CIFOR–ICRAF publishes over 750 publications every year on agroforestry, forests and climate change, landscape restoration, rights, forest policy and much more – in multiple languages.

CIFOR–ICRAF addresses local challenges and opportunities while providing solutions to global problems for forests, landscapes, people and the planet.

We deliver actionable evidence and solutions to transform how land is used and how food is produced: conserving and restoring ecosystems, responding to the global climate, malnutrition, biodiversity and desertification crises. In short, improving people’s lives.

ROADMAPS TO

GENDER AND
SOCIAL INCLUSION

Tools, frameworks, methods
and approaches that drive
research to action

WHAT DOES GENDER AND SOCIAL INCLUSION HAVE TO DO WITH FORESTS AND TREES?

An estimated 1.6 billion people around the world depend on
forests and tree-based landscapes for their livelihoods and well-being.

However, not all these people have equal power to decide how forests are managed or how resources are shared and distributed.‘Women, Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and other marginalized groups are often disempowered in policy regimes and by exclusionary social norms; their voices are rarely heard in decision-making processes. These structural barriers stand in the way of sustainable and equitable development goals.

To address these inequalities, the CGIAR Programs on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) and Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) have developed a gender-sensitive project portfolio that explores the links between gender, economic development and forestry at multiple scales. At the heart of their activities, FTA, PIM and their partners strive to amplify the voices of forest-reliant women, men and youth from around the world through:

Creating tools and innovations that support gender-integrated research and project design.

Strengthening capacities for women and other marginalized groups through workshops, trainings, and policy advocacy.

Ongoing monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

This digital toolbox gives an overview of the guides, frameworks, methods and approaches that our partners have designed to support gender-responsive activities at both the national and sub-national levels. The resources align with many thematic work areas including forest tenure security and climate finance.

DIGITAL TOOLBOX HIGHLIGHTS

Resources that catalyze action

To learn more about FTA’s approaches to gender, social inclusion and intersectionality, read “the big picture” below and explore more of our blogs, videos and knowledge hubs.

Type of tools

Guide
Participatory Guide
Facilitation Tool
Survey Questions
Guiding Questions
Framework
Research Survey

