Behavior Change Perspectives on Gender and Value Chain Development
In this seminar, the speakers presented a framework that considers how gender influences behaviors in agricultural value chains, with a particular focus on upgrading. They defined upgrading as "changes that improve the performance and competitiveness of value chains through improved processes, products, functions or new business models." Their field research, which was done in Ghana (citrus) and Kenya (sweet potato), showed that behaviors that affect upgrading are: money management, business practices, and value chain relationships. Manfre and Sebstad highlighted various types of vertical and horizontal relationships; why they are important; and implications for value chain programming. Specifically, trust and social capital were highlighted. They also discussed factors that support or impede behavior change, such as desire, incentives, and know-how to change. Some of the ways to nudge people to better practices include electronic savings, systems of payment, and financial capabilities to improve money management. The speakers closed by sharing lessons about behavior change and possible future use of the framework presented.
Jennefer Sebstad has o
ver 30 years of work experience as a researcher, evaluator, program designer, and donor in the areas of microfinance and enterprise development in developing countries with an emphasis on women, young people, and vulnerable groups. She is a co-author of Microfinance, Risk Management, and Poverty and has written articles and reports on the impact of microfinance and enterprise development programs and the demand for microinsurance. Now based in the US, Ms. Sebstad spent 17 years living and working in Ethiopia, Kenya and India. She has an MA in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and a BA in South and Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Michigan.
Cristina Manfre is a gen
der and development specialist with extensive experience working in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. She is currently a consultant to Cultural Practice, LLC, specializing in assisting implementing organizations to improve attention to gender in agricultural value chains. She is also involved in a project to apply a behavior change perspective to address gender issues in agricultural value chains for ACDI/VOCA and has been working with Meridian Institute on integrating gender into new agricultural technology development. In her former position as International Program Manager with the USAID Women in Development Greater Access to Trade Expansion (GATE) project at Development and Training Services Inc. (dTS), she led and managed programs in the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Kenya. She has conducted gender-related training and research in the areas of agriculture and natural resource management, value chain development, and micro and small enterprise development. She completed research on labor issues in the maquila sector, focusing on the role of women’s organizations in defending rights to labor. Prior to dTS, she worked as a Program Associate for the International Youth Foundation where she managed country-level projects for a USAID/IDB program for a Latin America region-wide youth employment and information and communication technology (ICT) program. She has a M.Sc. Development Management, London School of Economics and Political Science.