By Angelica Senders, Njeri Muhia (Egerton University, Nakuru Kenya) and Mike Muchilwa (APF Kenya)
The “Gender Focus” is back on the agenda of donors. In the past, there has been a lot of lip service given to the so-called ‘gender mainstreaming’. However these days, donors want results and outcomes, not only words. For VC specialists this implies that they will have to become knowledgeable/ skilled in delivering sustainable gender outcomes within their organisations.
Watch the video for an impression of the workshop in Nairobi, on 29 March 2012.
The good news is that there is lot of resource material available. Many organisations have produced useful manuals on the topic over the last several years. These are available on the APF internet platform of the gender in value chain Ning. Please check here. The bad news for many practitioners, however is that the practical application of the content into development programs is not easy. The documents are often too thick and the practical guidelines are hidden. The applicability is not immediately perceptible, because the guidelines often need to be adapted to specific contexts.
For Agri-Profocus, this was sufficient justification to offer a coaching track to the partner organisations of their agri-hubs in 4 countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda). This track responds to a felt need of practitioners for assistance on ‘how to’ carry out a gender sensitive value chain development intervention, with special reference to Agricultural Value Chains in the respective countries/communities.
On March 29, the coaching track was introduced in Nairobi with a kick off workshop at the Methodist guesthouse in which 32 people participated. During the workshop, concepts and tools for gender sensitive value chain development were presented. The major part of the workshop was dedicated to practicing with 4 tools applicable in different phases of the project cycle of a Value chain development intervention. The tools are available from the gender in value chain Ning. The workshop was used to explain the coaching track and allow for expression of interest to participate.
The workshop was facilitated by the authors of this blog post. It explained how the coaching track will make the link between the practice of the coached organisation and the available material/ resources. Njeri Muhia will provide 3 coaching days per coached organization. She will play the role of mentor and guide participating organizations by providing interesting manuals, tools and case descriptions of other organisations involved in similar projects. She will assist in tailoring the resources for application in the existing and future value chain development projects of the organization. Participants will have the opportunity of generating and documenting the new ideas! The ultimate objective is to accompany organisation in aligning systems and culture of organizations for gender sensitive value chain development.