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Factors that determine planning and implementing of gender-responsive food security programmes in emergencies

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In our last article, we discussed how to assess gender equality programming in the food security sector. Today we look at the factors to consider when planning and implementing gender-responsive food security programmes in emergencies. Read on.

  1. Demographic factors
  • The number of poor and landless people (disaggregated by gender).
  • The number of pastoralists without herds (by gender).
  • The number of poorest people in each caste group (by gender).
  • The most marginalized groups (composition and size).
  • The number of migrants, both temporary and long-term or permanent.
  • Data broken down by age, wealth, and marital status.


  1. Social factors and how they have changed since the crisis
  • What are the various forms of post-crisis households (e.g., female- or child-headed households)?
  • What is the make-up of special-needs households (e.g., unaccompanied children, widows without families, disabled and women, HIV/AIDS-affected girls, boys, and men)?
  • Has the importance of women and men caring for their extended families and dependents been recognized?
  • Are women’s, children’s, men’s, and disabled people’s needs recognized?
  • Are women’s and men’s local knowledge recognized and exploited in the planning of food security interventions?
  • What is the local level of organization in rural areas for women, youth, men, and the disabled?
  • Is it possible to foster informal networks or formal associations, and if so, how?
  • Is there any community support for food production, transportation, and delivery for both men and women?
  • What are the power structures in the community and household in terms of food, land, and other productive resources?
  • In terms of gender-disaggregated needs, how acceptable are the proposed commodities to the general public?
  • At both the community and household levels, who controls resources (producing tools, food, etc.)?
  • Who is accountable for food safety and hygiene in the home in order to provide food and nutrition security?
  • Who in the family is in charge of food preparation, preservation, and storage?


  1. Economic factors and how they have changed since the crisis
  • What percentage of women, girls, boys, and men are poor?
  • Is there equitable access to the local market for men and women?
  • What is the procedure for women and men to obtain local food?
  • Are cash and food-for-work possibilities, financing, and agricultural inputs available to both men and women?
  • Do women and men have access to cash to address non-food needs?
  • Do men and women have equal access to food assistance services and programs?
  • What amount of self-sufficiency do they have in specific crops?
  • Do women and men have appropriate and stable food sources and access (amount, quality, and nutritional aspects)?


  1. Political factors and how they have changed as a result of the crisis
  • Is there any discrimination against any particular group?
  • Is women’s access to land and other productive assets hampered by national and/or customary norms and laws?
  • Are agricultural services available to both men and women?
  • Do women and men have equal rights (e.g., to land) under national legislation and laws?
  • What are the procedures for consultation during policy creation and implementation?
  • Are there processes in place to include women and the most vulnerable groups in decision-making and policy-making?
  • Do product subsidies exist, and if so, what impact do they have on food crop output and poor women’s and men’s incomes?
  1. Institutional and security factors and how they have changed since the crisis
  • Have institutional arrangements and mechanisms been established to ensure that policymakers are aware of the perspectives and concerns of women and vulnerable groups at the village, regional, and national levels?
  • What information distribution and communication channels are in place, and what specific measures are in place to guarantee that women and the most vulnerable groups have access?
  • Are women and men finding it difficult to get to the local market to buy food or to their agricultural fields because of the presence of weapons and land mines?
  • Do physical security issues prevent women, girls, boys, or men from receiving food assistance?

To get more insight on food security, enroll today for our Food Security & Nutrition in Emergencies course designed to help advance your career in the humanitarian field.


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