Audience

Individual
Community
Civil Society
Goverment
Multistakeholder
Researcher
Forest tenure pathways to gender equality: A practitioner´s guide
This guide takes a three-step approach to gender-responsive forest tenure reform: analyze, strategize and realize. Each sequential step comes with its own set of resources to promote high-impact interventions. While there is no one pathway for forest tenure that empowers women, this guide provides an empirical framework and diagnostic tools to begin the process. It is aimed to support government, CSO’s organizations and women and community-based organizations in developing countries monitoring progress around forest tenure reforms.
How are we doing?
This handbook offers a step-by-step guide to help multistakeholder forums (MSF) participants assess progress to achieve their goals equitably and effectively. Each step guides participants on how to monitor and reflect on the group’s discussions to ensure that all stakeholders’ voices are heard. Such participatory reflexive monitoring helps the group to learn from the past, consider progress and obstacles to further progress, and collectively plan for the future. Available in EN, ES, FR and ID.
Payment for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) policy learning tool: A case study from Vietnam
This tool was designed to help governments evaluate the impact of Payment for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) policies. Policymakers and government officers can use the guide to conduct monitoring and evaluation, resulting in more accurate progress reports. Other groups including analysts and programme managers could adapt the tool for their own needs.
SWAMP survey instruments for understanding land use changes
These questionnaires help researchers understand how pre-existing social networks between men and women can help forest communities benefit from REDD+ and other Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) projects. They may also lend a deeper understanding of how social networks between rural and urban populations influence information and resource exchange, livelihood opportunities, food security and carbon socks.
A guide to learning about livelihood impacts of REDD+ projects
These documents are intended for researchers who want to understand the impacts that REDD+ projects have had on local livelihoods. They include a dedicated look at the impacts of these initiatives on women’s income. The main guide lays out the study rationale along with tips for understanding the mixed methods used to examine REDD+ interventions. The technical guidelines provide practical tools and survey instruments to conduct these analyses.
SWAMP: Understanding mangrove governance
This handbook offers a step-by-step guide to help multistakeholder forums (MSF) participants assess progress to achieve their goals equitably and effectively. Each step guides participants on how to monitor and reflect on the group’s discussions to ensure that all stakeholders’ voices are heard. Such participatory reflexive monitoring helps the group to learn from the past, consider progress and obstacles to further progress, and collectively plan for the future. Available in EN, ES, FR and ID.
Guide for co-elaboration of scenarios: Building shared understanding and joint action for reform and security of forest tenure
This participatory, multistakeholder tool is a first step for engaging stakeholders in talks about forest tenure security. It has been used to assess tenure security and develop land-use policy scenarios at GCS-Tenure sites in Indonesia, Uganda and Peru. By identifying key factors that influence tenure security, the tool helps its users promote positive changes including equitable access to forest resources for women and other marginalized groups. Other references include: Global Comparative Study on Forest Tenure Reform: https://www2.cifor.org/gcs-tenure/
The role of multi-stakeholder forums in subnational jurisdictions: Methods training manual and tools for in-depth research
This training manual for researchers summarizes CIFORICRAF’s approach to studying multistakeholder forums (MSF) and ensuring that participation is fair and meaningful. It offers tools such as questionnaires, theoretical rationales and Local Communities.
Getting it Right: A guide to address inclusion in Multistakeholder Forums (MSFs)
This guide offers tips and training modules aimed at meaningfully including women, Indigenous Peoples and other under-represented groups in multistakeholder forums (MSFs). “Getting it Right” is targeted at the organizers, implementers, participants and funders of MSFs at subnational and national levels.
Field guide to Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) and improving women’s participation
This manual presents ways to improve women’s participation in natural-resource management and governance using Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM). Natural resources include forests, plantations, crops, gardens, waterways and animals. The guide gives an overview of ACM concepts, suggested steps and activities, tips, case studies and additional-resource recommendations. It was primarily designed to be used by women at the community level.
Making sense of ‘intersectionality’ A manual for lovers of people and forests
This guide introduces ‘intersectionality’ to researchers and government officials working on forestry and agroforestry; it offers tips and strategies for applying this concept in their own work to design gender-inclusive programs and policies. The paper proposes a five-lens approach (cognitive, emotional, social, economic and political) to identify who the marginalized are and what sustains their marginalization.
Integrating gender into forestry research: A guide for CIFOR scientists and programme administrators
This document is aimed at CIFOR-ICRAF scientists and their partners on their journey to consider gender issues in current and future research. It includes information linking various topics to gender such as: participatory natural resource governance, climate change and tenure rights. This guide could also be useful for other researchers interested in integrating gender in forest related research.
The Gender Equality in Research Scale (GEIRS)
A self-assessment questionnaire designed to monitor the level of gender equality and integration across FTA’s forest-project portfolio. It is meant to be conducted by project teams on an annual basis, and responses are scored. Each project’s score must meet a minimum standard for “gender sensitive research” and be able to identify areas for future improvement.
Gender matters in Forest Landscape Restoration: A framework for design and evaluation
Provides a framework and set of recommendations for enhancing gender equality and women’s rights in and through Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) initiatives. Gender-responsive FLR implies that both men and women have equal power to decide what happens to the forest and tree-based landscapes that they rely on. This manual draws on lessons from related case studies in natural-resource management.
The gender box: A framework for analysing gender roles in forest management
This framework aids researchers in understanding how to study gender issues in relation to trees and forests. To do this, the paper divides gender-responsive research methods into manageable categories and argues that ‘collaborative’ methods are the most likely to result in long-term and meaningful improvements for forests and human well-being.
FTA Highlight No.15 – Advancing Gender Equality and Social Inclusion
This publication summarizes and reflects on FTA’s decade-long journey to advance gender equality in forest, tree and agroforestry landscapes.
E-learning Course on Gender and inclusion in Forest Landscape Restoration
In this self-paced online course, you will learn the fundamentals of gender and social inclusion in forest landscapes restoration (FLR). The course focuses on gender inequalities, gender-differentiated impacts and opportunities to address inequalities for more equitable and sustainable FLR, to build the abilities and understanding of diverse stakeholders on the gender and FLR nexus.
Gender toolkit: Forest tenure pathways to gender equality: Steps for achieving accelerated change. Training Handbook, includes three modules available here.
This training handbook accompanies the publication, Forest tenure pathways to gender equality: A practitioner’s guide, which lays out a three-step change pathway, Analyze, Strategize and Realize. In particular, this document addresses step one Analyze.
Getting it right, a training course for organizers and implementers of multistakeholder forums
This Training Course is tailored to support multi-stakeholder forums (MSFs) that focus on a range of environmental and development issues including forest management, protected area management, forest landscape restoration, sustainable agriculture, climate change, carbon mitigation and financing mechanisms.

The Audience

Each resource in the gender and social inclusion toolbox is targeted toward one or
multiple users who make up a ‘taskforce’ for implementation.

Individuals

Tools that support researchers, scientists, practitioners and leaders in designing gender-sensitive research and development projects.

Communities

Tools that support local-level collaboration, land management planning and self-reflection within and across communities.

Civil Society

Tools for NGOs, social movements and other civil society organizations that wish to improve social inclusion in their work and approaches.

