Archive for category Ongoing Research

From Informing To Engaging: What Users of CGIAR Research Information Are Asking

Ask A Question Dialogue Box

As you know, the CGIAR Research Map ( provides information about research projects that are carried out by the 15 CGIAR Centers in order to enhance information and knowledge sharing while significantly reducing the time taken to search for project information across the various Centers.

Through the ‘Ask a Question’ dialogue box found at the bottom of each project fact sheet in the Research Map, the Map has moved beyond informing users of agriculture information of what is happening ‘where, when and with whom’ to engaging them.  Users can send messages to project scientists and make comments about the research projects through this dialogue box.

This new feature in the Research Map, designed to increase the level of interaction and collaboration among users of agriculture information has seen over 50 inquiries being sent to various projects. From technical support, project reports, internship opportunities for students, various scientists details requests to conversations leading to developing new partnerships, the ‘Ask a Question’ box has vast advantages and shows the enthusiasm of CGIAR scientists to share their information and knowledge, collaborate and even learn from others partners.

Below are some of the inquiries and the various responses by the scientists

Project Title:Promotion of Exports of Organic Bananas in Ethiopia and Sudan (Bioversity) 
Qn: We are a tissue culture firm based in India, and have been approached several times from private buyers in Sudan for tissue culture banana varieties of elite clones such as Grand Naine and Robista. We would like information on the banana market, import regulation and the growers in Sudan. Is it possible for CGIAR to share information with us?

Ans: The project in Sudan is being implemented with the Horticulture Sector Administration of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Khartoum and I am copying this reply to the National Project Manager, Dr. Salah Bakhiet ( Please follow up with him for more specific information, but I can inform you that this project has previously purchased tissue culture plants from Du Roi in South Africa and the import process is relatively straightforward. The local market is dominated by Dwarf Cavendish, produced on relatively small holdings, by traditional means, but there are a number of investors interested in expanding banana plantations for export, so I think there is growing demand for good quality planting material. I understand that there are also some start-up tissue culture labs in the country looking to produce seedlings; it is possible that they would be interested in collaborating with you.

Michael Bolton (

Read the rest of this entry »


, ,

Leave a comment

What Kind of CGIAR Research is in Northern Africa?

International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, ICARDA recently updated the Research Map with 52 research projects in the Ongoing Research. ICARDA is one of the 15 CG Centers whose main areas of research is North Africa (CWANA) region, with research in countries like Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco as well as areas in Central and West Asia including Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and others.

ICARDA has a global mandate for the improvement of barley, lentil and faba bean and serves the non-tropical dry areas for the improvement of on-farm water-use efficiency, rangeland and small-ruminant production (

Among the research areas that the projects work in include, Agrobiodivesity, Water Management, Policy & Institutions, Crops, Climate Change and others. Search projects by ICARDA from the custom map below to find out more information about this Centers work and also what other CGIAR Centers are doing in similar regions in the Ongoing Research.


Leave a comment

Mapping Agriculture Research Projects: The Redesigned CGIAR Ongoing Research Now Online

CGIAR Ongoing Research ( has been redesigned. The Research Map now has over 400 on-going research projects of the CGIAR and makes research information accessible, facilitates information and knowledge sharing and collaboration.

The redesign has been mainly influenced by feedback from users, who are at the centre of the Map, as well as by our own quality improvement goals. The Research Map now includes features that encourage re-usability and better searchability of information. Among the features that you will find in the map: RSS feeds, Embed maps, downloadable project reports, Ongoing Research News, “Ask a question” dialogue box for more interaction with the people responsible for the projects.

From covering research work in various African countries, the map has now been expanded to include projects in other regions where there is a CG presence: information from these areas is in the process of being updated.

5 key ways of using the map

1.   Map projects by research area, lead Center or time
Build a map with projects in a given research area ranging from climate change, market access to crops and livestock or led by a specific Center. Fine tune your search to cover a specific time period. Click the ‘View as list’ option and zero in on the projects in a specific country.

2.     Find project details
Informative yet compact factsheets provide you with the names of people involved in the various projects: principal investigator, scientists and partners. Related links to Medium Term Plan projects in CGMap and other online information enable you to learn more about the projects.

3.     Want to know more? Click, search and interact
The map’s clickable keywords enable you to access a list of related projects. Interested in more projects on a particular field or carried out by a specific scientist? Click on the linked words in the factsheet to view similar information in the Ongoing Research projects. Interested in more details? Use the ‘Ask a question’ box on the project factsheet.

