Evaluating the impacts of livestock and aquaculture microcredit and value chain programs on women’s empowerment

Earning an income can increase women’s autonomy and enhance their economic and social status. However, earning an income or having access to credit and other financial assets cannot be assumed to bring automatic benefits for women or for households. More critical is how increased access to resources can be translated into changes in the strategic choices that women are able to make – at the level of the individual women, household and community. For empowerment to happen, the processes through which women gain access to resources should be empowering and the impacts of these process should lead to broader changes in gender relations and norms. This project seeks to understand the nuanced links between women’s economic empowerment and women’s agency and the exercise of choice from a rights perspective. It will analyze the gendered barriers that prevent some women from benefiting from economic opportunities, or from being empowered despite access to these opportunities; The project will focus on two types of economic empowerment activities: first, provision of financial assets (or credit) to women for livestock and aquaculture projects and, second, projects linking women farmers to agricultural markets and other associated services.

Project activities

  • Evaluating and documenting case studies of the impacts of livestock and aquaculture financing, value chains and livelihood projects on poverty and equity outcomes.
  • Sharing information on livelihood approaches that integrate women’s rights.
  • Developing strategies and building capacity for integration of women rights approaches in livelihood programs and on measuring impacts on empowerment.


  • Documented case studies of impacts of livestock financing, value chains and women’s rights projects on livelihoods and women’s empowerment. 
  • A framework and tools for evaluating livestock and aquaculture and women’s rights projects from a gender perspective.
  • Training guide on gender and evaluation for livestock and aquaculture projects that integrate women’s rights.
  • Paper on impacts of livestock financing, value chains and women’s rights projects on livelihoods and women empowerment.
  • Forum meetings on results and strategies for integrating women rights based approaches in projects.


  1. Increased integration of women’s rights perspectives into livelihood projects that target women and smallholders farmers and entrepreneurs.
  2. Changes in attitudes, knowledge and practices amongst research and development practitioners on role of women’s rights in achieving women’s empowerment and changes in gender relations.