Updates about research, training opportunities, analysis and more from the GREAT community.

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June 15, 2023

Opportunity: international gender conference accepting abstracts

An international conference addressing gender and social inequalities at the heart of food systems is now accepting research abstracts and full conference sessions until June 20. The conference "From research…
Group photoNews
May 20, 2023

GREAT training accelerates CGIAR’s efforts for equitable and sustainable agronomic outcomes

The CGIAR’s Excellence in Agronomy (EiA) initiative has an ambitious aim: to deliver agronomic gain for millions of smallholder farming households in prioritized farming systems, with an emphasis on impact for…
Women farmers following trainingNews
May 14, 2023

Fostering gender-friendly quality seed production trainings in Bangladesh 

Gender disparity manifests itself in manifold ways, one of those being constrained access to knowledge and skillsets by women. It is also one of the many reasons for their marginal…
May 14, 2023

Special journal issue details gender-responsive agriculture in Africa

A special issue of the journal Sustainability presents results-oriented publications of gender-responsive agricultural approaches towards critical food crops in sub-Saharan Africa. The collection involves new findings from fellows and mentors…
November 7, 2022

GREAT participates in CGIAR Science exchange

The Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) team participated in the CGIAR Gender Science Exchange, a conference to discuss cutting-edge gender and social science research, build capacity, and strengthen…
Scientists in a classroomNews
November 7, 2022

GREAT provides gender in agriculture training in South Asia

In September, 27 agricultural scientists from South Asia joined GREAT’s growing community of gender-responsive researchers. The two-part Gender-responsive Plant Breeding and Seed Systems course for South Asia took a blended…
August 11, 2022

Integrating gender into breeding objectives and decisions

Integrating gender into breeding objectives and decisions: What works, where and why? Do you know of a plant breeding effort that is trying to have more gender equitable impact? Submit…
Martha Businge recieves a certificateNews
June 30, 2022

My great experience with GREAT

In 2017, I was selected to take part in the second cohort of Gender-Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agriculture Transformation (GREAT) training. Honestly, I didn't think it would progress any further.…
Groups of women gather for training in rural IndiaNews
March 9, 2022

Training women groups to build a self-reliant quality seed system in Eastern states of India

The vision canvas In rural India, the involvement of women in agriculture for their livelihood is as high as 80%, where 33% are cultivators and about 47% are agricultural laborers…
February 23, 2022

GREAT research points way towards more inclusive agricultural systems

The Beijing Declaration in 1995 set the global development agenda for gender equality across sectors, including agriculture. Since then, gender training has been a central approach for gender integration in…
February 23, 2022

Moving from theory to practice

Deepening gender responsive agricultural research skills of NARs in Sub-Saharan Africa While training courses remain a central focus to the Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) program, towards the…
Screenshot of participants of Level 2 course for fellowsNews
January 4, 2022

GREAT Advanced Course strengthens gender research skills for resilient agricultural systems

The vision of Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) is to create more inclusive and effective agricultural systems by addressing the priorities of both women and men in sub-Saharan…
Participants attend a two-week training sessionNews
March 27, 2021

GREAT Theme 5 Virtual Course Successfully completed

Agricultural Researchers equipped with deeper understanding of Gender Responsiveness in Crop Breeding programs This article originally appeared on the website of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University.…
March 19, 2021

Over 50 Agricultural Researchers Across sub-Saharan Africa Equipped with Gender Responsive Knowledge at the GREAT Theme 5 Course

This article originally appeared on the website for the School of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere University. Read the original post here. By the School of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere…
March 11, 2021

North Dakota State researcher leads international course initiative

This article originally appeared on the North Dakota State University website. North Dakota State University dry bean breeder Juan Osorno recently led a multi-faceted effort to create an online course…
virtual symposium on the theme Gender-Responsive Crop BreedingNews
February 3, 2021

At virtual convening, GREAT trainers and fellows showcase gains in implementing gender responsive crop improvement

On November 23rd and 24th, 2020, the Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) project hosted its first virtual symposium on the theme Gender-Responsive Crop Breeding: Sharing evidence and experience…
November 17, 2020

