||Welcome to all readers of this quarterly bulletin of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)'s Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Cropping Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA) project. The project attempts to develop sound, sustainable intensification options to deal with focused solutions to poor productivity, lack of market access, environmental degradation and the effects of climate change on vulnerable rural populations. SIMLESA has successfully completed its first phase with good agricultural practices that helped improve the food and nutritional security of smallholder farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa. Funded by the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR), the project was launched in 2010 to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Africa through productive and sustainable maize–legume (conservation-agriculture-based) systems and risk management strategies that conserve natural resources. It is managed by CIMMYT and implemented by national agricultural research systems (NARS) in five partner countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. With lessons learned from these core countries, the project is also implemented in three spillover countries (Botswana, Rwanda, and Uganda). The second phase of SIMLESA (2014–2018), a variation of Phase 1, was launched in July last year. Over the next four years SIMLESA will continue to work with the public and private sectors and with new science partners such as the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), d the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). These partnerships are imperative for SIMLESA to achieve its objective to improve the productivity of maize and legumes for better food security in the focal countries. As reported elsewhere in this bulletin, over the last four years, SIMLESA has contributed to the development of sustainable intensification options to improve production. The focus on maize and legumes is because maize is a staple crop while legumes are a source of protein for the majority of the rural people. Both crops are a source of income for the small-scale farmers. SIMLESA has also embarked upon the application of Innovation Platforms (IPs) to promote and scale out sustainable intensification options which will be further enhanced in the current phase: scaling out is a major objective with a commensurate substantial resource allocation to relevant partners. Innovation Platforms are fora for information and knowledge sharing on agricultural development. In this issue, we are happy to share with you information on our achievements in various areas of our work. During the period under review, we organized various capacity-building activities as well as planning workshops. As a result, we are particularly excited to publish this bulletin after our regional review, planning and Program Steering Committee meetings and SIMLESA 11 launch and planning meetings in Ethiopia (for Ethiopia), Malawi (for Malawi and Mozambique), and Tanzania (Kenya and Tanzania) as well as highlights on international conferences at which SIMLESA has been represented by both NARS, CIMMYT and other partners. The planning meetings focused on the possible strategies and mechanisms in upscaling SIMLESA work in the second phase. We also highlight our field activities. Our feature article focuses on the role of gender in agricultural development, since one of SIMLESA's key thrusts is mainstreaming gender in its work.