Report: Gender research in PIM in 2018-2019


February 11, 2021

The CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) is an integrative research program that works across all CGIAR Centers. Gender is both the specific focus of one of PIM’s six research areas, titled “Cross-Cutting Gender Research and Coordination,” and a component of research with other primary objectives across the five other PIM research areas. Therefore, a reflection on and critical review of PIM’s gender research outputs is valuable not only for assessing gender research achievements, but also for assessing progress on PIM’s overall objective of delivering research for a food-secure future.

A new review of gender research under PIM analyses 391 peer-reviewed publications published online and in print in 2018 and 2019. We highlight key gender findings and discuss the challenges faced by researchers in doing gender analysis, with a view to documenting lessons learned and improving practices. It is hoped that the gaps and strengths identified in this report will be useful inputs for future research under PIM and One CGIAR.

Key questions addressed by PIM’s gender research include:

  • How do access to and control over inputs and resources affect the productivity and well-being of women and men?
  • How can technological, institutional, and other innovations improve women’s empowerment and agricultural outcomes for women and households?
  • How do the different drivers of agricultural transformation affect gendered roles in agriculture and outcomes for women and men?
  • How should value chain interventions be planned and implemented to ensure that men and women benefit equally?
  • How can social protection programs contribute to improved nutrition and other targeted outcomes for women and men?

In this review, the term “gender” refers to the socially constructed roles, attitudes, beliefs, activities and behaviors attributed to a given sex in a particular society at a given time. Gender is both dynamic and culturally bound. Gender analysis can look at individual, relational and systemic levels, exposing institutional constraints and barriers as well as opportunities for women and men, and analyzing the reasons behind the roles that men and women play, the benefits they enjoy, and the relations between women and men.

Over the two-year (2018–2019) review period, a large number of research activities within PIM focused on gender-specific research questions, collected sex-disaggregated data, analyzed and interpreted findings, and discussed results with consideration for women and men’s livelihoods from a gender perspective. In a second set of activities, gender analysis was included but not the primary objective of the research. This report aims to capture findings from both sets of activities, and more specifically to: 1) synthesize findings from the main lines of gender research and 2) confirm self-assessment scores used by principal investigators to quantify the extent of gender analysis in each publication.

The key findings are structured around seven topics:

  1. nutrition, health and diets;
  2. the changing face of the labor force;
  3. agricultural advisory services and technology adoption;
  4. female entrepreneurship and value chain participation;
  5. intimate partner violence;
  6. ownership and control of assets and resources; and
  7. measuring decision making and ownership.

The report also provides recommendations on how to enhance gender insights in the future research. These recommendations include discussion of:

  • the value and potential of gender analysis;
  • the usefulness of gender tagging;
  • the limits of focusing only on the sex of the household head; and
  • how to strengthen the gender component in nutrition research and programming.



Vos, Andrea; and Pyburn, Rhiannon. 2021. Gender research in the CGIAR research program on policies, institutions, and markets in 2018 and 2019. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).




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