Posts Tagged cgiar

Collective Action News: Past Issues

With the last issue vol. 26 of the Newsletter released this month, below is a list of all past issues that the programme has published.

Issue 26:  Regional Collective Action Wraps Up

Issue 25: Agriculture and Rural Development Day at the Cancún Climate Change Conference

Issue 24: Hope For the Future: Sowing the Seeds for Agricultural Research in Somalia

Issue 23: Rwanda launches Irrigation Master Plan

Issue 22:  South Africa to Burkina Faso: African Agricultural Innovation in a Changing Global Environment

Issue 21: Developing Africa’s Agricultural Markets 

Issue 20: 2010 International Day of Biodiversity celebrations

Issue 19: Highlights from GCARD

Issue 18: Regional Partnerships to Strengthen the Seed Industry

Issue 17: CGMap Ongoing Research in Africa: Empowering, Informative, Exciting

Issue 16: Regional Collective Action: Achievements to Date

Issue 15: Agriculture and Rural Development in the Copenhagen Climate Change Talks

Issue 14: Update on the CGIAR Reform Process

Issue 13: Disaster Risk Reduction: Addressing the longer term issues

Issue 12: Online Consultations to Enhance Agricultural Research for Development

Issue 11: Rising Food Prices in Eastern and Southern Africa Revisited: Lifting Trade Barriers Is Still the Answer

Issue 10: Managing the Fertility of Africa’s Soils: The Case for Collective Action

Issue 9: Biotechnology, Bioinformatics and Food Security: Hype or hope?

Issue 8: Priority Actions on Agricultural Markets? Not Easy At a Market of Ideas!

Issue 7: Climate and agriculture in East Africa: The future is mixed – April Collective Action News

Issue 6: Food Price Rises: Global Smiles, Regional Frowns?

Issue 5: Connecting the Dots: Online Maps for Improved Access to Information on Agricultural Research Projects

Issue 4: Could 150 Million Thirsty Livestock Be Efficient Water Harvesters? Nile Basin Studies Show How

Issue 3: Lessons from Kampala: Will Urban Farming Make a Difference?

Issue 2: Where Science and Emergencies Meet: As Crises Become More Frequent, Agricultural Research Finds a Big New Role

Issue 1: Food Price Rises: Is Regional Trade the Answer?


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Regional Collective Action Wraps Up

After four years, the Regional Collective Action Programme has come to an end. In this final issue of Collective Action News, we report on how Regional Collective Action activities have supported the work of the Consortium and the CRPs.

The Regional Collective Action Programme has been described by Carlos Seré, Director General of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), which has hosted the Programme since its inception in 2007, as ‘a bold experiment that achieved considerable success in promoting collaborative action in eastern and southern Africa that has now been overtaken by the process of CGIAR reform’. Many of the activities started under the Programme have now been incorporated into the CGIAR Consortium and the CGIAR Research Programmes (CRPs).

A key output of the Programme has been the CGIAR Ongoing Research Map. The Map makes CGIAR research information publicly accessible, facilitating information sharing and promoting partnership opportunities. The Research Map is now maintained and managed by the various focal persons in most of the CGIAR Centres who work closely with scientists and take a leading role in ensuring that projects within their Centres are up-to-date. Future administration of the Map will be subject to the outcome of a proposal presented to the Consortium Office to take it up as part of the system wide initiatives. The Research Map, which now has over 530 projects, can be accessed from the home page of the CGIAR Consortium website.

