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In this final briefing, we highlight key findings and recommendations from Phase III of the Researching Women’s Collective Action (WCA) project, and share information on stakeholder events in the three focus countries. Quantitative and qualitative analysis was undertaken in one sub-sector per country: honey in Ethiopia, vegetables in Tanzania and shea butter in Mali.

The findings provide answers to some important questions:

  • How do women smallholders benefit from collective action?
  • How do groups help women overcome market barriers?
  • Which women participate in collective action and who is excluded?
  • Which strategies are most helpful to ensure benefits to women farmers?

The findings will help development practitioners to improve strategies of support to smallholder farmers and to influence others.

The WCA project was launched in December 2009 by Oxfam, with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The research was conducted in three phases, and gathered much needed evidence on how collective action can improve women smallholders’ incomes, strengthen their assets and increase their empowerment. The project also convened key stakeholders in dialogues to improve strategies and policies to support effective WCA in agricultural markets.

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