Leadership Strengthening: Tanzania

Leadership Strengthening 2 day workshop

Why do you want to be a leader? reflection and visioning

Participants were asked to why they wanted to be leaders. All participants came up with 5 different reasons why they wanted to be leaders. The next step was to draw a good leader, how a good led community would look like, and what does a good leader do? Different drawings came from all the participants explaining qualities of what they thought a good leader is! Discussions came around what they highlighted as qualities of a good leader for example one participants drew a fat man seated in front of thin people giving instructions to them as his car was parked by the side. From different discussions came from the group on what they all agreed as qualities of a good leader:

  • cooperative
  • hard working
  • listens to people
  • visionary
  •  optimistic
  • contributes to the needs of the society
  •  cares for people
  • is a doer
  •  is a good advisor
  •  is a good manager

A leadership song was composed based on the qualities of a good leader and participants were asked to draw in their notebooks qualities of a good leader based on the decided upon qualities.

Leadership Diamond tool

Participants were asked to draw a shaped diamond and two lines were drawn to split and a middle line was drawn, on the left side qualities of a good leader were drawn, and on the right qualities good members were drawn and down wards left side, were qualities of bad leaders and right side qualities of bad members.

After the discussions, the similar qualities of both members and leader were drawn in the middle of the diamond tool; also the bad qualities were changed into positive and drawn in the middle, participants came to a consensus on qualities of both members and leaders.

Consensus on good leadership and good membership

LeaderQualities for bothMember
Good manager Good implementer Good advisor Good listener
Hard working Attendance Visionary Responsible Contributor Caring

Organisational governance map

The participants then came together to draw an institutional relationship map of Vuasu and the primary cooperatives. They discussed

  • how the system worked for decision-making and benefits – which decisions are made where and by whom
  • how far leadership was a challenge at the different levels
  • specific barriers to women becoming leaders

The conclusion was that much of the challenge was due to political interference in approval of candidates and into the voting meetings themselves. This meant that even if good people were proposed and accepted their nomination, they could not even be presented for election.

Leadership Vision Journey

After the discussion on the Diamond the champions reviewed their leadership visions and drew their own vision journey for leadership in their community and/or cooperative.

Multi-Stakeholder Change Movement

Although the prime focus of PALS is to empower women and men to vision, plan and achieve their goals through individual and community-level actions, this process seeks to link stakeholders in private sector companies, government and other agencies to make the process both sustainable and enable significant gains in wealth creation, development and social justice. Through developing mutual understanding, communication and listening skills of powerful stakeholders. How this is done depends on the purpose and also context, but includes:

  • Training local government and other stakeholders by the champions
  • Identification of local funding from private sector, local government and community-based organisations for continued upscaling to new communities and organisations and other gender, livelihood or leadership activities to further deepen the local process.
  • Advocacy research and media linkages through local research institutes and media to document and promote the process on an ongoing basis.

Organisational Mainstreaming

Organisational mainstreaming builds on and links with the community-level process. Staff are trained by the champions, and then have a role later in monitoring and supporting service improvement and/or advocacy on issues arising from the community process. The mainstreaming process follows the same stages integrated with the community process:

  • Catalyst Inception meetings (1-3 days before the catalyst process) for preliminary introductions and training of a small team of core staff who will be involved in leading implementation. Ideally they would also go to see PALS in an existing PALS resource organisation. They also use the tools for themselves. Following the catalyst workshop, there is also a planning meeting to look at short term implementation and possibilities for longer term sustainability.
  • Organisational/stakeholder visioning and planning after 3-6 months larger numbers of staff are involved in the process strengthening workshops, trained by the champions. By this time the value of PALS and working on gender should have been established on the ground with both men and women community advocates. This enables a discussion of ways of mainstreaming upscaling within existing staff activities involving the champions.
  • Review and Sustainability Plan introduce the methodology properly for staff, demonstrate its proven value for the organisation and discuss ways of mainstreaming using facilitated by the champions and core catalyst team to . Ongoing implementation and tracking of progress at individual level, group sharing of experiences, organisational quantification and aggregation of information on changes by the local core catalyst team and work on integration into the business model and supporting institutions. includes and trains field staff who will integrate gender justice and relevant PALS tools and processes into other organisational activities including technical and other training.

