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Democratic Republic of Congo

Equal Origins launched work in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo with 10 coffee and cocoa farmer cooperatives in North and South Kivu. The project was implemented in collaboration with USAID’s Strengthening the Value Chain project, and UKAID’s Elan RDC project.

As a result of the restrictions on mobility due to COVID-19, we created a Virtual Learning Series of five video modules that support farmer organizations on how to become more gender equitable along five key criteria:

– Policies and Strategies

– Participation and Representation

– Leadership and Decision-Making

– Gender Equitable Attitudes

– Equitable and inclusive Services

Each module is made up of 4 or 5 short videos that are disseminated via WhatsApp. The local SVC and Elan teams provide coaching to the producer organizations to ensure they understand the issues and the opportunity. The Virtual Learning Series will soon be available on our Learning Portal in several languages.

Each organization will receive an Equal Origins Gender Equity Scorecard that will highlight their achievements and identify gaps for improvement. A key deliverable of the project is for each organization to build a top-line action plan to address the gaps identified. Coffee and cacao buyers will be encouraged to acknowledge the efforts of the groups through favorable contracts and potential investments in supporting them to take further action.

Find out more about how to get involved.

Home page photo credit to Lucy O’Bryan Photography ( Photo credit for photos below (ELAN DRC).


In 2018 and 2019 Equal Origins collaborated with the Coffee Quality Institute and USAID to deliver a series of household workshops in Western Ethiopia. Project activities are currently on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions.


In collaboration with UTZ’ Sector Partnership program, SOPPEXCCA, and PRODECOOP, Equal Origins implemented a pilot project to advance gender equity at three levels of the coffee value chain: farmer households, producer organizations and end market actors. Project activities started in 2017 and ran through 2019, with a break during 2018 due to the political uprisings.

Interested in getting involved with our work on the ground?

Equal Origins seeks collaboration and investments from industry partners, development organizations, researchers, and donors to fund and implement these pilot projects:

  • Coffee companies who will lead a pilot initiative within their supply chain operations. This requires investment of a company’s own resources to fund part of the pilot.
  • Bilateral, multilateral, or private donors who will supplement industry investments in these pilots, and fund technical assistance and research costs of pilot projects.
  • Other industry and development partners including certifiers and development organizations to provide technical assistance, research, and implementation guidance.

As part of our commitment to Pilot Project Partners, Equal Origins will work with all participating industry members to collaboratively design, manage, implement, and evaluate the impact of all pilot initiatives. In addition to directly funding on-the-ground activities with producer communities, a portion of funds for the pilot projects will be set aside to ensure proper management and coordination. PGE will highlight industry partners’ participation through social media and at public events and presentations.

Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.

— Kofi Annan