Scientific Publication

Gendered knowledge and adaptive practices: Differentiation and change in Mwanga District, Tanzania


We examine the wider social knowledge domain that complements technical and environmental knowledge in enabling adaptive practices through two case studies in Tanzania. We are concerned with knowledge production that is shaped by gendered exclusion from the main thrusts of planned adaptation, in the practice of irrigation in a dryland village and the adoption of fast-maturing seed varieties in a highland village. The findings draw on data from a household survey, community workshops, and key informant interviews. The largest challenge to effective adaptation is a lack of access to the social networks and institutions that allocate resources needed for adaptation. Results demonstrate the social differentiation of local knowledge, and how it is entwined with adaptive practices that emerge in relation to gendered mechanisms of access. We conclude that community-based adaptation can learn from engaging the broader social knowledge base in evaluating priorities for coping with greater climate variability.