Rural Households and Resources – A Pocket Guide for Extension Workers

Topic :

FAO’s Socio-economic and Gender Analysis (SEAGA) Programme has developed an approach to development that is centred around an analysis of socio-economic patterns and participatory identification of women’s and men’s priorities. Over the last few years, FAO has developed a new comprehensive guide, “Rural households and resources: a guide for extension workers” to help extension and other community-based workers to understand the management of resources within and between households, and to grasp the implications of such resource management for agricultural production, food security and rural development. It is intended to help them apply a participatory and gender-sensitive approach in their planning with, and service to, rural households. The guide pays special attention to the impact of HIV/AIDS on rural households and their resources.

In field-testing, extension workers expressed the need for a complementary pocket edition that they could carry with them to the field. The result is this pocket guide, which summarises the key points outlined in the primary guide. It highlights many of the major issues affecting rural households, and provides users with ideas and tools for collecting, analysing and sharing information about constraints, opportunities and priorities faced by communities, households and individual household members.

While many of the examples are crop-based, the questions and issues can be adapted for use in forestry, fisheries and livestock initiatives. Rural livelihoods are not separate – rather they are complex, interlinked systems of activities. Throughout, there are questions to consider in terms of the impact of HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses as these have grave implications for the food security, livelihoods and overall well-being of millions of households.

The guide is broken down into the following chapters:

  • Extension and rural households: Why consider gender?
  • Rural households and the development context
  • Rural households: Constraints and opportunities
  • Tips for applying socio-economic and gender analysis
  • Glossary
  • SEAGA Toolbox

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