The four Flagship research programmes have been incorporated into various CRPs: Flagship Programmes 1 (Integrated natural resource management) and 2 (Policies, institutions and information for achieving impact at scale) have become part of CRP5 (Durable solutions for water scarcity and land degradation) and CRP2 (Policies, institutions, and markets to strengthen assets and agricultural incomes for the poor). Some aspects of Flagship Programme 4 (Improving impact of emergency response on agricultural livelihoods in highly stressed and unstable systems) have been incporporated into CRP7 (Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, CCAFS). Flagship 3 (Conservation and enhancement of agricultural biodiversity for improved agricultural production) held two regional workshops on food-feed crops in Nairobi and Bulawayo in February and March 2011 to further understand and evaluate the potential, challenges and opportunities of crop residues to address food and fodder challenges in eastern and southern Africa. Participants included representatives from ILRI, ICRISAT, CIMMYT and CIP, as well as private sector, national and regional partners. A full proposal around this issue is now being drafted which will link into the CRPs on grains, roots and tubers, and livestock. Further details of all the CRPs can be found here.

The Regional Collective Action Programme also recently supported a detailed review of inter-Centre CGIAR capacity development. A desk study, an e-consultation and two regional workshops held in Nairobi and Maputo in April, 2011, were coordinated by ILRI in collaboration with other CGIAR Centres as well as various other international, regional and national institutions with an interest in capacity development. The review found that, despite various past inter-Centre capacity development projects and numerous discussions over the years highlighting the need for enhanced collaboration, there has been limited action or follow-up. Those consulted by the review were critical of the proposed ‘dedicated informal network’ approach to collective capacity development as outlined in the CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework (SRF). Instead, it has been suggested that a more formal mechanism such as a special unit or platform should be established to serve as a think-tank on CGIAR capacity development and collaboration to add value to all Centres and CRPs. The review recommended that a scoping study on the subject should be undertaken by a high level capacity development specialist in close collaboration with the capacity development staff of the CGIAR Centres and the CRP Leaders.If you need further information or details about this project, please contact Dr. Purvi Mehta (P.mehta(at) head of capacity development, ILRI and Jan Beniest (jan.beniest(at)

Click here to down the newsletter

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Collective Action on a higher notch!

With our common goal of fighting poverty and making concrete efforts to synergise and work more closely together, this year’s 5th Agriculture Science Week and Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) General Assembly saw the CGIAR Centers collectively come together and showcase their work under one large CGIAR booth. Approximately 40 exhibitors participated in the marketplace from July 19-24, 2010, and the CGIAR stood out not only as a successful one-but as a successful collective!

How was this possible? An initial call from the CGIAR Fund Office was made to all Centers informing them of the idea of having one grand stand as opposed to different Centers having separate stands at the event and collectively displaying our work. CGIAR Centers responded enthusiastically to this call and organized their materials to be sent to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso where the event was held.

Danielle Lucca (CGIAR Fund Office) and Muthoni Njiru (ILRI/Nairobi) worked together to develop a series of large bilingual posters containing impact stories of CGIAR work in Africa. Text was prepared by Nathan Russell (CGIAR Fund Office/CIMMYT). Once the text was final it was translated into French and photos were chosen to illustrate the 12 stories. All text and photos were sent to ILRI for desktopping. ILRI staff then developed attractive large-scale artwork and printed the panels in-house for shipping to Ouagadougou.

After flying in to Ouagadougou from various parts of the world, our “booth babes” Danielle, Nadia Manning-Thomas (ICT-KM) and myself -Evelyn Katingi- set up the booth with the panels and Centers’ publications. An extra large monitor played videos from Centers and also displayed web-based programs such as Ongoing Research in Africa.  On July 19th the show was ready to roll thanks to our super crew.

Many visitors stopped by the booth to pick up information from the Centers’ publications collections and to play the “Name that Grain” game, a popular crowed-gatherer.  The games requires that players correctly identify 12 grains and cereals on a display board. If all responses are correct, the prize is a CGIAR cap.  Some of those who visited the stand included Dennis Garrity and Carlos Sere the DG’s of World Agroforestry and ILRI respectively, scientists from ICRISAT, IITA, AfricaRice, ILRI, CGIAR Fund Council Executive Director and representatives from other African organizations and local Burkina Faso agencies.  Being a common booth under the CGIAR name, Centres made use of it for promoting their work, an example being CIP’s Lieven Claessen who made use of the booth and its equipment to show visitors CIP’s video “The Orange Revolution” on the orange fleshed sweet potato in Mozambique on the large monitor screen.  The screen was also used to demonstrate CGMap Ongoing Research in Africa.

