Investing in agriculture is crucial for improving:
- food security; and
- livelihoods and incomes in rural areas.
However, to be truly effective, agricultural and rural development (ARD) investment plans must be based on adequate economic and social analysis.
Social Analysis Guidelines for Agriculture and Rural Development
To formulate effective policies and programmes, we need to ask questions such as:
- Who is poor?
- How is poverty defined by people in a given community or household?
- How do poverty and vulnerability affect people differently in urban and rural areas, or in female-headed versus male-headed households?
- How does a person's gender or age affect his or her workload and ability to access and control livelihoods resources?
- How do these factors influence a person's exposure to information and authority to voice opinions?
- What impact do illness and disability have on a family's resilience after shocks?
Understanding the answers to these questions will help us design better interventions for specific target groups.
Social analysis guidelines
FAO’s investment center has developed three social analysis guides, aimed at managers, practitioners and field staff, for:
- understanding the factors that affect rural people's livelihoods; and
- identifying pathways out of poverty, vulnerability and food insecurity.
How the programme contributes to the development of the social analysis guidelines
An e-learning course, based on the Social Analysis Guides, will:
- sensitize managers to the role of social analysis in agriculture and rural development; and
- equip people responsible for conducting social analysis with a conceptual framework, tools and checklists which will help them with their fieldwork and in designing projects.
- This interactive e-learning programme, available online or on CD-Rom, will provide 16 lessons and eight hours of guided learning.
The course aims at providing the knowledge and tools necessary for integrating social analysis into investment design.
In addition, face-to-face training materials will be developed. These can be adapted by trainers to meet the needs of local contexts, thereby reducing workshop preparation time. The e-learning program is expected to be launched by June 2013 and will be available through this website.