Governments

Policy-learning tools that support government officers in their efforts to monitor, evaluate and report on social inclusion progress.

Multistakeholder

Tools that bring together members from all groups to discuss sustainable futures that benefit everyone. Such tools include workshops and multistakeholder forums (MSFs).

Researchers

Tools that bring together members from all groups to discuss sustainable futures that benefit everyone. Such tools include workshops and multistakeholder forums (MSFs).

THEMATIC WORK AREAS

Our work on gender and social inclusion intersects with…

1Climate finance

We explore how gender inclusiveness is incorporated into climate finance mechanisms at the national and sub-national levels.

2REDD+

We evaluate the comparative impact that REDD+ projects have had on gender dynamics and inclusivity at global sites.

3Climate action and inclusion

We are cognisant of the intersecting inequalities that exist alongside gender and strive to account for these multiple barriers in the tools and knowledge products we create.

5Nutrition

We empower women, men and minority groups to improve their access to nutritious tree foods and value chains through trainings, awareness campaigns and agroforestry initiatives.

6Integrated Landscape
Approaches and Social Inclusion

Our work informs governance strategies that attempt to reconcile multiple and conflicting land-use claims. The goal is to harmonize the needs of men and women in their environments.

7Masculinities

We consider differences in the rights, roles and responsibilities that men take on in different forest and tree-based landscapes.

8Restoration

We have developed tools and approaches to ensure that landscape restoration both improves the environment and produces equitable benefits for men, women and broader social groups.

9Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs)

Our work is aligned with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

11Land tenure and
resource rights

We have developed tools and approaches to ensure that landscape restoration both improves the environment and produces equitable benefits for men, women and broader social groups.

12Indigenous Peoples

We take a rights-based approach to engage with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC) and support civil society and government organizations promoting initiatives that recognize rights and promote fair distribution of benefits.

THE BIG PICTURE

Advancing gender equality
and social inclusion through research

Gender equality is a human right. Nevertheless, inequalities are often embedded in policies and social norms, creating a gender gap in access to key resources (e.g. land rights, loans, information and labour).

When imbalances based on gender or other forms of discrimination persist, they make it harder to build capacity and meet global targets such as the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Aware of these issues, FTA and its partners have developed action plans and frameworks that combat gender biases in every part of their institutional structure and research. The frameworks and action plans highlighted here were designed to help scientists and research teams mainstream gender-related issues into forest, tree and agroforestry research.

Strategy documents

  • Revised Research Agenda and Action Plan (2020-2021)
    Based off of the first FTA Gender Strategy (2013), the latest action plan reflects the evolution of the program’s work. The new strategy offers updates on the methodology and themes in gender research and praxis and expands the focus on youth-related issues.
  • FTA Highlight No.15 – Advancing Gender Equality and Social Inclusion
    This publication summarizes and reflects on FTA’s decade-long journey to advance gender equality in forest, tree and agroforestry landscapes.
  • Advancing gender equality through agricultural and environmental research: Past, present, and future

Frameworks and Guides

  • The gender box:
    A framework for analysing gender roles in forest management
  • Gender matters in Forest Landscape Restoration
    A framework for design and evaluation
  • Making sense of ‘intersectionality’
    A manual for lovers of people and forests
  • Integrating gender into forestry research
    A guide for CIFOR scientists and programme administrators

Theory of change of gender integration in FTA

This infographic illustrates how FTA has applied the Theory of Change (ToC) to gender and social inclusion research. ToC is a structured process for identifying goals and creating strategies to meet those goals. The process drives engagement and outcomes to produce long-term impacts.

DOWNLOAD INFOGRAPHIC

Creating an avenue for women leaders

To celebrate women leaders and to pave the way to more empowered women and girls in the future, we turn to Iliana Monterroso and Sammy Carsan. These CIFOR-ICRAF scientists are building bridges to a more gender-inclusive society.

LISTEN TO PODCAST

TOOLS FOR COOPERATION AND
COLLABORATION

Participatory guides, workshop facilitation manuals and more

These tools focus on the proven need for inclusive participation in policy and decision-making processes. Multistakeholder forums (MSFs) and participatory workshops at the community level are two common approaches to spark meaningful collaboration between groups. To be effective, however, workshop organizers and participants must intentionally structure sessions to spotlight the voices of women and other marginalized groups. These are people who may otherwise remain silent or unheard (when they do participate) due to unequal power dynamics and socialization.

