CGIAR Gender News

Seeds of Change harvest: Looking for new participatory research methods – Kristie Drucza (Inclusion Solutions)

Seeds of Change participants Photo: Patrick Cape/ACIAR.

During the Seeds of Change conference, we approached several personalities from the ‘Gender in Agriculture’ crowd to interview them on their work, on their insights about the conference and their outlook on the next frontiers of our field of research. Find an overview of all conference related outputs here.

In this interview, we feature Dr. Kristie Drucza, independent consultant at Inclusion Solutions and until recently gender researcher at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).

What is exciting (and/or challenging) about this conference, its contents and the fact that for the first time the CGIAR community is also mixing up with the wider ‘GenderInAg’ community?

Dr. Kristie Drucza, independent consultant at Inclusive Solutions and formerly at CIMMYT

It is exciting to reimagine an agriculture sector that was truly about empowering those who make a livelihood from agriculture, rather than obsessing about increasing productivity and income.

What have been your highlights so far and what has inspired you to try back home/to your work?

I would like some new participatory research methods, and how to measure and understand empowerment to be taught in low income countries to the national agricultural research institute.

What do you see as one of the ‘next frontiers’ of gender in agriculture research in the next few years?

More bottom up and feminist approaches that deliver context specific understanding of women’s life living in rural areas and generating a livelihood from agriculture and the lives of those who do the research. This will lead to more institutional strengthening to improve how data is collected and overcoming existing challenges such as sexual harassment.

Additionally I see the hardships facing men and research on masculinities rising up in the literature, leading to approaches that value and focus on the social lives of farmers.

As you have recently left CGIAR, what would be some specific pieces of advice you would give to your former colleagues (either CGIAR colleagues as a whole, CG gender scientists or Ethiopia-based CG people – or all of the above)

There is a need to more deeply probe the available evidence and the definitions of the terms used. More engagement with feminist theory and also gender in development theory and masculinity theory is required. In particular the politics of gender inequality in low income countries should be better understood.

What are you currently working on and immediately next (you hope)?

I have loads of publications to write up and will be working with CARE to lead a country level review on Ethiopia’s savings groups as a vehicle for women’s empowerment.