GREAT RTB Fellow Tessy Madu, center, enjoys a light moment
in the field with cassava farmers in Nigeria.


The GREAT family is quickly growing - from a GREAT custom course coming up in Burkina Faso for participants from across Francophone West Africa (see below), to our Theme 4 Gender-Responsive Plant Breeding Course starting in less than a week, our impact is spreading...and that doesn't include several custom courses that are currently in development!

Beyond our courses, we also have new trainers to welcome to the Makerere team, a third GREAT Gender Fellow from the GREAT Legumes Course, updates from the Community of Practice, and many blogs, resources and news items to explore below. The Makerere-based team recently held a retreat in Uganda, centered on capacity- and team-building, and this fall will welcome trainers from IFPRI for a capacity-building training around Pro-WEAI for GREAT trainers and Fellows (see below). Shortly after Week 1 of our upcoming course wraps up, the GREAT project management team will meet with the GREAT external project advisory committee in Kampala for our annual meeting, providing us a chance to take stock of how GREAT has grown, and chart an effective course for the future.

We hope this newsletter finds you all well, and welcome you to follow the upcoming courses by keeping tabs with GREAT on Twitter, by checking our course hashtag, #GREATGenderAg, and to stay tuned for new blogs and photos from the courses!

Margaret Mangheni and Hale Tufan
GREAT Co-Principal Investigators
New GREAT course starts next week in Kampala

The fourth GREAT Course is set to begin July 22nd in Kampala, Uganda. Since 2016, Makerere University and Cornell University have worked together to produce GREAT courses focused on gender-responsive approaches to plant breeding methods for specific types of crops.

This GREAT course is particularly unique because it's the first course focused on gender-responsive plant breeding as a whole, rather than focusing on a specific type of crop. GREAT is looking forward to offering this course with a broader approach to gender-responsiveness in agriculture to offer unique learning and research opportunities and allow GREAT to expand its impact across the globe.

The course will provide instruction, mentorship, and research opportunities to thirty-two participants, on sixteen teams, from sixteen countries, including Uganda, India, Thailand and Ethiopia. GREAT is looking forward to collaborating with such a diverse team of participants who represent institutions including the World Vegetable Institute, International Livestock Research Institute, and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture. Read more...

GREAT custom course in the works for Burkina Faso and neighbors

One of GREAT's objectives is to build a critical mass of gender-responsive agricultural researchers in key national agricultural research institutions across Sub
 Saharan Africa.

To this end, we're working with fellows to organize a custom GREAT course at the National Institute of Environmental and Agricultural Research (INERA) in Burkina Faso, to be delivered to about 40 researchers. This is the first Francophone custom course, and will be held  October 7th-12th, 2019. The course will be organized under a cost-sharing arrangement with INERA's SMILE/SORGHUM Project.

Beyond just impacting INERA and the research community in Burkina Faso, this custom course will train researchers from national agricultural research institutes in Mali, Senegal, Togo and France - a major step forward in developing GREAT's capacity to reach Francophone researchers.

The Makerere team is working closely with Dr. Eveline Compaore Sawadogo, a specialist in environment and agricultural innovation systems. She is a GREAT Fellow from the Tropical Legumes III custom course, and has been instrumental in putting together this landmark course. We're also working with three other organizations for custom for late 2019 and 2020 - including potential courses outside of Africa. Stay tuned!

Pro-WEAI Capacity Building Training

Agriculture  Index   (pro-WEAI)   is a new
survey-based index for measuring empowerment, agency and inclusion of women in the agricultural sector, developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).  GREAT, in collaboration with the Gender, Agriculture, and Assets Project, Phase 2 (GAAP2) will provide Pro-WEAI capacity building for 35 GREAT trainers and fellows, planned for October 21st to 25th, 2019, at  Makerere University in Uganda . GREAT has included WEAI / pro-WEAI in the course curriculum since our first course in 2016, starting with the inclusion of IFPRI's Hazel Malapit as a guest trainer for the initial course, and we've continued our relationship with IFPRI ever since, allowing us to deepen our training capacity for GREAT trainers, and build up the Centre of Excellence at Makerere University. I t is our hope to expand this training to benefit more GREAT trainers and fellows.

