Action research to support women’s agency and empowerment in livestock vaccine distribution, delivery and use in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya
It is estimated that 75-90% of smallholder livestock farmers in Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda are women. These farmers face production challenges due to animal diseases, including Peste des Petits Ruminants, Rift Valley fever, and Newcastle disease. Many animal-associated diseases are preventable, but women farmers face many barriers to fully benefit from livestock vaccines. These include unsuitable vaccines in the local market, lack of extension services, and unreliable structures for vaccine delivery. To empower women to effectively contribute to and benefit from the vaccine supply chain as entrepreneurs, service/product providers, and users, more focus is necessary on the gender-related technical, social, cultural, and economic barriers that they encounter.
The objectives of this project are to generate evidence and formulate strategies that help position women to effectively and efficiently contribute to and benefit from livestock vaccines; enhance women’s participation in livestock vaccine distribution, delivery, and use; test gender-focused models that target specific entry points for women along the vaccine value chain (all production activities up to sale of final product); and provide data and information that can impact program and policy interventions.
A comprehensive strategy will be used that integrates gender analysis tools and frameworks for action research in the vaccine value chain analysis. The research team will use three main tools: USAID’s five domains of gender analysis; the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index; and the seven steps of action research in value chains from the Danish Institute for International Studies. The results generated will identify opportunities that can be used to empower women smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs to contribute to and benefit from livestock vaccines, thereby improving livestock production and women’s livelihoods.
This project is supported by the Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund (LVIF), a partnership of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Affairs Canada, and IDRC. LVIF represents a joint investment of CA$57 million over five years to support the development, production, and commercialization of innovative vaccines against priority livestock diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.