Poverty, Environment, and Gender: A Teacher’s Handbook

About this handbook

This Teaching Handbook on “Environment, Poverty and Gender” is designed to be a practical guide for faculty to deliver this graduate level course in an interdisciplinary, evidence-based and interactive manner.  The handbook will utilize as its primary case, PEI’s vast and important work in Kyrgyzstan, supplementing this with various other cases and readings. In such a way, the handbook will be applicable in many institutions around the globe and act as a further tool for development and education.

This handbook consists of eight chapters each covering an important aspect central to understanding the intricacies and complexities of the linkages between the gender, poverty and environment. Each substantive chapter will relate to one week’s worth of work for a course. The content of each chapter will include:

  • Short Introduction to the week’s topic and to the reading
  • Vignette taken from PEI Kyrgyzstan, providing necessary and important voice to individuals impacted
  • A reading and or a case study document. These readings and documents will be, depending on copyright law, either listed with the necessary information to find the reading, or directed inserted into the handbook. There will be some case study document in every chapter
  • Lessons and exercises. Each chapter will contain at least one in-class exercise to synthesize, analyze, and address the reading and case study presented that week. These lessons will be laid out in such a form that a faculty member could take them into class and run the activity.


The handbook is designed so that upon completion of the course students will have attained the following learning outcomes:

  • Understand the importance of “gender” as a variable for promoting sustainable development and environment
  • Understand gender roles in environmental management and use
  • Critically analyze and critique examine why it is important to incorporate gender considerations into the design and implementation of environmental policy.
  • Be able to demonstrate new skills in research, analysis, policy action, leadership, and public engagement.


This Handbook is aimed at being an active, open, and fluid tool for classrooms around the world. As such, some elements of the Handbook will need to be adjusted to the particularities of the classroom setting. The Handbook stems from teaching at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA). Class sessions are 75 minutes long, and, with Masters classes, these are sometime blocked together with two 75 minutes blocks in a room, separated by a 15 minute break. As such, the lesson plans are set up in this fashion. That said, the lesson plans are easily adaptable to either longer or shorter class periods depending on the needs of students or the institutional specifics.

Similarly, the readings provided are meant to provide substantive texts for students to work with and through to understand these topics. That said, each class is different and the faculty member should adjust the readings as necessary for their students. This can be done by making some of the ‘required’ readings in the Handbook ‘recommended’ readings instead; or through using excerpts from the texts.

You can download the Handbook and readings from the links below

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