From 10 to 14 December 2012, 35 representatives of ICCO partners from NGOs and Government gathered on the Island of Bohol in the Philippines for a workshop dubbed ‘conversations on gender-responsive value chains’. Angelica Senders, facilitated the workshop together with experts of Philippines Rural Women’s Congress (PKKK). The workshop was aimed at filling the gap in knowledge and skills for the application of a gender responsive approach to Value Chain Development at the level of the organisations involved in the ICCO Value Chain Development programme.
The workshop started with field visits to provide a common base of reference for the workshop. In 4 groups the participants visited a FairTrade shop, an organic rice value chain project and two cooperatives producing traditional Philippine products, Salabat (a ginger drink) and Calamay (sticky rice cake). The first day was concluded with a visit to the famous Chocolate hills of the Island Bohol.
Day two was dedicated to refreshing the concepts of ‘Value Chain Development’ and ‘Gender’ and to recall ‘Why ICCO considers gender important’. Subsequently the participants were introduced to a number of tools that can be used in different phases of a value chain project cycle. The tools are taken from the toolkit for gender in value chains from Agri-ProFocus. Participants were excited to see how simple tools can create great insights on the gender aspects of their value chain work. Special attention was paid to case experiences from all over the world. For this purpose the book Challenging Chains to Chains was used, also this book (dubbed the ChaChaCha book) is resulted from joint efforts in the Agri-ProFocus network.
Day three (with a smaller audience) was used to translate tools and lessons learned form all over the world to own cases: seaweeds, muscovado sugar, organic rice, coffee etc. In sub-groups gender overlays were made to value chain maps of the particular cases. The specific context tools from the toolkit were applied and lessons from the ChaChaCha book used for reference. At the end of the workshop participants expressed the need to continue exchanging experiences on the lessons learned. "Getting a gender lens systematically integrated in the way of working will require continuous effort and learning by doing.