2021 was a critical year for delivery of key milestones for One CGIAR, stewarded by the Executive Management Team and overseen by the CGIAR System Board. January 2021 saw the approval of an integrated operational structure for One CGIAR, designed to be a key enabler of CGIAR’s capacity to deliver on its bold new CGIAR 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy.
Development of CGIAR’s research portfolio was undertaken in a highly collaborative way during 2021, with the System Council approving membership of Investment Advisory Groups in February 2021 that brought together a wide range of stakeholder voices to advise the Executive Management Team on development of a 2022–2024 Investment Prospectus. The System Board in May 2021 approved the prospectus of CGIAR Initiatives and Platforms, which the System Council strongly endorsed at its June 2021 meeting.
Governance decision-making in the last quarter of 2021 was supported by a thoughtful, constructive, and rigorous independent review of an initial set of CGIAR Initiatives and a Companion Document to the Prospectus, moderated by CGIAR’s Independent Science for Development Council. Drawing on that expert advice, the System Council approved the first 19 CGIAR Initiatives for launch in January 2022.
“The CGIAR Investment Prospectus 2022–2024 is a first-rate example of cooperation and collaboration in the spirit of One CGIAR. It is a truly exceptional product in its depth and scope, and the work of the Investment Advisory Groups and Initiative Design Teams, led by the EMT, provides an exciting glimpse of what can be achieved by operating in this mode going forwards.”
From the Chair’s Summary of the System Board’s 20th meeting, May 2021
June 1, 2021 marked the launch of the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee (AFRC), the first One CGIAR common standing committee. With membership comprising seven experts in fields under its mandate, its establishment is another important step toward integrating efforts under unified governance to ensure effective oversight of CGIAR’s finance, risk, and internal controls. The common committee brings institutional and operational efficiencies to how CGIAR proactively oversees effective institutional risk management.
“Operating with a common Audit, Finance and Risk Committee provides CGIAR with a first opportunity to take a holistic view of its assurance environment and ensure that management takes a collective view of risks and opportunities to maximize and preserve value in support of CGIAR’s strategic goals.”
Clarissa van Heerden, Chair, CGIAR Audit, Finance and Risk Committee
From July 2021, the Board — and through its AFRC — ensured that CGIAR’s focus on ethics was institutionalized and will be continually advanced by creating the formal ethics and business conduct function for all CGIAR.