The Alliance of the CGIAR Centers was created in 2006 to facilitate coherent and systematic collective action among Centers and their partners to more effectively and efficiently fulfill the CGIAR mission. The Alliance is a mechanism by which Centers exercise joint intellectual leadership of international agricultural research for sustainable development, design and launch new programmatic collective activities, implement relevant shared services, and speak with one voice.
One such mechanism for collective action is Collective Action in Africa, an initiative of the Alliance. With these plans the Alliance has recognized the importance of collective action to serve the interests of regional development goals, while continuing to deliver international and regional public goods from research.
The CGIAR’s Collective Action is based upon the shared interest, among the Alliance Centres and partners to increase the impact of agricultural research in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The agreed overriding goal of the Collective Action is to foster the emergence of a coordinated, cohesive program of agricultural research that produces clear economies of scale and scope at low transaction costs, in order to successfully address regional priorities. These priorities range from complex problems of stagnant or falling agricultural productivity, poverty,to impacts of climate variation.
The Collective Action in eastern and southern Africa, is the evolving, collaborative program of a network of the fifteen CGIAR Centers with Sub-Regional Organizations, FARA, regional networks and voluntary partners primarily from national agricultural institutes and universities that aims to add value to ongoing agricultural research in eastern and southern Africa. This collaborative program is expressed in four Flagship Programs that respond to the needs of the region for international and regional public good knowledge, information and technology that lies in the comparative advantage of the CGIAR. Through networking, it achieves the economies of scale and scope of an innovation cluster. The network is supported by a facilitating hub unit with resources coming from focal persons distributed around the region in their home institutions.