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

Highlights From the AWE Program's Rapid Learning Needs Assessment

The AWE Program team conducted a rapid learning needs assessment at the end of 2018 to understand USAID’s capacities and learning priorities for gender equality and women’s empowerment in agriculture. The team collected data through an online survey and interviews with a select group of USAID staff and partners supporting agriculture projects and activities in Feed the Future priority countries.

We learned that USAID staff want:

  • Capacity building, tools and other resources to help them guide implementing partners to integrate gender equality and women’s empowerment into their activities.
  • Help applying existing tools and information to their work, including the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI). They also requested new, agriculture-specific tools to support gender integration across the Program Cycle.
  • Capacity building, resources and research on preventing and responding to gender-based violence and promoting and measuring women’s decision-making in agriculture systems.
  • Accessible, context-specific tools and resources to help integrate and measure gender equality and women’s empowerment. They specifically requested in-person opportunities to learn and share with partners and other missions.

To meet these needs, the AWE Program team offers a consortium of gender and agriculture specialists who can facilitate in-person, virtual and peer-led collaborating, learning and adapting support across the Program Cycle.


When asked about their capacity-building needs, assessment respondents identified “managing activities with partner staff and other colleagues to promote gender equality and women's empowerment” as a top priority. Through AWE, USAID teams can access gender and agriculture technical support to create context-specific guidance and tools to help partners integrate gender into their activities.


Respondents recognized that the WEAI provides data that can be applied to portfolios to promote women’s empowerment in agriculture. However, a majority of survey respondents said that they needed more guidance on the WEAI. AWE can support USAID Missions and partners to apply findings from the WEAI and Project-level WEAI to their activities and monitoring, evaluating and learning processes.


USAID staff specifically asked for tools and capacity-building on gender-based violence prevention and response in agriculture interventions. Through AWE, missions can access contextualized learning programs, capacity building, tools and technical support in preventing and responding to gender-based violence in the range of agriculture interventions.


The AWE team is excited to partner with missions to increase capacity to integrate gender equality, women’s empowerment and gender-based violence prevention and response into agriculture activities and projects. As a first step, the AWE team will soon share a menu of services with examples of how USAID and implementing partners can use the AWE Program for gender-sensitive design, implementation, capacity-building and monitoring, evaluation and learning at every stage of the Program Cycle.