Participants and trainers from the GREAT   Gender-Responsive Legume Breeding
participate in a group exercise, during Week 2 of the course, in January.


With the first quarter of the year wrapped up, we are soon approaching the beginning of another GREAT gender-responsive breeding course. We are currently in the process of selecting the final teams to participate in the training and look forward to seeing them in Kampala for the first week of the course this July. See a snapshot of our applicants for the upcoming course, further down in the newsletter.

On March 8, we celebrated International Women's Day by sharing stories and articles from our community of practice, letting us reflect on how far we've come in working on gender and how much more we can still do. You can read those stories below.

Finally, GREAT had the tremendous opportunity of participating in the
Seeds of Change conference from April 2-4, 2019. It was a wonderful opportunity to be able to meet with the great minds who are truly exploring the boundaries of gender research, and to see several GREAT Fellows and trainers present, and to have a panel co-sponsored by GREAT.

Margaret Mangheni and Hale Tufan
GREAT Co-Principal Investigators
GREAT CoP celebrates International Women's Day 2019
March 8 is International Women's Day, celebrated around the world to draw attentions to the many ways that women have contributed to and enriched society. This year, we asked members of the GREAT community to share their reflections on what this day means to them and how their work helps create a more equitable world. 

"Women balance the weights of the triple burden every single day around the globe. Engaging men to take on household work and care duties makes a world of difference, and is rewarding for men too." - Hale Ann Tufan, GREAT Co-PI

"Climate change impacts women negatively. Enhanced methods of breeding sweet potato tolerant to drought means more energy rich foods, vit A rich sweet potato varieties, income, and health for women and children despite drought." - Utoblo Obaiya, PhD student, WACCI

"Development of transformative technologies breaks the glass ceiling. Technologies that benefit and empower women are a stepping stone towards achieving a gender balanced world." - Grace Nanyojo, Makerere University

Below, Tessy Madu with a group of women cassava farmers in Nigeria (top), and Obaiya Utoblo, in the field in Ghana, where she works breeding sweetpotatoes (bottom).

Welcome to our new GREAT Gender Fellows (GGFs)
GREAT works to build capacity within sub-Saharan African agricultural research systems on multiple levels. On the large-scale side, we conduct our primary courses, with intensive, interdisciplinary, hands-on gender training for research teams from institutions across sub-Saharan Africa; customized institutional / project courses for entities wishing to create greater impact; and of course the Center of Excellence we're creating at Makerere University.

Beyond these efforts, we also provide additional capacity-building for two outstanding social scientists from each of our courses through the GREAT Gender Fellows (GGF) program. GGFs receive funding and mentorship in advanced gender research methods to carry out additional research, leadership positions on the GREAT Community of Practice Advisory Board, and additional publication support.

From our legumes course, we're delighted to introduce you to our two new GGFs:

Therese Gondwe, from Malawi, currently works in Zambia with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) as a Technology Dissemination specialist. This entails working with breeders end users of a technology to ensure uptake of the promoted agriculture- and nutrition-related technologies. Therese has for the past 10 years been involved in managing and implementing food- and nutrition-related projects after obtaining her PhD in Human and Environmental Sciences from Reading University (UK) in 2008. She has some gender experience due to her background in agricultural extension.

Almamy Sylla, from Mali, is currently employed by the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and based in Samanko, Mali. For the past three years Almamy has been involved in gender integration in research and bilateral projects on new groundnut, cowpea, millet and sorghum varieties. His work focuses largely on agency, innovations, gender norms, trait preferences, and his goal is to improve livelihoods for women, youth and cowpea, groundnut, sorghum and millet value chain actors in West and Central Africa as a way to improve food security and wellbeing. Almamy obtained his master's degree in Anthropology in 2014 from l'institut supérieur de formation et de recherche appliquée (ISFRA) / Université des Sciences Juridiques et Politiques de Bamako (USJPB) in Mali.

GREAT Course 4: Applicants
We are hard at work reviewing the applicants for the latest round of the GREAT gender-responsive breeding course that will start in July, and will notify selected teams . For our fourth course, w e received 67 applications from 141 applicants in 24 countries.

Our applicants work across a wide variety of crops, including: mung bean, sesame, wheat, potato, animal fodder, rice, coconut, fonio, maize, groundnut, cotton, yam, sorghum, Napier grass, amaranth, coffee, green leafy vegetables, cowpea, sweet potato, banana, common beans and  tomato. Unlike our previous courses, this time we are not focusing on a specific group of crops, but we hope the opportunity to interact between teams with different experiences will facilitate even greater cross-disciplinary collaboration and learning from each other. We'll share information about our participant teams in the next newsletter, and look forward to seeing what crop mix ends up being represented!

Seeds of Change conference in Canberra, Australia
Members of the GREAT project management team and fellows attended the Seeds of Change conference, held from April 2-4 in Canberra, Australia. Team members coordinated a pre-conference workshop titled "Developing gender-responsive plant and animal breeding programs: Principles, methods and tools."

