Posts Tagged cgiar 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 (

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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.

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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;

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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


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What, How and Who – CGMap Ongoing Research in Africa

User Fact Sheet
1. What exactly is CGMap Ongoing Research in Africa?
The Map is an online database of research projects being done by the CGIAR centers. In addition to providing project details, the map answers the question: who is doing what, where and with whom?
By having such readily and easily accessible information we are able to foster complementary agricultural research, building network and collective responses to complex challenges that a single project could not address.

2.  Who is the Map for and how can it be used?
·  Scientists, to find out what others are doing in their particular field of interest, collaborate and network with other colleagues, increase visibility of their work etc.
·  Donors, to see the full range of research that is going on and where
·  Agricultural students, to find out about opportunities for research internship
·  Communication specialists, as a research tool

3. What sort of projects are featured in the Map? The projects featured on the Map are: led by a CGIAR center; span a period of one year or more; contribute towards a particular reported Medium Term Plan (MTP) in any of the centers; and take place primarily in Africa

1. Index Based Livestock Insurance: The Marsabit Pilot
2. Programme for Pro-poor Rewards for Environmental Services in Africa

4. How do I search for projects? There are 3 alternate ways to search for information in the map:
1. Browse the map: the main map allows zooming into a particular country of interest
2. View the list: gives the full range of existing projects
3. Select a filter based on research area, lead center, project start and end dates
Once on a project fact sheet, the links allow broadening of the searches by different criteria (names of scientists, tags, types of partners, etc.)

5. How can project contributors include information about their projects on the Map? Contributors are given access to the database where they can enter and update their project information over time and invite colleagues to contribute.
Send a message to Evelyn Katingi, Collective Action in Eastern and Southern Africa at to get started.

A step by step tutorial for contributing information can be found here:

6. What is the difference between the Ongoing Research Map and CGMap?

  • The focus of CGMap and the Ongoing Research Map is different: CGMap contains information about the three-year Medium Term Plans (MTP), the Ongoing Research Map contains information about the research projects through which these Plans are being implemented. Ongoing Research provides information that is not provided in the MTP, in particular: names of scientists (the principal investigator can be contacted), a classification by research areas, names and types of partners, exact timeline of project. This equals a detailed view on the ground of what is going on.
  • The two are related in the sense the MTP projects provide the official umbrellas under which projects in the field are implemented. It’s a conceptual link, not an excerpt from MTP projects.

7. Are there any system requirements for using the Map? Yes, users using Internet Explorer 7 will receive an error when they try load the Map. Users are thus advised to use another browser (Firefox, Chrome) or upgrade to Internet Explorer 8.

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ICRAF Seminar – The new CGIAR Research Map

CGIAR Research Map for Africa – Improved Access to Information on Agricultural Research Projects

Last Friday I held the first in a serious of many seminars that we are organizing to sensitive CGIAR staff and other partners about the new improved research map.
The seminar was very successful with the ICRAF and hosted intuitions staff coming in large numbers, to try and find out how the map answers these and many other questions;

  1. How can I find out what research the CG centers are carrying out and where?
  2. What type of partners are different centers collaborating with?
  3. How can new scientists be quickly brought up to speed on what has been done and also what opportunities for collaboration exist?
  4. Where do I find information on research results and other related documentation that will help in the development of new research proposals?

An important note was the need to be able to measure the visibility and benefits of having the projects in the map. As the map continues to grow both in its functions & features and also in its usability we believe that through the direct queries raised to project coordinators, reported collaboration and partnerships we can then be able to measure this.

An interesting question was on the new CGIAR and how mega programmes will be accommodated in the research. At present it is still a little fuzzy for all to clearly state as a matter of fact how these programmes will fit in the map, but as Frank Place (ICRAF) put it ‘The map can provide just the tool that a mega programme could use to show its strategy, what its core activities are and where, who its partners are, what its key outputs are (including data sets), and what outcomes it has achieved

After the one hour interactive session it was evident that there is a clear need to compile and disseminate outputs and outcomes of the CGIAR as well as share knowledge and information. The research map provides just a unique tool for this!

Stay informed at;


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