GREAT participants Beatrice Sadina (far left), Immaculée Maygui (third from left) and Anne Wanjogu (far right), and guest lecturer Eva Weltzien (second from right), interact with a farmer (in blue, center) from Lugo Parish, Wakiso District, Uganda, with support from translator Sarah Kajumba (second from left) during the field day of the GREAT Gender-Responsive Cereal Grains Breeding Course in August.

August brought the GREAT team back together in Kampala, delivering the first week of our Gender-Responsive Cereal Grains Breeding course to 29 participants from Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. The image above captures the energy and enthusiasm during our field day, when participants and trainers met up with farmers in Wakiso District, central Uganda to field test focus group discussion and key informant interview methods. Check out the link further along in this newsletter to a photo album  from the course, with scenes from the field, the classroom, and some candid moments.

From left: GREAT trainers Peace Musiimenta and Grace Bantebya, of SWGS, along with GREAT Co-PIs Margaret Mangheni, of CAES, and Hale Tufan, of Cornell University
At its heart, GREAT is about forming connections - connections between qualitative and quantitative researchers, between farmers and breeders, between agricultural research organizations across sub-Saharan Africa, and between cohorts. This centrality of connectivity is part of why we design our courses for interdisciplinary teams, it's why we see value in connecting two top universities, Makerere University and Cornell University, and the inspiration in bridging two entities within Makerere: the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), and the School of Women and Gender Studies (SWGS). In this spirit, we were pleased to hold our recent training at SWGS! Not only did this allow GREAT trainees to form more immediate connections to Makerere faculty, it also raised GREAT's presence, and profile, within the university, and allowed for stronger relationship building with SWGS faculty and staff.

Continuing the connectivity theme, we would like to extend a personal thank you to two superstar participants from our first GREAT training cohort (on roots, tubers and bananas): Lilian Nkengla, of IITA in Cameroon, and Losira Nasirumbi-Sanya, PhD candidate at Makerere and MLE officer with NARO. Both were invited to join us as sub-Saharan Africa Gender Specialist Fellows, a new role within the GREAT project to offer further training opportunities and support to social scientists from each GREAT cohort to build their capacity for gender research, while creating an additional mechanism for bridging GREAT cohorts with learning loops. Both Lilian and Losira were indispensable during our recent Week 1 training for the cereal grains cohort, providing essential support as well as valuable insights from their experience last year as participants. See their blog post link below for more about their experience with this new role. We're both incredibly thankful for their hard work and effort, and truly excited to continue working with them and watching as their careers continue to grow. 

Wrapping up our thread of
From left: GREAT staff Elizabeth Asiimwe, intern Kerry Mullins and trainer Peace Musiimenta pose during Week 1 of the GREAT Gender-Responsive Cereal Grains Breeding Course
connectivity,  GREAT is linking with African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA)  to deliver a half-day gender awareness training event at the Ugandan National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) quarterly review and planning meeting planned for 25th October 2017. This gender awareness training developed and delivered by AWARD trainers will reach a wide range of NARO staff, including the governing council members, Director General and all deputies, directors of research, heads of programmes and units, scientists (both biophysical and social, including PM&E), finance officers, procurement staff, and auditors. A similar training is planned for 2017 in Burundi. We also recently presented at the ASARECA Board meeting in Entebbe. The presentation's focus was on the need for institutions involved in agricultural research for development to move beyond the standard 2-3 day short courses on gender, and how GREAT is both fine-tuning a more rigorous training approach, and building the evidence base for the need for and efficacy of such an approach. We are very excited to work with AWARD and ASARECA to start reaching national level leadership to seed paradigm shifts for gender-responsive agricultural research.

Looking back to our Theme 1 course, next month Gender-Responsive Root, Tuber and Banana Breeding (RTB), GREAT Fellow Robert Kawuki will launch a new gender-responsive participatory variety selection (PVS) trial project  in Uganda as part of the   NextGen Cassava project . The PVS trials are being designed and will be implemented with support from GREAT pilot Fellows Winifred Candiru and Stephen Angudubo, with additional support from GREAT RTB Fellows Ann Ritah and Williams Esuma, and will engage both men and women farmers in identifying the top cassava varieties for Ugandan consumers and producers. It's a terrific example of how GREAT is not only equipping researchers with knowledge and skills, but is also connecting Fellows with opportunities and changing how research projects are designed and carried out.

