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Feasibility of Agricultural Asset Transfers to Improve Nutrition in Pakistan

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Poster presentation at Agriculture Nutrition and Health Academy Week, Accra, Ghana on June 25-29, 2018

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Feasibility of Agricultural Asset Transfers to Improve Nutrition in Pakistan

  1. 1. The study draws evidence from a range of source: • Desk review and asset transfer programme reports • Quantitative data from Women’s Work and Nutrition (WWN) survey (2016). The cross- sectional survey covered 1,035 mother-child dyads in 13 districts of Sindh, Pakistan • Key informant interviews with programme staff of selected asset transfer and nutrition programmes • Qualitative interviews with beneficiaries of land livestock transfer programmes in Sindh Agriculture needs to do more for high undernutrition in Pakistan. Pathways framework¹ helped understand Ag2Nut connects in South Asia. Systematic reviews of evidence² ³ also highlight a number of disconnects between agriculture and nutrition, particularly lack of access to land and gender inequalities. Feasibility of Agricultural Asset Transfers to Improve Nutrition in Pakistan Ayesha Mysorewala and Haris Gazdar Collective for Social Science Research Name: Ayesha Mysorewala Organization: Collective for Social Science Research Email: mysorewala@researchcollective.org Website: www.researchcollective.org | www.lansasouthasia.org Contact 1. Kadiyala, S., Harris, J., Headey, D., Yosef, S., & Gillespie, S. (2014). Agriculture and nutrition in India: Mapping evidence to pathways. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1331(1), 43–56. 2. Balagamwala, M. & Gazdar, H. (2013). Agriculture and nutrition in Pakistan: Pathways and disconnects. IDS Bulletin 44(3): 66-74. 3. Rao, N., Gazdar H., Chanchani, D., Ibrahim, M., forthcoming. A Systematic Review of Women’s agricultural work and nutrition in South Asia: from pathways to a cross-disciplinary, grounded analytical framework. LANSA 4. Women’s Work and Nutrition Survey (2016) 5. Mazhar, S., Balagamwala, M., Gazdar, H. 2017. Paper presented at the LUMS International Conference on Gender, Work and Society. April 2017. 6. Kabeer, N., 1999. Resources, agency, achievements: Reflections on the measurement of women’s empowerment. Development and change 30, 435–464. 7. Flintan, F., 2008. Women’s empowerment in pastoral societies. IUCN report. 8. Azzarri, C., Zezza, A., Haile, B., Cross, E., 2015. Does Livestock Ownership Affect Animal Source Foods Consumption and Child Nutritional Status? Evidence from Rural Uganda. The Journal of Development Studies 51, 1034–1059. 9. Meinzen-Dick, R., Pradhan, R., 2002. Legal Pluralism and Dynamic Property Rights. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), CAPRi working papers. References Livestock is integral to rural households and its ownership is more equally distributed than ownership of land. Moreover, livestock management is considered the domain of women and (small) livestock is considered a woman’s asset. In Pakistan and South Asia, livestock transfers are a popular strategy to improve livelihoods, and more recently nutrition. However, livestock transfer programmes including the Government of Sindh’s recent multi- sectoral nutrition strategy continue to focus on income and consumption. Therefore, livestock transfers remain a missed opportunity and potentially important entry point to increase women’s bundle of rights, and securing rights around livestock as a means to increase their access to other productive assets. Introduction Over 50% of female respondents said they owned various species of livestock. Yet there was a decoupling between ownership and control of income, depending on type of livestock (Fig. 2). This is likely because while livestock management is largely a woman’s responsibility (Fig. 3), extension services and marketing remain the domain of men in Pakistan. The dynamic nature of livestock as an asset may be an opportunity to shift norms towards increasing women’s rights to property. Livestock transfers may be an important strategy to increase income and consumption⁸. The impact can be deepened by strategic targeting of women and increase their ownership rights in contexts where they are fluid. Methods and Materials A revised agriculture-nutrition framework (Fig 1.) suggests that women’s work (and empowerment) is not a causal factor but a mediator between household poverty status and its food security and nutrition. LANSA studies highlight that boundaries between reproductive and productive work are blurred⁵. Positive effects of empowerment may be muted by existing interventions that increase women’s work burdens. On the other hand, women’s control over resources has been associated with their ability to exercise choice and thereby nutritional outcomes. Therefore context matters and mandates a clearer understanding of drivers of women’s agricultural work; household social and economic status; prevailing labour market arrangements; and arrangements and capacity in households and communities with respect to child care. Figure 1: Revised pathways suggested by Rao et al (forthcoming) Conceptual Framework Context matters Dynamics of ownership and control of assets, and women’s work vary from place to place. This has important implications for the impact of agricultural interventions. Research should be directed towards unpacking these dynamics and contribute to more nuanced design of interventions. Shift focus to women Transferring livestock to women is an important step towards recognizing women’s work and their contribution to productive and reproductive labour. Future programmes should move beyond the focus on women as a homogenized group and include caste, class and religious differences to target the most marginalized populations. Strengthen property rights NGOs and governments may have influence over social norms governing the transmission of productive assets. In this regard, livestock should not be given as an end and reinforce existing norms of ownership of what is considered a woman’s asset. Instead, assets should be transferred as a means to increase their ownership and control of other assets such as large livestock and land. Improved communication and design of future programmes can help establish legitimacy of the claim on productive assets, enhance women’s legal knowledge and literacy, and provide external support structures to increase their fall-back position⁷. Institutional changes The interrelatedness of livestock with other subjects such as marketing, environment and production systems makes it a privileged entry point to change norms around gender-related issues. Programme design should include mechanisms to trigger institutional changes and make markets and extension services more women-centric. Monitoring and evaluation Current programmes focus on women but do not include measures to determine whether the asset remains with women. Moreover, programmes evaluations are donor-driven. More independent research should be invited to evaluate and propose changes to design of agricultural interventions. Figure 3: Who manages livestock? Figure 2: Does the respondent have a say in the use of income from livestock? Problem Findings Policy Implications

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