Gender Road Map for Microfinance

The Gender Road Map for Microfinance is Powerpoint-based resource to enable MFIs to mainstream gender across their organisations using the FALS methodology together with guides and checklists for different types of financial product. It has been developed with ASKI in Philippines as part of the Oikocredit Bridging the Gender Gap in Responsible Finance project.

What is a Gender Road Map for Microfinance? Overview and frameworks

Financial Action Learning System : Toolkit for Clients

Walking the Talk: Toolkit for Staff

Gender Diamond

MF_Gender Checklist

Further links and resources

Women’s Empowerment in Rural Finance

Journeys

The underlying framework for all GALS processes is the ‘Road Journey’ or ‘Road Map’ change planning tool. This is of two basic types that can be combined or done separately:

  • Vision Journeys look to the future. This is generally the first Vision Journey to inspire with change to the future.
  • Achievement Journeys assess lessons from the past. This is generally used as part of a later review where it is combined with planning the next vision journey to the future.

The basic Journey framework can be adapted to any issue.

Common steps:
  1. Vision or dream: what is the underlying longer-term purpose of the journey?
  2. Baseline: current and/or past situation and joining the circles with the road.
  3. SWOT: Opportunities (10+ top of the road) and Challenges (full risk analysis bottom of the road). Things more controllable (strengths and weaknesses) go closer to the road. Things that cannot be controlled go further from the road. Finally identification of new opportunities so that opportunities still are more than risks. Or possibly abort plan.
  4. Milestones: Vision Journeys have medium term future target should be motivating, then 2-4 milestones the first of which should be after 1 month so that action starts immediately. Achievement Journey has past milestones.
  5. Actions to go from target to target.
  6. Journeys are tracked over time to assess progress, and also reasons for progress or lack of it.
Key considerations in design/adaptation:

a) whose journey is it? individual? household? collective? organisational?

b) what is the question/purpose/vision? how to be clear so things do not become too broad to be useful as a plan?

c) how many lanes? is it a simple vision journey or a multilane highway?

d) when should the milestones and targets be? Should these be decided by the participant? Or is there a specific organisational/project framework eg loan cycle that has to be accommodated? Is it a calendar with monthly targets?

Types of vision journey 

Vision Journeys

The first Vision Journey (individual) is a simple one-lane plan to achieve one or more elements of a bigger vision.

Livelihood Vision Calendars

A business plan with month by month breakdown of inputs and outputs.
How to Do It : Coffee Vision Calendar

  • Leadership Vision Journey

    A plan to become a leader (tool forthcoming)

  • Organisational Multilane Vision Journey

    This is a core GALS monitoring tool. It combines targets and plans on the core intervention targets (eg livelihoods, coffee production, health), gender balance and leadership on one diagram that is tracked over time.
    How to Do It : Multilane Vision Journey for coffeeRoad Journeys are progressively refined using other types of diagram tools that are adapted and sequenced in specific ways, depending on the nature of the issue and process. Each of these diagram tools can also be used individually and adapted in many different ways for analysis, planning and tracking.

  • For video examples see:

    Songs

 

Dinna’s Story, Tanzania
Dinna’s Story

Dinna’s Journey

Dinna’s Leadership Vision

Masika Elizabeth’s Multilane Highway, Uganda

 

Hawa’s Coffee Calendar

Overall Monitoring Framework

Top Lane: Vision Journey

Middle Lane: Gender Balance Tree

Bottom Lane Empowerment Leadership Map

Organisational Planning

 Organisational Vision Journey, Kabarole Resource Centre, Uganda

Circles

Circles

Circle maps (also known as Venn or chapati diagrams) show the common and distinct features between different elements represented as overlapping circles. They are used for analysis of interrelationships and power relations. Examples of Circle Maps include:

    • Empowerment Leadership Map

      looks at support networks and power relations to plan and track peer sharing.
      How to Do It : Empowerment Leadership Map

    • Market Map

      market map to look at possibilities for market diversification and increasing gender balance in markets: To download details of how to use this tool for coffee.
      How to Do It : Coffee Market Map

    • Institutional governance map

      institutional governance map to look at inter-organisational power relations and how they can be changed.
      How to Do It :(forthcoming)

back to top

Trees

Trees

Trees start from a trunk representing an issue or an institution like a household or community. Inputs are then shown as roots and outputs as branches. In GALS trees also have fruits or concrete action commitments. They may also have circular linkages from branches to roots to show cycles of cross-fertilisation.