Phase 3: Annual Review And Sustainability Plan

After 1 year an Annual PALS@Scale Review and Sustainability Planning Workshop agrees or at least initiates a sustainability plan for further deepening gender and livelihood changes, strengthening leadership and scaling up for the following year.

  • Achievement review brings together aggregated information on achievements on: core aims (eg livelihoods, health etc) to establish the local business/efficiency case for PALS; gender justice and deepens understanding and commitment to gender justice and women’s human rights and peer sharing networks and upscaling.
  • Sustainability plan identifies the most effective strategies for pyramid peer sharing to accelerate voluntary scaling up and strengthen leadership networks and certifies a core set of the best champions who have changed their own lives and taught a significant number of people in their own communities to a good quality standard, and who have participatory facilitation skills. They will qualify to be involved in upscaling, documentation and dissemination on a paid basis in other regions (locally, nationally or internationally) in recognition of their contribution to increasing profits of the company/cooperative and/or reducing costs for the service organisation.
  • Leadership and facilitation strengthening trains the champions to facilitate larger meetings using soulmate visioning, gender justice diamond, challenge action trees and organisational vision journey.
  • Multimedia documentation for promotion and advocacy and to finalise training materials that can be used at different levels, establishing the business/efficiency case and covering gender issues arising to feed into gender strategies and advocacy.

Phase 2: Advanced Tools And Leadership Strengthening

After 3-6 months more advanced versions of the same tools are introduced for the most active champions emerging through the catalyst phase through:

  • core skills strengthening (eg livelihoods, health, climate change) (3 days) to: introduce more advanced versions of the basic diagram tools adapted for livelihoods (increasing incomes challenge action tree, household business tree, market map, livelihood calendar vision journey) and examine areas for collaboration to increase incomes. This starts to look at how the business/efficiency case for gender and PALS could be established and how to collect the necessary information.
  • leadership strengthening (3 days) introduces tools for leadership development (leadership soulmate visioning, leadership diamond, leadership challenge action tree and leadership vision journey) and reflect on PALS facilitation and peer sharing experience.
  • initiating monitoring system reviews experience so far looking at the achievements (red ripe fruits) on the original diagrams and introduces the core PALS monitoring tool for the whole process (Multi-lane Vision Journey).

Catalyst Process

PALS Phase 1: Catalyst Phase

The Catalyst Phase is a 0-6 months process involving two parallel activities, sequenced and adapted to the overall aims and design of the intervention, the needs of the participants involved and the context. It generally consists of:

  • Inception consultations with the implementing organisations to agree on overall purpose of the PALS process, activity schedule, selection of field-testing and pilot locations and participants in the light of the overall goals and a sustainability plan. Ideally this involves a 2-3 day face to face meeting for detailed presentation of the methodology and a visit by the lead persons to an organisation already implementing PALS. Alternatively through setting up a draft blog page and e-discussion in advance and 2-3 days planning and field context visits by the external facilitator immediately before the Champion Catalyst Workshop.
  • Champion Catalyst Workshop/s (5 days – preferably as 10 half days over 2 weeks) with 20-60 champions from one or more communities and organisations facilitated by GALS expert practitioner/s. This introduces at least the first four tools: Soulmate visioning, Vision Journey, Gender Balance Tree and Empowerment Leadership Map together with songs and cultural innovations and basic facilitation and peer sharing skills.
  • Core staff and champion facilitation training (5 days – preferably as 10 half days over 2 weeks in parallel to champion workshops so that staff get hands-on facilitation practice)
  • Community Peer Sharing Community peer sharing workshops (1 day each) immediately following the Champion Catalyst Workshops. The champions practice the facilitation skills, start to establish their leadership networks and reinforce their own understandings of the tools.
  • Community Action Learning Ongoing tracking of progress at individual level, group sharing of experiences and support from the local core catalyst team. Champions then track and share progress in existing or new groups. Aiming to implement their visions and gender changes and for each champion to scale up by a factor of average 1 to 30 over 6 months.

From Thousands to Millions

Based on presentation and follow up to the IFAD Household Methodology Forum Rome June 2016.

