Participants and trainers from the GREAT Gender-Responsive Legume Breeding Course
in July pose for a family photo in Kampala, Uganda.

Our third course, focused on legume breeding, kicked off this past July in Kampala, with participants coming from Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, representing CGIAR centers, national research institutes, and universities. The participants are currently back home, collecting field data in advance of Week 2, which will take place in mid-January. Welcome to the newest GREAT cohort! You can see photos from the Week 1 training here.

We're also pleased to announce the dates and theme for our next course. The fourth GREAT course will cover all areas of plant breeding, so researchers working in any crop are eligible to apply! The course will be held July 22-31, 2019 for Week 1, and January 13-17, 2020 for Week 2. Applications will be open later this month on the GREAT website; keep an eye on Twitter for more information, or check the upcoming courses page of our website soon.

One big change for us is coming up next month, when GREAT conducts its first spinoff course. Our core courses provide an amazing opportunity for researchers from across Sub-Saharan Africa (and beyond) to connect and grow together, but we've also seen that for some institutions and projects a more tailored approach is needed. This spinoff course, for the Tropical Legumes III project, will help us meet this need, and we're thrilled to be working with a terrific project on this.

Week 1 of the legumes course also initiated a collaboration between GREAT and IFPRI, where GREAT delivered a training session on the Project-Level Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index (Pro-WEAI). The intent for the session centers on raising awareness of Pro-WEAI in particular, and women's empowerment as a measurable indicator more broadly. We will follow up in the near future with key gender specialists from GREAT to provide the rigorous training that's needed to effectively use Pro-WEAI, and we're delighted to be collaborating with IFPRI on this. Stay tuned for future capacity-building announcements that are currently in the works.

Lastly, don't forget to look through the news from the GREAT family, below. It's a privilege for us to be part of such an amazing group of people, and a true joy to see what everyone's up to!


Margaret Mangheni and Hale Tufan
GREAT Co-Principal Investigators
Catch up with the latest blog posts from GREAT

Deborah Rubin, left-center, at Week 1 of the first GREAT course, Gender-Responsive Root, Tuber and Banana Breeding, in 2016. Photo: Chris Knight

How do you ensure that gender training curricula and trainers are really delivering greater adoption of gender-responsive research, and in a truly meaningful way? It's a question that many projects face as they respond to a growing awareness of the central role that gender plays in shaping development outcomes.  We spoke with Deborah Rubin, leading expert on gender and social systems analysis and Co-Director of the consulting firm Cultural Practice, LLC , to learn her thoughts in measuring impact for capacity-building projects, and what lessons she's learned from GREAT and throughout her career. Read more...

François Iradukunda presents at the 2018 ISHS-ProMusa symposium
From agronomic practices to gender norms and agency in banana diseases management: Evolving perspectives at the International Horticulture Congress
By: Francois Iradukunda, GREAT RTB Fellow

Perspectives on gender can change over time: this is true not only of society and culture, but of researchers as well. Francois Iradukunda shares his reflections on how his understanding of gender and research has evolved in the context of presentations he delivered at the 29th and 30th International Horticulture Congress (IHC) meetings.  Read more...

Participants from the GREAT Gender-Responsive Legume Breeding course present initial research plans for review. Photo: Devon Jenkins
A five-year project conducted jointly by Makerere University in Uganda and Cornell University in the United States, Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT), is charting a path forward in mainstreaming gender. GREAT gives agricultural researchers from across sub-Saharan Africa hands-on applied trainings in gender theory, methods and practice, covering each step of the agricultural research cycle.   Read more...

A Message from the CoP Advisory Board Leaders

The GREAT family Community of Practice (CoP) Advisory Board (AB) is glad to be part of the July - Sept 2018 newsletter.

The GREAT CoP is a platform to facilitate fellows sharing experiences, opportunities and consulting amongst them. The section featuring news from the GREAT CoP by the communication leads helps readers know what and how the fellows are actively pursuing and implementing activities and research pertaining to gender. It is exciting to see the CoP AB engage fellows across Cohorts (Themes) to share their experience as regards application of the knowledge and skills acquired from the GREAT course. In this issue, you will read about the different engagements of fellows at national, regional and international fora and how the GREAT project supports the process. We thank all the fellows for contributing.

A key role of the CoP AB is to help fellows access resources on gender. In this issue, the resource leads share the different resources available that fellows can tap into. Further, gender-responsive research (GRR) can never be credible without it being communicated effectively. The CoP research leads share new publications that provide evidence for inclusive research if we are to transform the research agenda and agricultural systems in Africa and beyond. We also share the challenges along the way and opportunities that exist.

Lastly, monitoring, learning and evaluation (MLE) is essential to track performance. It is around that period of the year when the MLE team conducts the annual outcome survey. The GREAT CoP contributes to the process by reviewing the survey tools. This year, the survey will be sent out by the CoP AB leads this October. We look forward to reading your GRR engagements and experiences.

We hope this issue will enlighten you on what is happening within the CoP, how you can participate and how this contributes to visibility of GREAT.