GREAT welcomes four new trainers to the team

The year 2019 has brought numerous exciting opportunities, events and members to the GREAT team at Makerere University, Uganda led by Associate Professor Margaret Najjingo Mangheni. We are moving closer to the vision of establishing Makerere as a Centre of Excellence for Gender and Agriculture Research and Training.

With this in mind, over the last three years, the GREAT management at Makerere University has endeavored to build a critical mass of trainers capable of delivering the GREAT course even beyond the project life time in 2020. As part of these efforts, we are pleased to welcome four brilliant new trainers to the team: Dr. Rosemary Emegu Isoto, Dr. Thomas Lapaka Odong, Dr. Losira Nasirumbi Sanya, and Dr. David Kalule Okello.  Read more...

Community of Practice (CoP) updates

In addition to the two GREAT Gender Fellows (GGF), announced in the March newsletter, Therese Gondwe and Almamy Sylla, we're pleased to announce that a third GGF was selected from the GREAT legumes course:

Grace Nanyonjo , a Ugandan, currently works with the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), located in Namulonge. Grace holds a BSc in Horticulture and an MA in Gender Studies, both from Makerere University in Uganda. Over a period of three years, Grace has been working closely with breeders, analyzing gender issues along the bean value chain, and designing and implementing priority interventions. She focuses on use of various methods beyond sex disaggregation during participatory varietal selection and household dynamics for increased adoption of improved varieties and improved livelihoods of men and women farmers. She is motivated by changing household dynamics and gender roles.

Personal updates
  • Losira N. Sanya, from the Theme 1 RTB course, recently joined the GREAT training team and attended a training and team-building retreat (see her blog, below), and completed a six-month certificate Professional Development Programme for Gender Trainers, led by the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) of The Netherlands and the UN Women Training Centre. Meanwhile she celebrated 10 years of love and happiness in marriage on 20th December, 2018 - congratulations!
  • Grace Nanyonjo (see note above), from the Theme 4 legumes course, was blessed with a bouncing, and healthy baby boy, a source of everlasting joy in her family (see photo, below left). She was recently nominated as a potential gender specialist on  a large USAID grant. This project will be commercializing technologies developed by Uganda's National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO). As part of her work, Grace will ensure that technologies produced are gender-responsive, and seek to understand what commercialization means to men, women and women farmers in terms of income control and usage, participation in marketing, decision making, and employment opportunities.
  • Nchimunya Bbebe, from the Theme 3 legumes course, made a presentation at the Symposium on Seed Politics held at University of Zambia. The presentation was entitled 'Intra-household Gender Relations in Bambara Groundnut Production in Mulungushi Agricultural Block of Kapiri Mposhi District.' The study established that women are more involved in the production process for Bambara groundnuts right from planting to harvesting and marketing. 
  • Makerere-based GREAT Project Administrator Elizabeth Asiimwe gave birth to a bouncing baby boy on January 26th, 2019. We celebrate with the family. Baby Garry Noah Bigisha (pictured below right) is a source of joy to the entire GREAT team!

GREAT Co-PI Hale Ann Tufan on the CGIAR Gender Platform Blog

Seeds of Change harvest: How to get beyond 'breeding for now' for women to reach their own destination - Hale Ann Tufan (Cornell)
CGIAR Collaborative Platform on Gender Research

GREAT sent a contingent to the recent 'Seeds of Change' conference in Canberra, where top experts in gender and agriculture convened around the year's theme, 'Gender Equality Through Agricultural Research for Development.' Following the conference the CGIAR Collaborative Platform on Gender Research published a series of interviews with prominent names, including our very own Hale Ann Tufan, where she discusses the next frontiers in the field, highlights from the conference, and how the conference opened up beyond CG-based researchers for the first time.   Read the full interview with Dr. Tufan...