Types of trees include:

    • Gender Balance Tree:

      The Gender Balance Tree identifies gender inequalities in work contribution and expenditure benefits in the household and the changes needed for gender balance to make the tree grow straight.
      How to Do It : Gender Balance Tree

    • Livelihood Tree:

      Livelihood Trees are a ‘snapshot’ planning tool to examine existing costs and income structure for particular economic activities and how incomes can be increased through changing costs and/or expenditures to enable reinvestment and savings.
      How to Do It : Household Coffee Tree

    • Challenge Action Tree:

      Challenge Action Tree (an action-oriented adaptation of a ‘problem solution tree) examines the causes of challenges, potential solutions to reach a vision and action commitments needed by individuals to move forward.
      How to Do It : Increasing Incomes Challenge Action Tree

Impact Tree

    Any of the above trees can be quantified over time as a monitoring tool.

Songs

Gender Balance Tree

Business Tree

Challenge Action Tree

Impact Tree

Diamonds

Diamonds are used to:

  • deepen visions through establishing locally relevant SMART indicators
  • investigate extent and patterns of differentiation within communities and/or groups in those visions and indicators
  • rapid participatory impact assessment
  • establish locally-relevant priorities for change and set targets

With experienced facilitation they are a good tool to use with very large numbers of people. In the images below from Ivory Coast gender diamonds were used with 350 women and men, many of whom had not been to a meeting before and could not read and write. The groups quickly learned to self-facilitate with a small number of people who were doing the exercise for the first time leading and in communication with the main facilitator. All the group diamonds were quantified and fed back to the plenary. But because of the gender imbalance – many more women than men – there was no bringing together in to a ‘parent diamond’ (see below.

Steps

It is very important that the Diamond is self-facilitated by the groups. Apart from giving instructions on the main steps and ensuring everyone is participants, the facilitator/s only intervene at the end through posing certain questions and summing up.

1) Individual reflection: participants identify what criteria they think characterise extreme opposites of an issue or spectrum eg poverty, empowerment, violence. They draw these extremes on a set number of colour-coded cards.

2)Sharing: participants form groups of people as relevant to the issue and share their cards. This is often done as a game like charades where one person comes up and shows the card, the others first have to guess what it means. Then those with the same issue/criteria hand their cards to the person at the front. That person sits down and the next person comes up until all cards are finished.

3) Voting: having heard everyone else’s ideas, participants are then given a certain number of votes. They come up and confidentially put a mark on the cards they want to vote on. The difference between the number of cards and the number of votes for any issue can be taken as a rough indicator of changes in attitude/awareness as a result of the exercise.

4) Ranking: the votes are then counted and placed on the relevant level of the diamond: best likes at the top, medium likes towards the middle, medium dislikes middle below the line, worst dislikes at the bottom.

5) Plenary: the groups present their group diamond. As they do so they remove the card from their own drawing and, with discussion with the rest of the participants, place these cards either on their side or in the middle of the ‘parent diamond’.

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Then they progressively move inwards to obtain a scale towards  the average situation or majority of a population as the middle of a diamond.  Then the numbers of people within each band scale are plotted as before, after and/or target situations. This is then used as the basis for discussion of how the situation of those at the bottom of the diagram can be substantially improved.