The GREAT team also participated in a panel session, "Effective gender training for agricultural researchers: Lessons learned for best practice."

GREAT course alum at the conference were Francois Iradukunda, and GREAT Gender Fellows (GGFs) Hellen Opie and Losira Nasirumbi-Sanya. Of the GREAT project management team, Margaret Mangheni, Hale Ann Tufan, Peace Musiimenta and Brenda Boonabaana were present.

Below: the GREAT contingent takes a seat with Professor Naila Kabeer (waving) of London School of  Economics (top image); GREAT P-I Hale Tufan (center), trainer Brenda Boonabaana (right) and Annet Mulema, from ILRI Ethiopia (bottom left image); and GREAT Gender Fellows (GGFs) Hellen Opie and Losira Nasirumbi-Sanya with one of their posters (bottom right image).

Catch up with the latest blog posts from GREAT

Participants and trainers during the field day of the GREAT RTB course in September, 2016
Universities contributing to a gender-balanced world
By: Margaret Najjingo Mangheni, GREAT Co-PI

Twenty years ago two women (Margaret Mangheni and Monica Karuhanga) set out to accomplish the 'impossible'-introduce gender in the agriculture curriculum at Makerere University in Uganda. Universities are some of the most rigid institutions-change therein is often very slow or near to impossible. How could 2 women even contemplate changing what professors in a college of over 100 staff teach?

Traditionally, colleges of agriculture the world over concentrate on conventional disciplines such as animal science, crop science, soil science, agricultural engineering, plant breeding to mention a few. The only social sciences that may find room there are agricultural economics, rural sociology and agricultural extension-not gender. Yet when I attended a 3 day course organized by Winrock International's African Women Leaders in Agriculture and Environment program, it dawned on me that it was impossible to transform African agriculture when agricultural professionals lacked awareness and skills to integrate gender in their work.   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.

Gender Summit 16
Singapore, 28-29 August, 2019
Abstracts due by 01 June, 2019

Gender Summit 16 will bring together gender researchers from around the world around the theme  'Diversity and Gender in Science: Enhancing the Value of Research and Innovation.' 

The relationship between gender equality and research quality, and the need for action through scientific consensus, has been the main goal of the Gender Summit platform since it was established in 2011 to enable multi-stakeholder dialogue on gender issue in science leading to an agreement on what improvements were called for.  The Summit provides a mechanism for linking individuals and communities in and across different regions and science sectors to engage in joint and transformative actions targeting shared needs.  

PhD Fellowships for Women Scientists from Science and Technology Lagging Countries
Organization for Women in Science in the Developing World
Applications due by 30 May, 2019

The Fellowship is offered to women scientists from  Science and Technology Lagging Countries (STLCs)  to undertake PhD research in the Natural, Engineering and Information Technology sciences at a host institute in the South.  

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!

CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security:   Checklist: Gender Considerations for Climate Services and Safety Nets
"Climate services" refers to the "production, translation, transfer, and use of climate knowledge and information in climate-informed decision making and climate-smart policy and planning" (Climate Services Partnership). Climate services can be a critical means of resiliency-building for smallholder farmers. However, due to gender-related factors, women and men can face differing challenges and opportunities to access climate-related information as well as using it to improve management and benefitting from those improved management decisions. To ensure equal distribution of benefits and promote gender equality, it is critical that food security and climate-resiliency initiatives take into account gender considerations from the earliest planning stages. CCAFS has developed a checklist to guide the consideration of gender issues in climate services projects.

Africa Research In Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) / CGIAR / Feed the Future / USAID:  Gender analysis in farming systems and action research: A training manual
While developed in the context of a specific program, this training manual is broadly applicable for actors working with similar objectives, covering gender mainstreaming through the entire research cycle with a focus is on agricultural technology evaluation. The manual is aimed at three general audiences: 1) facilitators conducting trainings on gender analysis in agricultural research; 2) researchers attending such trainings; and 3) those interested in learning more about concepts and tools for gender analysis.

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT):  What works for gender-norm change?: enhancing gender-inclusive agricultural development programming
This Research for Development (R4D) Policy Report summarizes findings from a meta-analysis of external evaluations of Ethiopian agricultural development projects, while also highlighting best practices around gender programming. It explores: What works for gender norm change in agricultural development projects? Intent on building a body of evidence, the inclusion criteria required documents to be: external; methodologically rigorous; incorporate gender in the evaluation; and demonstrate social norm change. With this strict inclusion criteria, external evaluations were then assessed for best practices (n=2), while the disqualified evaluations (n=24) were analyzed for areas in need of improvement. The findings show that the CARE Ethiopia office is producing the most rigorous and successful projects around gender norm change. Agricultural development project evaluations are currently a lost opportunity for learning 'what works' for gender norm change. The findings outline both what to do and highlight what to avoid in undertaking gender transformative development.

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