GENNOVATE is a community of practice within the CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research. A global comparative research initiative, GENNOVATE addresses the question of how gender norms and agency influence men, women, and youth to adopt innovation in agriculture and natural resource management (NRM). Carried out across 137 rural communities in 26 countries, this qualitative comparative study aims to provide authoritative “bottom-up” research to advance gender-transformative approaches and catalyze change in international agricultural and NRM research for development.

In discussion groups and individual interviews, more than 7,500 rural study participants of different socioeconomic backgrounds and age groups reflect on and compare local women’s and men’s expected roles and behaviors — or gender norms — and how these social rules affect their ability to access, adopt, adapt, and benefit from innovations in agricultural and natural resource management.



Key research questions

  • How do gender norms and agency advance or impede the capacity to innovate, and shape technology adoption in agriculture and natural resource management across different contexts?
  • How do new agricultural technologies or practices affect gender norms and agency across different contexts?
  • How are norms about gender relations and women’s and men’s agency changing, and under what conditions do these changes catalyze innovation, and lead to desired development outcomes and the sustainable management of natural resources?

GENNOVATE’s qualitative comparative methodology and large sample mark a first in the CGIAR, as well as the collaboration of principal investigators (PIs) from eight Phase II CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) worldwide. The initiative’s broad-based and inclusive research process strives to give rural women and men a voice by providing authoritative, contextually grounded evidence on how gender interacts with agricultural innovations and strengthens CRP capacities to know the target beneficiaries, design for them, and be accountable to them.


The project received generous funding support from CGIAR Trust Fund Donors, the CRPs, the CGIAR Gender and Agricultural Research Network, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the governments of Germany and Mexico.

Learn more

Study Objectives

GENNOVATE seeks to address an urgent need for agricultural research for development to better understand and reduce gender-based barriers to the adoption of new and improved agricultural and natural resource management innovations in the Global South.

Methodology & Sample

The research design builds on the approach developed and refined by three World Bank global studies. Case selection is based on  maximum diversity sampling, seeking to uncover important regularities across different population groups and contexts.

Meet the Team

GENNOVATE is a collaborative initiative among eight Phase II CGIAR Research Programs. Study coordination is managed by an Executive Committee of gender experts and involves a diverse team of principal investigators and researchers.

Contact us

For more information, please contact Marlène Elias, CGIAR GENDER Platform Alliances Module leader and Senior Scientist at the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, marlene.elias@cgiar.org