Gender Responsive Technology for Poverty Alleviation in Thailand

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1 Gender Responsive Technology for Poverty Alleviation in Thailand Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Thailand

2 i Gender Responsive Technology for Poverty Alleviation in Thailand August 2003 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Thailand

3 ii The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. All rights reserved. Reproduction and dissemination of material in this information product for educational or other non-commercial purposes are authorised without any prior written permission from copyright holders provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of material in this information product for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without written permission of the copyright holders. Application for such permission should be addressed to the Chief, Publishing and Multimedia Service, Information Division, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, Rome, Italy, or by to FAO 2003 ISBN For copies, contact: Ms Revathi Balakrishnan, Ph.D. Regional Senior Officer Gender and Development FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Bangkok 10200, Thailand Fax: FAO-UNDP THA/00/002: SPPD: Gender Responsive Technology Framework for Poverty Alleviation: ii

4 iii Acknowledgement The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific acknowledges with thanks the support given for research and publication by the United Nations Development Programme of Thailand under interagency collaboration facility of Support for Policy and Programme Development. FAO records its sincere thanks to the three national consultants who undertook the field research and made the construction of gender and technology knowledge base a reality. This publication is a synthesis of the major findings, but their real work is documented in the full report of the research findings as well as among the rural communities with whom they interacted during long months of the fieldwork. FAO acknowledges with gratefulness the support given to this activity by central, provincial and district level officers in the Royal Thai Government as well as by the leaders and members of local governments. Without their enthusiastic cooperation we could not have accomplished this task. Last but not least, FAO acknowledges the support given to the research team by the rural communities, both men and women and the leaders and members in the civil society. Special thanks are due to the men and women who participated in the numerous participatory assessments in spite of their commitments to their farm and home work demands. iii

5 v Foreword The Food and Agriculture Organization, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO-RAP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) collaborated in a field study in Thailand. The central purpose of the study was to explore technology demand and supply from a gender perspective with implications for rural poverty alleviation. The interagency collaboration has contributed to construction of gendered knowledge of technology availability and access for the three components of production, namely agriculture and farm, post harvest and home production. Special attention was paid to gender divided household responsibilities where women are main caregivers in the family and thus bear multiple responsibilities, which often leads to time constraints and drudgery with hidden costs for economic and social gains. The time scarce life pattern of rural women also tends to pose limitations in their participation in training activities and participation in community planning, with adverse consequences for gender equal human resource development. The fieldwork was conducted in the provinces of Buriram, Nan, Phitsanulok, and Songkhla to ensure agro-ecological zone representation and these selected provinces also had an ongoing UNDP project. The study design included the following methods: secondary data analyses, desk review of the policies of selected ministries of the Royal Government of Thailand, Key Informant discussion sessions with government officers, village community leaders and civil society representatives at provincial and district levels in the four provinces and participatory assessment with rural communities inclusive of men and women in six villages in the research provinces. A national policy dialogue was organised for a cross section of development professionals and diverse group of stakeholders in Bangkok to present and validate the findings. The scope of the study was small as a pilot but it has significant implications for understanding the rural gender roles dynamics and gender responsive technology identification and for the formulation of technology policies and programmes. A summary of the study and the salient findings are presented in this FAO-UNDP joint publication titled, Gender Responsive Technology for Poverty Alleviation in Thailand. Our inter-agency collaboration with its focus on rural communities of Thailand demonstrated the commitment of these agencies to address the gender dimensions in agriculture and rural development. The publication will be informative and valuable to a wide spectrum of development stakeholders in Thailand and the region. We take this opportunity to thank all members of the study team as well as many individuals and agencies who gave their support to this task. J.K. Robert England UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Bangkok Thailand He Changchui Assistant Director General and Regional Representative FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Bangkok, Thailand August 2003 v

6 vi FAO-UNDP SPPD Team: Gender Responsive Technology for Poverty Alleviation Ms Revathi Balakrishnan, Ph.D., SPPD Team Leader, Senior Officer Gender and Development, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok Ms Angkarb Korsieporn, Ph.D., National Consultant, Socio-economist Gender and Participation; Researcher, Social Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok Mr Sakda Thawichsri, National Consultant, Rural Technology, Bangkok Ms Panpat Plungsricharoensuk, FAO Young Professional Officer, Rural Institutions Editorial Support: Ms Revathi Balakrishnan, Ph.D., Senior Officer, Gender and Development, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok Ms Marlyn Hopper, Consultant, Ireland. vi

