By Angelica Senders
Since 2012, Agri-ProFocus has been implementing so-called gender in value chain coaching tracks through its Agri-Hub networks and supported by Dutch members including Hivos, ICCO/ Fair& Sustainable and KIT in different facilitation and knowledge roles. Piloted in Rwanda and Uganda the coaching tracks are now also running in Kenya and Ethiopia. The Agri-Hubs in RD Congo, Burundi, Benin and Tanzania are soon to follow and it is expected that the programme will venture into Latin America and Indonesia in 2014.
The coaching tracks aim at increasing the capacities of organizations to put in place value chain development interventions that are gender inclusive. To this effect organizations receive a support package of:
- 3 days of individual, case-based coaching over a period of approximately 9 months. Participants bring in their own value chain and work on it.
- The individual coaching is complemented by a number of joint events to create common ground and introduce concepts, tools and case experiences, which can be used for gender inclusive value chain development. The joined events are also used for sharing experiences.
Each country has its own national coaches. The coaches are accompanied by Agri-ProFocus.
In November 2013 Agri-ProFocus organized a training for national coaches in Arusha. The workshop was hosted by Agri-ProFocus Tanzania. The 20 participants came from Eastern Africa, Great Lakes, Western Africa (Benin), but also Latin America and Asia (Indonesia). A variety of topics was addressed during the workshop. A lot of attention was given to ‘coaching’ as a methodology, and the skills required for successful coaching. Gender mainstreaming and the arguments for gender inclusive value chain development were also extensively addressed. HIVOS brought in case material supporting the Business Case for addressing gender by coffee companies. Participants actively worked on the gender sensitive analysis of specific value chains and identification of gender based constraints in those value chains.
The workshop was facilitated by Angelica Senders from Fair & Sustainable Advisory Services and Jacqueline Terillon, Agri-ProFocus gender in value chain coach in Uganda since 2012. During the workshop two publications, Challenging Chains to Change (KIT, IIRR, Agri-ProFocus) and the 2nd edition of the Agri-ProFocus Gender in Value Chain toolkit, were intensively used.
Participants were also very positive about films showed, like “Improving Gender Relations in Coffee Farming Households” by Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung and the films produced by Linda Majoux and Oxfam NOVIB on the Gender Action Learning Approach. Participants also actively contributed their experiences in presentations and during the interactive Open Market.
The last morning was dedicated to the formulation of a Theory of Change and envisioning a future in which value chain development is gender inclusive. Four groups formulated pathways of change from the perspective of households, producer organizations, BDS providers and companies. The workshop was concluded with brainstorming sessions on follow up actions in the different countries.
The workshop was very positively evaluated and participants have concrete ideas on how to create a worldwide network of gender in value chain coaches. They plan to continue sharing experiences and to work on improving methodologies and approaches in their respective countries. Branding of the Agri-ProFocus coaching methodology and continuing to professionalize gender in value chain coaches was high on the list of envisaged follow up actions.
Interested in participating in a gender in value chain coaching track? Contact the Agri-Hub coordination in your country.
For an impression of the Arusha workshop for gender in value chain coaches, watch the short Youtube video below.