Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) is a five-year collaboration between Cornell University, in the United States, and Makerere University, in Uganda. GREAT started in 2016, and is funded with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. GREAT carries out its mission (see below) of creating more inclusive and effective agricultural systems through a combination of: the development of a Center of Excellence for gender and agricultural research at Makerere University; intensive training courses for agricultural researchers working in sub-Saharan Africa; the creation of a gender and agricultural research Community of Practice; and supporting institutional transformation for targeted agricultural research institutions across sub-Saharan Africa. See our vision and objectives, below, for more details.

GREAT Vision Statement

GREAT equips researchers to create more inclusive and effective agricultural systems by addressing the priorities of both women and men in sub-Saharan Africa.

GREAT Objectives

The GREAT project is centered on four objectives:

  1. Objective 1: Makerere University becomes a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for gender-responsive research and training in SSA 
  2. Objective 2: GREAT Fellows demonstrate gender-responsive practices in their research
  3. Objective 3: The GREAT community of practice actively fosters information exchange, dialogue and collaboration on gender-responsive research
  4. Objective 4: Selected national and international agricultural research institutions support gender-responsive research

Objective 1 – The Centre of Excellence at Makerere University

Through collaborative management between Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, GREAT seeks to ensure sustainability after the project is over through the creation of a permanent Centre of Excellence at Makerere University for gender-responsive agricultural research and training in sub-Saharan Africa.


Objective 2 – GREAT Courses

The GREAT project is centered on delivering high-quality courses to agricultural researchers from sub-Saharan Africa in the theory and practice of gender-responsive research, seeking to increase opportunities for equitable participation and the sharing of benefits from agricultural research and improve the outcomes for smallholder women farmers, entrepreneurs, and farmer organizations across sub-Saharan Africa. 

By building and engaging communities of researchers – GREAT Fellows and their peers – equipped with the skills, knowledge, and support systems to develop and implement gender-responsive projects, GREAT seeks to advance gender-responsiveness as the norm and standard for agricultural research.


Objective 3 – The GREAT Community of Practice

GREAT Fellows, trainers, and peer researchers and specialists from across sub-Saharan Africa are co-creating a Community of Practice (CoP), designed to foster institutional and cultural transformation around gender-responsive research, foster enduring linkages across institutions, and to enhance the impact and sustainability of GREAT Courses.


Objective 4 – Institutional Transformation

Mainstreaming gender-responsiveness in agricultural research requires transforming cultures and practices within agricultural research institutes across sub-Saharan Africa. GREAT is working with key institutional partners, and is targeting participation in GREAT courses from selected research institutes across the continent to build a critical mass of trained researchers within these institutions.