• Designing effective leadership capacity development programs for women agricultural researchers in Africa

    Author: Pauline Bomett and Anne Wangalachi

    African women scientists face complex workplace and socio-cultural barriers in their quest to advance to top positions. The African Women in Agricultural Research and Development program executed a tailored leadership development program to empower women scientists through enhancing their knowledge of organizational contexts, skills in negotiation, collaboration, conflict management, and leadership. This study presents a mixed-methods evaluation of the effectiveness of the program. Results from the analysis show that the program is particularly effective in improving the capacity of participants to present themselves confidently and professionally, to access and leverage networks effectively and to mentor other scientists. Eighty-four percent of fellows had triangulated evidence (from qualitative and quantitative data) of change in their leadership capacity. The program played a central role in effecting these changes for 81 percent of fellows. The article concludes with recommendations for the design of leadership development programs for female scientists.

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