4.     Reuse information
Customize and build a map for your own website or other application that reflects your selection and choice of information, simply by using the HTML code generated via the ‘Embed this Map’ option. Download and save in excel project factsheets for further analysis and review. The RSS feeds can be used to import and aggregate project information in Intranets, systems and websites.

5.     Always stay updated
Subscribe today to the RSS feeds and keep up to date with the latest research work.

For more information review the Frequently Asked Questions

To contribute project information and any other feedback send a message to Evelyn Katingi (

For technical support, contact

CGIAR Ongoing Research is the result of a collaborative effort between Collective Action in Eastern and Southern Africa and the ICT-KM Program of the CGIAR.

, ,

Leave a comment

The premier focal persons workshop for the CGIAR Ongoing Research Map

The CGIAR Ongoing Research in Africa Map whose beta version was re-launched in February 2010 has recorded tremendous growth in the number of projects entered as well as the number of users. Currently there are 387 projects registered in the map.

A lot of feedback on the need to reuse the information and more interactive features in the map has been received over the months and this led the entire team which is the CG Collective Action Program in Eastern and Southern Africa and the ICT-KM Program of the CGIAR to review the system and later decided to migrate the website’s content and functionality to a Content Management System (CMS) from the current development framework that will see the incorporation of features that will facilitate the reuse of information and increase sustainability in terms of system maintenance and future extension as well as new look and features on the front end.

Why the focal persons meeting?
One of the key attributes of a successful project is the participation from stakeholders in the planning and development of the project, the Ongoing Research Map is built and designed for the users whose need are at the forefront of our development. To this end, we decided to hold a workshop for the various Ongoing Research Map focal persons in the CG Centers who contribute project information from their various CG Centers and who work closely with scientists in their respective Centers to make sure that the information in the map is accurate and up-to-date.

In the collective spirit of learning and sharing knowledge, the AgKnowledge Africa Share Fair at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Ethiopia held on 18-21 October, couldn’t provide a better set up for the two days workshop.

The broad aims of this meeting was to incorporate this particular group of end users at the development phase for a critical user review, evaluation and training of the system, to engage in participative planning in matters related to research information in our centers and of course meet face to face for the first time after months and years of online interaction!

What did we achieve?
After a successful two days workshop we were able to collect a broad range of feedback, both positive and negative, on the system being implemented which will play an important role in the current development phase to ensure that the new look Ongoing Research Map is user friendly, informative and makes browsing and updating research project information the coolest thing to do! The entire team was better equipped with the necessary skills and strength to facilitate information and knowledge dissemination, bonds were strengthened and new ones developed, great ideas on how to plan for the launch generated and overall plenty of learning from one another and knowledge sharing.

The passionate team behind the Map who were present for the workshop.

Ongoing Research Map Workshop Participants

From left to right, standing: Evelyn Katingi (CGIAR Collective Action), Katarlah Taylor (IFPRI), Tiberious Brian Etyang (CIAT), Wubelem Dejene (ILRI), Lucy Gacheru (ILRI), Tezira Lore (ILRI), Anne Munene (ICRAF), Chanchala Kariyawasam (IWMI), Sarah Kibera (CIMMYT)

Seated: Antonella Pastore (CGIAR ICT-KM), Li Ping Ng (CIFOR)

Read related post by Antonella Pastore here and stay tuned for the new look CGIAR Ongoing Research Map!

, ,

Leave a comment

Feedback from updates on CGMap Ongoing Research in Africa

One of the challenges in the Ongoing Research map has been convincing scientists on the advantages of updating and sharing information in the map. I recently sent out an update on: awareness creation, database growth, information contribution as well as future development plans, here is some of the feedback received from the map contributors;

• This is very nice indeed. I had not visited the site for some time and am surprised how much it has evolved. Henry Neufeldt, ICRAF

• Just checked out the site and it really is a wealth of information well put together. Andrew Mude, ILRI

• Congratulation for the great job you are doing and for your contribution in bringing together so many different experiences. Carlo Fadda, Bioversity

• Thanks very much. This is useful. James Sackey, IFPRI

• It is indeed a relevant site and well organized with huge information. Negussie Zenna, AfricaRice

• The CG requests more and more work from each project leader but do not provide funds to cover the time necessary to deliver these requests. Christophe Bene, WorldFish

• Thanks for the update. Is it possible to get information on the projects working on ag and health? Delia Grace, ILRI

• Thanks for the update which I find important in keeping me informed on the dynamics of the CGIAR.  Jeremias Mowo, ICRAF

While the challenge still exists, there has been positive feedback on the usability and functions of the map including specific information being sought for.