Turning forward, we've set the dates for our Theme 3 course, Gender-Responsive Legume Breeding, and applications are now open!  See below for more details, including the link to apply. The deadline to apply is February 15th, 2018, but we encourage teams to apply as soon as possible; we're available to answer questions and help guide applicants through putting together a winning team application. We look forward to seeing what exciting teams come together for our next course!


Margaret Mangheni and Hale Tufan
GREAT Co-Principle Investigators
Photo album from Week 1 of the GREAT Cereal Grains course
Whether you participated in Week 1 of the Cereal Grains course, or are just curious to see how things went, take a peek and see GREAT in action! Makerere University's beautiful campus played host, welcoming 29 participants from eight different countries and 12 different organizations.
Spotlight on gender resources
Our quarterly spotlight on salient resources, toolkits and training materials from around the world:

USAID Feed the Future -   Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index & Gender Integration Framework (WEAI & GIF) Training-of-Trainers. A training kit developed by USAID, aimed gender focal points, M&E specialists, and project implementers.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) - Agri-Gender Statistics Toolkit. Developed through the "Strengthening national capacities for production and analysis of sex-disaggregated data through the implementation of the FAO Gender and Agriculture Framework (GASF)" project.

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) - Gender Tool Box. A suite of resources comprising more than 50 research tools, datasets and key publications.

CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership CouncilCross-CRP Analysis of Gender and Youth in the 2017-2022 CGIAR Research Program Portfolio (CRP2)This brief provides a summary of external reviews of gender and youth strategy in the 12 CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) and three platform proposals. The reviews assessed the significance of research to the CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework's (SRF) gender-related Intermediate Development Outcomes (IDOs) and sub-IDOs, and how gender and youth issues were considered in each proposal's theory of change, impact pathway, work plan, and monitoring and evaluation approaches at the CRP, platform, and portfolio levels.

Upcoming opportunities
Women agricultural scientists from Francophone African countries can now apply for the AWARD Fellowship, a two-year career-development  program focused on fostering mentoring partnerships, building science skills, and developing leadership capacity. Apply by Oct. 7th.

Learn more, or apply...
GREAT legume course applications now open!
Team applications are now being accepted for the next GREAT course, Gender-Responsive Legume Breeding, to be held July 2018 / January 2019.  Spread the word, and encourage colleagues to submit applications as soon as possible! Apply by Feb 15th.

Catch up with the latest blog posts from GREAT

ZOMBO, UGANDA - This September, researchers with the Next Generation Cassava Breeding project (NextGen Cassava) launched their first gender-responsive participatory variety selection (PVS) trials in Uganda, after project researchers attended the GREAT Gender-Responsive Root, Tuber and Banana course... Read more 

By: Kerry Mullins, GREAT Intern, and Devon Jenkins, GREAT Project Manager

As we wrapped up Week 1 of the Gender-Responsive Cereal Grains Breeding Course in Kampala, we caught up with three GREAT participants to see what inspired them to join GREAT, and get their impressions on the course so far... Read more

By: Kerry Mullins, GREAT Intern, and Devon Jenkins, GREAT Project Manager

For Lilian Nkengla, the start this week of the GREAT Gender-Responsive Cereal Grains Breeding course will be both familiar and completely new. As a participant in the first GREAT course last year, Nkengla, from Cameroon, worked alongside her colleague from the International Institute of Tropical... Read more
By: Olamide Olaosebikan, Bello Abolore, and Owoade Durodola, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) / GREAT RTB Fellows

In Nigeria, the world's largest producer and consumer of cassava, Vitamin A deficiency affects 30 percent of children under the age of 5 (World Health Organization estimates), resulting in reduced immunity, impaired vision, and, in some cases, even blindness and death. Furthermore, these health...  Read more