Making Market Systems Work for Women Farmers in Zambia: A final evaluation of Oxfam's Gendered Enterprise and Markets programme in the Copperbelt region of Zambia

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Gendered Enterprise and Markets (GEM) is Oxfam GB’s approach to market systems development. The GEM approach facilitates change in market systems and social norms, with the aim of ensuring more sustainable livelihood opportunities for marginalized women and men. The GEM DFID AidMatch Programme (June 2014–February 2018) worked within the soya, milk and vegetable value chains targeting women smallholder farmers in areas of poverty. The programme aimed to benefit 63,600 people (10,600 smallholder households) living in Zambia, Tajikistan and Bangladesh through increases in household income, women having greater influence over key livelihood decisions within their households and communities, and engaging in livelihoods more resilient to shocks, such as natural disasters and market volatility.

In Zambia, the GEM programme has been implemented in four districts  of the Copperbelt Province in coordination with implementing partners Heifer Programmes International and the Sustainable Agricultural Programme (SAP). The GEM programme in the Copperbelt seeks to directly improve the livelihoods of an estimated 4,000 smallholder farmers (75 percent women) in the dairy and soya value chains through improved production skills, resilience to climate risks, access to market opportunities, greater engagement with market players and strengthened ability to influence private sector and government actors.

The evaluation was designed to investigate if and how the GEM programme might have contributed to its intended outcomes – not only in the lives of individual women smallholder farmers targeted by the programme but also to changes in their communities and the larger market system. It also sought to capture any potential unintended outcomes of the programme.