Gender and Governance in Rural Services

Topic :

This report presents descriptive findings and qualitative analysis of accountability mechanisms in agricultural extension and rural water supply in India, Ghana, and Ethiopia, paying specific attention to gender responsiveness. The Gender and Governance in Rural Services project seeks to generate policy-relevant knowledge on strategies to improve agricultural and rural service delivery, with a focus on providing more equitable access to these services, especially for women. The project focuses on agricultural extension, as an example of an agricultural service, and drinking water, as an example of rural service that is not directly related to agriculture but is of high relevance for rural women. A main goal of this project was to generate empirical microlevel evidence about the ways various accountability mechanisms for agricultural and rural service provision work in practice and to identify factors that influence the suitability of different governance reform strategies that aim to make service provision more gender responsive.

This report presents the major descriptive findings from the quantitative and qualitative research conducted in the three countries. It identifies major patterns of accountability routes and assesses their gender dimension. Because the report is exploratory, the policy implications derived from it have been formulated in a cautious way. The results should nevertheless be of interest to a wide audience interested in agricultural and rural service provision, including researchers, members of the public administration, policy makers, and staff from NGOs and international development agencies involved in the design and management of reform efforts, projects, and programs dealing with rural service provision.

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