Call for Promising Practices to Advance Gender Equality, Nutrition Security, and Climate Resilience

Across sub-sectors of rural climate resilience – including social protection, disaster risk reduction, livelihood diversification, climate-smart agriculture, among others – what are promising approaches to address gender and nutrition in project design and evaluation?

The Gender, Climate Change, and Nutrition Integration Initiative (GCAN), implemented by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in support of the USAID Bureau of Food Security (BFS), is seeking project case studies to identify promising practices and lessons learned from rural resilience projects that also advance gender equality and nutrition security, to develop a report on promising approaches for USAID BFS, USAID missions, and partners.

Do you have experience designing, implementing, or evaluating a climate resilience project in an agricultural (including pastoral, forestry, and fisheries) setting that also advances gender and/or nutrition goals? If you have lessons learned from any stage of the project cycle, about approaches that did or did not work, please share your contact information and brief project description in this brief survey form by Friday, October 7, 2017 for follow up by the team. For those interested to participate, the team will analyze project documents and contact practitioners for further discussion (on or off the record) where possible.



As resilience has been elevated to one of the three core objectives in the US Government’s Global Food Security Strategy, rural development programs are increasingly prioritizing ways to support the ability of individuals, households, and communities to anticipate, avoid, recover from, and adapt to shocks and stresses.

As part of this strategy, USAID’s Bureau for Food Security is interested in better understanding how agricultural programs oriented to improve climate resilience may also affect gender relations and nutrition, intentionally or unintentionally. We seek to learn how these programs could be designed in such a way as to advance gender equality and nutrition, while avoiding disadvantaging marginalized groups or harming nutrition security.


Gender and Climate Resilience:

Recent IFPRI research reviewed the ways in which gender differences and relations affect resilience.[1] Projects may strive to address gender-based constraints to resilience by:

  • Targeting interventions that increase women and girls’ capacity to avoid or adapt to shocks and stressors in ways that meet their preferences and priorities
  • Creating opportunities to strengthen women’s decision making at household and community levels to respond to change
  • Ensuring the costs and benefits of responses to shocks and stressors are equitably distributed

Nutrition and Climate Resilience:

A better understanding of the pathways linking climate change and nutrition is critical for developing effective interventions to ensure access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food.[2] Understanding how shocks and stressors affect people differently forms the basis of designing effective climate-smart interventions. Questions include:

  • How do shocks and stressors shift agricultural production, market access, and asset ownership, and affect nutrition security?
  • How do responses to shocks and stressors affect consumption patterns, time use and ability to provide care to children?
  • How does a changing health environment interact with individuals’ nutrition?
  • How can we maximize nutrition across the food value chain in the presence of climate change?

Report Structure:

There is a need to assess the current state of knowledge on practical measures to include women and safeguard nutrition in climate resilience strategies. As part of the GCAN effort to expand the evidence base on these dynamics, IFPRI is collecting promising practices and lessons learned in rural climate resilience projects that address gender and nutrition.

The report will analyze specific approaches in the following program areas of climate resilience:

  1. Climate information services
  2. Climate-smart agriculture
  3. Insurance
  4. Water security
  5. Disaster risk reduction
  6. Social protection
  7. Value chains and diversified livelihoods

The report will highlight promising practices and lessons learned within each program area, rather than exhaustively document all possible projects in each theme. Projects will be considered “promising” on the basis of coherence to gender, nutrition, and resilience principles in design, implementation, and evaluation. We encourage submissions of “turnaround” stories, which show how a lesson was learned from an activity that did not work as planned. The report will identify areas for future research and programming in each area. After submitting initial project information at the survey link, practitioners will be invited to share lessons on or off the record in a follow up conversation with the GCAN team.

[1] Bryan, E., Theis, S., Choufani, J., De Pinto, A., Meinzen-Dick, R., and C. Ringler. (forthcoming) Gender-sensitive, climate-smart agriculture for improved nutrition in Africa South of the Sahara. Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKKS), Annual Trends and Outlook Report 2017.

[2] Fanzo, Jessica; McLaren, Rebecca; Davis, Claire; and Choufani, Jowel. 2017. Climate change and variability: What are the risks for nutrition, diets, and food systems?