Working Paper

Tools and methods on gendered design, deployment and evaluation of agricultural technologies. CGIAR GENDER Platform working paper 003.


Agricultural technology and innovation are seldom, if ever, neutral. They may further entrench or help challenge unequal gender norms and relations. However, while studies demonstrate the ways in which agricultural technologies can benefit women, women have often not been consulted during technological innovation. Consequently, their voices, needs and preferences are not reflected in the design, deployment and evaluation of agricultural technologies, which may result in lack of technology adoption and development impacts. Research tools and methods that help address gender inequities across the entire agricultural innovation cycle are needed. This paper reviews and maps available tools and methods according to five innovation stages: priority- setting, research and development, extension, adoption and evaluation. For each stage, the paper also identifies analytical studies in which said tools or other standard methods of data collection and analysis have been used to support gender analysis of agricultural technologies. We identify several tools and analytical studies that help enhance our understanding of who the user is and what their needs, preferences and demands are from a gender perspective, which thus may inform priority-setting. Several tools and analytical studies also help inform adoption and evaluation by providing information about gendered drivers of and constraints to adoption, and gendered impacts of technologies, respectively. Comparably fewer tools and analytical studies address the stages of research and development (particularly about how findings on gendered preferences and needs get translated into actual programs and outcomes) and extension (specifically on what approaches work and how to design gender-intentional extension programs). Additionally, the paper addresses other gaps; areas of improvement and recommendations that can direct future research and investment decisions; as well as inform the development of new gender tools and methods for technology design, deployment and evaluation. The paper provides a resource for researchers, scientists, practitioners, extensionists, students and others hoping to support agricultural innovation in ways that contribute to gender equity and women’s empowerment in agriculture and food systems.