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Gender and Youth

A/ Capacity Development in Gender-responsive Research Topics

What is gender responsive research?

It means, responding through research and activities to the needs and demands, constraints and opportunities of both genders, men and women, alike. It means to pay attention to gender equality into analysis, planning, setting targets, implementation of research, in personnel policy, monitoring, and assessment, thereby better achieving development objectives.

Why integrate gender issues into biophysical research at all?

  • To increase the rate of adoption
  • Improve the quality of the adoption
  • Influence the influencers
  • Increase the capacity of (family) workers in agricultural production 
  • Harness all talent for innovation and development
  • Motivate the people, who do the labor
  • Empowerment of one is empowerment of many
  • Analyze different trade–off calculations of women and men
  • Equitable access to benefits of research, make it sustainable

More on why to integrate genderGuidelines: Integrating Gender into Biophysical Research, Gender Strategy, and Youth Strategy

How to integrate gender into biophysical research?

Integrate gender thinking at each stage of the gender-responsive research-project cycle – see research circle below.

More on how to integrate gender into biophysical research: Guidelines: Integrating Gender into Biophysical Research

B/ Capacity Development in Youth-responsive Research Topics

What is youth responsive research?

It means, responding through research and activities to the needs and demands, specific constraints and opportunities of young men and women, boys and girls living and working in agricultural or rural households. It means to pay attention to opening livelihood opportunities for youth in agriculture and off-farm by integrating youth concerns into the analysis, planning, setting targets, implementation of research, in personnel policy, monitoring, and assessment.

Why integrate youth issues into biophysical research at all?

Building livelihoods is traditionally the young’s big challenge, and nowadays with changing institutions and agro-economic contexts specifically so when building livelihoods in agriculture and in agriculture related off-farm activities.
Currently, male youth leaves farms as education and local values fail to inspire livelihood creation through innovative  agriculture and favor urban livelihood. Also, land is not enough for the growing rural population and so farm-sizes are still shrinking  and therefore less productive as in Africa. Youth has often better education than their parents, but this education doesn’t sharpen their skills in agriculture, and is also not the right education for off-farm empolyment.
Female youth in some countries remains unmarried because of male youth migrating out, while in other countries poor rural girls marry and give birth very early as teenagers. The education of both types of young women does not prepare them for non-traditional livelihoods and roles in agriculture, and does not prepare them for pro-active participation in agricultural value chains.
With youth being not prepared, agriculture is losing out on their innovative drive and positive energy for development. Agricultural value chains are less quickly professionalised, and most of the young resign to competing for precarious jobs with low economic productivity in over-crowed urban areas, or as underemployed rural (family) laborers. The future of agriculture is in the hands of the young. The youth‘s challenges are therefore agriculture‘s challenge. 
More on why to integrate gender see in:

How to integrate youth into biophysical research?

What can be done, is supporting the professionalization of agricultural value chains from production to consumption to ensure agricultural productivity and good nutrition for all, which can be combined with supporting youth to build agriculture-related livelihoods.  This will also allow to develop off-farm opportunities or alternatives for (rural) youth, which are per se more accessible, as they do not necessarily need scarce land and water as major input.
Dryland Systems Youth strategy plans to provide sufficient skills, knowledge, information, start-up capital, inputs, support networks etc. to young women and men to build an agricultural livelihood, and achieve three system’s level outcomes: (1) Reducing rural poverty  by changing systems’ dynamics and elements causing it; (2) Improving food security, nutrition and health; (3) Building the future with sustainable management of agro-eco system.
To achieve demand driven systems research on youth, define  research subjects –hypotheses jointly with national research partners, national policy makers, national representatives of stakeholders (farmers, youth, women, private sector organizations), researchers on youth, and carry out research by programs in cooperation with these. Integrate youth concerns at each stage of the research-project cycle.


Karin Reinprecht, Gender Program Coordinator, CGIAR CRP DS, Email:

Dina Najjar, Associate Social and Gender Scientist, ICARDA SEPRP, Email: