Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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The power of narratives: Explaining inaction on gender mainstreaming in Uganda's climate change policy
Acosta, M.F. ; Wessel, M.G.J. van; Bommel, S. van; Ampaire, Edidah L. ; Jassogne, Laurence ; Feindt, P.H. - \ 2019
Development Policy Review (2019). - ISSN 0950-6764 - p. 1 - 27.
Expectations that gender‐mainstreaming efforts would effectively advance gender equality have been disappointed in contemporary sub‐Saharan Africa. Examining this apparent disconnect, we focus on the narratives through which policy‐makers relate to, and dis/engage with, gender issues. Using in‐depth interviews and stakeholder meetings, our multi‐step analysis identifies story episodes from which we reconstruct stories and narratives. The analysis reveals a complex ecology of 22 stories, clustered in five main narratives. While most stories unfold a gender equality narrative, four competing narratives emerge. Shifts during conversations from the gender equality to other narratives reveal that the discursive engagement with gender mainstreaming is accompanied by simultaneous resistance, deconstruction and revocation. These narrative shifts exercise four distinct power effects: They (1) shift blame for ineffective gender implementation; (2) legitimize policy inaction; (3) foreground and naturalize patriarchy; and (4) promote the diversion of resources. The implicit communicative strategies exercise power through ideas (persuade listeners that the equality narrative is inappropriate), power over ideas (gender equality ideas are rejected or frustrated) and power in ideas (entrenched patriarchy ideas are reproduced). Attention to ideational power through policy narrative contributes to explain implementation issues with gender mainstreaming in Uganda, and is likely to be relevant beyond this case.
What does it Mean to Make a ‘Joint’ Decision? Unpacking Intra-household Decision Making in Agriculture: Implications for Policy and Practice
Acosta, Mariola ; Wessel, M. van; Bommel, Severine Van; Ampaire, Edidah L. ; Twyman, Jennifer ; Jassogne, Laurence ; Feindt, Peter H. - \ 2019
Journal of Development Studies (2019). - ISSN 0022-0388

Strategies to empower women in development contexts frequently address their authority to take decisions within their household, including decisions that are taken jointly by couples. Assessing empowerment in joint decision-making has traditionally followed a dichotomous approach: decisions are either joint or not, with the former associated with women’s empowerment. This paper contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the empowerment effects of joint decision-making, based on case study data from Uganda. We present survey data revealing significant gender differences in perception of decision-making over the adoption of agricultural practices and consumption expenses. Women reported joint decision-making more often than men, who presented themselves more as sole decision makers. We supplement the survey data with an in-depth study in Lodi village, where we reconstruct meanings attached to joint decision-making using focus group discussions, a decision-making game and participant observation. Reported joint decision-making included a range of practices from no conversation among partners to conversations where female spouse’s ideas are considered but the man has the final say. The findings suggest that local interpretations of joint decision-making, in at least this case of a dominantly patriarchal context, can limit its potential for assessing women’s empowerment.

Gender in climate change, agriculture, and natural resource policies: insights from East Africa
Ampaire, Edidah L. ; Acosta, Mariola ; Huyer, Sofia ; Kigonya, Ritah ; Muchunguzi, Perez ; Muna, Rebecca ; Jassogne, Laurence - \ 2019
Climatic Change (2019). - ISSN 0165-0009

Gender mainstreaming was acknowledged as an indispensable strategy for achieving gender equality at the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action. Since then, governments have made substantial efforts in developing gender-responsive policies and implementation strategies. The advent of climate change and its effects, which have continued to impact rural livelihoods and especially food security, demands that gender mainstreaming efforts are accelerated. Effective gender mainstreaming requires that gender is sufficiently integrated in policies, development plans, and implementation strategies, supported by budgetary allocations. This study analyzes the extent of gender integration in agricultural and natural resource policies in Uganda and Tanzania, and how gender is budgeted for in implementation plans at district and lower governance levels. A total of 155 policy documents, development plans, and annual action plans from national, district, and sub-county/ward levels were reviewed. In addition, district and sub-county budgets for four consecutive financial years from 2012/2013 to 2015/2016 were analyzed for gender allocations. Results show that whereas there is increasing gender responsiveness in both countries, (i) gender issues are still interpreted as “women issues,” (ii) there is disharmony in gender mainstreaming across governance levels, (iii) budgeting for gender is not yet fully embraced by governments, (iii) allocations to gender at sub-national level remain inconsistently low with sharp differences between estimated and actual budgets, and (iv) gender activities do not address any structural inequalities. We propose approaches that increase capacity to develop and execute gender-responsive policies, implementation plans, and budgets.

Discursive translations of gender mainstreaming norms : The case of agricultural and climate change policies in Uganda
Acosta, Mariola ; Bommel, Severine van; Wessel, Margit van; Ampaire, Edidah L. ; Jassogne, Laurence ; Feindt, Peter H. - \ 2019
Women's Studies International Forum 74 (2019). - ISSN 0277-5395 - p. 9 - 19.
Gender mainstreaming - Norm domestication - Norm translation - Transformational potential - Uganda

While the international norm on gender mainstreaming, UN-backed since 1995, has been widely adopted in national policies, gender inequalities are rarely systematically addressed on the ground. To explain this limited effectiveness, this paper takes a discourse analytical perspective on gender policy and budgeting, with a focus on the translation of the international norm into domestic norms and policies. An in-depth, inductive analysis of 107 policy documents in Uganda examines how the gender mainstreaming norm has been translated at three administrative levels: national, district, sub-county. The analysis finds five processes that reduce the norm's transformational potential: neglecting gender discourse, gender inertia, shrinking gender norms, embracing discursive hybridity and minimizing budgets. Overall, gender mainstreaming largely stopped at the discursive level, and often paradoxically depoliticized gender. The findings explain why gender mainstreaming might be helpful but not sufficient for advancing gender equality and suggest additional focus on promising practices, women's rights movements and stronger monitoring.

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