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Capacity building in gender mainstreaming for SIMLESA

The Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA) initiative held its third workshop on gender mainstreaming at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) campus, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during 24-27 July 2012. Following recommendations from the previous meeting in Tanzania, this workshop aimed to compile field-related case studies on gender mainstreaming activities, and to harmonize gender mainstreaming action plans for five SIMLESA countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. Twenty participants from these five countries attended, and, for the first time, extension officers from SIMLESA sites in each of the five countries also participated. The workshop was opened by Dagne Wegary on behalf of SIMLESA Program Coordinator Mulugetta Mekuria, and facilitated by Forough Olinga, Gender Expert at the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), Enock Warinda, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit leader at ASARECA, Daisy Namono, Consultant, and Ruth Nankinga, Administrative Assistant at ASARECA. Bekele Shiferaw, CIMMYT Socioeconomics Program Director, and Menale Kassie, Socioeconomist and SIMLESA Objective 1 Coordinator, also contributed encouragement and insight on mainstreaming gender within SIMLESA. The extension officers shared their field experiences which were then used to identify good practices and potential case studies for further development. At the end of the workshop, the participants developed country gender mainstreaming action plans to be funded and implemented, created a format for the case studies, and agreed to submit at least eight case studies to Olinga and Namono for evaluation by 26 August 2012. To follow up, Namono will visit SIMLESA countries to finalize the case studies for publication before the end of the year.