CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research


In January 2016, CGIAR established the CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research, hosted by the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets and coordinated by KIT Royal Tropical Institute. The Platform aims to increase the visibility, impact and quality of CGIAR gender research, while advancing a system-wide research agenda on gender, aqua/agriculture and natural resource management.

Supporting gender research through collaboration & strategic partnerships

The Platform supports gender research through collaboration with the 15 international agricultural and natural resource management research centers and 12 research programs that comprise the CGIAR system. It also does so through strategic partnerships and activities that include:

  • Issuing annual calls for gender research on system-wide themes e.g. gender dynamics in seed systems (2017), the feminization of agriculture (2018), gender dynamics in value chains (possible 2019 theme)
  • Supporting cross-project synergies by drawing out lessons and common findings to contribute to the growing body of knowledge on gender and agriculture
  • Mobilising resources to support gender research and platform activities
  • Synthesis work (e.g. on Gender Transformative Approaches for the European Commission)
  • Coordinating/editing a publication on CGIAR gender research (2019)

Capacity development & communication activities

The Platform is also engaged in capacity development and communication activities, including:

  • Monthly webinars on gender research from across CGIAR and its partners
  • Quarterly newsletters
  • Annual research campaigns on International Women’s Day (8 March) and the International Day of Rural Women (10 October)
  • An annual scientific conference
  • An annual capacity development workshop
  • Support communities of practice on gender (e.g. gender and big data)
  • Ad-hoc blogs on Engendering Data and Methods

Under KIT’s coordination, the Platform is being upgraded to a full-fledged CGIAR Platform, which substantially increases the annual budget and enables the Platform to grow in scope in the coming years. Three scientific conferences have been held on CGIAR gender research.

Most notably, between 2-4 April, 2019, the Platform will host the Seeds of Change Conference, the first co-convened conference with partners University of Canberra and the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research.

Several publications are also in progress, including:

  • A special issue on Gender dynamics in seed systems, with grantees (2019)
  • A publication on gender research in CGIAR (2019)
  • A paper for the European Commission on Gender Transformative Approaches in Agriculture (2019)

The CGIAR team at KIT

KIT Senior Advisor Rhiannon Pyburn coordinates the Platform with a small core team including Andrea Vos (assistant to the coordinator) and Ewen Le Borgne (Communication & Knowledge Management Advisor). The team is supported by other KIT advisors on ongoing Platform activities: Marcelo Tyszler (gender and big data), Anouka van Eerdewijk (engendering data and methods blog co-editing). Others are brought in for specific inputs, for example: Franz Wong and Julie Newton (contributions to a paper on Gender Transformative Approaches in agriculture); Silvia Sarapura and Sandra Quintero (acting as external evaluators of proposals for annual calls for gender research).

What has struck me most and what I have really loved to see during this conference is the progress that we have made in gender research. When we started coming to these meetings in 2014, we were struggling: what are the research questions? What should we do? How do we get funding? How do we convince our colleagues to collaborate? But I see progress in the results that are presented here. People have gone to the field and asked exciting questions about a variety of themes, for example, traits, women’s empowerment, seed systems, decision-making, etcetera. This is very exciting to see at this conference.

Esther Njuguna, Gender Research Coordinator of the CGIAR Research Program on Grains, Legumes and Dryland Cereals.