The common booth was also useful in showing what the CGIAR is all about. It was able to reflect the overarching system, but also the diversity of research efforts being carried out by the individual Centres. We noted that there was a large demand for more CGIAR publications to be available in French.

As the printers quieten and everyone returns to their work stations, we reflect on some of the achievements that can be gained by working together, including more effective utilisation of resources, formation of partnerships, enhancement of team work and more cohesion.

An applaudable effort by the CGIAR Centers!

By Danielle Lucaa, Nadia Manning-Thomas and Evelyn Katingi


2010 International Day of Biodiversity celebrations – May Collective Action News

In collaboration with national and international partners, Bioversity International launched a campaign ‘Diversity for Life’ on 22 May 2008 (the International Day of Biodiversity) leading to and culminating in the International Year of Biodiversity, 2010. The campaign is raising awareness of the role that agricultural biodiversity plays in the lives of people.

To focus the world’s attention on the importance biodiversity plays in sustaining life, the United Nations proclaimed 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB). In Africa, where food insecurity threatens the lives of many people in the midst of a large diversity of agricultural biodiversity resources, the year 2010 presents a unique opportunity to highlight the need for the conservation and use of these resources to feed Africa’s populations.

The official celebrations marking the International Day of Biodiversity (IDB),(22nd May,- celebrated worldwide every year) were officiated by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Secretariat of Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), National Museums of Kenya (NMK), Bioversity International, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Agriculture of Kenya. National and international delegates to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological ADVICE (SBSTTA 141) meeting in Nairobi, researchers, students and the general public attended the event.

As part of the celebrations of the IYB 2010 special events were held at the NMK. These included the Guardians of biodiversity exhibition, a tented exhibition and a lecture. The “Guardians of Biodiversity “ comprises photographs and captions on the work of farmers, communities and researchers who are role models in the conservation of agricultural biodiversity resources. It is jointly organised by the CGIAR and Bioversity International and will run for three months at the Museums hall. A similar exhibition is also on display in Italy. The ‘Guardians’ are people who are dedicated to safeguarding and using agricultural biodiversity to improve their lives and those of others. Their passion for agricultural diversity is helping to create a healthier, more food secure world…Read more

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Update on the CGIAR Reform Process – November Collective Action News

This issue of CAN reports on the on-going CGIAR reform, providing an update from the Executive Council Meeting held 03-04 November in Rome. The meeting was attended by Carlos Seré (Director General, ILRI) and Dennis Garrity (Director General, World Agroforestry Centre) who share their views.

In December 2008, the CGIAR launched its Change Initiative to identify how best to fulfill its role as a provider of science-based solutions for agriculture, natural resource management and rural development. A new system was agreed on and over the past 12 months a series of consultations, reports and meetings have been conducted to flesh out how the components of the new system will operate. The recent Executive Council meeting affirmed that all elements of the new system are coming together and that the new CGIAR is quickly becoming a reality. Informal
meetings between donors and centers, before the Executive Council meeting, paved the way for constructive exchange. The Chair of the CGIAR, Kathy Sierra, led the meeting in a “negotiation” format, which helped resolve contentious issues.

The core elements of the new CGIAR will be the Consortium of the CGIAR Centers and the Fund. The Consortium will unite the Centers under one legal entity and provide a single entry point for the Fund to contract Centers and other partners for research products. A Consortium Constitution has been drafted and revised, and the members of the Consortium Board will be announced by the end of 2009. Once the Board is established, it will recruit the new Consortium chief executive officer and set up the Consortium office in the second half of 2010.

Click on the article to download the full report.

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