Posts Tagged maps

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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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.


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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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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!

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Survey Findings; What You Had To Say and What We Are Going To Do

Client feed back and responding to customers needs are crucial to the success of any enterprise. It is in the same line of thought, that motivated our first ever evaluation survey of the CGIAR Research Map (a project database of the research carried out by CGIAR centers in Africa) since the inception of the online map in February this year.

The survey was administered to scientist from 13 different CGIAR centers.

Your conclusion; the map is a useful tool for finding out what the CGIAR is doing in Africa that should to be utilised more by the CG centers and  their partners.

The Survey Findings

Major reasons that respondents reported to be using the map for comprised, a. browsing to find out what research is being undertaken, where and by whom, b. see which projects are active in a country, c. look for additional information on previous work done for proposal write up and project reporting, d. look for potential partners, particularly during development of new proposals and, e. populate or update the map with project information

Additional features and comments about the map

In summary they included;

  1. More search-able fields
  2. Map legend
  3. Additional project details including;
    1. Project objectives and activities
    2. Project outputs and achievements
    3. Hot links to projects home page, key publications and other related documents
  4. Research partners institutional email addresses
  5. Highlights on achievements of collaboration
  6. Scientific information needs to be consolidated for more use by NARS. More training modules/ materials and other database could be made available online for our colleagues in the NARS

The Good News
We are at advanced stages in upgrading the existing map and happy to be reporting that the development of this new system is mainly driven by your recommendations in addition to our own quality improvement goals!

What to expect

  1. Powerful search facility based on;
    1. Research areas, which are; Agro-biodversity, Climate Change, Crops, Eco-system management, Fisheries, Forestry and Agroforestry, Land management, Livestock, Market access, Policy and Institution, Seed systems, Soils and Water management
    2. Lead center
    3. Project start and end dates
  2. Additional project details including; projects overview and ‘hot links’ to project homepage and other publications
  3. In addition to the map view there will also be a list view of the projects, making browsing and retrieval of information a much easier and rewarding task
  4. Overall, a richer user interface, including user defined roles that will make you want to spend the whole day on the site 🙂

The new polished map will be ready by mid  December and contributors will be able to add additional and also new information to the map during this period.

Click on this link to visit the map

Down load full report



Unveiling the New Revamped CGIAR Research in Africa Map!

Since it was launched early this year, CGIAR Research in Africa Map has continued to elicit a lot of interest from different people all around the world. From just trying to answer the simple question: Who is doing what, with whom and where?’ The database is now a source to key agricultural information in the region. Not only does the map depict the overall outlook of research carried out by CG centres but from the information in the map we have been able to carry out and publish periodic analysis of specific project information. Some of which include – the type of partners that the centres collaborate with in research, analysis of agricultural commodities in the centres and many more to come.

In his blog post titled Giving Research New Bearings: Take a Peek in the Google Engine Behind CGMap, Michael Marus of ICT-KM Program took an in depth look into the map’s development. The information and data structure which led to the rich geographic user interface that makes browsing of information exciting as well as informative have been well explained.

What to expect?


In collaboration with the ICT-KM Program we are pleased to announce that we will soon be unveiling the new map. With the new map you will now be able to;

1. Query the data based on different fields in the data such as project start and end date, primary area of research, research partner etc
2. Free text search criteria
3. Generate reports based on the applied filters
4. Enjoy user defined roles

Looking ahead

With a lot of talk on the need to break our communication barriers and have the CG centres working more closely together, it is becoming increasingly inefficient for us to stick to our old ways of communicating research information and outputs. The application and greater use of such tools is essential to all of us and a positive step to making agriculture a social endeavour!
Further, there is bound to be greater excitement when we start reporting on collaboration and networking from different stakeholders in the region, when new scientist will be brought up to speed on the past and ongoing research activities by just a click of a button, when our donors and partners will be able to know the new areas of priority, …………..

In the meantime do keep your ears and eyes open for the new improved map!

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