CGIAR Gender

CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research


GENNOVATE is a cross-CRP, global comparative research initiative which addresses the question of how gender norms and agency influence men, women, and youth to adopt innovation in agriculture and natural resource management (NRM).

Photo credit: CIMMYT

Carried out across 137 rural communities in 26 countries, this qualitative comparative study aims to provide authoritative “bottom-up” research to advance gender-transformative approaches and catalyze change in international agricultural and NRM research for development.

In discussion groups and individual interviews, more than 7,500 rural study participants of different socio-economic backgrounds and age groups reflect on and compare local women’s and men’s expected roles and behaviors — or gender norms — and how these social rules affect their ability to access, adopt, adapt, and benefit from innovations in agricultural and natural resource management.

Participants of the study reflect on questions such as:

  • What are the most important new agricultural practices and technologies for the men of the village? And for the women?
  • What qualities make a woman a good farmer? And a man a good farmer?
  • Do young people in this village follow local customs of women doing certain agricultural activities and men others? Why or why not?
  • Are there differences between a woman who is innovative and a man who is innovative?

GENNOVATE’s qualitative comparative methodology and large sample mark a first in the CGIAR, as well as the collaboration of principal investigators (PIs) from 11 Phase I CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) worldwide (see Research management section).

The initiative’s broad-based and inclusive research process strives to give rural women and men a voice by:

  • Providing authoritative, contextually grounded evidence on how gender interacts with agricultural innovations
  • Strengthening CRP capacities to know the target beneficiaries, design for them, and be accountable to them


Negotiating change in gender norms affecting agricultural innovation

To mark International Women’s Day 2018, this post announces the official release of the GENNOVATE Methodology. The Methodology stimulates dialogue and allows women and men to critically reflect on the gender norms that shape their lives, how these may be changing, and their desirability.

CIMMYT promotes gender awareness in agriculture research and development in Ethiopia

Gender awareness and gender-sensitive approaches are slowly spreading into agricultural research, extension, and policy in Ethiopia. An initiative led by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is helping to drive evidence-based approaches to foster gender equality and include it in mainstream agricultural research.

Agricultural mechanization: How far do women farmers benefit?

Agricultural machinery saves both time and labor for small-scale farmers and is increasingly available in rural areas. However, women’s needs and interests are often not fully considered when these machines are developed, introduced and adopted by communities.

What unleashes innovations in the Legumes and Cereals farming Systems in the drylands: A gendered perspective

This study examined both community and individual men and women’s experiences with agricultural innovations and practices and how these interactions support or hinder the achievement of agricultural innovations across various contexts. By providing robust empirical evidence on the relationship between gender norms, agency and agricultural innovation, the study revealed that socio-cultural structures and household dynamics chiefly shapes how individuals negotiate…

GENNOVATE – A global study on gender norms and innovations

Incorporating gender in agricultural research is a key strategy for successful interventions. This was demonstrated at a workshop of the GENNOVATE methodology. A qualitative research methodology was specifically developed and brought to scale in the study to explore hidden norms within societies, particularly in the field of gender and agriculture. It explores differences in women’s and men’s capacities to access,…


  1. Cohen, P. J., Lawless, S., Dyer, M., Morgan, M., Saeni, E., Teioli, H., & Kantor, P. (2016). Understanding adaptive capacity and capacity to innovate in social–ecological systems: Applying a gender lens. Ambio, 45(3), 309-321.
  2. Locke, C., Muljono, P., McDougall, C. & Morgan, M. (2017). Innovation and gendered negotiations: Insights from six small-scale fishing communities. Fish and Fisheries, pp. 1-15. DOI: 10.1111/faf.12216.