Product Line 5.1. Socioeconomic and gender analyses for technology evaluation

Rationale

Technology needs of farmers and the potential impact of technologies on poverty reduction depend on farmers’ livelihood strategies. Poor farmers are mostly engaged in a number of livelihood activities that include crop production, livestock rearing, and wage employment, which may be on the farm or outside the farm. Livelihood strategies differ among farmers depending on their farm size, family labor resources, human capital, financial capital, and access to markets, information, and technologies. They also differ by gender. Livelihood strategies are not static but dynamic and they evolve according to changes in the broader economic, institutional, and social contexts of farming. It is the interaction among these various drivers of changes in the livelihood of farmers that determines the suitability of various interventions (technology and policy) in generating the desired impact. Similarly, long-term observation and analyses of changes in institutions and social contexts of rice farming are needed as such changes are generally gradual and slow. A good understanding of farmers’ livelihood strategies and how various factors such as policy, infrastructure, and institutions influence changes in livelihood strategies is essential for underpinning technology development. 
Analysis of technology adoption patterns and constraints to adoption is similarly essential for providing feedback to researchers and policymakers for improvements in technology characteristics and policy setting to promote a rapid diffusion of technologies. Technology adoption levels tend to vary among farmers depending on socioeconomic and biophysical characteristics. Adoption is a dynamic process in which farmers adopt technologies incrementally over time as they learn more about them. Adoption levels may also differ between male and female farmers of different socioeconomic categories and are conditioned by institutional and policy contexts that determine land tenure and the working of input markets.

Activities

This product line will generate the knowledge and information, primarily based on farm-level studies, for designing technologies and sustainable crop management and diversification options suited to the needs of poor farmers, both male and female, and for identifying institutional and policy options to promote rapid adoption and diffusion of improved technologies and cropping systems. Cross-sectional and panel data on household and farm characteristics, the resource base of households, labor use, income levels, farmers’ perceptions on technology needs, technology adoption patterns and constraints, and farm-level effects of technologies and management practices in rice-based cropping systems will be collected and analyzed. Such micro-level data will be disaggregated by gender for identifying the varying gender roles in rice-based farming systems and assessing the consequences of technologies and crop management and diversification options for women farmers. The data generated will be geo-referenced and will be analyzed through various qualitative and quantitative tools to derive the required feedback for researchers, research managers, and policymakers. 

Products

    5.1.1 Knowledge of farmer technology needs, adoption patterns, and constraints to adoption
    5.1.2 Knowledge of poverty dynamics, livelihood strategies, and gender roles in rice-based farming systems
    5.1.3 Gender-disaggregated analysis of consumption preferences for targeted product development

Partnerships

All research will be conducted in collaboration with partners involving other CGIAR centers, agricultural universities, and public- and private-sector research organizations. Household surveys will be conducted with the help of state agricultural universities, national and regional agricultural research centers, government bodies and local agricultural universities, and NGOs. The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) will help coordinate some of the major activities at the national level. Analytical work will be conducted by IRRI scientists jointly with key members of the national teams involved in data collection. The Hellen Keller Institute will be a key partner on some activities related to gender analysis. Similarly, Humboldt University will be involved in some work in Bangladesh.  
In the case of Africa, GRiSP work at the country level will be implemented through and by the NARES partner institutes. NARES researchers will be given responsibility at the national level for all the studies in their respective countries, including data collection and analysis, report writing and publications, and dissemination of results in national scientific and policy forums. AfricaRice will backstop its NARES collaborators and, whenever necessary, provide them with training in the use of data management and analysis tools needed to implement the agreed-upon work plans. 
  Key CGIAR centers involved are IFPRI, CIMMYT, ILRI, AfricaRice, ICRISAT, and CIAT. More local-level partners will be identified during the course of implementation. 

Uptake and impact pathway

The feedback on technology needs and insights into the evolution of target farming systems generated in this product line will be used by NARES, agricultural development policymakers, GRiSP themes 1–4 and 6, and, more broadly, in CGIAR TA2 (Policy). Policymakers and research managers will use this information to help guide technology development and rural investment portfolios, and to address policy constraints to technology adoption. An increased understanding of livelihood strategies and gender roles will help better target technologies, and improve the on- farm performance of technologies, technology adoption rates, sustainability of cropping systems, and the distributional effects of specific interventions. 

Financing strategy

Several ongoing grants, including STRASA, CSISA, GSR, IFAD facility grant, VDSA, Rice policy and technology impact on food security and poverty reduction (EURO3B), Enhancing smallholder access to NERICA for alleviating rural poverty in West and Central Africa (IFAD4), Diffusion of Improved Varieties in Africa (DIVA), Tracking Improved Varieties in South Asia (TRIVSA), and Assessing impact of public-private partnerships (CIAT-FLAR), provide current support for many activities in this product line. However, this level of funding needs to be extended and sustained. Gaps particularly exist with regard to household-level data for the LAC region.