Gendered Enterprise and Markets (GEM) is Oxfam GB’s approach to market systems development. The GEM approach facilitates change in market systems and social norms, with the aim of ensuring more sustainable livelihood opportunities for marginalized women and men. The GEM DFID AidMatch Programme (June 2014–February 2018) worked within the soya, milk and vegetable value chains targeting women smallholder farmers in areas of poverty. The programme aimed to benefit 63,600 people (10,600 smallholder households) living in Zambia, Tajikistan and Bangladesh through increases in household income, women having greater influence over key livelihood decisions within their households and communities, and engaging in livelihoods more resilient to shocks, such as natural disasters and market volatility.

The GEM programme in Bangladesh was implemented under Oxfam Bangladesh’s flagship REE-CALL programme (Resilience, through Economic Empowerment, Climate Adaptation, Leadership and Learning). GEM operated in seven districts across Bangladesh, with the project activities implemented by seven local partners. The project aimed to establish 84 producer groups for smallholder dairy farmers, and this was achieved during the first year. Building on these local networks, GEM aimed to deliver a suite of training and support covering assertiveness, rights and leadership skills, agricultural practice and disaster risk management.

The evaluation was designed to investigate if and how the GEM programme might have contributed to its intended outcomes – not only in the lives of individual women smallholder farmers targeted by the programme but also in changes in their communities and the larger market system. It also sought to capture any potential unintended outcomes of the programme.

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