Enjoy the reading,

Losira Nasirumbi-Sanya and Bernice Waweru
GREAT CoP Advisory Board Leads

News from the GREAT Community of Practice
What have you done in the last month, season or year that was linked to the GREAT training ideas or research?  Please let us know by email:  Aman and Kachalla, and we'll share it in the next newsletter .

Forum: The GREAT Community of Practice Advisory Board (CoP AB) has grown her communication forum. Originally we had been solely open to the RTB AB. This was later expanded to include the Cereals AB. WhatsApp has enabled discussions across time zones. We look for other options.

Meeting up:  The RTB-AB and Cereals AB held a first meeting on Wednesday, October 3rd. More will follow in the next newsletter. We thank Bernice Waweru (Cereal Grains, Kenya) for setting it up. The meetings are meant to facilitate effective communication on on-going activities and allow for quick consultation between members. The recent meeting explored ways of being more effective at inclusion and more direct in communicating with individual group members.
Capacity building and other developments: Losira Nasirumbi-Sanya (RTB, Uganda) and Lilian Nkengla (RTB, Cameroon) were selected as mentors for participant teams for the current GREAT legumes course trainees, 2018.

Two RTB cohort research reports (Nkengla LA, Omondi A., Ngatat S, Boonabaana B; and Sanya, L.N., Ssali, T. R, Namudu, M.G. & Mayanja, S.) were accepted for poster presentations at the Tropentag 2018 Conference.

Aman Bonaventure Omondi  (RTB Cohort, Burundi),  Lilian Nkengla (RTB, Cameroon), and others not in this forum got their mainstream gender work published in Acta Horticultureae. This is not from GREAT study but presents a possibility of building a gender inclusive agenda. Lilian  attended a HarvestPlus Workshop and made a presentation on "Why gender matters."  Lilian will also attend an upcoming OXFAM training on Gender and Justice.
GRIT Gender Course participants bargaining the intra household decision-making/power structure. Photo: Aman Omondi

Aman also participated in a short course on gender in Addis Ababa, Gender Research and Integrated Training (GRIT), offered by Pennsylvania State University.
Francois Iradukunda (RTB, Burundi) received a travel grant from GREAT and Bioversity International to present  a poster the Promusa symposium in Turkey in August 2018, and wrote about his experience in a recent blog post.

Webinars: Do you still have an interest in joining the Bioversity International Gender CoP monthly presentations? Please contact Aman to help arrange access to the live presentations or their recording.

Celestin Niyongere and Bernadette Hakizimana (RTB, Burundi) have been nominated by the ISABU Director General into the Gender Integration Committee of a World Bank project (PACSC) in Burundi. The Committee has budgetary support to promote gender integration in the coffee value chain programme of ISABU. They have already carried out training on "Why gender integration matters" and will supervise gender integration through the project implementation at all levels including sensitization, design of tools and management. Congratulations to the Burundi Team and we wish you the very best.

Hellen Opie (Cereal Grains, Uganda) is participating in a project titled "G-SEED," which is studying Gender Dynamics in Non Hybrid Legumes and Cereals Seed Systems in Uganda and Ethiopia. Hellen is leading the Uganda team.


Aman Bonaventure Omondi and Kachalla Mala  
GREAT CoP Communications Leads

The GREAT family is growing...

Photos (from top): Brenda Boonabaana; Hale Tufan; Cassidy Travis
The GREAT Project Management Team welcomed three new honorary members recently! 

Makerere-based project manager,  Brenda Boonabaana , gave birth to baby Osteen, pictured at right on top, on March 23rd. Osteen was able to take in parts of Week 1 of the GREAT Legumes course back in July...and trainers and participants alike enjoyed getting to meet him!

Cornell-based project PI,  Hale Tufan , gave birth to Ada Ann on June 22nd, pictured at right, in the middle. While her presence was missed greatly during Week 1 of the GREAT Legumes course - which started one month later - all went off without a hitch, and we're looking forward to the Legumes cohort getting to know Hale in Week 2. 

Shortly afterward,  on July 4thCassidy Travis , from our MLE partner Aline, gave birth to  Palmer Jane, pictured at right, on bottom.

While it's too early to say whether these three will follow their mums into research or MLE, we feel pretty confident in saying that they'll all grow up with a solid understanding of positionality!

Congrats to all three, and welcome to the cute babies.

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.

Special Women's Leadership and Management Course
African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)
26-28 November, 2018

As part of its 10th anniversary celebrations this year, AWARD has developed a special three-day leadership course aimed at equipping senior women leaders within the agricultural sector with the strategies and skills needed for more impactful leadership. This course will feature new models and frameworks for building change agility and strengthening women leaders' skills in navigating complex organizational and political dynamics, especially in male-dominated organizations. The course will be held November 26-28, 2018 in Nairobi. Register ASAP.   Learn more...