7 vii Executive Summary The Food and Agriculture Organization, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO-RAP), in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) of Thailand undertook a research on Gender Responsive Technology for Poverty Alleviation. The interagency collaboration explored the issue of gender considerations in the nexus of technology for poverty alleviation in rural communities, which contributes to a research-based understanding of rural women in Thailand and thus contributes to gender knowledge base. Such knowledge would foster information driven policy and programme development to improve the situation of rural women and consequently economic and social conditions of Thai rural families and communities. A conceptual framework for analysis of factors driving supply and demand for gender differentiated technologies for three aspects of production guided the research. Gender responsive technologies are defined as a set of technologies that pay due attention to gender-differentiated needs and constraints, reduce drudgery among women, release time for alternative activities, and promote labour efficiency and sustained household economic and welfare gains. The scope of the study was small as a pilot but it has significant implications for understanding the rural gender roles dynamics and gender responsive technology identification and for the formulation of technology policies and programmes. Since it was a pilot study only including six villages and four provinces, it acknowledged that the findings are relevant to these research sites and thus presents a limitation of generalization of the results to whole of Thailand. It is possible that there could be different patterns in other villages not included in the study. The fieldwork was conducted in Buriram, Nan, Phitsanulok, and Songkhla to have agro-ecological zone representation and these are the provinces that also had an ongoing UNDP project. The study design included the following methods: secondary data analyses, desk review of the policies of selected Ministries of the Royal Government of Thailand, Key Informant discussion sessions with Government Officers, Village Community leaders and Civil society representatives at provincial and district levels in the four provinces and participatory assessment among the rural communities inclusive of men and women in six villages in the research provinces. A national policy dialogue was organised for a cross section of development professionals and diverse group of stakeholders in Bangkok to present and validate the findings. The publication presents summary of the findings on gender roles and gender differentiated technology demand for agriculture production, post harvest processing and household activities; and key issues on women s access to technology and technology related training. The key findings related to the role of local organizations to provide technology service and support are presented as well as the types of government organizations and NGOs that provide technology support. A review of the policies in various Ministries of Royal Government of Thailand for gender equal technology support was undertaken and the main findings are included. The content includes recommendations presented to address the gender gap in technology support for poverty alleviation based on the findings of policy review and field study as well as the national policy dialogue. The recommendations address the strategies to improve the supply of gender responsive technologies, interagency collaborations to improve gender equal access to technologies, capacity building and policy refinement and implementation for improving technology and training access for men and women with implications for poverty alleviation. vii

8 ix Table of Contents Page 1. Introduction Conceptual framework: Gender Responsive Technology Methodology Study sites Gender roles and technology use Gender roles and technology use in agricultural production Gender roles and technology use in post-harvesting and processing Gender roles and technology use in household production Key findings: Impact of gender roles on access to technology and training Rural women s technology needs Role of institutions in technology transfer and resource support Gender differences in access to local organizations Gender differences in access to external institutions Gender constraints in access to technology Sources of gender-responsive technology and related support services Role of government organizations in technology transfer Role of Agricultural Technology Transfer Centres Role of NGOs in technology transfer Role of community-based organizations in technology transfer Role of academic institutions in technology transfer Rural woman s access to sources of information and technology Review of policies related to gender-responsive technology National policy framework for poverty reduction and growth Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Financial institutions and policies Ministry of Education Ministry of Interior Ministry of Public Health Department of Public Welfare, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research Key findings of the policy review Recommendations to support gender responsive technology for poverty alleviation National policy dialogue Conclusion Annex Annex ix

9 x Table of Contents (continued) Page List of Figures Figure 1: Gender responsive technology for poverty alleviation: A conceptual framework... 2 Figure 2: Location of study sites... 4 Figure 3: Proposed flow of technology support Figure 4: Capacity building components and potential gains for rural women Figure 5: Resources mobilised for technology and technical knowledge services Figure 6: Proposed resource library to support technology transfer centres Figure 7: Proposed organizational framework to mainstream gender and development (GAD) approaches in technology development and transfer List of Tables Table 1: Profile of the villages included in the research... 4 Table 2: Rural women s technology constraints and demands... 8 x

10 xi Glossary BAAC CBO CEDAW DFNE DOAE DOF DOLD DOVE DPW FAO FAO/RAP GAD GDP GO ICT IT MOAC MOE MOI MOPH NESDB NGO PRA RTG SIF SPPD TAO TISTR TTC UNDP WID YPO Bank for Agriculture and Cooperatives Community Based Organization Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women Department of Non-formal Education Department of Agriculture Extension Department of Fisheries Department of Livestock Development Department of Vocational Education Department of Public Welfare Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/ Regional Office for Asia and Pacific Gender and Development Gross Domestic Product Government Organization Information and Communication Technology Information Technology Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry of Education Ministry of Interior Ministry of Public Health National Economic and Social Development Board Non-governmental Organization Participatory Rural Appraisal Royal Thai Government Social Investment Fund Support for Policy and Programme Development Tambon Administrative Organization Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research Technology Transfer Centre United Nations Development Programme Women in Development Young Professional Officer xi

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