Participants and trainers from the GREAT Tropical Legumes III spinoff course,
Gender-Responsive Plant Breeding, pose in November for a group photo.

To start off this newsletter, we want to take a moment to congratulate the members of our third cohort of GREAT participants on completing the Gender Responsive Legume Breeding course this January, and welcome them to our community of practice! We appreciate the energy and dedication they showed during the course, and look forward to seeing how they take what they've learned and apply it to their own work.

Applications for our fourth course, Gender-Responsive Plant Breeding, are open until February 15, 2019 . Unlike previous courses, this one does not focus on a specific category of crops, so researchers working on breeding projects for any crop are welcome to apply. Find details on the course and the application process below, or directly on our website , and please spread the word to colleagues or peers!

We are constantly thinking of ways to expand GREAT's training models and find new ways of bringing gender-responsive research to more organizations. Last November/December, in collaboration with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), we held a customized course for their Tropical Legumes III project. This was the first time we'd adapted the GREAT course for the needs of a specific project, and we're happy to announce that it was a resounding success! This experience opens the door for GREAT to respond effectively to diverse organizational and project needs, and comes at a good time as we start to imagine the future of GREAT. See more details on the TLIII course below, including blogs from course participants and organizers.

And lastly, don't forget to peruse the blogs, resources and opportunities!

Margaret Mangheni and Hale Tufan
GREAT Co-Principal Investigators
GREAT Course Theme 4 Application Deadline: February 15
Applications are now open for GREAT Course 4!

Theme: Gender-Responsive Plant Breeding (any crop)
Application Deadline: February 15th, 2019
  • Week 1: July 22-31, 2019 - Kampala, Uganda
  • Week 2: January 13-17, 2020 - Kampala, Uganda

The 2019-2020 GREAT course will focus on gender-responsive plant breeding. GREAT courses are offered to multi-disciplinary project teams composed of at least one biophysical scientist (e.g., plant breeder, pathologist, entomologist, etc.) and one social scientist (e.g., sociologist, agricultural economist, etc.) working on existing agricultural research-for-development projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

For more information on the course and the application process, please visit the GREAT website.

GREAT Tropical Legumes III Spin-Off Course
In November GREAT tried something new - providing a customized course for a specific project, Tropical Legumes III (TLIII), which is managed by ICRISAT in Nairobi. While our standalone courses are the heart of GREAT, we recognize that the need for training in applied gender-responsive research methods and theory isn't homogenous, and nor should the training options available.

Working closely with Esther Njuguna-Mungai, the GREAT team developed a six-day course, focused specifically on the project's needs, delivering it at the end of November in Kampala. In all, nine teams representing nine different institutions participated, coming from across Africa: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. Teams were selected based off prior experience in collecting sex-disaggregated data, and/or additional prior gender training.

Reflecting on the course, participants, trainers and course leadership published a series of blogs on both the GREAT and TLIII websites - take a look!
Photos from our legumes course wrap-up
Our third course, Gender-Responsive Legume Breeding, just wrapped up on January 18 in Kampala, Uganda. If you weren't able to attend, you can check out the photos from the course in our latest Flickr album, here: . In all, our third course had 12 teams participating, representing 11 institutions, from the following countries: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal and Zambia.

We're proud of our newest GREAT Fellows, and looking forward to seeing where their training takes them!

Catch up with the latest blog posts from GREAT

GREAT Trainers Peace Musiimenta (left) and Brenda Boonabaana
Do qualitative gender research methods fit in breeding activities?By: Peace Musiimenta, GREAT Trainer

This is a reflection on my experience with Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) during a tailored course for Tropical Legumes Breeding III (TLIII), held on 26th November-1st December, 2018. This exciting training attracted both biophysical and social scientist researchers from Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. At the beginning of the course, some of the participants expressed the attitude that gender and qualitative research methods don't matter in their discipline. I could read from the participants' faces questions like 'is gender a science that can influence breeding activities?' 'How can gender be understood as a science not just as a social practice?' To them, gender appeared to have little to do with breeding /biophysical scientific research methods. Surprisingly, some of these comments were even coming from professors with 10 to 40 years of experience using participatory breeding methods and quantitative approaches in the field.  Read more...

GREAT Co-PI Margaret Mangheni
Meeting diverse gender training needs for practitioners: The power of successful customization
By: Margaret Mangheni, GREAT co-PI

When ICRISAT asked us to run our 14-day Gender-Responsive Plant Breeding course for scientists involved in its Tropical Legumes III project (TLIII) with only a fraction of the usual budget, I thought it couldn't be done! The budget is too small, we can't cover all the content; participants won't have enough time for hands-on application... these were just some of the things that went through our minds. But after several months of engagement with Dr. Esther Njuguna-Mungai, the Senior Gender Scientist leading the ICRISAT gender component of TLIII, we decided to take on the challenge. The 14 days were condensed to 6 days, and the first GREAT customized course was born. Read more...