Catch up with the latest blog posts from GREAT

François Iradukunda assessing the efficiency of community knowledge transfer strategy for both men and women, March 2019. Photo: François Iradukunda
From Bujumbura to Canberra, a long journey for a great learning: Intentionally integrating gender in agricultural research and development programs
By: François Iradukunda, Bioversity International and GREAT Fellow

Thanks to the travel sponsorship I got from the CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research, I was able to attend to the Seeds of Change conference in Canberra, Australia, in April 2019. The conference contributed to a new chapter of the long journey that I started in 2016 as gender-responsive training recipient with GREAT, and later as gender-responsive researcher with Bioversity International, building on my background as an agronomist.   Read more...

The training and team building venue. Photo: Elizabeth Asiimwe
Counting the strides: My GREAT journey, transitions and experiences
By:  Losira Nasirumbi Sanya, GREAT Fellow and Trainer

My journey with the  Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) Project has been full of surprises and beautiful moments.
It all started in 2016, when I joined the GREAT Theme 1 course that brought together biophysical and social scientists focusing on  Gender-responsive Root Tuber and Banana (RTB) Breeding. Read more...

Esther Chelule with her husband Vincent in front of their home in Njoro Kenya. Photo: Chris Knight.
Making a Difference in Kenyan Rural Households through Gender-Responsive
By: Samantha Hautea

A year ago, Esther Chelule wasn't involved in managing her family's wheat farm in Kenya - she felt that was "men's work," something left to her husband. Now, after participating in farmer trainings to facilitate cooperation between married couples on the farm, the dynamics of their household have changed.  Read more...

As part of the recently-concluded GREAT legumes course participants had the opportunity to design and conduct research and present their initial results to their peers. Photo: Devon Jenkins 
GREAT prepares to kick off 4th gender responsive training in Kampala
By: Emma Cameron

The fourth GREAT Course is set to begin the last week of July in Kampala, Uganda. This new approach to the course will offer unique learning and research opportunities, and allow GREAT to expand its impact across the globe.  Since 2016, Makerere University and Cornell University have worked together to produce GREAT Courses focused on gender-responsive approaches to plant breeding methods for specific types of crops. This GREAT Course is particularly unique because it is the first course focused on gender-responsive plant breeding as a whole rather than focusing on a specific type of crop.   Read more...

Left to Right: Brenda Boonabaana, Yvonne Pinto, and Peace Musiimenta during a 2017 GREAT monitoring and evaluation learning event and curriculum development workshop at Cornell University. Photo: Devon Jenkins
Beyond Impact Evaluation: Developing more nuanced systems to measure outcomes for capacity development
By: Yvonne Pinto

Evaluation methods for projects that aim to build human capacity and change behaviors and attitudes can be complex. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has produced  a document that outlines impact assessment, which is only one of the forms such programs may be evaluated. We spoke with Yvonne Pinto, Director of ALINE Impact Limited, for her insights on measuring the outcomes from a project such as GREAT.  Read more...

Upcoming events and opportunities

Women's Leadership and Management Course
October 6 - 12, 2019 Nairobi, Kenya

African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) developed this course over two decades of working with women leaders from international organizations, including CGIAR centers, the FAO, and numerous national agricultural research organizations. Comprised of women participants and trainers, the course provides a safe environment that fosters candid conversations about specific leadership challenges that women face, and encourages participants to explore responses that are sensitive to gender and diversity. Designed to reinforce the skills needed to enhance leadership and managerial effectiveness, the course includes practical sessions on sustaining team performance, managing conflict, and creating alliances to achieve research and business results. During the course, participants will have the opportunity to work through their specific workplace challenges. Find out more...

Advances in Classical Breeding and Application of Modern Breeding Tools for Food and Nutrition Security in Africa - African Plant Breeders Association Conference
October 23-25, 2019 - Accra, Ghana

Plant breeding offers a huge opportunity for providing sustainable options to increasing domestic supply of food and dietary diversity in Africa. However, Africa still lags behind other continents in terms of knowledge and access to modern breeding techniques. There is also a general lack of awareness on the importance of plant breeders with regard to their capacity to drive innovations and technology adoption in the agricultural sector in Africa. As a consequence, up to date, there is no platform for plant breeders and seed scientists to discuss their findings and define a roadmap for their fields on a regular basis. This gap may limit advocacy on the importance of plant breeding and seed systems in addressing important challenges along the agricultural value chains. In order to bridge this gap, there is a proposal to launch the African Plant Breeders Association (APBA) in Accra, Ghana in October 2019.  Find out more...

