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Improving women’s leadership and effectiveness in agricultural governance – effectiveness review

Publisher: Oxfam 2012

How can women’s leadership and participation in agricultural decision-making and governance be increased? To what extent do interventions that combine skills and capacity-building in improved production techniques with activities influencing local government and community leadership structures lead to greater involvement of women? This report from an Oxfam GB project operating in five States across two regions in Nigeria sets out to find out.

The project review team applied a quasi-experimental impact evaluation design in one of the two regions of the project to assess the effectiveness of the project in empowering women and increasing household wealth status. This involved administering surveys to women in communities targeted by the project as well as from neighbouring comparison communities. A range of outcomes were measured by a women’s empowerment index adapted from that developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

The review found evidence that the project successfully affected several of the key outcomes, but not others. It worked to both empower women and increase household wealth, although such benefits were felt much more strongly by the women supported in Ogun state compared to elsewhere. The project appears to have brought about the greatest positive change in both women’s participation in community life and in their ability to influence affairs at the community level. However it struggled to discern positive impact associated with issues of a more personal or household level e.g. attitudes towards gender roles in the household. The review recommended that the project team

  • Critically review and assess how the project can more effectively increase women’s empowerment at the household level.
  • Review intervention implementation and uptake in both Ogun and Oyo to identify why there are reported differences in impact between the two states.
  • Explore the reasons for the significant improvement in asset wealth in Ogun state.