Upscaling Household Methodologies: Presentation for IFAD Rome June 2016

From thousands to millions: Ways forward for Gender Action Learning for Sustainability at Scale Blogpost July 2016

PALS has been shown to be an effective methodology for enabling women, youth and men to vision and also achieve significant increases in income, food security, asset ownership and participation in civil society and higher level value chains. In some members of this network they have been delivered on a fully financially sustainable basis for thousands of people in rural and urban areas.

GALS methodologies in particular, through the focus on gender, have potential to empower not only women, but also men and youth to improve their lives, significantly increasing happiness and wellbeing as well as incomes. With spread effects then for communities and ultimately national economies. Conversely research has shown that gender and generational inequalities within households are a key cause of poverty, leading to violence, food insecurity and wastage of productive resources that ultimately benefit no one. The failure to address these inequalities undermines the effectiveness (and profitability) of financial services, agricultural and nutrition training and value chain development, leading to significant wastage of time and resources by financial service providers, cooperatives, private sector and government as well as NGOs and donor agencies. It is clear therefore that HHM are not an optional add-on to other interventions, but a cost-effective methodology for empowering women and men as a core business strategy making other interventions more effective and cost-efficient or even profitable. As such they should be an integral part of longer term business investment or any ‘mainstream’ development intervention.

Toolkits exist for integration into value chain development, good agricultural practices in cooperatives and private sector companies, responsible finance and have also been adapted for food security and climate change management and projects with youth.

There are also locally run web-based networks linking farmers to exchange experiences and dissemination through radio and other media.

But fully sustainable models still need to be developed and proven to gain global adoption. There is still a need for further community-led innovation to further increase ability of women, men and youth to significantly increase incomes and change intra-household and other inequalities in the longer term, accelerate community-level upscaling and contribute to community-led monitoring for action research.

Sustainable upscaling to millions and gender empowerment mainstreaming in business models will require more than just rolling out a few tools in a series of ‘expert-led’ TOTs. Capacity-building needs to be based on:

Training and certification of thousands of Community Empowerment Advisers (CEAs) proven community-level champions with a proven record of personal change and voluntary upscaling for more than 1 year who will convince local, national and international stakeholders that community-led empowerment methodologies can really change lives of their target populations on a financially sustainable and even profitable basis. These CEAs will play a significant paid role not only in local and national replication for upscaling, but also innovation and advocacy.
Training and certification of national, regional and global Empowerment Mainstreaming Advisers (EMAs) experienced in empowerment tools, but also high levels of participatory and gender expertise and qualification across a range of livelihood interventions, proficiency in adult education good practice including visual communication and ‘fun’ training activities, IT, multimedia and documentation skills.
Credible and inspiring documentation developed as action learning to improve and disseminate practice at all levels and firmly establish ‘the business case’ for mainstreaming, rather than mechanical policing just for donors.
Development of on-line resources and IT skills at all levels from mobile phones of people at community levek to engaging websites for an international audience. Internet services are now cheap in many countries and Facebook and local equivalents are used by increasing numbers of farmers. Effective use and development of social networking and local and international language blogs can significantly increase upscaling and reduce costs of sharing information. This offers a particular role for youth involvement and contribution.
Dynamic and sustainable innovation and advocacy networks at all local through to global levels that use their existing activities and opportunities for gender empowerment advocacy and fundraising. These networks need to strongly encourage independent thinking and creativity, and also sharing, reaching out to as many other organisations and forums as possible to promote the core empowerment and rights agenda.

Happy Family Happy Coffee

Testimonies of coffee farmers from Kenya.

The Business Case

Gender inequalities in power and resources negatively affect economic efficiency at all levels. Participatory analysis by men and women coffee farmers in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania using GALS tools have concluded that gender inequalities were not only a problem for women, but a key cause of low productivity, low quality and prices at the farm level.

Coffee is often seen as an ‘old man’s crop’. It is older men who control the land and also the income. But they are often not the main ones doing, or capable of doing, most of the work and adopting improved practices. Men are in many households only involved in intermittent heavy tasks. Many younger men farmers migrate outside, coming back to harvest and market the coffee beans when they want cash. Though they may be the only ones with enough time to go to trainings and cooperative meetings.

