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A guide to Gender sensitive microfinance

SEAGA Socio-Economic and Gender Analysis Programme








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    The training toolkit ‘Promoting gender-sensitive farm business schools’ was designed to complement the Farm Business School (FBS) universal training package and assist FBS practitioners integrating the gender dimension in FBS approach. With a view to favour equal participation of women and men in farm business and ensure they both benefit from the opportunities it offers, it is important that FBS practitioners recognize the gender-based constraints existing in all phases of the farm business cycle from diagnosis to evaluation and learn how to address them in the FBS curricula and facilitation process. The guide is to be consulted and used in combination with the universal training package as it follows its structure and process spanning orientation note for policy makers, training handbook and exercise book. The first part of the guide raises awareness on the gender gap and the gender-based constraints related to farm business and the role of FBS in addressing them. Consequently, it identifies entry points for mainstreaming gender in the FBS capacity development process, from policy sensitization to training of farmers. It offers tools, ideas and resources for discussing and addressing gender-based constraints as relevant to the different phases of the farm business cycle from diagnosis to evaluation. An outline for a training session on gender mainstreaming in FBS is included followed by a table providing inputs on how to integrate the gender dimension in selected FBS training contents.
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    Enhancing the potential of family farming for poverty reduction and food security through gender-sensitive rural advisory services 2015
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    Rural advisory services (RAS) can play an important role in addressing gender inequalities. However, RAS programmes have often fallen short of expectations to design and implement relevant services to help rural women and men achieve food security and generate more income. This paper is based on an examination of a broad selection of existing literature on gender-sensitive RAS. It looks at gender-differentiated barriers in access to RAS and challenges of effectively targeting women family farmers when delivering these services. Examples of good practices provided are those that have been successful in responding to women farmers’ specific requirements in supporting their economic empowerment. The paper provides recommendations on what can be done to improve the gender-sensitivity of RAS. It offers a reflection on actions needed to ensure that good practices and lessons learnt translate into the design and provision of demand-driven and gender-sensitive RAS for improved food security and poverty reduction.
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    Microfinance and forest-based small-scale enterprises 2005
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    Communities around the world rely on forests for their livelihoods, not only for domestic uses but also for income, frequently obtained through small-scale, often family-run enterprises. The sustainable development of such enterprises is increasingly recognized as a key to poverty reduction but is often hindered by lack of financial inputs or poor access to microfinance services. This publication reviews the specific microfinance needs of small-scale enterprises given the often seasonal and unpr edictable nature of forest-based activities. It analyses the constraints they face when trying to obtain microfinance services – including a lack of familiarity with formal financial institutions and insufficient capital or collateral for access to traditional banking services – and identifies ways to overcome these challenges. The publication examines the role that different types of microfinance institutions, such as banks, non-governmental organizations, cooperatives and credit unions, can pl ay for small-scale enterprises and forest communities. It discusses, in addition to microcredit, a comprehensive range of services including savings, group lending, leasing, insurance and cash transfers. The strengths and weaknesses of different approaches are illustrated through four case studies in Nepal, Guatemala, the Sudan and Peru. This book will be a useful reference for those involved in designing policies and projects for the development of forest communities, as well as for those provi ding financial services to small enterprises in rural areas.

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