender team has delivered capacity-strengthening training to FTA scientists, partners and other stakeholders.

Research in the context of the Gender Fellowship programme studied a range of issues and spread learning across the FTA portfolio.

Interdisciplinary dialogues helped ground gender research in specific forest, tree and agroforestry issues. FTA has shared this learning process with other development and environmental organizations who seek to meaningfully integrate gender.

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  • Gender integration and gender-responsive research

Gender integration and gender-responsive research

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The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has been furthering gender integration and gender-responsive research by deepening conceptual and methodological capabilities to undertake nuanced and relevant gender analyses, and by synthesizing and disseminating current gender research, distilling lessons and disseminating them to a carefully targeted group of policy actors at national, regional and global policy levels.

Scroll down for a summary and compilation of CIFOR’s knowledge products and engagement activities, carried out as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), highlighting key achievements thanks to the support of UK aid’s Knowledge for Forestry (Knowfor) program.


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  • Gender Research Fellowship's second round kicks off in Kenya

Gender Research Fellowship’s second round kicks off in Kenya

The workshop participants pose for a photo in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo by C.Magaju/ICRAF
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The workshop participants pose for a photo in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo by C.Magaju/ICRAF

Building on a successful first phase, the Gender Research Fellowship Programme is back for round two.

This unique program has been designed to strengthen the capacity of researchers and partners working within the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) to conduct research that can support gender equality and other desired project outcomes, such as the sustainable management and conservation of tree genetic resources.

The Gender Research Fellowship Programme is funded by FTA and is coordinated by two of FTA’s partners, Bioversity International and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). Partner institutes actively involved in the Gender Research Fellowship Programme include Association tipaalga, Centre National de Semences Forestières (CNSF – Burkina Faso), Feed the Children, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), and Université de Ouagadougou.

Read also: Building on past success for better quality science: FTA gender research in 2017

The four gender fellows. Photo by M. Elias/Bioversity International

The program’s specific objectives are to:

  • Strengthen the knowledge base regarding gender and the sustainable management and delivery of tree genetic resources
  • Build FTA staff and partner skills in gender analysis and methodologies that support gender-transformative research
  • Develop a community of practice around engaged gender research

From Aug. 28 Sept. 1, 2017, the new Gender Fellows came together in Nairobi, Kenya, to launch the second edition of the Gender Research Fellowship Programme. The four Fellows — two women scientists from Kenya and two from Burkina Faso — developed plans to conduct research on gender and restoration in West and East African countries.

Read also: Listening to different voices – revealing local knowledge through research

Three days of the inception workshop were open to other FTA participants who wished to learn approaches to move “Beyond gender-disaggregated data: Towards engaged research to exert change,” as the title of the workshop indicated. The other two days were reserved for the Gender Fellows to discuss — despite language barriers — how to work together to implement some of those engaged research approaches in their respective projects.

Over the coming year and a half, the Fellows will share their experiences using different approaches for social and gender analysis. They will test the usefulness of scalable, participatory and mixed method approaches to promote gender equity and sustainable natural resource management.

The Fellows will be tasked with producing blogs, reports and scientific papers based on their research. Stayed tuned for more from them!

To learn more about the launch of the second phase of the Gender Fellowship, check out the presentation on intersectionality delivered at the workshop by the Center for International Forestry Research’s (CIFOR) Markus Ihalainen.

By Marlene Elias and Manon Koningstein, FTA Gender Integration Team. Originally published on the website of Bioversity International

This work forms part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), which is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors

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