Gender-responsive digital extension in Tunisia during the COVID-19 pandemic
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Rosalind Ragetlie, Dina Najjar. (21/12/2021). Gender-responsive digital extension in Tunisia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Providing farmers with essential agricultural information and training in the era of COVID-19 has been a challenge that has prompted a renewed interest in digital extension services. There is a distinct gender gap however, between men’s and women’s access to, use of, and ability to benefit from information and communication technologies (ICTs), which is compounded by women’s historical marginalization from traditional extension programs. These issues present a challenge to the inclusive delivery of digital extension services. To assess the impact of gender-responsive digital extension in Tunisia during the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying isolation measures, digital extension services were delivered to 121 women and 121 men the Beja, Kef, Zaghouan and Siliana regions of Tunisia (Figure 1). The sample included individual men (N=40) and women (N=41) who were prompted to share the extension information with their spouses, as well as men (N=41) who were not prompted to share. A final group of 40 husband and wife pairs (N=80) both received the same extension information. A gender-responsive approach was implemented, providing select women with mobile phones and delivering the extension information using gender-sensitive language. To improve the accessibility of the information, radio communications were delivered in addition to SMS messages. After 8 months of digital extension, the effectiveness of the intervention was assessed by survey.
- Agricultural Research Knowledge