Gender in Agriculture Partnership

Transforming agriculture to empower women and deliver food, nutrition and income security

FOURTH CONSOLIDATED ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT - RWEE

The Joint Programme on “Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women” (JP RWEE)” is the only global initiative where FAO, IFAD, WFP and UN Women are working together to achieve sustainable development for rural women in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nepal, Niger, and Rwanda.

In 2017, funding of US$ 3,050,595 was received in the JP RWEE Trust Fund (TF), of which US$ 3,047,907 was allocated during the International Steering Committee meeting organised on 6 April. A total of US$ 2,800,000 was disbursed to the seven countries of implementation (US$ 400,000 each), with a view to consolidate the results achieved and ensure their sustainability, as this was the last tranche of funding available and no additional contributions had been secured. Despite the limited amount received, good progress was registered in all countries, with steady increases in all relevant outcomes, from improved food security and nutrition, to increased income to sustain livelihoods, to enhanced women’s leadership.

This seems to confirm that the methodological approach adopted by the JP RWEE needed a longer-term engagement in order to produce results at scale, but also demonstrates the engagement of the Participating UN Organisations (PUNOs), which contributed with both staff time and core resources to the successful implementation of the programme. These efforts have enabled the JP to reach, since its start, 51,180 participants (40,227 women/10,953 men) and 261,000 household members directly, and approximately 206,200 indirectly.

Key results for 2017 include: - 69.5% average increase in the agricultural production of participating rural women since implementation started;
- US$ 803,500 income generated from sales;
- 68.5% of POs supported by the JP led by women or with women holding key leadership positions;
- 15,562 rural women benefitting from labour-saving technologies;
- 13,752 rural women in the seven countries using improved production techniques;
- 17,111 programme participants (16,851 women and 260 men) organized in saving groups;
- 7,064 new small businesses or income-generating activities created;
- 156 informal groups with 4,762 members (4,387 women and 339 men) registered;
- 20,722 rural women and men actively participated in awareness-raising and advocacy activities on women’s rights, including right to land and to live a life free from violence;
- 247 rural women and men trained as agents of change at the household, group and community levels through the Gender Action Learning System (GALS);
- Approximately 1,500 government officials at all levels (national, regional, district) have enhanced skills on gender mainstreaming, gender-responsive budgeting, women’s rights, including women’s leadership.

The implementation of these activities has maintained pace also thanks to the governance mechanism in place1, which ensures close collaboration between national authorities (and especially the Ministry of Agriculture), PUNOs, and implementing partners. This structure has been flagged by other joint initiatives as able to ensure transparency, smooth implementation, and replication of the activities2: the perfect environment to create a “JP RWEE model” of joint programming for rural women’s economic empowerment, which has emerged due to increased efforts on knowledge management (KM). One crucial activity in this regard has been the organisation of a learning workshop that has brought together the seven National Coordinators and members of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for three days of exchanges, learning, and taking stock of achievements, challenges, lessons learned and success stories from the implementation of activities.

This report is presented in two parts: the narrative report and the financial performance report. It consolidates the data, information and examples presented in the individual country reports3 and Performance Monitoring Frameworks. The report has been approved by the International Steering Committee (ISC) of the JP RWEE, which is composed of high-level representatives of the four agencies, the participating countries, and the programme’s donors.

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Accelerating Progress Towards Economic Empowerment of Rural Women