The Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Reform

The Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Reform

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Where is the CGIAR headed, and what do they mean by reform?

Increasingly, achieving global food security is being recognized as the global challenge for the future. The overall stagnation of food production over the last decade, in parallel with rising volatility of food prices, have all increased attention to the issue. The CGIAR – the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research – comprised of 15 international research centers, is among the leaders in finding solutions to sustainably address these global challenges. How are they doing it?


Over the last three years, the CGIAR has been undergoing a reform process that, although still very much in progress, will condense their more than 3000 research programs. The aim is to provide better metrics, finance activities based on results, work towards more open Partnerships and work more closely with Partners, and implement an improved mechanism for priority setting. The latter priority setting mechanism will be reinforced by an independent evaluation arrangement, a multi-donor trust fund managed by the World Bank, and the establishment of an Independent Science and Partnership Council to provide strategic direction and guidance to the CGIAR Research Programmes.


The Consortium of CGIAR


Recently, this reform process reached its first of many major milestones, when all 15 associated research institutes signed a constitution to be guided by the Consortium of CGIAR, a single organization that represents all of the research centers with three strategic objectives:


1.      Food for people, including the consumption of nutritious foods

2.      Environment for people

3.      Policy for people


Under these objectives, the reform process has included and moved forward with the development of a Strategic Results Framework (SRF) that is founded on the four following system outcomes framing CGIAR Research Programs:


  1. Reducing rural poverty
  2. Improving food security
  3. Improving nutrition and health
  4. Sustainably managing natural resources



What are the next steps in the reform process?


In October 2012, the active process of reform will continue at the CGIAR-supported Global Conference on Agriculture and Rural Development (GCARD) 2 meeting, where the Consortium of CGIAR will present progress on three key issues. These include, firstly, an action plan based on the development-impact-oriented Strategic Results Framework (SRF); secondly, the design of a performance management system; and lastly, the presentation of current CGIAR research program outcomes, as of their current status.


A video recording of the presentation by Frank Rijsberman, CEO of the CGIAR, and leader of the reform process, is available from IFPRI's event page.

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