You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have: Intervention Agencies and Gender Dynamics in Beneficiary Communities

Demola Akinyoade, Bosede Awodola, Adeola Ogunrin


Interventions are meant to improve people’s lives; however, they can fail to do so and at times even worsen situations. Gender equality is one area that needs improvement in societies, but which interventions can inadvertently impact upon negatively. The study assessed the impact of the Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) interventions on gender dynamics in Odi Community. A case study design was adopted for the study. Data collection and analyses were iterative. Findings showed that although gender sensitivity is articulated in the mandate of the Commission, however, the NDDC lacks institutional capacity for it. Hence, it did not appropriately mainstream gender in its interventions, and thus, impacted gender relations negatively. This it did by inadvertently entrenching traditional power disequilibrium and gender roles between females and males. Also, it did not include women in its community engagement meetings and unconsciously allocated more financial resources to males. Finally, the Commission did not make provision for women’s needs to encourage women participation and entrenched women’s traditional reproductive activities. It takes more than policy to make intervention agencies to support gender equality: institutional capacity and sensitivity are required.

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