CGIAR Advisory Services
In 2020, the Independent Science for Development Council (ISDC), the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA), and the Evaluation Function coordinated by the CGIAR Advisory Services Shared Secretariat (CAS Secretariat), collectively termed as Advisory Services functions, provided a broad range of externally driven evidence and evidence-based advice to CGIAR. The work of Advisory Services furthers the System’s effectiveness, its culture of continual learning, and its transition to One CGIAR.
ISDC made several contributions to the scientific underpinnings of CGIAR work in 2020. It commissioned two foresight reviews on CGIAR Impact Areas, as well as a report analyzing trade-offs in agrifood systems. These reports were made widely available in a feature page on the CAS website, dialogues with stakeholders, briefs, and a peer-reviewed publication.
ISDC updated the CGIAR Quality of Research for Development (QoR4D) frame of reference. During the year, ISDC also held virtual meetings and webinars on foresight, trade-offs, and QoR4D. The ISDC chair and members participated in consultations and dialogues on the transition to One CGIAR.
SPIA called for and funded a wide range of impact assessments and studies in 2020 and sought to strengthen the capacity of CGIAR researchers to design such assessments. It approved funding for six proposals on learning studies that will causally identify whether diffusion strategies specifically adapted to the characteristics of innovations can lead to more sustained adoption (“adapted strategies” call) for CGIAR innovations.
To help develop methods to measure the impact of risk-reducing innovations, SPIA funded a study on blast-resistant wheat in Bangladesh. It issued three development grants to strengthen the capacity of researchers to design rigorous impact assessments, and the panel approved three proposals designed to measure the environmental impacts of CGIAR research. The SPIA 2019-2020 Progress Report presents the full pipeline of studies.
SPIA organized a virtual workshop on the use of remote sensing for impact evaluation. Bringing together impact assessment focal points representing all CGIAR Centers, SPIA held meetings on new ideas for impact assessment studies, on the effects of COVID-19 on impact assessment, and on how to support the CGIAR reform.
In addition, SPIA released a report on the adoption and diffusion of CGIAR-related innovations in Ethiopia and signed a letter of agreement on integrated data collection with the Ugandan Bureau of Statistics.
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ISDC Foresight and Trade-off Analysis Project 2020
Ethiopia Adoption and Diffusion Study
SPIA 2019-2020 Multiyear Workplan Progress
CRP 2020 Reviews
Updated Quality of Research for Development Frame of Reference
In 2020, Members of the Advisory Services community recorded short presentations, including SPIA and ISDC members and CAS Secretariat staff, for the 11th meeting of the System Council. Taken as a group, these three-minute YouTube recordings provide an executive overview of selected 2020 outputs.
CRP 2020 Reviews: A lean evaluative approach
The Evaluation Function commissioned and carried out independent reviews of 12 CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs), focusing on quality of science, effectiveness, and future orientation. The CRP 2020 reviews generated a knowledge management database to support learning, and the Evaluation Function shared the CRP reviews’ findings, conclusions, and recommendations with a range of CGIAR stakeholders.
The work of Advisory Services furthers the System’s effectiveness, its culture of continual learning, and its transition to One CGIAR.
One CGIAR support
In support of One CGIAR, ISDC, SPIA and the Evaluation Function prepared commentary for the designers of the One CGIAR Research and Innovation Strategy and Performance Results Management Framework. Commentaries from the external bodies, ISDC and SPIA, were posted on the Advisory Services website, in addition to sending the three commentaries to internal stakeholder groups.