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HKI’s Approach to Gender in Bangladesh-Institutionalizing Gender in Nutrition and Agriculture Interventions by Ramona Ridolfi, Gender Advisor, HKI Bangladesh
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HKI’s Approach to Gender in Bangladesh-Institutionalizing Gender in Nutrition and Agriculture Interventions by Ramona Ridolfi, Gender Advisor, HKI Bangladesh


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  • 1. HKI’s Approach to Gender in Bangladesh Institutionalizing Gender in Nutrition and Agriculture Interventions International Women’s Day, 9th March 2014, Dhaka Ramona Ridolfi, Gender Advisor, HKI Bangladesh
  • 2. • Section 1: HKI’s Gender Interventions in Bangladesh • Section 2: Nurturing Connections Curriculum – A New Integrated Gender and Nutrition Package • Section 3: Results and Lessons Learnt • Section 4: Adaptation and Next Steps TABLE OF CONTENTS Presentation overview 2
  • 4. HKI’s Diabetic Retinopathy programs in Chittagong and Dhaka since 2011 adopted an “Intensive Case Management” (ICM) package to work with entire families in identifying and overcoming barriers to women’s healthcare. SECTION 1: HKI’s GENDER INTERVENTION IN BANGLADESH 4 From a “Focus on Women”… Eg: REAL Project (2008-2010) in cyclone Sidr-affected area: livelihood opportunities and assets for extreme poor and widowed women. To Testing Innovative Approaches… Eg: PLB (Project Laser Beam, since 2011) in Satkhira: gender messages in nutrition and courtyard sessions; mid-project assessment for women’s decision-making on child nutrition.
  • 5. To a Gender Transformative Approach… BEAM (2011-2013) in Nilphamari: has a specific integrated nutrition and gender intervention package that challenges discriminating gender norms in the household which contribute to malnutrition. - Nurturing Connections Manual M2W2 Scale-up (2013-2015): Meaningfully engages men, women and community leaders in planning to improve nutrition and increase women’s access to markets. 1000 Most Critical Days Project (MCDP, 2013-2015): in Khulna District, implemented in partnership with Save the Children, uses Nurturing Connections. SECTION 1: HKI’s GENDER INTERVENTION IN BANGLADESH 5
  • 7. • Inspired by Stepping Stones – A training package developed by researcher Dr Alice Welburn in Uganda between 1993-95 to for HIV prevention through peer and community groups. • Draws on HKI’s previous nutrition interventions – Materials include nutrition and gender integrated activities to empower women and improve their health and that of their children. • Aims to challenge intra-household inequalities that contribute to food insecurity and malnutrition – The curriculum builds skills in communication, assertiveness and problem-solving while discussing nutrition and food security. SECTION 2: Nurturing Connections CURRICULUM 7
  • 8. • Behaviour Change is not a rational path: comes from within and requires time to develop • Recognises that malnutrition cannot be addressed without challenging unequal gender relations and opening up communication and dialogue about taboo subjects • Recognises the power of group dynamics • Works with both men and women and with different age groups, both separately and together • Uses participatory methodologies that enable all community members, including those who are not literate, in their own peer groups first and then together. SECTION 2: Nurturing Connections CURRICULUM The Nurturing Connections Approach: characteristics 8
  • 9. • The “Blocks” 1) Let’s Communicate; 2) Understanding Perceptions and Gender; 3) Negotiating Power; 4) Acting for Change. • The “Community Sessions” One at the end of each Block, brings together husbands, FILs, wives and MILs to discuss the main learnings in each Block in a mediated community setting. SECTION 2: Nurturing Connections CURRICULUM 9
  • 10. SECTION 2: Nurturing Connections CURRICULUM 10 Design of the Activity: 1. Begins with an action or experience. 2. The action is followed by a reflection: “What happened? What does it mean? Why did it happen?” 3. From the reflection we draw a learning and we name it. 4. The learning leads to planning: “Now what? What will we do to change the situation?
  • 11. SECTION 2: Nurturing Connections CURRICULUM 11
  • 12. • Pilot testing the curriculum in Building Equity in Agriculture and Markets (BEAM) Project - 3 stakeholders groups: women; husbands/fathers-in law; mothers-in law - 1 session every two weeks (2 hours a fortnight) over a six-month period - 40 producer groups in Nilphamari and Kishoregonj upazilas, randomly chosen - 20 facilitators (some facilitating alone, some in pairs, especially with MILs) SECTION 2: Nurturing Connections CURRICULUM 12
  • 13. Photo © HKI/ Micaela Arthur SECTION 3: RESULTS AND LESSONS LEARNT 13
  • 14. SECTION 3: BEAM BASELINE 14 99% 89% 33% 96% 90% 35% 1% 11% 67% 4% 10% 65% BL ML EL BL ML EL you can delay household work sometimes, without being punished your husband's family will support you, if you have a personal problem or difficulty How confident are you that With some difficulty Not at all confident Fairly confident Very confident
  • 15. SECTION 3: PRELIMINARY RESULTS FROM ENDLINE… 15 33% 97% 1% 45% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Baseline Endline Baseline Endline Child health care family or relatives visit Figure 1: Proportion of women who report having a say in decision making about the given topics.
  • 16. SECTION 3: PRELIMINARY RESULTS… 16 Figure 2: Proportion of women who received assistance from their husbands for household activities.
  • 17. • Suggestions from HKI’s pilot test: - The manual is NOT to be seen as a set of activities, separated from other components - Need organizational capacity and commitment - Make it fun and provide refreshments for participants - Maintain a register of participants - When adapting, note important discussions, difficulties - Retrain the facilitators, offer continuous support SECTION 3: LESSONS LEARNT 17
  • 19. Training on Homestead fish culture • Training is primarily focused on the technology and specific knowledge and skills related to using it • Integrate Nurturing Connections to address gender based constraints to adopting and benefiting from the technology, such as around: – Building self-confidence to use the technology – Unequal distribution of fish and its benefits for women and children – Intra-household negotiation over resources needed to use technology, and resulting fish production & income Maintain the approach in peer and community groups SECTION 4: EXAMPLES OF ADAPTATION 19
  • 20. UNDERSTANDING OF NUTRITION AND INTRA-HOUSEHOLD POWER (Flipchart from aquaculture manual, used to guide open discussion) SECTION 4: EXAMPLES OF ADAPTATION 20 - Indigenous small fish that can be found in ponds e.g. mola, darkina, puti etc. - These fish are rich in vitamin, iron and zinc as well as other minerals - Small fish is an important contribution to meeting the nutrition needs of the family members especially the women and children - Women members for the household can be directly involved in fish culture
  • 21. • Sharing workloads and benefits - Do (unequal) power relations within the household affect the ability of women to make decisions that suit their preferences (eg: around investments) or allow them to receive benefits in line with their contributions? - Encourage joint work on the pond and in the household and equal sharing of benefits. - Block 3 of Nurturing Connections: “Exploring Power Relations” SECTION 4: EXAMPLES OF ADAPTATION 21
  • 22. • HKI has developed a GTA that: a) Is Innovative: promotes the transformation of discriminating gender norms and social habits. Nurturing Connections targets all main decision-makers of the household, not just women, with the aim of challenging and changing discriminating social practices. b) Can be adapted for use in different contexts NOTE: Transforming habits and preference around food and care takes effort, research, resources. Behaviour Change, especially around gender, requires time – it involves attitude change. SECTION 4: CONCLUSIONS 22
  • 23. THANK YOU “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.” -Helen Keller 23