Now available: FAO’s social analysis guides for agriculture projects

The Food and Agriculture Organization has released new guides to help managers and field workers incorporate social conditions and concerns when planning or implementing a development program.

The three user guides are part of FAO’s latest publication, dubbed “Social Analysis for Agriculture and Rural Investment Projects.” Ida Christensen of the agency’s Investment Center Division described the guides as a toolkit to understand the factors that affect the livelihood of people in rural areas.

“In order to formulate effective policies and programs, we need to ask questions like: How is poverty defined by people in a given community or household? How do poverty and vulnerability affect people differently in urban/rural areas, or in female-headed versus male-headed households,” Christensen said.

The three guides target different groups of professionals involved in project planning, design, implementation and evaluation:

  • Manager’s guide: Designed to raise managers’ and team leaders’ awareness of social analysis and help them apply related skills to agriculture and rural development projects. 

  • Practitioner’s guide: Outlines a conceptual framework on how to carry out social analysis and design project activities based on a study’s findings. 

  • Field guide: Includes checklists on how to collect data at various levels, integrate social analysis into missions, identify field tools for social analysis, and other practical information to guide fieldwork.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.