To go to the Map click here

To read more of the database growth click here

Leave a comment

Share Fair on Networking Tools – 5th Agriculture Science Week and Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) General Assembly

The share fair on networking tools was a side event organised by task force of RAILS and DONATA at Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso the venue for this year’s Agriculture Science Week where I presented CGMap Ongoing Research in Africa ( on Monday 19th in a session on Tools to facilitate synergies among partners of similar interests.

The objectives of this meeting were

  1. Learn and share co-creation and co-learning concepts to build and strengthen knowledge networks
  2. Provide space for FARA’s national partners to share networking tools used to coordinate, facilitate or manage country platforms.
  3. Listen and learn from international initiatives on how they empower local communities across Africa
  4. Understand how research knowledge can compliment local, regional and continental initiatives

Why CGMap Ongoing Research in Africa?

1. big numbers of disparate information management systems in the CG

2. little or no integration or coordination

3. clearer picture of the research in the region

4. Reduce unhealthy competition

5. Reduce redundancy and overlap

Ongoing Research in Africa has information on the projects done by the CGIAR Centers in Africa, with details including: who the project scientists are, what the project time line is, who are the project partners and external links to related websites and documents among others. Currently there are 309 projects listed in the map representing an average 86% of the information from all CGIAR Centers.

Some of the experiences in developing the tool

  • Difficulties in changing working cultures
  • Lack of tangible incentives to facilitate information and knowledge sharing
  • Diverse information need, thus the importance to focus on a particular area where there is an information gap to be filled
  • Agriculture information and knowledge sharing has not yet been widely adopted and put into practice

The presentation elicited a lot of positive interest and comments from the audience with many complementing the CG for this effort. There was a call for us to extend the lessons and experiences learnt to our partners in NARs and other development organizations.

Outcomes from the interactive discussion also include the below set of issues that need to be addressed to facilitate information sharing of the innovation complied by Krishan Beenick of SADC

  1. Documentation of the process of development of the innovative tool as a learning resource
  2. Description of the approach, methods, standards and protocols used enable evaluation by others prior to adoption
  3. Availability of the tool as a generic approach for use by other stakeholders (Creative Commons)
  4. Possible linkages of the innovative tool to other tools with similar concepts and purpose
  5. Offering a platform for further discussion on potential refinements and applications of the innovative use of technology

With this as a starting point, we intend to monitor the use and demands of the resource while extending the positive aspects of the map to our partners with the hope of having a linked information system of agriculture research that is done in Africa not only by the CGIAR but by all research partners!

Click here for CGIAR post of FARA;

ICT-KM Blog entry;

, ,

Leave a comment

The story behind CGMap and Ongoing Research in Africa

While the number of projects being added to Ongoing Research in Africa map have been soaring over the last few months, with over 300 projects from most of  the 15 CGIAR Centers now listed and more being added, as well as more and more people visiting the site for numerous reasons, this article aims at improving the clarity on what the map is all about. Being a collaborative effort between the ICT-KM Program of the CGIAR and CGIAR Collective Action in East and Southern Africa, Ongoing Research in Africa map shows one in a rich geographical interface which projects are carried out by the CGIAR in Africa, who is carrying out the projects, together with other key project information.

In her two-part post series Antonella Pastore, the CGXchange project coordinator of ICT-KM looks deeply at the complementarity and difference of CGMap and CGMap Ongoing Research in Africa, the two information management systems supported by ICT-KM.

Just a tip of what she says in her blog articles;

The MTP project (information in CGMaP) is used by the CGIAR to have the research agenda approved and funded by bodies who were in charge of approving plans and budgets. Ongoing Research in Africa map is a place and a way to show what the CGIAR is doing.

While CGMap’s medium-term research plans provide the official umbrellas under which projects in the field are going to be implemented, Ongoing Research contains information about the research projects through which these plans are being implemented. CGMap focuses on Center and Program research plans over three-year terms, and Ongoing Research focuses on who is doing what now, where and with whom.

Read more of this very informative two-part series in the below links;

CGMap and Ongoing Research: what’s up with projects in the CGIAR –

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2


Leave a comment