1. Research

    Gender-Responsive Budgeting in Agriculture in Ethiopia

    The gender division of labor in Ethiopia hinders women smallholders’ efforts to improve productivity to close the gap with men’s farms. There is substantial evidence that where women have access to the same inputs and training as men, they can close that gap.

    The government’s national development plan identifies agriculture as the main driver of rapid and inclusive growth. The plan seeks to increase women’s participation in agriculture to 50 percent of all participants. But this can only happen with proper implementation of gender-responsive budgeting (GRB).

    Ethiopia has ratified a number of international conventions and agreements on women’s rights that have guided development of national laws and policies. Nonetheless, the national budgetary process is not yet gender responsive, and the country faces other challenges. Low awareness of gender issues, limited technical skill in mainstreaming gender issues and GRB, lack of adequate resources, and poor enforcement mechanisms are major constraints.

    A majority of women do not participate in decision-making or express their needs during public meetings because of sociocultural barriers that elevate the role of males. Women are usually not invited to meetings and discussions that concern them, under the assumption that men can convey any relevant messages. But information does not consistently get passed to women farmers owing to the erroneous perception that “women do not farm.” Women’s low levels of literacy and limited exposure to information and support by development practitioners also contribute to the problem. As a result, women are often unable to exercise their rights during program design and implementation.

    If agriculture is to lead inclusive development, gender and rural development policies need updating. In addition, achieving high-quality agricultural public spending will require a conducive policy environment and a budget process that promotes the participation and well-being of women and girls as well as men and boys.

  2. Research

    Gender-Responsive Budgeting in Tanzania

    The Constitution and laws of the United Republic of Tanzania require the use of gender-responsive budgeting (GRB) to promote gender-balanced and integrated national economic plans. It is at the village level where community budget needs are identified, though women’s needs are often marginalized. Although women are best at articulating their needs, their voices are seldom raised owing to limited representation. Government budgets typically sideline the needs of small-scale female farmers for access to land, markets, credit, and extension services, especially compared with male farmers. Instead, budgets designed to address general farmers’ needs, such as markets and loans for inputs and storage for surplus harvests, are directed primarily to farmers who grow strategic crops, who are mainly men.

    Tanzania provides for a separate budget facility for women and youth, and although most interviewees from the grassroots and the government consider this as evidence of a gender budget, it reflects a limited knowledge of GRB. Some projects supported by nongovernmental organizations and civil society organizations reflect women’s and men’s diverse needs, a feature that government budgeting should emulate.

    Communities need to be empowered to challenge constraints to their participation in decision making on budgets related to their priority needs. Citizens must be involved in all phases of the budget process and cycle. Government officials and institutions must be provided with adequate GRB knowledge and skills so they can use available democratic systems and structures to empower communities to engage in GRB.

  3. Research

    Risk Factors for Gender-based Violence: The Case of Indian Agriculture

    The present study documents the incidence of domestic and workplace violence among Indian female agricultural workers, and the factors that put these women at risk of violence. Multiple years of nationally representative domestic violence data are analyzed, for the first time focusing on agricultural laborers. This analysis is supplemented by a summary of case studies on working conditions for female tea plantation workers, who form the bulk of hired female agricultural labor in India, focusing on factors that enable workplace violence in this setting. Taken together, the results suggest that, in the case of female agricultural laborers in India, there is significant overlap in the factors that put women at risk of domestic violence and the factors that seem to facilitate workplace violence.

    Among the most important findings, we observe that women whose families have a history of domestic violence, and women whose partners drink frequently, are about 20 percent more likely to be survivors of domestic violence themselves. Importantly, women who are employed are more likely to be survivors of domestic violence, especially women who are employed in commercial plantations, which further confirms the need to look at domestic and workplace violence in connection with each other.

    The review of existing evidence on workplace violence on tea plantations reveals that the extreme and unequal plantation hierarchies, migrant status of the workers, and lack of other job opportunities for female tea pluckers all contribute to a setting where workplace violence is normalized. As with domestic violence, accounts suggest that alcohol consumption aggravates the problem.

    This research is novel in that it makes the connection between domestic and workplace violence explicit. It argues that, in this setting, these issues should be studied in tandem. We also hope to raise broader awareness about the key link between workplace and domestic violence, and the prevalence of abuse within the household.

  4. Research

    Financing for Development in the Philippines

    As the Philippines approaches upper-middle-income status, it continues to face the challenge of fighting poverty and economic and gender inequalities, while also confronting COVID-19. Public debt is set to dramatically increase, and donors are likely to ramp up funding to help foster recovery from the pandemic. Transparency and accountability are essential to guarantee efficient and judicious use of funds. The Philippines might have to consider a “debt brake” if government borrowing exceeds manageable levels, and donors should emphasize grants over loans. Aid should focus on building self-reliance based on localization, untying assistance and support for progressive revenue-raising.

  5. Research

    Best and Worst States to Work in America 2021

    Each year, the Best States to Work Index ranks the US states on compensation and conditions for workers.

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  6. Research

    Empowering Local Governments? The LOKAL+ project in Haiti

    In Haiti, the traditional centralization of power in Port-au-Prince has far-reaching effects, one of which is the limited influence of ordinary citizens on holding local officials accountable for providing basic services like trash removal, water and sanitation, and maintaining healthy and safe marketplaces. From 2013 to 2018, USAID carried out a project known as LOKAL+ that was aimed at supporting and strengthening ten district-level governments. Oxfam studied the outcomes in three of the districts, interviewing local officials, experts on local government, community members, and representatives of community organizations. Participants reported that the project did not lead to tangible, sustainable improvements in providing local services; however, there are indications that it helped strengthen important capacities among local mayors, and there is potential for sustainable impact on the mayors’ ability to collect taxes and manage their budgets and accounting systems—a modest step forward on the path to decentralization.

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