Types of diamonds

Diamonds may be of many different types including, but by no means only:

Poverty diamond

Looks at whether most people are above or below the poverty line as identified by a community, then how many people are very rich or very poor, what criteria are used and why. This can also focus on particular dimensions of poverty eg food security.

!!Insert from KRC, LEAP and USAID

Gender Diamonds

Used as part of GALS, but also generating gender visions and indicators in PALS and FALS. These can focus generally on perceptions that women and men have of ’empowerment’, happy  families’, gender justice/empowerment’.

For discussion see:

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

ANANDI_Diamonds

  • Empowerment diamond

Looks at whether most people consider themselves, or could be considered, powerful, how many people are very powerful or very powerless, what criteria are used and why.

See examples from Pakistan:

Kash Empowerment Diamonds

  • Household equality diamond

Looks at concepts of household equality, where the most households are above or below this ideal, the criteria used and the numbers and characteristics of ideal households and very bad households.

See examples from Pakistan:

Equity Diamond Pakistan

Taraqee Diamonds

Or the Diamond Tool can be used to look in detail at specific issues like violence, property rights, decision-making and other dimensions of CEDAW.

  • Violence diamond

Starts by examining the types of domestic, caste or community violence to which most people are subject. Then it looks at what an ideal state would be, and the very worst cases. Then the incidence can be quantified. For violence like domestic violence where even women suffering from it may deny its existence it may be best to start with extreme cases and then move up to awareness of generalised levels of violence or harassment.

See discussion of CEDAW Diamonds

Leadership Diamonds

Used in Tanzania coffee sector.

FALS Toolkit: Oikocredit, ASKI, NWTF Philippines

Financial Action Learning System (FALS) Toolkit produced as part of the Bridging the Gender Gap project implemented by Oikocredit, ASKI and NWTF in Philippines and funded by Church of Sweden.

Oikocredit FALS Overview: interactive pdf presentation (to be revised and updated at the end of the project)

FALS Phase 1 Catalyst Tools

Five tools are introduced over 2 weeks with clients and staff being trained in parallel to allow both clients and staff to learn the same tools and use them for their own personal lives, and for staff to learn clients and for both to learn facilitation skills.   Details of the programme are adapted to the schedules of clients and staff with a combination of half and full days.

Gender Empowerment Tools

  • Tool 1: Vision Journey:  introduces basic drawing, diagramming, participatory and planning skills: What does a happy family look like? what are women, men and children doing? what do they have? who owns what? what is the role of micro-finance? What is there already? what important changes are needed? What are my opportunities and challenges to reach my vision? What is my target by the end of the loan cycle, and what are the steps to achieve it?

FALS Tool 1 Vision Journey mobile version
FALS Tool 1 Vision Journey screen presentation

  • Tool 2: Happy Family Tree: Looks in more detail at division of work, expenditure, assets and decision-making in the family. How to make these both more efficient and equitable. This tool forms the basis of empowerment and gender indicators for SPM, and a tool that can be used and aggregated to assess change.

FALS Tool 2 Happy Family Tree mobile

FALS Tool 2 Happy Family Tree presentation

Financial Empowerment Tools

  • Tool 3: Financial Empowerment Map: Looks at emotional, financial and power relationships that can help or constrain progress, including access to financial resources and people they can share the empowerment tools with. As well as increasing understanding of clients’ lives by FSP staff, this tool forms the basis for the upscaling plan and identification of champions who might be paid in future.

Oikocredit FALS Tool 2 Financial Empowerment Map mobile version

Oikocredit_2_FinancialEmpowerment Map_Presentation

  • Tool 4: Loan Business Challenge Action Tree: Identifies in more detail recurrent challenges for the business for which they propose to take the loan in relation to production, marketing and household, looking at gender issues and role of micro-finance. This Tool is also used by the FSP for participatory market research on specific products and services.