Scientists convene research showcase on gender responsive crop breeding

On Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, Gender-Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) will host its first virtual Symposium on Gender Responsive Crop Breeding: Community Research Showcase. The live event will be accessible by Zoom and Facebook…
Hale Ann Tufan accepts the 2019 Norman E. Borlaug AwardNews
November 1, 2020

Hale Tufan delivers message of self-reflection and gender equality at World Food Prize

In 2010, when Hale Ann Tufan was awarded a Jeanie Borlaug Laube Women in Triticum award, she was a PhD student working with Lesley Boyd at the John Innes Centre…
August 6, 2020

GREAT Project holds webinar to take stock of achievements in Phase 1

This article originally appeared on the Makerere University website. Makerere University’s Gender responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) project on 5-6 August, 2020 held its 5th Annual meeting via…
Farmers in a field studying wheatNews
July 8, 2020

From Boko Haram to COVID-19: Creating equitable farming systems in times of crisis

Farmers review wheat varieties as part of a participatory varietal selection organized for displaced farmers in Hadejia, Jigawa State, Nigeria. Image: Kachalla Kyari Mala In Northeast Nigeria, where agriculture forms…
May 7, 2020

COVID-19 global disruptions and the changing masculinities: Critical reflections from Uganda

Emerging public discourses around the COVID-19 crisis characterise it as unprecedented and disruptive. How exactly does this disruption affect masculinities? World over, the Coronavirus has been described as undoubtedly one…
Two children sit atop a donkey taking a photo of the photographerNews
April 14, 2020

What a feminist response to the coronavirus crisis could look like

Who holds the camera helps determine what we see, and what the outcomes are. Overcoming ‘gender blindness’ requires society to see from different perspectives. Photo: Marie Arago ( In just…
participants sit around a table for trainingNews
March 30, 2020

Scientists dive into gender considerations for research

This article was originally posted on the Media Newswire page for the University of Georgia's College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. See the original post here.   The Feed the Future…
Group photoaNews
March 19, 2020

GREAT holds gender awareness training for researchers with Feed the Future Peanut Innovation Labs in East and Southern Africa

This article originally appeared on the Makerere University website. Women make up half of the Agricultural workforce of Africa and historically, women issues have not been well incorporated into agricultural…
March 12, 2020

The Beauty of the Bottom Up: Making Crop Improvement Work for National Programs

This article was originally posted on the Chicago Council of Global Affairs website, as part of their blog series, “Breaking Ground,” which explores how food systems innovation and agricultural research and development can empower…
Certificate award ceremonyNews
February 2, 2020

GREAT Course 4 Completed: Participants encouraged to drive gender-responsive agricultural research in their institutions

With the latest GREAT course that wrapped up last month, 26 agricultural scientists from across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia joined GREAT’s growing family of gender-responsive researchers – now 189 strong.…
Woman standing in field of treesNews
January 15, 2020

Breeding for Better Gender Equity

This article originally appeared on the Excellence in Breeding Platform website (here), and cross posted on the Gender & Breeding Initiative website (here). A pilot study to validate tools that…
two GREAT members pose for a photo during trainingNews
November 30, 2019

GREAT Project in conjunction with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) holds Training on Gender Responsive Rice Breeding

The original version of this article was posted on the website for the College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, Makerere University.  GREAT, in collaboration with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), on…
two cassava farmers stand next to Dr. TufanNews
October 16, 2019

Take it to ALL the farmers

Note: this blog entry originally appeared on the World Food Prize Foundation's Borlaug Blog, in conjunction with Dr. Tufan receiving the 2019 Borlaug Field Award.  Here are two words you…
particpants have a discussion around a tableNews
September 25, 2019

Further perspectives on GREAT team building

The Makerere training team had a retreat from 17th to 18th June, 2019. Attended by eleven team members, the retreat was held at the idyllic Malakai Eco-lodge in Kitende, Wakiso,…
Juliana speaks with a microphoneNews
July 29, 2019

