Gender Empowerment in Agriculture Interventions: What Are We Still Missing? Evidence From a Randomized-Controlled Trial Among Coffee Producers in Honduras 

Karla Rubio-Jovel


PhD Researcher

Faculty of Social Sciences

University of Münster

Karla is a development practitioner and researcher specialising in evaluation of sustainable development projects, programs, and policies, with a focus on Latin America


Key Takeaways

    How To Apply Insights

    • The findings and lessons learned from this research can be considered by practitioners and researchers when planning their interventions and designing their evaluation plans. For implementation, it is relevant to consider the importance of designing tailored interventions based on the group’s heterogeneity, and for evaluation, the importance of doing a proper selection of indicators and measurement tools, as well as the selection of the sample size (including replacement).

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    Findings & Research Conclusions

    Relevance of sharing the results and positive findings of the randomised-control trial and the intervention, as well as the recommendations for practitioners, including robust evidence of the heterogeneous effect of the project.

    Timing of funding might significantly affect the results of this project. Funding follows short periods of only 1-2 years. Not enough time to implement actual transformation. Must focus on not doing short rounds of funding for this level of expected outcomes (women’s empowerment).

    Important to consider targeting differently the beneficiaries based upon their own characteristics before launching the project. In this project, there was a single standardised gender intervention for all, which did not take into account that women have different levels of empowerment. Some beneficiaries had a level of empowerment, which allowed them to benefit better from the project’s interventions, others were already empowered, consequently the intervention did not change their status, and meanwhile the least empowered might have improved their empowerment, but did not reached the project’s goals. Based on these findings, this study concludes the need for tailored interventions based on different levels of individual characteristics at baseline.

    Research's methodology

    Randomised-control trial at community level. Carried out a survey with households. Created focus groups (split by gender) and interviewed cooperative leaders


    There was a high rate of migration of participants in the control and intervention communities. One must always plan an extra amount of samples to account for this.

    Tracking compliance with intervention was not carried out effectively by the project staff.

    Heterogenous EffectHow an intervention can affect beneficiaries differently based on their own characteristics.

    Reference this research

    Rubio-Jovel, K. (2021). Gender Empowerment in Agriculture Interventions: What Are We Still Missing? Evidence From a Randomized-Controlled Trial Among Coffee Producers in Honduras. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 5, 695390.

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