GREAT  trainers Brenda Boonabaana and Grace Bantebya share a moment during the TLIII spinoff course in November.
Overcoming the challenge of facilitating conversation between disciplines: GREAT trainer perspectives
By: Brenda Boonabaana, GREAT Trainer, Associate Coordinator; Richard Miiro, GREAT Trainer

Interdisciplinary work is the core of the GREAT approach. It is only through collaboration between different expertise that GREAT's vision of inclusive and effective agricultural systems can be realized. In the following blogs, two of our trainers reflect on some insights they gained from our recently-concluded Tropical Legume III (TLIII) GREAT spinoff course.  Read more...

A young woman in Nigeria toasts gari, a processed product made from cassava. Photo: H. Holmes/RTB.
The right tools for the job: enabling breeding programs to be gender-responsive
By: Holly Holmes and Clair Hershey, CGIAR Gender & Breeding Initiative

Over the past few decades, gender initiatives across CGIAR have created broad awareness among scientists about the need to consider the impact of new agricultural technologies on both men and women. However, even with this heightened awareness, breeding programs typically ask questions about the gender impact of a new plant variety or animal breed only in the final stages of evaluation or release. Women's trait preferences often differ from men's, and consequently, varieties may not be adopted because women's interests were not considered, or varieties that are adopted can even have a negative impact on women's well-being - such as by exacerbating their daily workload or leading to less control over marketing decisions.  Read more...

 Eva Weltzien (right) and Margaret Mangheni at the GREAT Legumes Course in July, 2018.
The challenge of connecting plant breeding to societal change
By: Eva Weltzien, GREAT Guest Lecturer

It is not easy to relate specific breeding program targets or activities to a desired societal goal. Yet that is, at least in part, exactly what programs like GREAT set out to teach plant breeders to do. I recently had the opportunity to reflect on the linkage between breeding and social change in two GREAT courses, and how these discussions can be more productively managed. During the recently concluded GREAT legumes course, one training session focused on 'Setting Priorities for Breeding Programs: Gender and Demand-led Design.' One point of discussion within the session was the notion that any plant breeding program, with all its technical objectives and targets is contributing to some goals.  Read more...

Upcoming events and opportunities
Kindly share any opportunities, seminars/webinars, conferences, funding or job opportunities that may be of interest to this group with Aman and Kachalla. For  inquiries about GREAT conference  
travel support (only available to GREAT Fellows and course participants),
please email Devon.

Call for Expressions of Interest
World Bank Africa Gender Innovation Lab (GIL)
Apply by February 06, 2019

During 2019, GIL plans to launch a new set of impact evaluations on women's land tenure security in rural areas. GIL has already secured funding to cover GIL staff time and travel, data collection, and data analysis costs associated with three new impact evaluations. This request for expressions of interest (EOIs) is for organizations ("project teams") who would like to work with the Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) on impact evaluations of their interventions. Learn 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!

Increasing numbers of development agencies and individual projects espouse objectives of women's empowerment, and there is a growing body of conceptual and empirical work on how to define and measure empowerment. What is missing is an evidence base on how and how much agricultural development projects can contribute to empowerment. What activities or combinations of activities contribute to empowerment, through what mechanisms, and in what contexts? While it will take time to fill that gap, this paper makes two contributions in that direction. First, it develops a framework for clarifying the objectives of development projects that differentiates between projects that seek to reach, benefit or empower women. Next, the paper identifies and analyzes the strategies of 13 agricultural development projects that were designed to empower women. Strategies are analyzed in terms of activities undertaken and domains of empowerment targeted. While strategies vary across projects, they have several characteristics in common that would be expected to contribute to empowerment.

A recent paper published by scientists from the International Potato Center (CIP) shows how processes of scaling up of technologies to promote adoption can reinforce or reduce gender inequalities. Findings illustrate that scaling up strategies to promote technology adoption by women should go beyond the technology itself to restructuring both the technical and non-technical aspects of agriculture. This will ensure women can fully benefit from improved technologies. Thus there is need to understand the physical and institutional context in which the technology is implemented in order to develop scaling strategies that ensure men and women are able to adopt and benefit.

Journal of Feminist Economics:  Time-Use Analytics: An Improved Way of Understanding Gendered Agriculture-Nutrition Pathways
There is a resurgence of interest in time-use research driven, inter alia, by the desire to understand if development interventions, especially when targeted to women, lead to time constraints by increasing work burdens. This has become a primary concern in agriculture-nutrition research. But are time-use data useful to explore agriculture-nutrition pathways? This study develops a conceptual framework of the micro-level linkages between agriculture, gendered time use, and nutrition and analyzes how time use has been conceptualized, operationalized, and interpreted in agriculture-nutrition literature on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The paper argues that better metrics, but also conceptualizations and analytics of time use, are needed to understand gendered trade-offs in agriculture-nutrition pathways. In particular, the potential unintended consequences can be grasped only if the analysis of time use shifts from being descriptive to a more theoretical and analytical understanding of time constraints, their trade-offs, and resulting changes in activity.

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