Learning for Gender Integration Evaluation
In 2012, Lutheran World Relief (LWR) and its local implementing partners launched the Learning for Gender Integration Initiative (LGI), an innovative program to address gender inequality in the context of food security. LGI’s goal was to address inequalities to ensure that men and women have equal opportunities to benefit from LWR’s food security work. LGI focused on learning about good practices in gender integration while piloting three gender-integrated food security programs in India, Nicaragua, and Uganda. These projects, which ended in 2016, were designed to create and adapt tools for use in future LWR projects.
In June of 2016, LWR won a Program Improvement Award from TOPS to conduct a final evaluation of LGI’s three projects. Under the grant, Cultural Practice, LLC (CP) designed and led a participatory evaluation using two qualitative methodologies, Most Significant Change and PhotoVoice, to capture changes in food security and gender inequalities. The evaluation teams were made up of CP, LWR, and other peer organization staff. CP worked with the evaluation teams to produce this facilitation guidance on the combined methodology. The photos showcased here are from the evaluation. Many were taken by the project participants themselves.
Training on PhotoVoice (PV)
Sabit is using a sprayer to treat a field of eggplant with organic pesticide. Before the project, they did not grow a variety of vegetables and did not know how to treat different pests. “It feels good to know what to do when plants have pests and how to reduce infections. They use organic pesticide made of local materials.” she said. Photographer Uma Tudu (India)
Elida Ochoa’s son, Eslien Yadieo, helping in the onion garden. Elida is proud gardening together has helped improve household nutrition and brought her family closer together.“The kids are excited about agriculture an eating more vegetables. My son says, ‘Hey Mom, I’m going to get a cabbage’ and then he can run to our garden to grab one,” she said. Photographer Elida Ochoa (Nicaragua)
The Castro family together in their family farm. Their communication has improved since participating in gender and masculinity training. “We now talk about how our days went, our ideas, and make decisions together. We include our daughter to engage her and nurture her love of nature,” she said. Photographer Ana Castro (Nicaragua)
Upendra and Sumi Mummu bundle rice together. Their village self-help group has been able to successfully cultivate previously barren land thanks to their new pump irrigation system. Irrigation also lets them grow crops outside of the monsoon season, so they have year-round food security. Because of the improved farming practices and technologies introduced, their annual yields have increased so significantly that fewer men have to migrate for work and can stay to help farm. “Before the project, we sometimes had to sow the seeds twice. Now, we only have to sow once and we get a lot of rice,” they said. Photographer Meena Soren (India)
The community created a gender balanced Board of Directors to help advance their organization. "Project progress faster with good leaders. They have to organize and direct, as well as foster better communication and transparency about assets and funds," he said. Photographer Alfredo Perez (Nicaragua)
The women and men meet with their local village savings group. Community members save together for their future, which promotes good relationships and interactions among the members. “They work together as a team and there is love and harmony in the families. The change is important because it has brought people together and has helped increase their savings,” he said. Photographer Mark Mbarara (Uganda)
A group meeting of families who are interested in enrolling their children for the next school term. As a result of the project, farmers harvested higher vegetable yields and increased their income. "I felt very happy seeing so many people who participated in the project able to send their children to school," she said. Photographer Mary Bisra (India)
Esther Ajambo selling items in her family’s her shop. Before, only men were allowed to sell in shops. Now, because she saved enough money in her savings group, Esther was able to open a family shop to earn a bit of income. She is able to earn money to pay school fees and support other needs at the home. Photographer Mark Mbarara (Uganda)
Manjeli selling organic tomatoes directly to a buyer. As a result of the project, small holder farmers have surplus vegetables from their family gardens which can be sold for additional income. “The women feel good about selling vegetables instead of the fuelwood from the forest. It’s less tiring and time consuming to grow vegetable and sell them, than collecting fuelwood,” she said. Photographer Uma Tudu (India)
Levi Mesis helps her son with his homework. As a result of the project, Levi was empowered to make changes in the household for her children's benefit. "I want to try and expand my son’s knowledge. This includes extra learning activities that he could learn at home that I can teach him," she said. Photographer Levi Mesis (Nicaragua)
Farahaji Wasuwas and Halima Namakula, husband and wife, discuss who will take the children to school. Before the project, women could only stay home. Now, men and women have a better understanding about the importance of mobility. “Halima, and other mothers, can now take their children to school,” he said. Photographer Ismael Kirevu (Uganda)
Sashanti, Santi, and Nicholas Hansda, proudly pose to show their school supplies. “We were too poor to send our children to school. With the increased supply of water, there is more productivity so now we have money to send the children to school. If the children are literate, they can know how much they are spending on agriculture, where they are spending, and how to save. To get a job is not the reason for school. Even if they don’t get a job, it’s still worthwhile to send them to the school so they can calculate on their own and have more wisdom,” she said. Photographer Badki Hembrem (India)