Seeds of Change Conference: Gender Equality Through Agricultural Research for Development
Australia­­­n Centre for Agricultural Research / 
CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research / 
University of Canberra
2-4 April, 2019

An interdisciplinary conference for researchers and practitioners in all fields of agriculture (including food/commodity/cash crops, subsistence/semi-subsistence sectors, supply chains, forestry, fisheries, and water management). Call for papers and scholarship applications open now; registration opens October 15th.  Learn more...

Grand Challenges Exploration: 
New Approaches for Strategic Prioritization of Agricultural Development Policies

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Deadline: 14 November, 2018

We seek new approaches for strategic prioritization of agricultural development policies. We specifically encourage approaches that not only help countries prioritize agricultural development policies, but also inform long-term strategic planning. Proposals must closely align with the goals of the Gates Foundation's  Agricultural Development team. Although proposed solutions may be generated from ideas and contexts outside of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), all solutions must be relevant, transferrable, and applicable, in our SSA focus countries: Nigeria, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.  Learn more...

Promoting a Culture of Accountability: A Conversation with the Gender Practitioner's Collaborative (GPC) and Endorsers of the Minimum Standards for Mainstreaming Gender Equality
Winrock International / Grameen Foundation
24 October, 2018

Gender equality outcomes are strongly influenced by an organization's culture, structure, systems, policies, and values, as well as the commitment of its leadership. Accountability mechanisms must be in place for an organization to realistically deliver on its commitment to mainstream gender equality.  However, accountability mechanisms are not just about recognizing gaps-they represent opportunities to track progress, promote successes, and identify lessons learned on the path toward achieving effective gender mainstreaming. In an effort to learn from other organizations on their journey to promote accountability, we invite you to join the Gender Practitioners' Collaborative for our 1st Gender Standards Endorsers' Café.  Learn more...

Ignite 2018: African Women in Agribusiness Initiative
Guzakuza / Ignite
4 November - 14 December, 2018

Ignite nurtures and turns ground-breaking ideas into profitable and sustainable Agribusinesses which are expected to produce value added goods and services that can not only bring high financial returns, but also increased employment to others. This year, participants arrive in Berekusu (near Ashesi University) on Sunday, November 4th for the six weeks residential phase and leave on Friday, December 14, 2018. Ignite provides accommodation (6 weeks), meals, training materials, and project related travels. You are obliged to pay 10% of the total programme cost. (1,000 for Ghanaian participants and USD 300 for other African participants)  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!

Although not originating from Africa, it is
believed bananas have been cultivated in this region since 2000 BC. It is not surprising that the technical aspects of banana production are intertwined with rituals, habits, and social norms. In this guide, we highlight and discuss social norms surrounding banana production, zooming in specifically on gender norms. Understanding these norms coupled with the ability to address them is essential for the development and design of high-quality banana-focused research for development (R4D) projects which benefit men as well as women.

In this webinar, two of GENNOVATE's Principal Investigators provided background on GENNOVATE and presented the study methodology, which consists of several different tools that engage participants in dynamic and reflexive ways. They discussed some of the main tools and ways the methodology can be applied or adapted in other projects and initiatives to achieve more gender-responsive and gender-equitable Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D).

United States Agency for International Development / Feed the Future:  
While constraints for both male and female groundnut producers exist in storage, aggregation of products, aflotoxin control, and overall production yields - female groundnut producers routinely face additional constraints in accessing productive land (and tenure rights), agricultural inputs, such as fertilizer and pesticides, and have less access to extension services such as agricultural training and information than male farmers. Acknowledging and understanding these differences is important for developing gender appropriate seed varieties, technologies and tools along the groundnut value chain.

United States Agency for International Development: Impact evaluation of gender and groundnut value chains in Zambia
The Zambia Gender and Groundnut Value Chains (GNVC) impact evaluation aims to test the hypothesis that the gender interventions implemented by PROFIT+ and BLA will assist in maintaining or increasing women's control over production, marketing/sales, and proceeds from groundnuts as groundnut commercialization increases. This report presents the results from a baseline survey administered as part the Zambia GNVC impact evaluation, which is being undertaken under the auspices of the Feed the Future FEEDBACK (FTF FEEDBACK) project.

CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security:  Identifying hotspots for gender-focused climate-smart interventions
In a recently published paper, "Woman in agriculture, and climate risks: hotspots for development," by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), "hotspots" for climate risks and women in agriculture have been identified. The intention of the study is to inform policy makers and development practitioners on which geographic regions should be prioritized, based on necessity, for implementing climate change adaptation measures for female farmers.

CGIAR Collaborative Platform on Gender Research: 
UN Women's 2018 flagship report on gender and the SDGs: What's in it for gender researchers?
The UN Women's 2018 flagship report on gender and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offers a framework to monitor each of the 17 goals of the SDGs from a gender perspective, and takes stock of that performance to date. In this short blog post series, Bimbika Sijapati Basnett (Gender Coordinator for the Center for International Forestry Research - CIFOR) analyzes this report and its implications for the CGIAR gender research community. In this blog, she reviews the strengths and limitations of the report for gender researchers wishing to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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