May 5, 2016
UN Publication Commends ASI Sunhara India Project
Project’s Training Highlighted in Women Training Centre’s Compendium of Good Practices
Agribusiness Systems International (ASI), an affiliate of ACDI/VOCA, implemented the Sunhara India program in Uttar Pradesh from 2009-2013. Sunhara, which means “prosperous” in Hindi, encouraged economic growth in horticultural value chains through inclusive market facilitation. Program efforts included a “Gender, Rights, and Collective Action” training that has been recognized by and mentioned in the UN Women Training Centre’s Compendium of Good Practices in Training for Gender Equality.
ASI Training Utilized Local Facilitators and Real-World Examples
The UN compendium, which seeks to contribute to the field of training for gender equality, offers in-depth information on 10 training best practices, including outlines of courses, examples of how to deal with challenges, and a collection of tools and activities for use in future trainings.
As only one-third of participants had basic literacy levels, the project employed a pedagogical approach that incorporated participants’ prior knowledge to foster a critical consciousness of gender equality. At the training, facilitators and participants sat in a circle to minimize caste, class, and other distinctions. Interestingly, the training was held at a residential facility that enabled participants to analyze gender relations free from the confines of their own communities.
The training resulted in the establishment of community organizations, including 20 literacy centers and one women’s resource center. Participants organized events for International Women’s Day and began venturing out more regularly into public spaces. After the training, participants’ male family members reported an increased awareness of women’s rights and gender equality. The training contributed to the project’s overall impact, which impressively included an average increased income of 87 percent among beneficiaries.