Happy Family Happy Coffee: Hivos, Tanzania, Kenya and Indonesia

Happy Family Happy Coffee (2014-2016) methodologies present an integrated curriculum using the GALSatScale (Gender Action Learning for Sustainability at Scale) methodology as a participatory framework of proven tools and facilitation techniques through which the technical content of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) can be delivered.

They were developed with farmer cooperatives supported by Hivos, Ecom Trading, IDH, JED and other private sector coffee companies in Tanzania, Kenya and Indonesia.

Why integrated curriculum of GALS and GAPs?

Coffee companies, cooperatives and service organisations have been delivering technical trainings in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) now for many years – often to the same farmers – in order to obtain supply of the qualities and quantity of coffee that is appropriate for their particular markets. However experience has shown that on both quality and quantity the impacts of such trainings has often been lower than anticipated or justified by the costs.

The reasons for this are complex but include:

  • market price fluctuation leading to uncertainty of rewards to farmers of the production changes they are required to make and the efforts and costs involved in improving quality compared to existing coffee techniques
  • farmer dependence on/demand for inputs of equipment and eg chemicals and seedlings because they have no savings or financial planning skills
  • farmer short-term needs for cash leading to sideselling on the informal market to pay for eg health treatment and school fees
  • lengthy curricula that contain a lot of standard information that farmers either already know (often better than the trainer) and/or is not applicable to their specific needs. Leading to low attendance in any training that does not deliver immediate material incentives
  • curricula that are too complicated for farmers to understand – even pictures are often unclear – and delivered in a boring lecturing style apart from practicals on demo plots
    competition from other crops that are, or appear to be, more profitable than coffee.

Key in the above are also gender and generational inequalities within farming households that mean that the women and youth who often do the most of the work fail to see any benefits because they do not control the land or income from coffee. In coffee production in Uganda and Tanzania, research has shown that unequal land ownership and division of labour are key causes of poor coffee quality and productivity. Women do at least 70% of the work. However because men own the coffee land and trees, they also control the income. They use much of the income for alcohol and women in town – an estimated 70% men in Western Rwenzoris and Kilimanjaro were doing this according to research with men themselves. Women have to ‘steal’ coffee to pay for school fees and food for their children. The rush for each person to get the coffee before the other leads to selling of unripe and bad quality coffee. Attempts by coffee traders to improve coffee quality have very limited success. Even if men get training, they leave the work to their wives. Women and youth prefer to divert their labour and money to crops where they can control more of the income.

Happy Family Happy Coffee Curriculum

The Happy Family Happy Coffee Curriculum aims to:

  • Deliver technical training on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) on coffee production
  • Empower women, youth and men farmers to implement and fully benefit from GAPs
  • Improve relationships and trust between farmers, companies, traders and service providers


  • adapting and integrating the diagram tools and participatory facilitation techniques of Gender Action Learning for Sustainability (GALS) methodology

The Curriculum consists of six 2-3 hour planning sessions ideally delivered before the coffee season starts in order to provide the basis for other practical GAPs sessions as required.

The over-arching framework is the final Tool 6: Happy Family Happy Coffee Vision Calendar. The curriculum of five other tools progressively build up this framework.

These tools are reinforced by songs written by farmers.

Once the basic GALS skills have been established, the same GALS diagram tools can also be integrated in the same or subsequent years with more advanced business, environmental management and governance trainings, mainstreaming gender and youth, to increase their effectiveness and accessibility to different types of farmer.

The Curriculum uses fewer printed materials than most existing trainings the A3 Vision Calendar and a few selected advanced technical note sheets as required following the technical trainings. Each session includes participatory group discussion and individual drawing and writing in farmers’ own notebooks – these can be either subsidised as part of company branding or bought by farmers themselves as is the normal practice in GALS. Farmers continually review and track their own progress as a process of reflexive learning based on their own planning needs to feed into monitoring and evaluation systems for implementation of GAPs and also economic and social impact assessment.

The curriculum can be used and adapted by staff in coffee companies, cooperatives and service organisations and in training of promoter farmers to:

  • improve relationships with farmers through increasing understanding of their needs and trust
  • enable more cost-effective targeting and better focus, understanding and implementation of technical trainings
  • improve planning in farm households to promote self-reliance, reduce distress selling and increase their benefits from coffee
  • promote inclusion and empowerment of women and youth in quality coffee production ie the key workers and potential investors in the sector for the future.

Tool 1: Happy Coffee Visioning: places coffee in the context of a wider vision for happiness and success in the family and community increases commitment to good quality coffee. It introduces discussion of what is meant by coffee quality, environmental issues and relationships in the household.

