Wednesday, 20 April 2016

IRRI Bangladesh celebrates the Bengali New Year


The IRRI Bangladesh office (IBO) in Dhaka celebrated the Bengali New Year on 13 April.  Also known as Noboborsho 1423, the event has been truly exciting for the staff at IBO as they received briefings on the forthcoming relocation of the office to its new headquarters in Banani and the new projects and other initiatives that will be launched during the year.

Most of the staff members came wearing red and white, which are the traditional colors of the Bengali New Year, and shared a potluck lunch.


HRS Workplace Communications Article No. 2016-014

Defining Leadership course held at HQ






IRRI conducted the Defining Leadership course at its headquarters on 11-13 April. It was facilitated by Chris Dixon and Nicola Shearer of Growing Edge  Hong Kong

Nine scientists based at IRRI headquarters and in country offices participated in the program including Bjoern Ole Sander (CESD), Buyung Hadi (CESD), Malikarjuna Swamy (PB), Ricardo Oliva (CESD), Romeo Labios (CESD), Rosa Paula Cuevas (PB), Setegn Gebeyehu Endire (CESD), Tobias Kretzschmar (CESD), and Valerien Pede (SSD).

Building on the success of the Preparing for Leadership course for Post-Doctoral Fellows completed in March 2016, Defining Leadership is the second course to be implemented under IRRI’s Leadership Development Architecture Program. It consists of three modules: 1) Leading self, 2) Leading research teams, and 3) Leading research business. The program is scheduled to run until the end of 2016.             

HRS Workplace Communications Article No. 2016-016

Monday, 18 April 2016

More employees are joining, moving around and advancing

New Employees On-Board

Gururaj Guddappa  joined as Manager at the office of the Deputy Director General for Research (DDGR) on 04 April 2016. 

Toshiyuki Takai joined as Senior Scientist I at the Plant Breeding (PB) department on 01 April 2016.


Jomar Punzalan joined as Assistant Scientist at the Genetics and Biotechnology (GB) department  office on 01 April 2016.


For future Workplace and Advisory Services programs, please contact irrihrs-wras@irri.org or call ext 2363 / 2935.   HRS Workplace Communications Article No. 2016-015

Friday, 8 April 2016

IRRI Myanmar office celebrated the Myanmar’s Thingyan Water Festival

The IRRI Myanmar office celebrated the Myanmar Thingyan Water Festival on April 6, 2016.  Colleagues at the IRRI Myanmar office observed the event from 5PM to 7PM with sumptuous food, dance and playful pouring of water at each other.

The festival takes place toward the end of the hot, dry season and ushers in the Myanmar New Year. This festival is also celebrated in Southeast Asian countries such as Myanmar,   Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand as well as Yunnan, China, Songkran in Thailand and Laos, Chaul Chnam Thmey in Cambodia.

The festival lasts three or five days in April every year. It is called the 'Water Festival' by Westerners because people splash / pour water at one another as part of the cleansing ritual to welcome the New Year. Traditionally people gently sprinkled water on one another as a sign of respect, but as the New Year falls during the hottest month in South East Asia, many people end up dousing strangers and passersby in vehicles in boisterous celebration. 

While standing on bamboo stages erected along the streets, people splash water on passersby. Powerful water pipes douse people driving by in jeeps and trucks.

Children use water pistols to drench their friends, relatives, and anyone else in range - only monks, pregnant women and the elderly are safe.

The act of pouring water is also a show of blessings and good wishes. The water symbolizes the washing away of the previous year's bad luck and sins. It is believed that on this Water Festival, everything old must be thrown away, or it will bring the owner bad luck.

On New Year's Day (normally on April 17) itself all the water-throwing ends. This day is celebrated by releasing captive fish and birds as acts of merit, and special feasts are held for monks.


HRS Workplace Communications Article No. 2016-013

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

"More employees are joining, moving around and advancing"

New Employees On-Board


Jacqueline D'Arros Hughes  joined as IRRI's new Deputy Director General Research (DDGR) on 30 March 2016. 

Faisal Washiq joined the IRRI Bangladesh office as Specialist on 31 March 2016.


Rolando Agustin joined as Senior Assistant at the Safety and Security Services (SSS) office  on 01 April 2016.

Mitzi Alodia Asih joined as Specialist at the Plant Breeding (PB) unit on 04 April 2016.

Eunice Gasmin joined the Social Sciences Division (SSD) as Assistant Manager on 04 April 2016.


For future Workplace and Advisory Services programs, please contact irrihrs-wras@irri.org or call ext 2363 / 2935.   
HRS Workplace Communications Article No. 2016-012

IRRI India celebrates International Women's Day 2016

The International Rice Research (IRRI) India offices celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March to commemorate the contributions and achievements of women in institute’s workforce.

In the IRRI India office in New Delhi, Ms.Rashmi Dhamija, the office’s new corporate service manager, opened the event with an overview of the staff gender equity within IRRI as whole and IRRI India. The IRRI India office has improved in hiring more females for senior positions, but there is still room for improvement in including more females to the general workforce, according to Dhamjia.

In his motivational speech, Mr.Vimlendu Jha, founder and CEO of Green the Gap and executive director of Swechha and Swechha (We for Yamuna), encouraged the staff members to move beyond general gender stereotypes and appreciate the increasing contributions of female workers. The event also featured messages from IRRI Director General Matthew Morell and Dr. Sudhanshu Singh, a scientist at IRRI India. Dr. Sujata Gaunguly, IRRI India gender specialist, provided an update on IRRI’s gender activities in India.

The event was marked by wearing purple clothes (the official color of IWD) and a team lunch. Refrigerator magnets were given to all staff as tokens of remembrance.

At Hyderabad, the IRRI South Asia hub staff jointly celebrated IWD with International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics.

Female staff members (dressed in red in above photo) shared their views on the importance of women in all arena of work, especially, in the field of agricultural research. The male colleagues were of the opinion that women should be given more opportunities and encouraged them to excel in their fields. The celebrations ended with sumptuous refreshments.


On the occasion of IWD, a felicitation was organized in Bihar recognizing the contribution of Ms. Sugandha Munshi, a gender specialist at the IRRI India office in Bihar. She has been working for women empowerment for the past 6 years in the state. The event was inaugurated by Honorable Speaker of Bihar Legislative Council Shri Awadesh Kumar Singh and the felicitation was given by Padma Shri Awardee, Dr. Usha Kiran Khan, a renowned Hindi-Mathil writer and academic historian.


HRS Workplace Communications Article No. 2016-011