Linking Gender and Social Inclusion to Value Chain Development

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Participants of the value chain development training workshop  

Two gender and social inclusion experts from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) participated in a value chain development workshop in Surkhet, Nepal 15-17 December, 2015. Organised by the High Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas (HVAP), the workshop was supported by ICIMOD under the AdaptHIMAL initiative. About thirty  participants comprising HVAP project advisors and officers, local non-governmental organisers, and local gender and social inclusion (GSI) facilitators attended the three-day workshop. 

Focusing on inclusive value chain development in terms of gender, poverty, socially and disadvantaged groups, the workshop’s goal was to create meaningful participation of women and disadvantaged groups to establish and strengthen the value chain process. Over the three-day period, theoretical aspects including gender, inequities, participation and leadership, and linking these concepts with value chains development was covered. Dr Pranita Udas and Dr Kamala Gurung, both gender specialists with ICIMOD, covered gender aspects and provided linkages towards an inclusive value chain development. On the final day they also conducted a session for fifty participants on HVAP data collection. 

The workshop addressed institutional mechanism issues ( i.e., income generating groups); how we conduct an inclusive market chain analysis through a gender lens; and what additional inputs such as resources, technology and knowledge are required to make a successful value chain product.  

Krishna Thapa, Monitoring and Evaluation Expert with HVAP, noted that all participants now had the tools to support meaningful participation and leadership of women in disadvantaged communities for the promotion of systematic inclusive market systems for high value agricultural products.

One local GSI facilitator remarked that earlier workshops and trainings dealt with gender issues and value chain as separate entities, making it difficult for them to understand how to link them together. 

Participants at the workshop suggested future workshops on value chains development include linkages to climate change as current working scenarios require them to understand gender and value chains development with respect to climate change.