Dr Cathy Farnworth, Professional Profile

Summary: Highly experienced Social Scientist with expertise in Value Chains, Gender Analysis, Participatory Research Approaches, Management of Change, and the measurement of Quality of Life. Excellent research, analytical, writing, and project management skills. Adept at understanding user needs and at managing complex, wide-ranging and concurrent issues. Strong facilitation, curriculum development, and academic supervision skills. Worked all around the world.

I hold an award-winning PhD in Rural Development Studies from University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden. My doctoral research focused on how to measure the quality of life of organic farmers in Madagascar for bottom-up social certification, and how to encourage consumers in Germany to support these values through selective purchasing by means of an innovative social labeling scheme. My Masters degree, taken at the University of East Anglia, is in Gender Analysis in Development (Distinction), for which I carried out fieldwork in Chiweshe Communal Land in Zimbabwe. Finally, I hold a Diploma from the University of London in the Management of Change, and have participated in numerous professional development courses, most recently on value chain development.

I have published widely on gender and development, with a particular focus on gender in agriculture and gender in value chains. Other publications include a worldwide survey on how gender shapes performance in post-primary education. I have recently edited a multi-authored book, entitled ‘Creating Food Futures: trade, ethics and the environment’, which draws together essays on how to analyse the problems we face in sourcing enough healthy food for everyone in the world, highlights innovative food chains, and suggests new ways to think of our food futures. Two conferences in Britain, and a conference workshop in Sweden, have emerged from this book. 

I have worked in many countries around the world. In Sub-Sahara Africa it has been my pleasure to work in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Cameroon, Togo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Madagascar on a range of participatory agricultural development projects. I have also worked in the CWANA region (Central and West Asia and North Africa) - based at Syria - as the Coordinator of the CWANA Sub-Global Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD http://www.agassessment.org). During this time, I worked on participatory plant breeding projects in Syria and on livestock programmes in Afghanistan as well upon the IAASTD. Moving to Asia, I have worked in China, Bangladesh and India, particularly on pro-poor and gender-sensitive value chain analyses. In Europe I worked as lecturer at the University of Flensburg in Germany on project management and also in the NGO sector. In the UK I have worked in the charity, training and facilitation sectors.