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CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) and Platforms completed a pilot assessment of the CGIAR Program Performance Management Standards in November 2019, marking a significant step forward in the System’s commitment to improved organizational effectiveness. The main objectives of the Program Performance Management Standards are to:   


  1. Provide assurance to CGIAR System Funders and other stakeholders that program management standards are high, and that they can invest with confidence;  
  2. Improve Program performance management across CGIAR wherever needed; and  
  3. Focus Program efforts on a limited number of well-defined high-priority areas identified jointly by key stakeholders, in each business cycle, to complement (not replace) the more complex analysis carried out in program evaluations and appraisals. 


The six Program Performance Management Standards approved by the CGIAR System Council in 2018 are: 

Performance Standard short title Long title
1  Adding and withdrawing projects Program has a transparent and logical process for selection, prioritization and inclusion of new projects and withdrawal of projects from the Program.  
2  Identification of gender relevance Complete and accurate application of the cross-cutting marker for gender in Program results reporting.
3 Financial management  Program has transparent systems for planning and managing budgets to reach Program objectives, and clear and efficient division of responsibility between the Program and their implementing partners (including Centers).
4 – Prioritization of pooled funding Program progress and priorities are regularly reviewed, and logical and transparent decisions are taken about (re)prioritization of pooled Program funding including activities to expand or cut back.
5 –  High quality results reporting Program reporting is of adequate quality, and the evidence presented is properly archived, linked and accessible. 
6 –  Availability of Program/project information Key Program and project information is available, findable and accessible by specified System Entities.


Dalberg Advisors undertook the pilot assessment under the guidance and management of the CGIAR Advisory Services Shared Secretariat (CAS). The pilot assessment was treated as a genuine opportunity to improve and contribute to learning across System, Program and project levels. Dalberg Advisors delivered the “Lessons Learnt and Recommendations for Future Assessment Exercises” report, containing important findings about: 


  1. The suitability of the standards
  2. The suitability for Platforms
  3. The suitability of the assessment methodology; and
  4. Post-2020 suitability


CGIAR is working to optimize delivery against existing Program Performance Management Standards within the current Business Cycle, and develop and integrate new Performance Management measures into One CGIAR’s new research modality by end of 2021. 


Header photo: Farmers receive training on cuttings production in Naivasha, Kenya. Photo by CIP.