Core Associates

Maria "Maris" Gavino

Ms. Maris Gavino is a gender and international agriculture expert and currently represents WOCAN at the FAO, WFP and IFAD in Rome. She served the Philippine government from 1977 to 2007, initially as an international agricultural analyst and later as the Alternate Permanent Representative to the FAO, WFP and IFAD. Her thesis work was on "Women in Development" and professionally, women's issues are at the top of her agenda. Maris has led many efforts to sensitize the leading UN Agriculture agencies to gender issues.

Darilyn Syiem

Darilyn lives in Shillong, India, has a Master's Degree in English Literature but has dedicated over a decade of her life, working on gender issues as a trainer, gender sensitizing institutions as well as advocating for gender mainstreaming in policies and programs. She is currently a consultant for the North East Network, a leading women's organization in North East India and a member of the Consortia Advisory Committee to the National Agricultural Innovation Project in India.

Noel Sangole

Noel is a rural development specialist with over 10 years experience and key competencies in rural livelihood analysis, food security and NRM, and gender analysis. He worked with the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) for 6 years as Research Assistant and Regional Research Fellow, where he identified gender issues to be addressed in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe under the Innovation Platforms on Conservation Agriculture in Southern Africa. 

Sikhalazo Dube

Sikhalazo is a Program Manager for Rangelands Management at the ARC-API. Prior to joining the ARC he was a Senior Scientist (Ecosystems Modeling) at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria in the Global Change and Ecosystems Dynamics Research Group. His research, student supervision and policy inputs focus on rangelands ecology: the dialogue between science, resources users and policy formulators, development of decision support tools and mapping of resources in light of a changing world.

Cécile Ndjebet

Cécile has a Master’s degree in Social Forestry from the Wageningen Agricultural University in The Netherlands. Cécile is a highly experienced Development Agent who mainly devoted her work on mainstreaming gender into development: training, advocacy, scoping, planning and evaluation. Cécile has been a Trainer of Trainers for more than 15 years. She is also the National Coordinator of a national NGO in Cameroon and the President of a women’s network composed of 14 African country members engaged in forestry , REFACOF.

Somsouk Sananikone

Somsouk Sananikone is a freelance consultant on gender and domestic violence. Recently, he worked as a consultant with the UNWOMEN in Laos on gender-based violence legislative review. He is currently pursuing a PhD study at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science, Khon Kaen University, Thailand focusing on masculinity and violence against women. He has been working on issues related to social and rural development in Laos since the late 1990s.

Barun Gurung

Barun Gurung  as the coordinator of the Consultative Group on International Agriculture's (CGIAR) system wide program on Participatory Research and Gender Analysis, focused on trying to better understand how learning and change can be affected for mainstreaming gender-sensitive participatory approaches within research institutions that work on agriculture and natural resource management. As part of the CGIAR initiative, he led a team of researchers and trainers to provide capacity development for organizational research and implementation of change strategies in selected CGIAR centers, eight National Agricultural Research Centers of East and Central Africa, and five agriculture and natural resource management organizations in the Eastern Himalayan Region and Laos. 

Colletah Chitsike

Colletah Chitsike is a trainer and capacity building specialist with her Masters Degree in Adult Education from the University of Zimbabwe. She has extensive experience in Community Development, Organizational Development and Gender Training for Change. She has previously worked with the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, OXFAM GB and NOVIB in Southern Africa and CIAT (Center for International Tropical Agriculture) as the Capacity Building and Learning Management Specialist in Africa.

Meena Bilgi

Meena Bilgi is a gender, water and agriculture specialist with more than two decades of experience internationally, with a special focus on India. Meena has contributed to the design of many country-level programs for international donor funded projects including the WOCAN/IFAD Rural Women's Leadership Programme. As an active member of WOCAN, she has represented WOCAN in various international conferences. 

Sephora Masia

Sefora has a PhD in Political Science with majors in Rural Development and Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario and studied Gender and Development at Carleton University in Canada. She further studied gender analysis and gender mainstreaming while working for Canadian International Development Agency. Sefora has worked in the agriculture sector for over 10 years and is now a management consultant.