CGIAR System Reference Group

What is the System Reference Group?

The System Reference Group (SRG) was established by the CGIAR System Council in 2018 to bring together Funders, Centers, and partner countries to develop forward-looking recommendations on CGIAR’s research focus, delivery model, and institutional structure.

Co-chaired by Tony Cavalieri of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Marco Ferroni, Chair of the System Management Board, the group’s membership comprised 22 persons:

  • CGIAR Funders/partners – 11 persons drawn from the membership of the CGIAR System Council, including representation of regional constituencies where CGIAR operates;
  • CGIAR System Management Board – nine members, including six Center-affiliated members (Center Board members or Directors General), and the Executive Director of the CGIAR System Organization; and
  • 2019 conveners of CGIAR Center Boards of Trustees and Directors General.

The System Reference Group’s work was supported by the System Organization as well as external experts and facilitators.

System Reference Group’s recommendations endorsed by the System Council

The CGIAR System Council, at its 9thmeeting on November 1314, 2019, unanimously endorsed the SRG’s recommendations. These recommendations set out a unified and integrated “One CGIAR,” including: 

  • A Compelling and Aligned Mission
  • Unified Governance
  • Institutional Integration
  • A New Research Modality
  • More, and Pooled, Funding

The endorsed recommendations set out key roles and responsibilities, target dates, and initial actions in the transition to One CGIAR. As part of this process, members of the SRG will join a broader Transition Consultation Forum (TCF) as well as thematic Transition Advisory Groups (TAG) to provide input and advice to CGIAR leadership to end-2020.

System Reference Group process at a glance

Transition to One CGIAR

Implementing the recommendations endorsed by the System Council will entail profound change across CGIAR, addressing culture, values, people, policies, and systems. The System Council, the System Management Board, and the General Assembly of the Centers have discussed initial thinking on that transition, including relevant guiding principles, timelines and milestones, roles and responsibilities, resources, and risks.

This draft document is provided at the request of the System Management Board as a resource for further discussion on the transition to One CGIAR: Initial Steps and Transition Support to One CGIAR: Version 3.