Many coffee farming households face a lot of conflict. Men estimated that 70% of men in the area had a drinking problem that wasted significant portion of family income. 70% of 495 men followed up by Bukonzo Joint in Uganda openly admitted to taking all the money from coffee, and even stealing their wife’s money, wasting much of this on drink and other women. Polygamy (59% men interviewed in 2009) increased the level of dependency on increasingly fragmented plots of land and also reduced men’s income and labour input into any one household. There was a high level of marital instability, domestic violence (40% of 887 men interviewed), male alcoholism (58%) and drug addiction. In some households men’s expenditure on alcohol in one month was equal to the costs of the school fees for a term. Similar patterns and proportions are reported by men from Tanzania and Kenya.

Women farmers of all ages play a crucial role in ensuring coffee volumes and quality performing an estimated 70% of the work in cultivation and processing tasks like hulling alongside cultivation of foodcrops and unpaid household work. But they have traditionally been excluded from ownership of coffee land and control over coffee incomes.  Women said that because their benefits from the work or any investments were limited, their motivation to produce/pick/process good quality was small. Trees are neglected because women who perform most of the work are often more interested in using any time and income they have for other crops.

Young men also do not own or control the land use either and are discouraged from cultivating coffee due to low prices, and lack of ownership.

In the research by Bukonzo Joint unripe beans or beans which were not fully processed/still wet were frequently sold by both husband and wife even though they fetched a lower price in order to prevent each other from taking it. Men took any coffee they could when they wanted money – including unripe and unprocessed coffee before women were able to sell it. Men even sold non-harvested coffee, and even the coffee flowers before beans were formed, in advance to get cash. Much of the cash was spent in bars conveniently located next to the trader shops. In some cases they did not even tell their wives and the trader simply came and took the coffee.

Women’s lack of buy-in to coffee and role in decision-making limited investment in production or efficient processing like hulling. In Bukonzo Joint earlier much of the coffee was dried in the dust on the ground leading to mixing with impurities which further reduced the quality.

The fact that those doing most of the work have little say or incentive to improve quality and quantity is a major reason why technical trainings to improve quality and quantity are often not implemented.

All of these factors contribute to a weak smallholder coffee sector, which lacks the dynamism to fulfil its potential as a very valuable income stream to coffee farming families.

This can change

One factor that discourages companies from addressing gender issues is the perception that things cannot change and/or change is inevitably conflictual and/or requires some sort of ‘separate women’s social project’.

The experiences of champions shown on this site show that this is not the case. Change can happen quite quickly and that this leads to improvements in coffee production.

See for example the case of Mberuseru, Mpole and Lickson from Vuasu

and the experience of Bukonzo Joint Cooperative Union in Uganda

2015 SCAA Sustainability Award
and testimonies of coffee farmers in videos above from Kenya.



‘The process through which those who are currently disadvantaged achieve equal rights, resources and power’

“Empowerment is like obscenity; you have trouble defining it but you know it when you see it” (Rappaport 1986)

“I like the term empowerment because no one has defined it clearly as yet; so it gives as a breathing space to work it out in action terms before we have to pin ourselves down to what it means. I will continue using it until I am sure it does not describe what we’re doing.” (NGO worker quoted in Batliwala 1993)



•  is concerned with increasing realisable and informed choices within a framework ofhuman rights and equality

•  inevitably involves challenging existing inequalities in power and resources

•  involves a combination of individual initiative and collective action

•  is a complex process which consists of interlinked and mutually reinforcingdimensions (economic, cultural, legal, political, psychological) and levels (e.g. individual, family, community, macro-level)

•  requires not only ‘self-help’ by those who are currently disadvantaged butchanges in those who are currently advantaged and addressing macro-level inequalities

Elements of a framework:

  • process of transformation in power relations
  • dimensions of inequalities where change is needed eg economic, social,political, legal
  • levels at which change is needed eg individual, household, communities, markets, national, international.


The English term ’empowerment’ originated in the second half of the 17th century. It gained widespread usage in the 1960s in the US Civil Rights and Women’s Movements. But it is an extension of earlier concepts of equality, justice and freedom which were expressed in many anti-imperialist and political struggles. These are also enshrined in international agreements and also underlie the precepts of many religious traditions, including Islam.

