Sustainable investments: women’s contributions to natural resource management projects in Africa
Can prospects for improving livelihood security and building sustainable environments in Africa be increased if women have greater influence in decisions about how to manage resources? Anecdotal evidence suggests that this question should be answered in the affirmative, yet few development agencies perform systematic evaluations with gender-disaggregated data despite nearly two decades of development literature describing the pitfalls of failing to do so. This paper explores this question through analysis of cases from Kenya, Nigeria, Malawi, The Gambia, and Rwanda gleaned from a literature search of more than 50 natural resource management projects across Africa. It highlights enabling conditions which facilitate effective involvement of both men and women in natural resource management, and develops indicators to clarify progress in terms of impact, process, and sustainability.
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