Gender equality is both a human right and essential to achieving sustainable development. CIFOR works to fully understand the gender dynamics throughout all of its research, and uses that knowledge to promote transformational change.

A deep and evolving understanding of gender underlies all of our activities, whether as a focus of specific studies, integrated in all research projects, or within our organization itself. Taking an intersectional, rights-based approach to gender equality, we also examine how gender intersects with ethnicity, wealth status, caste and age to influence outcomes.

CIFOR explores the dynamics of gender and forestry, tenure security, livelihoods, climate change policy, food security and nutrition, inclusive value chains, energy, migration and forest landscape restoration.

Our multi-pronged approach includes not only strategic gender research, but also investing in capacity development , strategic partnerships, outreach and engagement for enhancing the uptake of our work at multiple levels, as well as monitoring and adaptive learning for constantly enhancing our responsiveness and effectiveness. Using a variety of media – from videos to photo essays to research stories – we aim to amplify the voices of forest-reliant women, men and youth from around the world.

About this team

CIFOR is uniquely placed to have a key role in this new agenda. We aim to develop the body of knowledge and expertise required to inform policy makers and implementing agencies by conducting research that can bring about gender-equitable policies and practices that affect forests and forest-dependent communities in developing countries.

In 2013, the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), which CIFOR leads alongside ICRAF, Bioversity International, CIAT and CATIE adopted a gender strategy. Its goal is to increase the volume of gender-specific research and integrate gender into all relevant research, gaining “increased control over resources and participation in decision-making by women and other marginalized groups.”


Gender is a high institutional priority for CIFOR, and is considered as a cross-cutting theme through all of our research. CIFOR’s gender integration team works alongside CIFOR scientists to ensure gender is firmly rooted in CIFOR’s programs. In particular, the gender team provides support via:

  • Manuals and tools for integrating gender across the research cycle
  • Targeted methodological and analytical support to research teams within all five FTA flagship programs
  • Gender-sensitive indicators for monitoring and evaluation
  • Sharing research findings, good practices and policy lessons within and outside CIFOR
  • Establishing gender-sensitive partnerships and engaging in networks to ensure that research contributes to development outcomes and impacts that are empowering for marginalized women and men.

Research projects

Sustaining palm oil: Social footprinting of informal and formal market value chains

Nouveaux Paysages du Congo

Restoring African degraded landscapes with plant biodiversity and livestock management

Strengthening regional capacities for REDD+ monitoring and reporting: the Role of the East African Forest Observatory

Natural resource governance in the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Petén, Guatemala

Testing methods to build an enabling environment for community forestry

Governing landscapes for restoration in Madagascar

Indigenous community representation in territorial governance in the Peruvian Amazon

Designing and implementing gender-responsive processes for more equitable participation in multi-stakeholder forums

Scrutinizing the ‘feminization of agriculture’ hypothesis: Gendered evolution of labor force participation in Indonesia

Collaborative Learning for Climate Smart Cocoa (CLCSC)