Lidya Tesfaye

Project: Transforming local evidences to inform gender-inclusive climate policies and projects design

Lidya is a researcher at an international research institute working across agriculture, climate change and livelihood diversification in Ethiopia and has a background in development economics and project management.

Lidya has profound experience in research, gender analysis, policy review and analysis related to agriculture, climate change adaption and mitigation and agri-business. She has coordinated and engaged in several projects from inception to delivery. Lidya is passionate about supporting public institutions with action-oriented research to systematically design and implement climate change policies and programs/projects. She is also a member of Rotaract Clube of Mella, serving as International Service Director. 


Much has been said and done to incorporate gender equality in climate change discourses and actions. Numerous national and international climate policies, strategies, frameworks, etc. developed and some implemented accordingly. Consequently, we were fortunate enough to exhibit change agents at different platforms making difference in delivering solutions towards sustainable development. However, still, the most vulnerable groups at the grassroots level are not systemically addressed. Evidence shows that the recognition of women's and girls' climate vulnerability needs is often poor, their participation in climate resilience response decision making is low, and the redistributive actions necessary to address climate vulnerability do not account for the differential needs of women and girls.

And yet, the only way efforts towards climate resilience truly bear fruit is once policymakers and development practitioners systematically target women and girls as main beneficiaries. Therefore, the main objective of this project is first to assess national climate policies, programs and projects in Ethiopia in terms of targeting women as main beneficiaries. The primary focus will be on climate-smart agriculture interventions in peri-urban and urban areas. Second, the findings will be used as robust evidence to create a learning platform that will bring together researchers and development practitioners (government, NGO, CSO and private sectors) to share experiences and lessons to inform future policymaking and program/project design.


Every positive action, no matter how small, can be the first step to creating a virtuous cycle of sustainability. Thus, I strongly believe recognising the interlinked relationships between human well-being, levels of consumption, gender equality, and environmental impacts help to build sustainable development. Particularly, in developing countries like Ethiopia, women’s role needs to be recognised to tackle environmental issues considering their main role in managing natural resources. Hence, I have strong enthusiasm that it is a prerequisite to creating an informed society in order to achieve economic growth that centred environmental, gender and social issues as its core.

As part of Irish Aid’s commitment to engage evidence and policy for social change, International Institute for Environment and Development and Echnoserve (where I used to work) conducted a research on how to support Irish Aid funded partners (local government, civil society and research institutes) implementing climate-resilient agriculture (CSA) projects. This was done by collating and analysing project data on context, interventions, outcomes, and determinants of outcomes the projects. However, the generated local evidence exposed most CSA projects failed to systematically consider the differentiated need and roles of men and women at the planning and implementation stages. From this evidence, lessons were drawn to inform future programming and policy priorities in terms of how to reach women as main beneficiaries in climate resilience agriculture interventions. Hence, I took one of the key recommendations, which was to support networking and learning exchange among researchers and development practitioners working in gender equality to share knowledge and experiences in order to systematically target women as main beneficiaries of climate change interventions.