What happens after technology adoption? Gendered aspects of small-scale irrigation technologies in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Tanzania

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Springer Nature
Diverse agricultural technologies are promoted to increase yields and incomes, save time, improve food and nutritional security, and even empower women. Yet a gender gap in technology adoption remains for many agricultural technologies, even for those that are promoted for women. This paper complements the literature on gender and technology adoption, which largely focuses on reasons for low rates of female technology adoption, by shifting attention to what happens within a household after it adopts a technology. Understanding the expected benefits and costs of adoption, from the perspective of women users in households with adult males, can help explain observed technology adoption rates and why technology adoption is often not sustained in the longer term. Drawing on qualitative data from Ethiopia, Ghana, and Tanzania, this paper develops a framework for examining the intrahousehold distribution of benefits from technology adoption, focusing on small-scale irrigation technologies. The framework contributes to the conceptual and empirical exploration of joint control over technology by men and women in the same household. Efforts to promote technology adoption for agricultural development and women’s empowerment would benefit from an understanding of intrahousehold control over technology to avoid interpreting technology adoption as an end in and of itself.
© The Author(s) 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Version of Scholarly Record of this Article is published in Agriculture and Human Values, 2018, available online at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10460-018-9862-8 . Keywords: irrigation; agricultural technology; technology adoption; gender; small-scale irrigation.
Theis, S., Lefore, N., Meinzen-Dick, R. et al. What happens after technology adoption? Gendered aspects of small-scale irrigation technologies in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Tanzania. Agric Hum Values 35, 671–684 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-018-9862-8