Gender and Agriculture/Rural Development in the Information Society


Announcing Round 2 of GenARDIS


A Small Grants Fund to Address Gender Issues in Information and Communication Technologies for Agricultural and Rural Development in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP Countries)

10 grants @ 5,000 Euro

Submission Deadline: 25 February 2005


The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) and the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos) are inviting applications for the second round of the GenARDIS small grants programme.


Most technological innovations affect men and women differently, and ICTs are no exception. In addition to the urban-rural 'digital divide', there is a further digital divide that adversely affects women, who make up the majority of the rural poor in developing countries. Compared to men, rural women in the ACP regions are much less likely to access new technologies because they are generally less educated and hold less economic and political power than men. Women, with their special responsibilities for children and the elderly, find it less easy than men to migrate to towns and cities. The urban bias in connectivity thus deprives women, more than men, of the universal right to communicate. While women make up the majority of people in rural areas of developing countries and play a central role in agriculture, issues of language, literacy, etc. are compounded by their already heavy workload that limits the time available to use modern ICTs, and by cultural attitudes that prevent them from visiting public access points mostly frequented by men. Other important challenges include limited time availability to participate in training and use of ICTs, and lack of awareness of the opportunities available.


In recognition of the dilemma between a potentially powerful set of tools ­ ICTs ­ and their failure to reach the majority of the poor in ACP countries ­ rural women - CTA, IDRC, IICD and Hivos invite proposals to the GenARDIS Small Grants Fund to support innovative activities that contribute to the understanding of gender issues in ICTs and to the gender- sensitive application of ICTs in ACP agricultural and rural development.


Gender is the term used to refer to the socially constructed relations between women and men in a particular society. These relations, and the roles women and men may assume, are culturally and institutionally embedded. Biological sex refers to being male or female; gender as a social identity changes over time (historically) and space (geographically). Therefore the gender roles of men or women in one society may differ from those in another, and they may differ even within one society, depending on other socio-economic criteria. The concept of gender recognises that women and men are not homogeneous groups. Differences in age, class, race and ethnicity, and disability status cut across human society and affect status, power and access to resources.


Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can be interpreted broadly as technologies that facilitate communication and the processing and transmission of information by electronic means. This definition encompasses the full range of ICTs, from radio and television to telephones (fixed and mobile), computers and the Internet. In development contexts, the interface with traditional communications systems and tools is also important, as are applications in areas like agriculture, business, governance, health, and education.

Proposals can be aimed at:

* understanding gender differences in the use of ICTs;

* promoting ICT use among rural women (sensitization);

* improving rural women's access to ICTs;

* improving the skills and capacities of rural women in using ICTs;

* increasing the attractiveness of ICTs for rural women by providing relevant content;

* mainstreaming gender concerns in ICT policy and projects;

* using ICTs for gender advocacy purposes

[Please note that proposals that aim to only buy equipment and hardware cannot be supported. On the other hand, proposals that aim to improve rural women's access to existing ICT facilities, e.g. by providing special opening hours, can be considered.]


Submissions will be judged according to the following criteria:

* Innovativeness

* Clearly outlines and addresses gender issues, i.e., the socially constructed relations between women and men in a particular society

* ICT-enabled

* Agricultural or agro-linked rural development context

* Proposal clearly states objectives, includes a methodology/implementation strategy, identifies outputs, partners/stakeholders and includes a timeline and budget

* Realistic within budgetary and time constraints


This is a competitive call for applications for 10 non- renewable grants of up to 5,000 Euros. The deadline for receipt of applications is 25 February 2005. An expert panel will judge the submissions. Announcement of the successful applicants is expected to be made on 11 April 2005. Successful applicants will be expected to write a comprehensive report on their project results, experiences and use of the funds and contribute to a workshop to be held in late 2005. All submissions must be received before the deadline (25 February 2005).

Submissions via e-mail *are preferred*. E-mail applications and questions should be sent to <[email protected]>

Submissions by post should be sent to:

GenARDIS Small Grants Fund

c/o Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET)

Attn. Dr. Dorothy Okello

P.O. Box 4411

Kampala, Uganda

Fax: + 256 (0)41 234924


Read more about the GenARDIS 2003 winners:


The sponsors of GenARDIS are:

Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EC (CTA), International Development Research Centre (IDRC), International Institute for Communication and

Development (IICD), Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos)

GenARDIS coordination:

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and

APC-Africa- Women




Proposals can be submitted in English and French.

Please note that only organizations in ACP countries are eligible for consideration under the GenARDIS programme. For a list of ACP countries, please see


Part 1: Information about you and your organization

1. Your name

2. Your professional background

3. Your job title

4. Your organization (name & short profile)

5. Your address, incl. telephone, fax, e-mail and website (if applicable)

6. Where did you hear about the GenARDIS small grant fund?


Part 2: Describe the project you propose to address gender in ICTs for ACP agricultural and rural development

Kindly provide information on the following points (on not more than 5 pages):

* Title of the proposed project

* Objectives of the project

* Some background information (

Why is the project considered important?

Where will it be implemented? Who/what organization will implement it?

Are there other ongoing initiatives that could complement the project?

Will other donors contribute to the project?

Will you be partnering with other projects, networks, and initiatives?)

* What are the gender and ICT issues to be addressed?

* What will be the project activities? Identify the major activities of the proposed project and indicate the expected date of completion for each activity.

* Who will benefit as a result of this project? Give a description of the beneficiaries, their context, and access to ICTs etc.

* Explain the intended impact of the project.

* How do you intend to monitor and evaluate the project?

* What is the project budget? Describe how a one-time small grant of 5,000 Euro would be used.

2003 WSIS Gender Caucus