Tool 2: Happy Family Vision Journey : teaches basic planning skills and places coffee even more firmly as a significant contribution to family development towards a vision.

Tool 3: Increasing Coffee Incomes Challenge Action Tree: looks at the production (GAPs and environmental), marketing (including relationships with companies) and household (gender, youth, child labour, health and safety) challenges to increasing farmer incomes from coffee. It then asks farmers to identify what they see as solutions that they can implement themselves and make 10 change commitments. This enables companies to assess what farmers already know and can share with each other. This enables service providers to see where they need to add and/or correct information to make trainings much more cost-effective and focussed on what farmers really need to know. The same Challenge Action Tree tool is then used to frame each practical technical GAPs session to look in more detail at eg canopyy management etc.

Tool 4: Gender and Youth Family Balance Tree: looks in more detail at the middle household part of the Challenge Action Tree to analyse how division of labour within the household can be made more equitable and efficient, and how ownership, decision-making and expenditure can better reward those doing the work. This leads to increased cooperation and transparency between women and men and youth and older people in the household and reduction in wasteful expenditures, reducing for example the need for side selling.

Tool 5: Change Leadership Map : identifies existing social networks through which GALS/GAPs messages can be delivered on a voluntary basis to disseminate both planning skills and technical information. This makes the job of company staff and promoter farmers easier.

Tool 6: Happy Family Happy Coffee Vision Calendar: this framework diagram places the coffee activities calendar that is normally part of GAPs in the context of progress towards a happy family happy coffee vision from the current state of production. It combines activity planning together with incomes and cash flows from coffee and other economic activities so that farmers can plan in advance how they and others in their households can meet the work demands and costs for coffee production. Gender and youth issues are mainstreamed together with discussion of environmental opportunities and challenges. This uses a pre-printed A3 sheet for a wall calendar and is the main training material given to farmers. It is given to farmers after they have completed Tool 4 to and progressively added to as part of the technical GAPs sessions.

Happy Family Happy Coffee, Ecom and CMS Tanzania

Grace Murungi and Charles Kainkwa were the Tanzanian lead team working with Linda Mayoux for development of the Happy Family Happy Coffee methodology in Tanzania, together with champions in Vuasu Cooperative Union in Kilimanjaro District and champions from staff and farmer cooperatives of Tutunze and CMS in Mbinga District. This was part of the Coffee Partnership of Tanzania initiative implemented by Hivos, co-funded by Hivos and Tutunze Kahawa Ltd and Armajaro, with global consultant Linda Mayoux and Hivos project manager, Catherine van der Wees.

Happy Family Happy Coffee Kenya, SMS: video Highlights

The Happy Family Happy Coffee Catalyst workshop 2014 was implemented by ECOM partner, Sustainable Management Services, Embu, Kenya. It was facilitated by LInda Mayoux with SMS sustainability manager Peter Ndambiri and co-facilitated by the Hivos Tanzania team and champions.

In the videos here coffee farmers present:

  • Songs and dances around change leadership and gender balance.
  • Gender Balance Challenge Action Trees: All 20 men committed to reducing adultery and alcoholism, joint property agreements with wives, joint decision-making and sharing money from coffee and other crops – and for those who were later followed up significant changes had taken place.

Let Us Start: Leadership Song and Dance

Gender Balance Song

We Are the Champions: Leadership Song and Dance

Men’s Gender Balance Challenge Action Trees 1: Savings

Men’s Gender Balance Challenge Action Trees 2:

Men’s Gender Balance Challenge Action Trees 3: Cattle

Men’s Gender Balance Challenge Action Trees 4: Coffee Money

Men’s Gender Balance Challenge Action Trees 5: Adultery


The Happy Family Happy Coffee Curriculum in Indonesia is implemented by IndoCafCo (ICC/Ecom) and Hivos, integrates Gender (and Generational) Action Learning for Sustainability methodology with Good Agricultural Practices training. It is part of Phase 2 of the Coffee Made Happy (Semendo Phase 2) April 2016 to April 2019 funded by IDH the Sustainable Trade Initiative and Jacob Douwe Egbert (JDE).

The Curriculum was developed by Linda Mayoux with Intan Darmawati, Mashadi Mulyo, Catherine van der Wees and farmers and staff of ICC in Semendo. It introduces a more specific focus on gender and youth to its engagement of 5,000 coffee family farming households (10,000 individual beneficiaries) in Semendo, South Sumatra.

For more details, updates and materials in Bahasa see the Hivos project blog: https://coffeeandgenderaction.wordpress.com