CGMap Ongoing Research in Africa: Empowering, Informative, Exciting

One year since the first prototype map previewed in the Collective Action News, we are pleased to report that the revamped CGMap Ongoing Research in Africa ( has been officially released.

The CGIAR is making a concerted effort to coordinate many of its activities with the aim of collectively responding to common challenges. There were concerns that, for a number of years, CG Centers had continued to work independently, with research outputs and outcomes strewn across different media. The initiative titled “CGMap Ongoing Research in Africa,” seeks to provide a systematic way of collating, sharing and disseminating outputs and outcomes from the 15 CGIAR centers.

The Ongoing Research Map has seen the inclusion of features that will revolutionise the way users search for agricultural information. These new features include a more specific and targeted search tool, the ability to add links to a project’s output, relevant documents and Websites and presents a more robust geographical user interface. The map has an interactive information management system for contributors, where project managers have complete ownership over their information. Most of these innovations are a result of monitoring the map’s use, feedback from users and an evaluation survey carried out in October 2009.

A key ingredient of the map is the network of scientists and contributors. By establishing relationships with colleagues who conduct research, it has been possible to obtain a very high coverage of ongoing research particularly in Eastern and Southern Africa, with 95% of projects in the region already included in the map. Additionally, since the system does not have geographical limits, data are being collected for other areas outside the African continent. This makes the Ongoing Research Map easily extensible for the creation of additional focused maps. Contributors can also share projects and invite colleagues to become contributors, thus encouraging the feeling of ownership of their information.

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