In the 1980s the term was adopted by NGOs in both the South and the North to signify an alternative development agenda for poverty alleviation based on principles of participation and self-help. At the same time neo-liberal politicians also adopted the term empowerment to underline a commitment to increasing individual choice and self-help in the context of market reform (and also the cynical might suggest to increase their popular appeal).

Women’s empowerment is not a Northern concept. Women all over the world, including countries in the South, have been challenging and changing gender inequalities since the beginnings of history. These struggles have also been supported by many men who have been outraged at injustices against women and the consequences for society. It would be yet another instance of imperialism to say all these women and men did not have minds of their own!



Once that is clearly understood and followed other things all fall into place. But working out the details of how that understanding can be maintained and mainstreamed in complex realities of development practice and policy requires experience, commitment and a lot of patience.

Gender Justice or Gender Equity

The condition of fairness and equality of opportunity whereby gender is no longer a basis for discrimination and inequality of outcomes between people.

In a gender just society both women and men enjoy equal status, rights, levels of responsibility, and access to power and resources. This enables them to make their own informed, realisable and free life choices.

Gender Difference

Those differences between women and men which are freely chosen and value-neutral.

Most ‘differences’ between men and women however, even where they may involve an element of choice (e.g. what to wear) are nevertheless embedded in structures of gender inequality. These generally ascribe lower value to women’s choices and perpetuate unequal access to power and resources.

Gender Equality

Elimination of those differences which ascribe lower value to women’s choices and perpetuate unequal power and resources.

Also refers to those more limited areas where men’s choices and access to power and resources are limited.

A distinction is often made between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome to allow for the possibility that women and men may freely make different life choices.

Women’s Empowerment

The process through which women, who are currently most discriminated against, achieve gender equity.

This will include support for men to change those aspects of their behaviour, roles and privileges which currently discriminate against women.

The extent of current disadvantage and inequality means that women’s empowerment may require support by development agencies at household, community and macro levels.

For more on empowerment concepts Click here

Gender Transformation

Where women and men are both able to realise their full potential as economic, social and political actors, free from all gender discrimination, for empowerment of themselves, their families, their communities and global humankind. This includes affirmative action for women, and support for men to change those aspects of their behaviour, roles and privileges that currently discriminate against women. It is likely to include different types of support for women from different backgrounds depending on other dimensions of disadvantage, and at different levels.


Gender is a social construct and can be changed:

  • Biological sex differences are very few and are unimportant in terms of determining gender inequality.
  • Gender inequalities are socially determined
  • As social constructs gender inequalities can be changed

Gender means both women and men:

  • Discrimination based on gender affects both women and men adversely.
  • Addressing gender inequality to redress discrimination against both women and men requires actions by both women and men to challenge their existing attitudes, privilege and practice.
  • Nevertheless in the current situation gender inequality affects women moreadversely than men.
  • This justifies prioritizing attention to those inequalities which affect women.


The GAMEchange Gender Justice framework combines two levels of analysis and action:

Participatory Visioning and Road Journeys:

Women and men at all levels: individual, household, community and organisational level do their own visioning and planning to achieve these visions. This is within an overall context of discussion about gender justice where peer pressure tends to reinforce certain messages and discourage certain other types of behaviour. This is done through using GALS visionning and followed by complementary diagram tools serve to deepen the gender analysis over time.

Meta-framework of women’s rights and CEDAW:

The CEDAW framework forms the basis of the organisational vision and informs which sorts of actions and strategies emerging from the participatory process are supported. Those actions and trends which reinforce CEDAW eg changes in women’s property rights, decision-making etc are erinforced. Those which infringe on women’s rights eg increased male control of decision-making, expenditure on alcoholism or prostitution etc are discouraged.

The CEDAW framework is used rather than other gender frameworks because it is very concrete and the CEDAW convention has been signed by most governments of countries where gender processes are being implemented. This means that gender cannot be dismissed as an external imposition.

In GAMEchange processes so far there has been little difference between the visions at community-level and CEDAW, even in the very first workshops. It has been observed that organisational staff are often more conservative than women and men in communities using the GALS tools.