Towards a Strategy and Results Framework for the CGIAR

The Alliance of CGIAR Centers reached an important milestone at its workshop 9-12 February 2010 in Rome. Partners from the Global Forum for Agriculture Research and the CGIAR Science Council joined the Alliance in making significant progress in the development of the Strategy and Results Framework and the portfolio of Mega Programs.

Immediately prior to the workshop a team of Deputy Directors for Research from the Centers met and advanced the thinking on better defining the impacts and outcomes in the Strategic Framework, the Mega Program portfolio as an organization framework and components of these that would form the operational units. As pointed out by John McDermott from the International Livestock Research Institute, “the Strategy will address the big issues – food security, poverty and environmental sustainability – and this can be framed in a number of different ways. There is no unique portfolio of Mega Programs to address these issues. As we put together the evidence we can move forward in refining the details of what we work on within the portfolio. The major reform will be in how we work together with other research and development partners to contribute to agreed outcomes and impacts”

The outcome of the work of the Deputy Directors was valuable input to the workshop discussions held among the Alliance and partners. Broad themes were discussed and important feedback came from the partners, especially authors of a soon-to-be released global synthesis of the regional consultation process conducted by the Global Forum for Agricultural Research for the March 28-31 Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD). A commonly agreed message arising from the discussions with partners at the workshop was that the work of the international research sector needs to be imbedded in the wider frame of partnership and action to achieve development impact.

Acknowledging that there is still work to be done to improve the Strategy and the portfolio of Mega Programs, progress on research component conceptualization has been made. The workshop resulted in bringing alignment around the regional priorities as synthesized by the global authors as well as the GFAR and Alliance strategic planning process.

A major outcome of the workshop was a clear and agreed-upon roadmap for the continuing development of the Strategy and the portfolio of Mega Programs. This includes a significant amount of work leading up to the GCARD with the intent to have substantive discussions on the Alliance’s thinking within the wider GCARD community.
At the Fund Council meeting in Brussels, the Fund Council members themselves had the opportunity to review the development in the Strategy and Results Framework and MP portfolio. The Fund Council expressed the need to move fast in order to maintain the momentum of donor support and encouraged the Alliance to advance the work on the Strategy and Mega Programs quickly, including finalizing the Strategy by May, and moving much farther forward on the development of the Mega Programs including identifying a few that could be fast-tracked for financing decisions by the end of 2010.

The Alliance has taken up the challenge, and with the endorsement of the Consortium Board, have developed a draft Strategy and Results Framework for the CGIAR  that includes a description of eight Mega Programs, ready for discussion with partners at GCARD (see attached). GCARD is an important step in the process and the Alliance recognizes that donor and partner engagement and commitment will be crucial. It is intended that GCARD will provide the perspectives needed from partners in order to define the research programmes in a concrete manner, and to set out the quantified impact pathways that will enable them to be directed and managed effectively.
The input from partners and donors on the SRF and MP portfolio will inform the final SRF that goes to the Consortium Board for approval at their May meeting (23-25 May 2010). The Alliance will have complete descriptions of all the MPs ready for the Board at this time as well as advanced proposals on the three Mega Programs identified by the Consortium Board for fast tracking.  
 
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f.chandler@cgxchange.org,
Mar 20, 2010, 8:17 PM
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