Gender and climate experts explore and share insights from case studies that utilize socio-technical innovation bundles (STIBs) in India

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CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform and CGIAR Gender Equality initiative, HER+  began the year with a webinar focused on socio-technical innovation bundling to strengthen women’s resilience to climate change: distilling learnings from case studies. This webinar held on January 25 presented insights on various case studies where STIBs have contributed to women’s empowerment and resilience and learn from them as we are piloting STIBs in multiple learning labs across the globe.

HER+ initiative is geared towards developing guidance on designing and implementing context-specific Socio-Technical Innovation Bundles (STIBs). With funding from CGIAR GENDER Platform, HER+ work package ‘EMPOWER’ led by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) documented cases from different parts of India where social, technical, and technological innovations are bundled for enhancing women’s empowerment and resilience.

The knowledge exchange featured speakers from partner organizations who shared key findings on how socio-technical innovation bundling has been applied to empower women and build their climate resilience in different parts of India. Partner organizations including Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST), Grameen Foundation India, Swayam Sikshan Prayog (SSP), and Satish Satmile Club O Pathagar (SSCOP) in India conducted case studies to analyze their experiences of deploying such bundles and their outcomes.

STIBs help integrate technology development and technology adoption by combining social, technical and technological innovations to improve rural women’s access to agricultural technologies and contribute towards their empowerment and resilience. The webinar featured presentations based on the following four cases highlighting the findings and insights.  –

  1. The Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST) study focused on the work of Uthhan– a grassroot organization working amongst landless and marginalized women farmers in Gujarat. The case study, presented by Pallavi Sobti-Rajpal of Uthhan highlighted how a combination of leadership, training, peer-to-peer learning, and use of sustainable agricultural practices has effectively empowered them and made them aware of climate-smart agricultural practices.
  2. Garima Joshi of Grameen Foundation India presented how the uptake of bio-fortified mustard (BFM) seeds increased amongst women farmers in Uttar Pradesh when the new technology was integrated with other social interventions, such as capacity building and knowledge dissemination sessions and collaborating with farmer collectives like Farmer Producer Organizations and Self-Help Groups.
  3. SSCOP’s case study, presented by Tapan Chowdhury illustrated the usefulness of bundling innovations and rolling them out through women collectives resulting in increased adoption of technologies like rice transplanters, zero tillage, combined harvester: shade nets, and coco-pits among women farmers in the Eastern Gangetic plains of West Bengal project activities.
  4. SSP’s presentation reflected on their experience of implementing the Women-led Climate-Resilient Farming (WCRF) model in the drought-prone region of Maharashtra. The study, presented by Dr. Radheshyam Jadhav, emphasized how the model integrated various technological innovations such as soil management, water harvesting, mixed cropping, vermicomposting and livestock rearing with technical innovations like capacity building training and social innovations like creating awareness around land rights to empower women and enhance their resilience.

This was followed by a presentation of a comprehensive synthesis encapsulating the key insights from the cases. The synthesis study conducted and presented by Dr. Monika Banerjee, an independent consultant working on this project highlighted the necessity to strategically and systematically plan and execute bundled innovations within large-scale, multi-stakeholder projects, guided by a shared vision toward a common goal. Many cases lacked this strategic approach, often combining innovations in an ad-hoc manner, leading to a gap in achieving the envisaged project goals.

The webinar shed light on how bundling approaches are currently used in development interventions. It generated a rich discussion of the suitability of using STIBs as a way of enhancing women’s empowerment and resilience to climate change through access to new technologies.

                                  The full webinar is available here:  WATCH NOW.

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