Gender Integration into Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA). Tools for Data Collection and Analysis for Policy and Research
Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) seeks to support countries in securing the necessary policies, as well as the technical and financial conditions, to enable them to i) sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes; ii) build both the resilience and the capacity of agricultural and food systems to adapt to climate change, and iii) seek opportunities to reduce and remove greenhouse gas (GHG) in order to meet their national food security and development goals. The adoption of CSA practices at scale requires appropriate institutional and governance mechanisms to facilitate the dissemination of information and to ensure broad participation by relevant stakeholders and targeted beneficiaries. CSA is site-specific and considers the synergies and trade-offs between multiple objectives that are set in diverse social, economic, and environmental contexts. Among the drivers influencing CSA adoption, the understanding of how gender could influence the effectiveness of these instruments is capturing increasing attention in the literature (Okali 2011; Stienecker, 2012; Watt, 2012). Recent studies show that youth and women have a different degree of vulnerability compared to that of men for many reasons, including their greater dependence on natural resources for livelihoods, responsibility for food production, water and fuel for their households, more limited assets, and social, cultural and political barriers.
In dealing with CSA adoption, as well as with agricultural technology adoption, there has been increasing recognition of the importance of focusing on the gender-heterogeneity behind the adoption choice itself.1 For example, an outcome may depend on whether the decision-maker is the husband or the wife, as well as if the decision-maker is also the household head.2 To understand gender dynamics in agriculture it is not sufficient to compare male to female farmers or male- to female-headed households. Instead, we need to understand the heterogeneous system of household behaviour embedded in the agricultural economy and to analyse the different situation of women in both male- and female-headed households in terms of their access and control of productive resources, services and employment opportunities.
The household, then, should not be considered as a unified economic entity, but as a network of interactions between different agents that act together to maximize their own outcome. In this framework, gender plays a role in the decision-making over the allocation, negotiations and exchange of resources and labour. This is an extremely complex issue, but CSA adoption itself depends on complex interactions that defy simple characterizations. The integration of gender into CSA also means understanding how gender, and thus its adoption of CSA practices, will evolve together with climate change in the future. To evaluate the effectiveness of CSA in turn would require choosing a set of indicators that are appropriate to carry out such comparisons across the three pillars of CSA: adaptation, food security, and mitigation. In the next sub-section we provide a brief review of options and point to indicators that have the potential to be used based on available data.