Finding the training so many gender specialists need

Despite 14 years of experience as a socio-economist, currently at the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute’s (TARI) Kifyulilo Station, I was not sure if attending the GREAT Gender–Responsive Plant Breeding Course…
participants socialize during a break from the courseNews
July 26, 2019

What does GREAT training offer to gender specialists? Early views from Week 1 of the GREAT Theme 4 Gender-Responsive Plant Breeding Course

By: By Eileen Nchanji, Gender Specialist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Kenya, and Siri Bella Ngoh, Gender Specialist at the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD)…
July 23, 2019

Misuse of the term ‘empowerment’ in daily conversations

By: Esther Njuguna-Mungai, Gender Scientist, ICRISAT and GREAT Custom Course Client Note: this blog was originally posted on the Tropical Legumes III project site, and is the first in a series of…
participants pose for the cameraNews
July 23, 2019

Meeting diverse gender training needs for practitioners: The power of successful customization

Note: this is the second in a series of blogs related to the first GREAT Custom Course, created for the Tropical Legumes III project in November 2018. The first blog in this…
July 23, 2019

More views from TLIII, GREAT’s first Custom Course

Note: In late November, 2018, GREAT hosted its first Custom Course in Kampala, a six-day training for advanced teams from the Tropical Legumes III (TLIII) project. This blog is a continuation in a…
participants form a circleNews
July 15, 2019

Building camaraderie through team retreats

The Makerere training team had a retreat from 17th to 18th June, 2019. Attended by eleven team members, the retreat was held at the idyllic Malakai Eco-lodge in Kitende, Wakiso,…
July 15, 2019

GREAT team welcomes new trainers

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…
two people discussingNews
July 12, 2019

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…
Participants smile for photoNews
July 3, 2019

Counting the strides: My GREAT journey, transitions and experiences

By: Losira Nasirumbi Sanya, GREAT Fellow & 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…
couple stands outside their home in KenyaNews
June 19, 2019

Making a difference in Kenyan rural households through gender-responsive trainings

By: Samantha Hautea, GREAT Communications Specialist   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…
Participants at a course listen to presentationsNews
June 13, 2019

GREAT prepares to kick off 4th gender-responsive training in Kampala

By: Emma Cameron, GREAT Communications Specialist   The fourth GREAT course is set to begin the last week of July in Kampala, Uganda. This new approach to the course will…
Three happy members of a workshop at Cornell UniversityNews
May 29, 2019

Beyond Impact Evaluation: Developing more nuanced systems to measure outcomes for capacity development

By: Yvonne Pinto, Managing Director, Aline Impact, Ltd. / GREAT MLE Partner   Evaluation methods for projects that aim to build human capacity and change behaviors and attitudes can be…
group of happy university students pose for a photoNews
March 8, 2019

Universities contributing to a gender-balanced world

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…
trainer with participants at a GREAT courseNews
January 13, 2019

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…
participants discuss data integration with GREAT staffNews
January 13, 2019

Meeting diverse gender training needs for practitioners: The power of successful customization

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,…
twp trainers sit at a table prepare at a training sessionNews
January 13, 2019

Do qualitative gender research methods fit in breeding activities?

By: Peace Musiimenta, GREAT Trainer and Lecturer, School of Women and Gender Studies, Makerere University This is a reflection on my experience with Great Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation…
Groundnut farmer in India standing in a fieldNews
December 13, 2018

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…
two women pose on a scenic balconyNews
November 15, 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…
participants move about the roomNews
October 2, 2018

Is Your Gender Training Program Really Having an Impact? An Interview with Deborah Rubin

By: Samantha Hautea, GREAT Communications Specialist 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?…
man gives presentationNews
September 25, 2018

From agronomic practices to gender norms and agency in banana diseases management: Evolving perspectives at the International Horticulture Congress

By: Francois Iradukunda, Bioversity International/GREAT RTB Fellow   Perspectives on gender can change over time: this is true not only of society and culture, but of researchers as well. Throughout…
members give presentationsNews
July 27, 2018

Gender-responsive legume breeding course kicks off in Kampala, with a honed model and an eye to the future

