FoodSTART+ Shares Journey on Gender Works at the 10TH IPGN General Assembly

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The IPGN participants with Kapangan Mayor Manny Fermin during the community visit. Photo credits to CHARMP2.

The International Potato Center (CIP)-FoodSTART+ has come a long way in ensuring gender equity of the project activities since its inception in 2015. The project gender-related milestones, challenges, and lessons were shared during the 10th General Assembly of the IFAD Philippines Gender Network (IPGN) held in Winaca Eco-Cultural Village, Tublay, Benguet from 7-10 May 2019.

The IPGN is a platform for IFAD assisted projects in the country to review experiences, share good practices and discuss gender-related good practices and challenges faced during project implementation and agree on concrete actions to improve mainstreaming gender in the performance of individual projects.

This year’s theme is “Rethinking and Working for Better Balance which aims to focus on assessing the current knowledge of the participants, levelling-off definition of gender and gender balance, sharing of strategies of each project to achieve gender balance and to present practical gender analysis tools that will help the projects in analyzing gender issues.

Hosted by the Second Cordillera Highland Agricultural Resource Management Project (CHARMP2), the participants were exposed to the various activities that CHARMP2 has been working – from agricultural innovations to supporting livelihood activities of indigenous groups in the Cordilleras. A practical application of the gender analysis tool was also done during focus group discussions with the beneficiaries in Kapangan, Benguet. Another highlight of the assembly was the poster session where each project showcased their gender activities and plans.

Poster presented by Ms. Arma Bertuso, Senior Research Associate, and Ms. Camille Joy Enalbes, Communication Specialist at the 10th IPGN General Assembly

CIP has been a member of the IPGN since 2011, and its partnership with other IFAD assisted programs has strengthened along with its gender activities since.

With the project nearing its completion, FoodSTART+ shared the journey of the project from planning, assessing, implementing and evaluating its gender activities. Through a poster presentation, the FoodSTART+ team proudly shared the various materials produced during the three-year project, including the gender checklist used to ensure that gender is adequately addressed in project workplans and interventions, a guideline on using participatory videos for farmers to gather information in a participatory and gender-sensitive manner, and the gender strategies which serves as a guide to use the gender lens in conducting activities and project objectives. These materials were developed under the guidance of FoodSTART+ Gender Adviser, Dr. Nozomi Kawarazuka.

The presentation was well-received by the participants, especially the representatives of the IFAD investment partners of FoodSTART+, namely INREMP and FishCORAL, who had a firsthand experience of the gender-sensitive interventions in their respective projects.

The next step entails the production of a coffee table book presenting outcome stories of FoodSTART+ beneficiaries and project partners. The book will primarily feature stories of women farmers involved in the project and will be available by the third quarter of the year.

Written by Camille Joy V. Enalbes, Communication Specialist