ACDI/VOCA's experience working with women farmers and entrepreneurs shows time and again that women are essential to economic development, especially in rural and agricultural economies. We've also learned that by bringing an awareness of gender issues to the development process, we ensure that interventions produce sustainable results for women and men.
The goal of the Women in Development (WID) Indefinite Quantity Contract (IQC) was to promote greater integration and institutionalization of the perspective of both men and women in all USAID programs to more effectively achieve development goals. The WID IQC offered assistance to USAID Missions and other operating units in dissemination of best practices; identifying and sharing emerging development issues with differential impacts on women and men globally; and creating programs and activities to address new and emerging issues.
As part of a consortium lead by Development & Training Services, Inc. (dTS), ACDI/VOCA promoted gender mainstreaming by providing USAID with short- and long-term technical services and training, research and analysis, communications and outreach (including conferences and workshops) and grant solicitation, negotiation, award and post-award grant administration. ACDI/VOCA’s role within the consortium was to promote rural economic development opportunities for women.
ACDI/VOCA has previous experience in empowering women farmers and other entrepreneurs – as well as men – to succeed in the global economy. ACDI/VOCA’s Environmental Protection and Economic Development (EPED) project in Uganda interjected gender roles analysis into enterprise development trainings conducted in various districts. In July 2001, USAID’s Women in Development Technical Assistance program (WIDTECH) provided ACDI/VOCA with a grant to study the gender dimensions of our EPED Project in Uganda. Our Women’s Economic Empowerment Projects (WEE) in the Ukraine and in Belarus provided training and other services to female entrepreneurs in order to help them to better manage their businesses. Gender has also played a significant role in the Cooperative Development Program, the Reinforce Business for Rural Development (RENDER) program in Mozambique, the Kenya Maize Development Program and the Smallholder Empowerment & Economic Growth through Agribusiness & Association Development (SEEGAAD) in Tanzania.