Querstion 4: Linking

What are the pathways for linking outcomes of social relations analysis with the productivity and production outcomes of interest to policy?


  • Margaret MkromaAGRA – ‘This question spotlights the dilemma of social relations analysis; the need for “deeply qualitative data” from specific contexts if it is to point to policies that will address the structural constraints that determine how both women and men, now and in the future, participate in agriculture….’. Pathways could include linking programmes that address practical needs of women to programmes that build strategic capacities among male and female household members to leverage what they own (labour asset, income, etc.) to negotiate in ways that meet individual and household interests.’


  • P Kantor ’The emphasis on contextually specific data leads to a number of now familiar questions: How does one then deal with scale? Can we influence change processes through more than highly localized programmes? What might innovative approaches that address the complexities of social relations in practice, and also operate at scale, actually look like?’


  • Christine Okali – ‘These important scale questions raise the issue of the value of “deeply contextual” evidence. Is this not about learning more about the trade-offs made by individuals and households between different income-earning activities, and other valued outcomes? These data are not intended to be integrated ‘as is’ into policy just as we should not move directly from role data to arriving at conclusions about relations between women and men.’‘What might the policy implications be? Do they not draw attention to the need to accept a range of possible outcomes from say, a programme designed to increase incomes via improved crop production/ productivity for example?’


  • ‘If we accept that policy outcomes will be valued differently by different individuals and groups, where might the current interest in identifying ‘success stories’ (and winners and losers) fit into such a policy outcome?  In our search for successes, have we ourselves defined what success looks like?’ ‘What about flexible policies or policies that leave more room for manoeuvre/ adaptation to specific (local?) circumstances?’


  • Christine Okali – ‘The questions for this debate point to problems of complexity, and even to the nuances in social relations, but possibly these are not the main challenges. Much of the gender literature points to the need to adopt a different starting point for our analysis, and always emphasizes an understanding of the interests of possible policy clients’.
    Certainly there is an issue of commitment – on the part of researchers, their research organisations, and their professional networks – to collect different sets of data, or data that are more disaggregated, and to create a winning alternative narrative for policy makers.


  • Coordinator of Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) –  ‘With regard to the latest LEGS handbook (Introduction), we include gender and social equity as one of the four cross-cutting issues, and as such we highlight some of the key basics (such as the need to understand gender roles with regard to livestock keeping and management, and the differential impact that emergencies can have on men and women). Each technical chapter also considers briefly each of the cross-cutting issues and particular aspects relating to that intervention. 
    However, I feel that there is much more we should include on gender in future editions of LEGS. In particular, it would be interesting to have more data and analysis of gender relations in emergencies. The data we have at present does not go beyond gender differences in access and control over resources, and in the impact of proposed interventions. I would hope that when we produce the next edition of LEGS (planned for the forthcoming phase over the next 2-3 years) we can get some deeper analysis of gender relations, and their implications for planning both for emergencies, and for long term development. It would be interesting for example to have more information on gender dynamics in emergency situations, and especially in relation to coping strategies. In pastoral households during emergencies there is often a split along gender and age lines between obtaining emergency relief support (by women and young children), and moving extra long distances in search of grazing (by men).  If women are to retain any access to livestock and livestock products in these situations, they may have to take on more responsibility for livestock. We might also expect to see a different dynamic occurring in different pastoral groups.’