Zimbabwe – USAID Gender Assessment: Improving Feed the Future Programming

Helping to Inform Feed the Future Programs

The Support for Food Security Activities (SFSA) team conducted the “Gender Assessment: Improving Feed the Future Programming” for Zimbabwe, a program awarded by USAID.

ACDI/VOCA led the $156,000, 10-week contract to provide USAID/Zimbabwe with analysis and recommendations to help integrate best practices for gender mainstreaming and food security.

The program ensured that women would benefit equally from programming in one of the world’s most food- and livelihoods-insecure countries.

Zimbabwe Must Overcome Obstacles

Zimbabwe’s economy has begun a slow recovery following 10 years of continuous decline.

Significant challenges remain, however, including 72 percent of the population living in poverty amid high inflation, according to the World Bank.

To alleviate poverty and hunger in Zimbabwe, development programs must apply a gender-inclusive approach. Research shows that development investments in women often yield a multitude of rewards as women improve their children’s, their families’, their communities’ and their own well-being.

Women in developing countries also produce between 60 percent and 80 percent of food crops and are central wage earners.

Gender Data To Strengthen Food Security Programs

The gender assessment helped inform USAID’s Feed the Future initiative, which has the twin goals of fighting hunger and poverty in eastern and southern African countries that suffer from chronic food insecurity.

ACDI/VOCA led the study in partnership with SFSA partner Banyan Global. The team applied a mixed-methods approach based on key indicators from USAID’s Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture index. The experts used a combination of primary and secondary sources collected through quantitative, qualitative and participatory methods through five phases:

  • Client and stakeholder interviews and workshops
  • Survey and assessment of current USAID and other donor activities and approaches
  • Participatory field research
  • Agriculture and government policy review
  • Data analysis and formation of recommendations