While gender equality is a basic human right, and closing the gender gap is key to achieving many development objectives, development practitioners and advocates concerned with achieving gender equality are often constrained by the lack of information to justify targeting limited resources toward closing the gender gap.
In keeping with the purpose of IFPRI’s Food Security in Practice series, this practitioners’ guide bridges the gap between research and practice by providing up-to-date, relevant information on why and how gender issues, when taken into account, can improve the design, implementation, and effectiveness of development projects and policies. IFPRI’s work on gender and intrahousehold issues has already influenced programs, such as conditional cash transfers in Latin America, by contributing to the growing evidence that households do not make decisions as one, and that resources controlled by women lead to improved child outcomes. IFPRI’s gender research has also contributed to a wider acceptance by policymakers that paying attention to decisionmaking processes within the household is essential to the success of development interventions.
For IFPRI’s research to have continued impact on policies and programs, it needs to be communicated in accessible, understandable terms to its ultimate users—policymakers and technical personnel in multilateral or bilateral aid agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and developing-country governments. This practitioners’ guide presents key research findings from IFPRI’s gender and intrahousehold program in the framework of project and policy cycles. The authors took the additional step of field-testing the guide among practitioners in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to see whether the findings were relevant outside the study countries. Finally, the authors conducted a workshop among Washington, D.C.–based practitioners and policymakers to see how the findings related to the policy cycle. Thus, the guide reflects the insights, comments, and suggestions of the ultimate users of this research.