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Final evaluation of the Kyrgyzstan Joint UN Women/ FAO/ IFAD/ WFP Programme on Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women

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Executive Summary


Kyrgyzstan is one of seven countries where UN Women, FAO, IFAD and WFP implement the Joint Programme on Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women (JP RWEE).

This report presents findings, conclusions, lessons learned and recommendations of the evaluation of the implementation of the Joint Programme on Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women (JP RWEE) in Kyrgyzstan. The evaluation covered the period from November 2014 till March 2018 in all five regions where the JP RWEE was implemented: Naryn, Chuy, Jalal-Abad, Osh and Batken. The evaluation looked at all aspects of the programme implementation.

Rural women play a central role in the development of Kyrgyzstan, providing a significant proportion of agricultural labour force, playing a key role in food production and nutrition, and performing most of the unpaid care work, thereby supporting reproduction of the Kyrgyzstani society. At the same time rural women and girls have significantly less access to productive resources, which limits the efficiency of the agricultural sector. They face more difficulty than men in gaining access to public services, social protection, decent employment opportunities, and local and national markets and institutions. Unpaid care work further hampers rural women’s ability to take advantage of on- and off-farm employment and market opportunities in the agricultural sector. These challenges facing rural women have been further amplified by the combined impact of the recent economic and financial crises, high and volatile food and fuel prices, climate change, the insufficient investment in rural development and agriculture, and demographic changes.
In Kyrgyzstan the programme works towards achievement of three Outcomes:

• Outcome 1. Rural women have increased income, better livelihoods and food security from enhanced agricultural productivity.

• Outcome 2. Rural women have mastered leadership and actively participate in shaping laws, polices and systems of service provision at local and central levels.

• Outcome 3. A more gender responsive policy environment is secured for the economic empowerment of rural women.

The JP RWEE activities were implemented in 73 villages located in five regions and reached women in 2731 poor rural households. Programme villages belong to two cohorts. In the first cohort of 45 villages programme implementation started in 2015, the second cohort of 28 villages joined the programme in 2016.
The operational models used by the JP RWEE in the first and second cohorts are somewhat different. For example, GALS was applied only in the first cohort of villages. Group economic initiatives were initiated also only in the first cohort of villages.