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Gender-inclusive training materials to sensitize communities about the benefits of animal vaccines


Women and other marginalized livestock keepers are often excluded or poorly served by animal health service systems. This can create situations where marginalized smallholder farmers lack access to vaccines that protect livestock from potentially devastating diseases. 

In some cases, marginalization is based solely on gender. Women, who make up two thirds of smallholder farmers globally, are often regarded as helpers rather than farmers and are therefore overlooked by service providers. Exclusion can sometimes result from multiple factors, such as a farmer’s ethnicity and caste, remoteness from services and a general lack of access to information. In nomadic pastoral communities, for example, it can be challenging for animal health service providers to find and follow farmers and provide adequate vaccine information and service.   

Four projects supported by the Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund in six countries — Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Nepal and Ghana — have explored the barriers that prevent marginalized smallholder farmers from vaccinating their livestock and the kinds of interventions that can remove the barriers. The research teams have developed training and community-sensitization materials targeted at various actors in the community, including veterinarians, animal health workers, individual farmers and others.  

Some materials are designed for train-the-trainer approaches. These are especially effective at expanding and maximizing the reach of key training. Other materials are aimed at animal health workers, who interact with the farming community to pass on knowledge. Still others are targeted directly at community members and often use a picture-based approach to ensure farmers with low literacy understand them. 

The training not only enhances the quality of existing services, but also encourages animal health workers to actively target farmers who may not have received any training in the past. The result is increased uptake by farmers, and communities that are more informed about livestock husbandry and the importance of vaccination. Ultimately, the materials empower farmers to make better decisions about their livestock and livelihoods. 

Here is a brief description of each of the four research projects and samples of the resources and training materials the research teams have produced. 

The Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund is a joint initiative supported by Global Affairs Canada, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and IDRC that works through partnerships to develop vaccines that are affordable, available and acceptable to livestock smallholders, and to facilitate their use at scale, targeting livestock diseases that have the most impact on both women and men livestock smallholders in low- and middle-income countries.