  • How are we doing?
    This handbook offers a step-by-step guide to help multistakeholder forums (MSF) participants assess progress to achieve their goals equitably and effectively. Each step guides participants on how to monitor and reflect on the group’s discussions to ensure that all stakeholders’ voices are heard. Such participatory reflexive monitoring helps the group to learn from the past, consider progress and obstacles to further progress, and collectively plan for the future. Available in EN, ES, FR and ID.
  • The role of multi-stakeholder forums in subnational jurisdictions: Methods training manual and tools for in-depth research
    This training manual for researchers summarizes CIFORICRAF’s approach to studying multistakeholder forums (MSF) and ensuring that participation is fair and meaningful. It offers tools such as questionnaires, theoretical rationales and Local Communities.
  • Getting it Right: A guide to address inclusion in Multistakeholder Forums (MSFs)
    This guide offers tips and training modules aimed at meaningfully including women, Indigenous Peoples and other under-represented groups in multistakeholder forums (MSFs). “Getting it Right” is targeted at the organizers, implementers, participants and funders of MSFs at subnational and national levels.
  • Guide for co-elaboration of scenarios: Building shared understanding and joint action for reform and security of forest tenure
    This participatory, multistakeholder tool is a first step for engaging stakeholders in talks about forest tenure security. It has been used to assess tenure security and develop land-use policy scenarios at GCS-Tenure sites in Indonesia, Uganda and Peru. By identifying key factors that influence tenure security, the tool helps its users promote positive changes including equitable access to forest resources for women and other marginalized groups. Other references include: Global Comparative Study on Forest Tenure Reform: https://www2.cifor.org/gcs-tenure/
  • Field guide to Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) and improving women’s participation
    This manual presents ways to improve women’s participation in natural-resource management and governance using Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM). Natural resources include forests, plantations, crops, gardens, waterways and animals. The guide gives an overview of ACM concepts, suggested steps and activities, tips, case studies and additional-resource recommendations. It was primarily designed to be used by women at the community level.

RESOURCES FOR MONITORING,
EVALUATION AND REPORTING

Survey instruments, self-assessments
and policy-learning tools

Governments, civil society organizations and researchers all have an interest in measuring the impact of their work. These questionnaires, self-assessments and policy-learning tools were designed to help these groups report accurately on social inclusion gender-sensitive projects, policies and programs to help them also measure towards progress on social inclusion goals and processes.

A guide to improve inclusion in multistakeholder forums

Effective participation of women and Indigenous Peoples is not an option, but a responsibility for organisers of multi-stakeholder forums seeking to ensure inclusion. The “Getting it Right” guide proposes steps to improve inclusion and increase the impact of women and Indigenous Peoples in current and future multi-stakeholder forums.

WATCH VIDEO

Gender Matters in Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR)

The following infographic defines gender-responsive landscape restoration that benefits women, men, youth and other social groups. It also identifies risks associated with ignoring gender dynamics in FLR projects Effective participation of women and Indigenous Peoples is not an option, but a responsibility for organisers of multi-stakeholder forums seeking to ensure inclusion. The “Getting it Right” guide proposes steps to improve inclusion and increase the impact of women and Indigenous Peoples in current and future multi-stakeholder forums.

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KEEP EXPLORING!

Learn more about how gender and social inclusion intersects with the work of FTA
and its partners through these news posts, videos, infographics and more…

This digital toolbox contains a curated selection of tools and publications that promote inclusion.

NEWS

A complete, filterable collection of Forests News
stories on gender, justice and tenure.

KNOWLEDGE HUBS

CGIAR Gender Platform

Description: A collection of even more resources from the CGIAR network, putting gender equality at the heart of food systems research.

Gender Transformative Approaches (GTAs)

The Global Initiative for Gender Transformative Approaches promotes and strengthens women’s land rights through the integration of gender transformative approaches in IFAD rural development interventions.

CIFOR-ICRAF Gender Team

An overview of our multi-pronged approach to gender and social inclusion research.

Global Comparative Study on Forest Tenure Reform

This knowledge hub summarizes the relevant knowledge products that have been produced in conjunction with CIFOR’s GCS forest tenure reform work.

Forests and Gender Projects

A collection of the gender and forest projects that CIFOR has engaged with up to present.

Gender-responsive research summary, Knowfor

The Knowfor program supported CIFOR-ICRAF to create this feature page summarizing genderresponsive research approaches and links to key resources.

Gender and Restoration

A curated selection of CIFOR’s top publications, news, infographics and other media related to gender and restoration.

Gender and Climate Change

A set of briefs on gender and climate change that highlights how CIFOR and partner organizations are addressing current and emerging policy issues, with insights and recommendations based on experience.

Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM)

Browse this compilation of ACM publications on CIFOR’s Lives in Forests page.

PUBLICATIONS

Publications by thematic work area – curated by scientists

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This work was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), which is led by CIFOR and supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).