Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

FIELD Report 11: Behavior Change Perspectives on Gender and Value Chain Development: Tools for Research and Assessment

Jennefer Sebstad
Cristina Manfre
Institutional Sponsor: 
United States Agency for International Development
Publication date: 
Saturday, October 15, 2011

The successful integration of women into wealth-creating activities requires an understanding of the degree to which gender defines constraints to participation in and benefits from activities throughout the value chain, as well as commitment by communities and private and public institutions to overcoming these constraints. Gendered patterns of participation in value chains result in fewer options for women and place them at a disadvantage in the value chain—to participate equitably, to cooperate, to compete, and to benefit. Effective value chain programming requires a gender lens that can provide an understanding of how people respond to different kinds of incentives in value chains and how gender affects this response. 

In 2010, FIELD-Support partner ACDI/VOCA launched an initiative to explore these behavior change perspectives on gender and value chain development, and develop a framework for analysis. The purpose of this framework would be to identify practical strategies that reduce constraints and expand opportunities for women in agricultural value chains. Building on the research and consultations conducted for this activity, this FIELD Report presents tools that are designed to study how gender affects the three categories of behavior related to upgrading: money management, business practices, and value chain relationships. They include focus group discussion guides, individual interview guides, a research plan outline and example, and a facilitation guide for consultative workshop with field partners. These tools can be drawn upon to design future research on gendered behaviors in value chains.