FALS Tool 4 Business Challenge Action Tree mobile
FALS Tool 4 Business Challenge Action Tree presentation

  • Tool 5: Financial Management Calendar : A plan for business and financial management, integrating learnings from the Happy Family Tree, Financial Empowerment Map and Challenge Action Tree.  The tools is tracked as a tool for learning to manage businesses and finance better. At FSP level this becomes over time a required part of the loan application process, and assessing applications for loan rescheduling. When applying for loans clients need to bring any previous FMCs and a new FMC for the loan being applied for.

Oikocredit FALS Tool 5 Financial Management Calendar mobile version.

Oikocredit_5_FMCPresentation

FALS Phase 2: Client Empowerment Deepening

March 2018 (forthcoming) a further 5 day workshop is being held to review the changes and tools so far, and bring them together to deepen client empowerment, particularly on gender issues.

  • Tool 6: Client Empowerment Diamond :  looks at gender issues that constrain women and men from achieving their full potential. This builds on the discussion from Tool 3 Happy Family Tree and serves as a retrospective review of the changes that have happened because of FALS. It also identifies client priorities for further changes. These then enable client-led identification of gender indicators that can be integrated into SPM and used as a gender checklist for assessing product innovation. This same tool can be used with staff as part of development of an organisational internal gender policy.

Oikocredit Tool 6 Gender Empowerment Diamond

  • Tool 7: Empowerment Vision Highway : brings together the Loan Management Calendar, Happy Family Tree/Client Empowerment Diamond and Financial Resources/Change Leadership Maps into a 3 lane ‘Highway’ plan. This is used to summarise the economic, gender and leadership changes that have happened because of FALS, and plan further change on all three lanes for the next loan cycle.

Oikocredit FALS Tool 7 Empowerment Vision Highway

FALS Phase 3: Sustainable Mainstreaming

FALS is a two year process and goes therefore beyond the one year pilot project. Sustainable mainstreaming entails FALS integration into:

  • Loan Management: Full integration of the Loan Management Calendar, backed up by the other tools in case of repayment difficulties into the loan application process implemented by loan managers. This has started with the pilot, but requires a couple of loan cycles to fully refine and train all project management staff and the clients.
  • Other capacity building, and possibly addition of other PALS/value chain/GALSatScale tools.  This has started – for example use of the Vision Journey for staff career planning. But needs further training of the MFI in other PALS tools. Integration serves to reduce costs of FALS training and means that other trainings are further strengthening client planning, participatory, communication and analytical skills.
  • SPM as client empowerment and gender indicators with manageable modes for collection of information by loan management and/or SPM and/or other research staff.
  • Product innovation and market research process: this requires capacity building, piloting and refinement of a further Tool 8: Win-win product innovation tree (based on other PALS Challenge Action/Win-win trees in value chain development).

 

Copyright and Usage

© Linda Mayoux 2017

Unless otherwise stated on the relevant document, all materials on this website are copyright of Linda Mayoux.

Copyright aims

The aims of this Copyright are to:

  • make the methodology as freely available as possible, including for use by smaller local organisations on the ground and including further adaptations and innovations by others.
  • create thereby a change movement that can work together for community-led gender justice advocacy.
  • avoid distortion of the methodology by plagiarism that can  and bring it into disrepute. Thus damaging possibilities for advocacy and fundraising by all those working hard on the ground.
  • avoid powerful organisations and ‘experts’ imposing their own copyright restrictions in adaptations of the methodology and maintain freedom of use for all.

Conditions of use

The materials are free for use and adaptation for noncommercial and ethical purposes under Creative Commons protocols, on condition that :

  • you notify Linda Mayoux through filling in the comment form below, stating the purpose for which you are using it. She will then contact you by email.
  • there is a very clear and visible accreditation of the authors of the relevant materials and the implementing and funding organisations.
  • there is a URL link to the original document on this website, and a link to the page on which it originates prominently displayed and a link to this copyright page.
  • Linda Mayoux is cited as the originator of the PALS methodology and its GALS, FALS and other derivatives.
  • you send Linda Mayoux a copy of the final document/public reports with a brief 200-500 word description so they can be posted on this blog.
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For commercial purposes and use by private companies, application should be made to Linda Mayoux through filling in the comment form below.

