Announcing the short-listed candidates for GenARDIS round 3

The Gender, Agriculture and Rural Development in the Information Society (GenARDIS) Small Grants Fund is delighted to announce that twenty projects have been short-listed as possible GenARDIS grantees.

Geographic and creative diversity

The short-listed proposals come from sixteen countries in Africa and the Caribbean, ranging from the Dominican Republic and St. Vincent on over the Atlantic Ocean to rock-skip throughout western Africa in Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon and the Congo. Eastern Africa and Southern Africa also have their share of representation with projects from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Congratulations to the short-listed GenARDIS round 3 candidates

  1. Benin, Use of ICTs for popularising agricultural information and building production and management capacity with two groups of women producers and product transformers
  2. Burkina Faso, Initiating 30 women in charge of 15 women groups (members of FEPPASI) to computing
  3. Burundi, Setting up a rural women’s network in order to increase information exchange, to sensitise people to appropriate agro-pastoral technologies and for advocacy
  4. Cameroon, Promoting the use of ICTs for market information exchange among women producers in Cameroon
  5. Democratic Republic of Congo, Creation of a rural women internet-users network using ICTs for the exchange and popularisation of agricultural, pastoral, social, economic and political information
  6. Democratic Republic of Congo, Sisters Informing and Supporting Sisters Initiative (SISSI): Increasing the agricultural productivity and profitability through ICT and partnerships in Small-Scale Rural Women Farmers of Uvira
  7. Dominican Republic, Empowering women in managing rural cooperatives with relevant ICTs and e-business tools
  8. Ethiopia, Women innovators document their own innovation and experimentation in Tigray Region of northern Ethiopia
  9. Ghana, eWomen in Development Leadership
  10. Ghana, Gender Issues and Women's Livelihoods Improvement Project
  11. Kenya, CoreRooms - Computer Science Opportunities and Resources Portal for Kenyan Female University Students
  12. Mali, Improvement of agricultural women's access to ICT opportunities in the region of Sikasso
  13. Nigeria, Building the ICT capacity of women teachers in a rural community in Nigeria to communicate agricultural information
  14. Nigeria, “Majelissa yan Mata Manoma!”: A meeting place for Hausa Women Farmers on FM Radio
  15. St. Vincent, Empowering Caribbean Women Farmers Through ICT
  16. Tanzania, ICT and women empowerment in crop marketing in Uluguru Mountains in Tanzania
  17. Togo, Strengthening rural women's access to ICTs in Kpélé-Akata, where ICTs are understood as tools for economic and community education development
  18. Uganda, Increasing Small-Scale Women Farmers’ Revenues in Kabarole and Kyenjojo Districts of Western Uganda by Using Sustainable ICT4D-Enabled Production and Marketing Tools
  19. Zambia, ICT Women Co-operative Group
  20. Zambia, Promoting the culture of ICT enabled access to agriculture information among Kapiri Rural Women Farmers, and capacity building for SMS-based access to market information service.
  21. Zimbabwe, Promoting ICT use for the healthy small scale waste water irrigation of vegetable crops amongst the rural women of Zimbabwe

The breadth, creativity and variety of the short-listed projects demonstrate all what information and communication technologies (ICTs) have to offer to rural development, especially when addressed from a gender perspective. The projects reflect creative ideas rooted in local realities - community radio broadcasts, social networking tools, SMS, email and farmer-run portals. They benefit rural women, small-scale farmers, teachers and students in their quest to increase income, do away with intermediaries, gain access to information, improve natural resource management and influence national policies. They also reflect the vision and hope that these twenty short-listed candidates have for gender equality and rural development.

Next steps

Short-listed candidates will have the opportunity to sharpen their project proposals after attending a week-long capacity-building workshop in Senegal this September. They will receive training on project development, gender planning and evaluation and feedback from jurors regarding their projects. Participants will then refine their proposals and re-submit them for final selection of fifteen GenARDIS round 3 grantees. Each will receive 7,000 Euro.

Geared to understanding and addressing gender issues in ICT for agricultural and rural development in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, the third round of GenARDIS received 231 applications from 39 countries, with over one-third of the submissions coming from Francophone countries.

Experienced jury

The ten-member GenARDIS jury had the tough job of narrowing down so many applicants to the twenty best candidates. Chosen first and foremost for their commitment to GenARDIS, jurors reflect the regional and language diversity that GenARDIS seeks to support, and are experienced in gender, ICTs and agricultural development. In fact, several are past GenARDIS grantees.

Rigorous selection process

GenARDIS’ third round has four phases of selection. In June, an initial screening of the 231 entries narrowed eligible projects down to 115 for the jury's consideration. Judges worked in teams to identify the top fifty-five candidates based on criteria clearly outlined in the call. These proposals were then freshly re-scored by different teams to avoid bias, and obtain the twenty short-listed candidates. Some jury members will mentor candidates during the September GenARDIS kick-off workshop.. The fourth and final selection phase will take place in October, when candidates re-submit their proposals based on lessons learned during the workshop.

replay

While women make up the majority of people in rural areas of developing countries and play a
central role in agriculture, issues of language, literacy, etc. are compounded by their already
heavy workload that limits the time available to use modern ICTs, and by cultural attitudes that
prevent them from visiting public access points mostly frequented by men.

Women Need the Support of Men to Embrace ICT4D More Sustainably

Indeed, whereas women have been idenfied as the most marginalised group in the information society today, especially in rural communities, the support of men - both social and economic, is paramount to enable them embrace ICTs for development more sustainably.

Johnstone Baguma Kumaraki,
ToroDev, Uganda