Spotlight on gender resources
Our quarterly spotlight on salient resources, toolkits and training materials from around the world. Make sure to follow GREAT on Twitter 
as well - we share resources and news on a daily basis!

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
" In 2014, Melinda Gates stated in  Science  magazine that: "We will not use the complexity of resolving gender inequality as an excuse for failing to think and act more intentionally about putting women and girls at the center of what we do." This call to action set in motion a series of conversations and initiatives to address gender equality in the foundation's work. One of those initiatives is gender integration, which is the adoption of a gender lens across bodies of work and in specific investments to accelerate progress toward sectoral goals and to advance gender equality. We created this website to share the tools and guidance we have developed internally to help program officers integrate gender considerations in their work. We hope that the contents of these pages will serve as resources to the broader development community and inspire conversations and actions to advance gender equality around the globe."

Encyclopedia of Food Security and Sustainability
"The following article highlights the relevance of gender considerations in both food and nutrition security theoretical approaches and main implementation pathways. The first section discusses food security, nutrition security, food and nutrition-related capabilities, and food sovereignty from a gender perspective. The second section focuses on empirical pathways that are commonly used to leverage gender for food and nutrition security: women's empowerment; control over resources; microfinance; domestic violence; and education, counselling and gender-responsive behaviour and communication. It introduces also livestock and crops as two major pathways for gender-responsive technologies to enhance food and nutrition security. The article concludes with a third section on addressing gender norms through gender transformative approaches to progress towards food and nutrition security in gender equitable ways."

CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health
"Gender equity means giving equal value to women's and men's lives. Often, we refer to equal outcomes like equal pay, representation, and access to education and health care. At the heart of this is the desire for fairness - despite our outward differences, we are all human and deserve the same rights, opportunities, and treatment. Closing gender gaps means caring about "sameness" in achievements like education or health, as well as "fairness" in the processes that result in these achievements. How are the benefits from development distributed between women and men? Inequities are the differences in outcomes and processes that are unnecessary, avoidable, unfair, and unjust."

Journal of Gender, Technology and Development
Bridging the gap: decomposing sources of gender yield gaps in Uganda groundnut production
"Female plot managers in Sub-Saharan Africa often realize significantly lower crop yields than their male counterparts. Even for legumes, which are often referred to as 'women's crops', yields are significantly lower. This study investigated the underlying causes of this gender yield gap in groundnut production. The analysis is based on survey data from 228 farm households from two groundnut growing regions in Uganda. We used the Blinder-Oaxaca model to decompose factors that contribute to this yield gap. Results show 63% and 44% gender yield gaps for improved and local varieties, respectively, with female plot managers realizing less than their male counterparts. Improved groundnut seeds increase female plot manager's yields but not the yields of male plot managers. Male advantage and female disadvantage combined account for more than 70% of the yield gap in both improved and local groundnut variety production and exceed pure productivity differences. Labor use differences between female and male plot managers and variety types explain the observed yield gap. Interventions and policies that increase women's access to productive inputs including improved seed will significantly contribute to closing the yield gap, and thereby increase crop production, food security, as well as women's incomes."

CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry
The Gender Equality in Research Scale
"In 2011, the first system-wide CGIAR gender strategy was launched to strengthen the CGIAR research agenda and its impact on development challenges. In line with global development agendas, such as the Millennium Development Goals at the time (and the current Sustainable Development Goals), the strategy recognized that gender inequality hinders progress toward the outcomes CGIAR seeks to achieve: poverty reduction, food security, improved nutrition and health, and environmental integrity (CGIAR Consortium Board 2011). Moreover, it highlighted the need for gender integration in research to increase research quality. As the European Commission (EC) (2009) has stated, "excellent research is gender-sensitive". Gender-sensitive research improves research quality and validity as it is more representative, and it is more relevant as it can "reach a broader group of end-users in a more relevant way" (EC 2009). On the tails of the CGIAR gender strategy, the CGIAR research programs (CRPs) were tasked with developing their own strategies to ensure rigorous integration of gender issues in the research they conducted. Within that context, discussions began on how to best monitor and evaluate progress in this integration process. This brief discusses a monitoring and learning tool - the Gender Equality in Research Scale (GEIRS) - designed to assess the level of gender integration across a CRP's research portfolio and at different stages of the research and development cycle (Box 1)."

USAID Feed the Future / Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services (INGENAES)

"Value chains are a widely used organizing framework for agricultural programs because they facilitate linkages between farmers and other actors involved in moving crops and livestock by-products from the field to the market. These linkages are critical for developing extension systems that facilitate the exchange of information and technologies about, to, and from farmers and other actors. Value chain practitioners are often aware of the importance of addressing gender issues but are sometimes unable to identify practical, actionable, and evidence-based interventions to address them. This workshop will aim to fill this gap with classroom and field-based activities, using USAID's Promoting Gender Equitable Agricultural Value Chains (2009). This facilitator's guide provides an agenda and description of workshop."

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) / State of Sustainability Initiatives (SSI)
Leveraging Voluntary Sustainability Standards for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture: A guide for development organizations based on the Sustainable Development Goals
"This guidebook, a companion to the 2017 International Institute for Sustainable Development report, Promoting Gender Equality in Foreign Agricultural Investments: Lessons from Voluntary Sustainability Standards (Sexsmith, 2017), reviews the evidence of the contributions of voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) to gender equality and women's empowerment in agriculture; explains how VSSs can be used as a tool to meet related components of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and provides recommendations for development organizations working toward gender equality and women's empowerment in agriculture. It is the first publication to demonstrate the linkages between VSSs and the gender-equality-related goals and targets of the SDGs, and therefore serves as a useful tool for different representatives of development organizations working toward those goals in the agricultural sector."

Emerald Insight
Understanding gender dimensions of climate-smart agriculture adoption in disaster-prone smallholder farming communities in Malawi and Zambia
"Through the application of traditional and contemporary feminist theories in gender mainstreaming, the purpose of this paper is to contribute to emergent debate on gender dimensions in climate-smart agriculture (CSA) adoption by smallholder farmers in disaster-prone regions. This is important to ensure that CSA strategies are tailored to farmer-specific gender equality goals. Design/methodology/approach - An exploratory-sequential mixed methods research design which is qualitatively biased was applied. Key informant interviews and farmer focus group discussions in two study sites formed initial qualitative phase whose findings were explored in a quantitative cross-sectional household survey. Findings shared in this paper indicate the predominant application of traditional gender mainstreaming approaches in CSA focusing on parochial gender dichotomy. Qualitative findings highlight perceptions that western gender approaches are not fully applicable to local contexts and realities, with gender mainstreaming in CSA seemingly to fulfill donor requirements, and ignorant of the heterogeneous nature of social groups. Quantitative findings establish that married men are majority adopters and nonadopters of CSA, while dis-adopters are predominantly de jure female household heads. The latter are more likely to adopt CSA than married women whose main role in CSA is implementers of spouse's decisions. Access to education, intra-household power relations, productive asset and land ownership are socio-cultural dynamics shaping farmer profiles."

International Food Policy Research Institute
Giving and taking between husband, wives, and co-wives
"Over 40% of women in many West African countries are in polygynous marriages-the practice of having more than one wife. This has created a challenge for development programs that wish to help all family members equally, especially children.
Polygynous husbands and wives cooperate less than monogamous ones and may contribute resources to the household with less altruistic motives, according to a paper in the April issue of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics."

The CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research
"The CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research hosted and organized the webinar 'Reflections on gender transformative approaches in agriculture - The promise and cautionary tales' on June 20th, 2.00-3.30pm CEST. The webinar was organized in collaboration with KIT Royal Tropical Institute."

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