While ‘gender mainstreaming’ has largely been mainstreamed, at least in organizational strategy documents, many researchers remain confused as to why they should care about gender, and how to meaningfully and…
participants of workshop pose fr a photoNews
June 29, 2018

Towards demand-led gender-responsive breeding in wheat: Insights from the BGRI Technical Workshop

By: Bernice Waweru, GREAT Cereal Grains Fellow   The Borlaug Global Rust Initiative Technical Workshop, held between April 13 and 17 in Marrakesh, Morocco, was one-of-a-kind. The venue was quite…
June 29, 2018

GREAT RTB Fellows at GCP21 strive to catalyze transformation in African Agriculture

By: Bello Abdulrazaq Abolore, GREAT-RTB Fellow (IITA- Cassava Breeding Unit Gender team)   Twenty-nine root, tuber and banana (RTB) researchers, both men and women from national and international research institutes…
June 25, 2018

Supporting Capacity Development through a Donor’s Lens: An Interview with Vicki Wilde

By: Samantha Hautea, GREAT Communications Specialist   Evaluating the effectiveness of any program is complex, and particularly challenging for projects like GREAT, which seek to build skills and shift mindsets.…
Team members of workshopNews
March 28, 2018

From trainees to trainers: Lessons from a gender training workshop for village seed entrepreneurs in Umudike, Nigeria

By: Dr. Madu Tessy, Olaosebikan O, Bello A, Owoade Durodola, and Justin M.   It’s been a little over a year since the NextGen Cassava and HarvestPlus Nigeria team graduated from…
Bernice recieves diplomaNews
March 23, 2018

The Journey Toward Gender-Responsive Wheat Breeding in Kenya

By: Bernice Ngina Waweru, KALRO-FCRC   The GREAT Gender-responsive Cereal Grains Breeding Course in Uganda surpassed my expectations. Week One was held in August 2018 and Week Two in January…
large group of members from CassavaTech 2017News
February 28, 2018

Upscaling cassava production to unlock a positive future for women in agriculture: Insights from AgraInnovate and CassavaTech 2017

By: Durodola Owoade, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), GREAT Fellow   Group picture with GREAT representative Durodola Owoade (front row, fifth from right) and Tessy Madu (back row, far…
November 10, 2017

Gender-responsive breeding for internally-displaced persons in NE Nigeria: a Q&A with Kachalla Kyari Mala

Incorporating gender-responsiveness can be a challenge for any breeding program when formal training or relevant prior experience is missing, but for research teams working within conflict zones, there is an…
a group works togetherNews
November 1, 2017

Looking back, moving forward: Developing the GREAT curriculum

By: Deborah Rubin, Cultural Practice, LLC Deborah Rubin, standing, checks in on a group's work during the GREAT roots, tubers and bananas course It was in May 2014 that I…
September 19, 2017

GREAT Fellows bring gender-responsiveness to cassava breeding trials

By: Samantha Hautea, NextGen Cassava   ZOMBO, UGANDA – This October, researchers with the Next Generation Cassava Breeding project (NextGen Cassava) will launch their first gender-responsive participatory variety selection (PVS) trials in Uganda, after…
members engage in an active workshop exerciseNews
August 29, 2017

Catching up with participants from the GREAT Gender-Responsive Cereal Grains Breeding course

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…
Two women happy to greet eachotherNews
August 9, 2017

Start of Theme 2 GREAT course marks a milestone for Fellows from Theme 1 course

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…
plates of processed gariNews
July 6, 2017

Creating a niche for acceptance of vitamin A cassava in Nigeria: Women as key actors

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…
Three people discuss around a tableNews
June 27, 2017

The profound GREAT partner meeting that was! Reflecting on the Project Management Team’s visit to Cornell University

By all standards, it was fruitful. Five technical report outputs, learning, networking, and adventure – all in just 8 days! In June 2017, members of the implementing team of the…
Losira Nasirumbi-SanyaNews
June 22, 2017

