Factsheet: One CGIAR Transition Consultations

The One CGIAR transition process was born of a recognition that the evolving, interconnected global challenges facing our food systems require a unified and integrated response from the world’s largest publicly funded agricultural research network. Beginning in 2018, the transition has involved consultation with CGIAR’s network of more than 3,000 partners around the world as well as its over 9,000 staff in nearly 90 countries.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A more detailed version of the below FAQs can be found here.

Has CGIAR listened to diverse voices in its decision to undertake the One CGIAR transition?

Our partners have been and remain essential in guiding the One CGIAR transition process. Diverse representation from the global South has been systematically included in key decision-making processes associated with the One CGIAR transition. These are the voices, among many others, of National Agricultural Research & Extension Systems (NARES), farmer organizations, funders, the private sector, NGOs, governments, universities and development banks.

Throughout the transition, voices from the global South have provided strong and consistent support for a unified and integrated One CGIAR fit to tackle the ever more complex, increasingly interdependent challenges of our era.

Critically, CGIAR’s regional and country constituencies have played a strong role in shaping One CGIAR to best address the science-policy nexus. There are 18 countries from the global South represented in five regional constituencies on the CGIAR System Council as voting members.

How did CGIAR engage around its Research and Innovation Strategy?

Many partners and stakeholders were engaged in the development of CGIAR’s 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy and in the design of a new portfolio of initiatives. A demand-driven approach was central to the strategy, which was shaped by two rounds of regional consultation.

CGIAR’s recently-appointed Regional Directors led structured regional consultations across six regions with key NARES partners to seek input on priorities for CGIAR impact areas and thematic research areas, and advice on how best CGIAR could contribute through partnerships in the regions.

In 2021, the design teams of the new initiatives received 1,300 individual responses from stakeholders in 77 countries, with 788 unique demand and impact partners having an active role in CGIAR’s new research portfolio.

In addition, each of the 32 initiatives also held stakeholder meetings to ensure they were linked to local challenges and addressed local priorities. As just one example, the ClimBeR initiative held 52 listening sessions engaging 1,465 stakeholders in 2021.

How will CGIAR continue to engage with key partners?

CGIAR’s System Board is establishing a high-level Advisory Panel that will oversee a new series of consultations that will strengthen strategic engagement with its country and regional partners as it continues its transition to a unified and integrated One CGIAR.

The Advisory Panel is expected to bring together representatives from across regions and from national agricultural research systems, government ministries and the private sector. It will build on CGIAR’s Engagement Framework for Partnerships & Advocacy – Toward Greater Impactwhich sets out the guiding principles, systems and approaches for partners and CGIAR to achieve their common goals. The Advisory Panel will support CGIAR in further developing its regional and national engagement strategies in line with the principles of this Framework.

How does CGIAR’s approach support regions and countries?

CGIAR’s six priority regions are positioned as a central dimension of partnership, worldview, and impact, playing a pivotal role in understanding the demand of local partners and helping to leverage global science to amplify impact in local communities. A new engagement model based on a country strategic framework will support national priorities and a country coordination function, and clear partnership management with key regional bodies.

The regions reflect the spread of need and impact for agricultural science, research and innovation. Half of these priority regions – and half of CGIAR’s Regional Directors – focus on Africa, reflecting the enormous importance, potential and relevance of transforming African food systems, given the continent has a quarter of the world’s arable land but only produces 10 per cent of its agricultural output.

How will the transition affect host country agreements?

The transition to One CGIAR is not a legal merger of CGIAR’s Research Centers and assets. Center host country agreements will be fully honored. The transition is an operational integration where Centers maintain their legal status, while working more closely together in an integrated operational structure overseen by unified governance. Center names are an important part of our proud history, and those names will continue to co-exist alongside CGIAR.

One CGIAR is about building on our broad global footprint, not moving away from it. There will be no transfer of physical assets or asset ownership, and no mass relocation of staff is planned or anticipated.

Is the transition taking too long?

The progress has been broadly in line with stated goals. A transition of this scale and complexity – bringing together more than 9,000 staff across nearly 90 countries – is likely unprecedented among development organizations. A key tenet has been to balance speed with the need for consultation and outreach.

While there will always be areas of improvement, many important milestones have already been met including: the System Council unanimously endorsing the recommendations of the multi-stakeholder CGIAR System Reference Group (SRG); the establishment of the System Board; the appointment of an Executive Management Team (EMT) and Senior Leadership Team (SLT); and the approval of the 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy, integrated operational structure, and portfolio of initiatives.