Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Competency Framework for Extension, Nutrition, and Gender Integration

Introduction

What types of skills, attitudes, and behaviors (SAB) are necessary to enable institutions to deliver gender- and nutrition-informed services?The INGENAES capacity development activities are intended to build gender-responsive, nutrition-sensitive skills among organizations providing agricultural extension services (AES). The objectives are to enable these organizations to identify and equip staff with the appropriate skills to deliver services that lead to improved gender- and nutrition-related outcomes; and to establish a set of gender-responsive, nutrition-sensitive AES practices that substantially and effectively strengthen gender equity and improve nutrition outcomes.

The SABs needed at the individual level require a supportive environment that enables individual extension workers to employ the SABs. Such a supportive environment consists of technically correct training, supportive supervision, and appropriate incentives to encourage SAB deployment by staff. 

This framework has four major sections:

  1. Critical Competencies for Adult Learning
  2. General Principles for Client-Driven and Equitable Extension and Advisory Services
  3. Gender-focused Competencies for Extension and Advisory Services
  4. Nutrition-focused Competencies for Extension and Advisory Services

In addition to highlighting what trained professionals should be able to do as individuals, the competency framework complements the Institutional Review and Planning Framework that builds the practices and policies needed to support gender-responsive, nutrition-sensitive program delivery at the organizational level. It also complements recommendations included in: The New Extensionist: Core Competencies for Individuals, developed by the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS, 2015), but is more specific to gender and nutrition.

For the purposes of this framework, we rely on the definitions of gender and nutrition included in the box. Further definitions are available in appendix I. Note that biological sex is not equated with gender, the latter being a social construct. Diets, or the types and combinations of foods typically consumed by individuals and groups, are a key determinant of nutrition outcomes. Behaviors are observable actions, and when grouped together, they define an individual’s food practices related to meal preparation, food hygiene, healthy eating, child feeding, etc. Diets and food practices are considered to be vital components of nutrition, as the term is used this framework.   

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