How GREAT training inspired me to be a gender-responsive agricultural researcher

By: Losira Nasirumbi-Sanya, Research Officer at the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Ph.D fellow at Makerere University, and GREAT RTB Fellow   My Ph.D. journey has been an eye opener…
Obaiya UtobloNews
June 1, 2017

Reflections on the GREAT training and implications for sweetpotato breeding in Ghana

By: Obaiya Utoblo, GREAT Fellow and PhD student at the West Africa Center for Crop Improvement (WACCI)   GHANA: Being a participant in the GREAT Gender-responsive Root, Tuber and Banana…
Photo: François IradukundaNews
May 3, 2017

Green Gold: Implication of the gendered ownership of banana for crop disease management in Burundi

By: Francois Iradukunda, Bioversity International and GREAT RTB Fellow   As one of the country’s most important crops for generating income and food for household consumption, in Burundi, banana is…
Two people smile infront of GREAT bannerNews
March 21, 2017

Close of GREAT RTB Training: Graduation Ceremony

By: HIllary Mara, GREAT Graduate Student Assistant and Cornell University Master's in Public Administration Candidate   After an intensive week covering topics including quantitative and qualitative data analysis, stakeholder engagement,…
woman gives presentationNews
February 14, 2017

GREAT kicks off Week 2 of training in Kampala

By: HIllary Mara, GREAT Graduate Student Assistant and Cornell University Master's in Public Administration Candidate   Twenty-eight agricultural researchers from 11 project teams specializing in roots, tubers, and bananas (RTB),…
January 31, 2017

Global recognition for the 2015 Uganda Human Development Report: Sharing our experience as part of the team that produced the report

By: Peace Musiimenta and Brenda Boonabaana, GREAT Trainers, Makerere University   Two key members of GREAT’s Makerere team, Peace Musiimenta and Brenda Boonabaana, recently received a high-level award for their…
woman uses microphone to speakNews
December 22, 2016

My experience as a GREAT Mentor

By: Brenda Boonabaana, GREAT Trainer and Project Manager   As a GREAT mentor, I have had a wonderful opportunity to support GREAT participants through their journey of conducting gender research…
team member speaks to participantsNews
December 16, 2016

Participant Team Highlight: NextGen Cassava, Uganda

As a small child in Uganda, Robert Kawuki farmed banana and cassava crops with his family, spawning an interest that still guides him today. “When I had an opportunity to…
members get hands on experience using toolsNews
November 17, 2016

First GREAT cohort finishes Week 1 and heads to the field

By: HIllary Mara, GREAT Graduate Student Assistant and Cornell University Master's in Public Administration Candidate   In September, 2016, the GREAT project brought together interdisciplinary research teams from across Sub-Saharan…
September 8, 2016

Gender-responsive training for root, tuber and banana breeding starts Sept 12

By: HIllary Mara, GREAT Graduate Student Assistant and Cornell University Master's in Public Administration Candidate   KAMPALA, UGANDA: GREAT is excited to announce that 11 teams of interdisciplinary professionals from…
two women talking outsideNews
September 7, 2016

Welcome to GREAT

The GREAT vision is based on a premise: That agricultural research projects are often designed with little consideration of how the research outputs, technologies and interventions will impact both men…
May 17, 2016

Paula Iragaba, GREAT Pilot Course Attendee: Closing the Gap between Cassava Breeders and Smallholder Farmers

By: HIllary Mara, GREAT Graduate Student Assistant and Cornell University Master's in Public Administration Candidate   Paula Iragaba, Ugandan PhD student in Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University and…
members of GREAT talk with farmersNews
March 8, 2016

GREAT Equips Researchers to Advance Gender-Responsive Agricultural Research in Sub-Saharan Africa

Achieving greater parity among women and men in sub-Saharan Africa so they more equally share the benefits of agricultural research is the goal of an initiative announced today, on International…
planning attendees gather for a group photoNews
March 7, 2016

GREAT Begins on Strong Foot with Inception and Curriculum Planning Meetings in Feb 2016

In early February 2016, GREAT held its inception meeting and theme 1 course planning meeting in Kampala, Uganda, bringing together gender and breeding experts from around the world to launch…