The CGIAR Consortium has just completed a week-long series of important meetings in Punta del Este, Uruguay: the 2nd Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD2); the 10th CGIAR Consortium Board meeting and special meeting on Governance; the 8th CGIAR Fund Council Meeting and the 2nd CGIAR Funders Forum. Many commitments were expressed in all these meetings. However, as I was reminded in a press conference with the young social reporters at GCARD2, commitments only really count if they are truly owned; that is if we say “I commit” or “we commit”, rather than just being calls to action that are left for others to implement.
So let me give you an overview of fifteen key commitments made by the CGIAR Consortium in this week of meetings that we truly own and for which we can be held accountable.
At the GCARD2 closing session I presented the following commitments of the CGIAR Consortium, related to: (1) foresight; (2) knowledge; (3) capacity building; and (4) partnership.
- We commit to continuing development of a foresight capacity in the CGIAR, through the GFAR Foresight Hub, the foresight studies of the CGIAR Independent Science & Partnership Council (ISPC) and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Markets and Institutions.
- We commit to bringing a dynamic foresight element into the 2013 Management Update of the CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework that will focus on three key trends identified as priorities at GCARD2:
- farm size dynamics;
- from sustainable production to sustainable consumption; and
- We commit to making the CGIAR an Open Access organization, with policies and standards put in place in 2013.
- We commit to making more key data freely available online and to improving transparency, with significant progress in 2013 related to at least:
- internal data on how the CGIAR works, such as data on financial statements, staff, management and governance, appropriately disaggregated by gender, age and nationality;
- data and results of our research across all CGIAR Research Programs;
- monitoring data on the progress made to achieve the development outcomes of each of our CGIAR Research Programs.
- We commit to developing and approving a CGIAR Consortium strategy on institutional and personal Capacity Strengthening in 2013, as a cross-cutting priority for the CRP portfolio, similar to our work on gender research in 2012.
- We commit to fast-tracking development of quick wins that can be made through CGIAR Post-Doctoral Fellow and CGIAR Visiting Scientist programs.
- We commit to engaging through a participatory approach key stakeholders in the development of the 2013 Management Update of the CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework, including at least national governments, national research organizations and their regional organizations, NGOs and civil society, the private sector, gender and last but not least, youth through young professional organizations such as YPARD.
- We commit to aligning our research priorities with national and regional priorities and investment plans, such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) national investment plans, in 2013.
- We commit to carrying out a Stakeholder Perception Survey of more than 3 thousand partners of the CGIAR Consortium and the CRPs. The Survey, which was launched at GCARD2 on 1 November 2012, is scheduled for completion in early 2013 and will serve as a baseline against which to measure and improve our partnership performance.
A key agenda of all CGIAR business meetings in Punta was the critical need to continue building the new CGIAR through a reform of CGIAR governance at all levels of the CGIAR System, thereby ensuring that strong oversight over and accountability for the resources entrusted to CGIAR are either in place or will be put in place through reform as a matter of urgency. To this end, the CGIAR Consortium made the following commitments, as presented by the Consortium Board Chair, Carlos Perez del Castillo, on several occasions in the business meetings:
- We commit, as the CGIAR Consortium Board, to fully exercising the fiduciary responsibility entrusted to us in the CGIAR Consortium Constitution and the Joint Agreement between the Consortium and CGIAR Fund Council, by ensuring that we have put in place effective policies, controls and people.
- We commit, as the CGIAR Consortium jointly with the CGIAR Fund Council, to undertaking a comprehensive external review of the governance structures and controls across the CGIAR, in two phases, with a first assessment phase expedited to report in February 2013 and a second recommendation phase expected to be completed by mid-2013.
The CGIAR Consortium used a participatory approach to develop an Action Plan to strengthen the CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework that was endorsed by the CGIAR Funders Forum on November 2. As a consequence, the CGIAR Consortium will now kick off actions to develop the Management Update for the SRF, to be completed by October 2013. As part of that process, the CGIAR Consortium has made the following commitments:
2013 Management Update for the SRF
- We commit to developing the system-level theory of change and impact pathway for the CGIAR, in collaboration with, and under the leadership of, the CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council, by March 2013.
- We commit to convening and facilitating a participatory prioritization process, involving stakeholders and investors in the CGIAR, that will result in a set of prioritized intermediate development outcomes at system level that establish the aspirational goals for the contributions the CGIAR intends to make to reducing hunger, poverty and malnutrition and while conserving our natural capital, to be completed by June 2013.
- We commit to developing geographically explicit intermediate development outcomes and associated value propositions for each of the CGIAR Research Programs, in a manner that is consistent and coherent across the CRP Portfolio, and that are well aligned with national and regional priorities and investment plans – and to negotiate these Intermidiate Development Ooutcomes (IDOs) with representative stakeholders and investors by June 2013.
- We commit to developing a draft 2013 Management Update for the CGIAR SRF that will be available for feedback and consultation no later than October 2013.
Taken together, these commitments will shape and drive the 2013 program of work of the CGIAR Consortium in partnership with the Fund Council, ISPC, IEA and numerous partners and stakeholders outside the system.
We look forward to it.
Thank you to all who made these meetings possible, particularly our Uruguayan hosts.
Links to my presentations in Punta del Este:
- Foresight in the Action Plan to Update the Strategy and Results Framework of the CGIAR, at GCARD2, October 30
- 2012 Update and 2013 Interim Financing Plan, to Fund Council, November 1
- Update on CGIAR Research and Results, to Funders Forum, November 2
- SRF Action Plan, to Funders Forum, November 2
The SRF Action Plan and ISPC white paper on Priority setting can be found here.