Mercy Corps
Year Published:
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Policy Briefs

The brief uses mixed methods data from FGDs conducted in September 2019 and the March 2020 round of the Seasonal Farmer-based Recurrent Monitoring Survey (SFB-RMS) of Mercy Corps' Development Food Security Activity (DFSA) in South Kivu. The brief uncovers that:

  • Agricultural workloads in the intervention zone are extremely heterogeneous. Gender dynamics appear to play a key role in workloads but are complemented by a wealth of other factors such as seasonality, reciprocal agriculture help, topography, field sizes, crop types, and proximity to economic zones.
  • Non-partnered women are more prone to relying on reciprocate help, partially balancing a lack of support from family members.
  • The analysis cannot confirm a relationship between reciprocal help and the bonding sub-index of social capital, though the construct of bonding is broader than the index itself.
  • Non-married women appear to be more time-impoverished than other groups and are more likely to skip some program activities, but do not skip activities more frequently than married women. The brief cannot confirm that participants might perceive the time spent on program activities as too high. However, time-intensive activities should be avoided in the seeding period, participants should be consulted to identify the most suitable timing for regular program activities, and household and community-level opportunities to reduce women’s time spend on caretaking, food preparation and household chores should be explored.
  • Metrics currently in use by the MEL and research community to measure farmers' time allocation appear to be mostly inappropriate. The MEL and research community should review appropriate time allocation metrics, account for seasonality in time allocation, and examine contextual factors influencing heterogeneity in time allocation.