An example of accreditation protocol:

For the original document and other PALS/GALS/FALS adaptations and experiences for livelihoods, value chain and coffee sector see: http://gamechangenetwork.org/empowerment-methodology-pals/ . For more about experiences of using the methodology elsewhere see links from: http://gamechangenetwork.org and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GAMEchange-Network-419097981602626/ . Any further adaptation and use of this document should observe the ethical Copyright principles stated in: http://gamechangenetwork.org/copyright/ in the interests of maintaining free use of the methodology and expanding the gender advocacy movement. Any errors of translation or interpretation (and also credit for further innovation) lie with the authors.

Photography

Unless otherwise stated all photographs on this website are copyrighted to Linda Mayoux. They can be downloaded as long as they are accredited with a link to the website page.

High resolution versions of the images are available on: http://www.zemniimages.com/GAMEchangeNetwork. 

All are password-protected but free to use by the participants, partner organisations and sponsors of the relevant project. That is to protect the people in photographs and also the interests of the project and funders.

If other people want to use these images, please send a request as a comment to the homepage of this website and I or the relevant organisation will get back to you.

Songs: Swahili

Leadership Song

By champions from Tanzania and Kenya

Tanzania

Tunaanza:

Vision Journey Song

Gender Balance Tree

We are starting our plans

Tunaanza Mobile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHhp7L4LylE

Gender Balance Poem:

Gender Balance Poem Mobile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAlyL6f8GjU

Kenya

Tutangazeni: let us start

Tutangazeni Mobile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQHfMfx6y_w
Kazi Na Usawa: Gender Balance Tree

Kazi Na Usawa Mobile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9htLWnlwTY

We Are The Champions: Leadership Twist

We Are The Champions Mobile: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ir8XdeZregk

 

Audio

For downloads see: http://www.galsatscale.net/Resources.html#songs

Songs – Swahili words and English Translation

 

GALS Catalyst Process Kyrgyzstan

GALS Catalyst Workshop, Naryn May 2016 Photos

Soulmate Visioning

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Gender Diamonds

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Household Efficiency Tree

Gender Challenge Action Tree

Mothers-in-law: Why their daughters-in-law do not love them

Daughters-in-law: Why their husbands are jealous

Men: Why they do not have enough income for the family

Discussing Upscaling plans

Community Day

Notebook Diaries

Songs

Farewells at the Trout Farm

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Notebooks

The basic principle of PALS is that people need to really value their learning, and that money should not be wasted producing thousands of manuals and toolkits given out for free that people do not use. Only the first champions are given notebooks. Then in the peer sharing process other people buy their own.

One idea developed in Tanzania and Kenya as part of the Hivos galsatscale process, and currently being considered for Ethiopia, were simple notebooks for the champions to sell.

Basic idea

Champions would receive notebooks with the core tools and information printed on the front and inside cover at cost price. These would be of varying quality and price to on-sell at market price to people in their peer sharing network, schools etc. Based on a market assessment by the champions. The margin being then used as a community fund for eg savings and credit seed money, women’s rights, youth work etc. As also decided by the champions.

 Aims

1) to give the champions a means of attracting more people into their network once they have got sufficient experience with training and facilitation. It also enhances champions’ status and makes the methodology more visible and ‘official’. It is also a way of recruiting more active champions who then also on sell and maintaining the core messages.

2) to increase promotion and outreach of the main gender/youth messages and the tools to a very large number (thousands) of people to start to bring them into the system and motivate them to learn more. In Tanzania focusing on schools for example led to potential outreach of thousands just in one community. In both Kenya and Tanzania the focus is also on private sector and cooperatives as part of Good Agricultural Practices technical training.

3) to create a sense of common community – notebooks can be updated and reprinted each year with photos and/or contacts/names of ‘top ten champions’ as a means of social recognition.

