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South Sudan, Gender Situational Analysis to inform safety nets and resilience programming

South Sudan is one of the least developed countries in the world, where conflict has not only shaped its recent political history, the state of the economy and service infrastructure – but continually defines its diverse cultures, social and gender norms. The protracted conflict and pervasive inequalities compound risks and constraints for women and girls, yet they are pivotal in sustaining families, communities, economies and livelihoods in a fragile context. Poverty, harmful gender norms and inequities worsen outcomes for women and girls. The pervasive violence against and overburdening of women perpetuate a cycle of poorer health, nutrition and well-being outcomes for them and their children. Furthermore, there are no publicly available studies that explore how underlying values and norms perpetuate and normalise the association between masculine identities and aggression. Such toxic masculinities have a direct impact on men and boy’s well being and is a driving factor for adverse gender relations and the prevalence of sexual gender-based violence.

In partnership with Forcier Consulting, Development Pathways has recently supported the World Food Programme (WFP) South Sudan Country Office in their first major gender research project, leading to lessons learned and recommendations for gender-responsive programming strategy. The project had four primary objectives: 1) in-depth gender analysis of agricultural and agro-pastoral livelihoods systems with a focus on women’s empowerment; 2) assessing whether WFP’s Food Assistance for Assets (FFA) Programme is gender-sensitive and gender-responsive; 3) identifying improved use of existing data systems and potential opportunities for future research such as diversity disaggregated nationally and statistically representative surveys; 4) consolidating research outcomes to inform the national enabling environment for gender-responsive programming. The research adopted a mixed-methods approach, combining qualitative and quantitative analysis, including primary qualitative data collection, gender-sensitive value chain mapping, desk-based review and secondary analysis and a rapid assessment of the FFA’s operations.

Conducted between September 2019 and July 2020, the project culminated in several reports, including a Gendered Situational Analysis Report, FFA Rapid Gender Assessment Report Guide to Future Research Report, and Research outcomes Report. The research demonstrates areas of existing good practice and progress on gender equality alongside analysis of aspects requiring attention. Contributing to the existing body of literature, it strengthens the evidence-base for humanitarian actors at all levels across the thematic areas of gender equality, sustainable livelihoods, food and nutrition security.

For any questions about the research findings contact WFP South Sudan, wfp.southsudan@wfp.org .

Photo credit: JCKole/Flickr Creative Commons – A town in South Sudan.