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CGIAR: Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
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From Alliance to Consortium

The reform proposal unanimously endorsed by the CGIAR in Maputo explicitly asked that the Alliance of CGIAR Centers take the lead in creating a new Consortium of CGIAR Centers that, working with partners and independent science and partnership advice, will be responsible for developing the strategic research agenda and programs, and for implementation for results.

Appointment of Board Chair and Vice-Chairs for the new Consortium

Click here to access the CGIAR Alliance and Consortium Design archive

In 2009 the Alliance of CGIAR Centers worked together, and with partners, to design the new Consortium and develop a new Strategy and Results Framework for the CGIAR.

Consortium Board:
In December 2009, after an international search, the Alliance selected Carlos Pérez del Castillo as Chair and Bongiwe Nomandi Njobe and Carl Hausmann as co-Vice Chairs to the new Consortium Board. They were joined in January 2010 by the other six Board members: Mohammed Ait-Kadi, Tom Arnold, Ganesan Balanchander, Gebisa Ejeta, Ian Goldin and Lynn Haight. The Alliance of the CGIAR Centers and the Fund Council each have a representative as an observer on the Board - Andrew Bennett representing the Alliance of CGIAR Centers and a, yet to be named, representative from the Fund Council.

The Consortium Board will provide leadership, strategic direction, fund-raising support and be the ultimate authority for the newly-formed Consortium of CGIAR Centers. Click here for more information on the Consortium Board.

Consortium Constitution and Consortium Design:
The Alliance submitted to the Executive Council Meeting 17 in November 2009 and presented to the full CGIAR membership at the Business Meeting in December 2009 the draft Consortium Constitution. The Alliance has since formulated the Constitution in appropriate legal language while maintaining the substantive content and meaning. The Consortium Board will obtain international legal status for the Consortium during the course of 2010. Up until the time this status is obtained and a host country agreement is signed, the Consortium will function as a contractual joint venture. Every Center is reviewing the Constitution at a series of Center Board Meetings from March to June 2010 will sign a Consortium Establishment Agreement upon deciding to join the Consortium.

The Boston Consulting Group was commissioned by the Alliance to provide a design of the Consortium Office including its functions (under the Constitution) and a possible location.

The Consortium Board, at their meeting in Nairobi 1-3 March, started the process on the selection of a host country for the Consortium. Five sites were selected as possible locations on the basis of nominations and as a result of the Board's discussion: Addis Ababa, Delhi, Montpellier, Nairobi and Rome. Each of these countries will be asked to submit a formal expression of interest which the Consortium Board will consider. Negotiations and a decision on the host country for the Consortium are expected by the middle of 2010.

The Consortium Office will work under the direct leadership of a full-time CEO. The recruitment of the CEO will start in March 2010 through an international search process with the intent that the Consortium Board will select the CEO and have the CEO take office in the latter half of 2010.

The report prepared by the Boston Consulting Group recommended a focused, streamlined and cost effective Consortium Office operation. As part of the design of the Consortium, the Alliance also engaged Accenture Development Partnership to undertake a review and analysis of the opportunities for common administrative, financial and research support services. Preliminary findings indicate there are clear opportunities in this area. The results of all this work have been completed and were reviewed by the Alliance at their meeting in October 2009 and are being considered by the new Consortium Board.

Towards a Strategy and Results Framework for the CGIAR

In December 2009, a Strategy Team engaged by the Alliance, submitted for the CGIAR Business Meeting the document "Towards a Strategy and Results Framework for the CGIAR". This was an evidence-based and results-oriented strategy for the CGIAR system as a whole with related "Mega-Programs".

The Alliance of CGIAR Centers met in early February 2010 to further develop the Strategy and Results Framework (SRF) and the portfolio of Mega Programs (MPs). This workshop benefitted greatly from the work of a team of Deputy Directors for Research from the Centers, who met immediately before the workshop to advance the thinking of defining the impacts and outcomes in the SRF, the Mega Program portfolio as an organizational framework and potential activities within each MP.

Broad themes were discussed among the Alliance and partners at the workshop and important feedback came from the partners. A commonly agreed message arising from the discussions was that the work of the international research sector needs to be imbedded in the wider frame of partnership and action to achieve development impact.

Subsequently, the Alliance has, with the endorsement of the Consortium Board and the encouragement of the Fund Council, accelerated the development of the SRF and will have this document and descriptions of eight Mega Programs ready for wide discussions with partners and stakeholders at GCARD. GCARD is an important step in the process and the Alliance recognizes that donor and partner engagement and commitment will be crucial.

The SRF was endorsed at the Funders Forum meeting in Montpellier, France in April 2011.

Click here for more information on the SRF.

Summaries of Meetings of the Alliance Board - pre-2010

Collective Action News

COLLECTIVE ACTION NEWS is a periodical e-publication of the CGIAR's Regional Plan for Collective Action in Eastern and Southern Africa, hosted at the International Livestock Research Institute and the World Agroforestry Centre, both of which are supported by the CGIAR.

Resources

Newsletters 2005-2006