4) to bring children into the system as an entry point to their parents. If children use the books and colour in their own visions, share these with parents, who then also do theirs, then this is also a way of consolidating relationships in the family bringing in fathers as well as mothers.

5) to build up community funds – people pay for the notebooks, but the money does not go back to the provider but into a transparent community fund. Maintaining the principle of ‘no free lunch’, but making sure that the lunch money is collected for common benefit.

6) to promote the contacts of lead persons who can be hired in further replication in other organisations, and also ethical branding  for national and international organisations in the process.

Suggested contents

The printing is only on the cover, both sides and back and front so 4 pages. These would be a combination of:

  • short development messages eg Women’s Rights in CEDAW on back cover
  • pictures and short steps of the 4 main tools in that process on the inside of the cover 2 at the front and 2 at the back. In Tanzania people were literate so very short Swahili text was given. That would also be appropriate for eg schoolbooks. Where people cannot read and write the the pictorial tool steps can be shown. But the aim is just to remind people of the basics so they do their own drawings on the other pages, but also still have the standard main steps to share with others to whom they may sell notebooks.
  • contact and organisational information, maybe list of top 10 women and men champions, and logos and contacts of sponsor organisations.
  • standard boxes for person’s name etc.

Viability

Discussion with champions in Tanzania and with printers indicate that this would be viable if the scale of on-selling is large enough to do a bulk order of over 10,000 books with one design. This would be possible with promotion through schools and coops.

It is the best use also of any project money for materials – instead of more glossy toolkits you can reach many thousands and encourage self-reliant learning.

Options

Different versions at different prices can be produced – for example very cheap black and white colouring books on different coloured covers for the very basic messages and then more glossy ones for livelihood tools  when people are ‘hooked’ on the methodology.

In Tanzania people said the most popular notebooks would be ones that were specific to different communities eg with pictures of a local landmark. But these would also be more expensive to produce. A combination of the following were developed:

1a) Deluxe full colour with photos of the villages and champions and catalyst tools outside and inside the cover.

small size. These would be relatively expensive and need to be subsidised either by the printer as part of their CSR and/or by the private sector company as part of their brand promotion – with both the logos on. That is the preferred option for the champions.

Illela Notebook Swahili: Daftari_Illela_darkblue_Swahili_20_24.5cm

Ngima Notebook Swahili 20×24.5cm: Daftari_Ngima_darkblue_Swahili_20_24.5cm

Same Notebook coloured draft:  Daftari_Same_darkblue_Swahili_20_24.5cm

1b) Counterbook size with all the tools on the back cover. This would reduce printing costs but maybe smaller market. Maybe do one of these for the whole process with pictures from all the locations.

1c) Use this for the livelihood rather than the basic tools. Once people have been attracted to the system through the cheap standard notebooks.

2a) Cheap standard notebook with just one (black) or two (green or red and black) on cheap paper

This could be used as a colouring-in book as a more active experience. That would be very good for eg promotion for school children – maybe promoted in a school class by a teacher from the process. This could be available at the same price as other school exercise books.

GALS Notebook Black and red small

2b) A counterbook or A4 version could also be done with all the tools just on the back cover.

3) Calendar format

Another option considered was to design calendars eg with a Multilane Plan and some photos of champions instead of the standard corporate calendars that companies and organisations give out.

Issues

  1. Market research needs to be done with champions based on what they think people will buy, but also including printers to advise on types of paper, colours and types of images to put together something that is both impactful and cost-efficient. This needs to be sustainable in the longer term – once the first market push creates demand.
  2. Need to understand the literacy levels of proposed customers and produce different versions.
  3. Notebooks are not a substitute for proper peer sharing – handing a notebook to someone for them to buy is not sufficient. This would need to be made clear to the champions, and also people buying them.
  4. How would the pre-financing be arranged between the implementing organisation, private companies/coops and champions?