What a difference a day makes

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    Independent Advisory and Evaluation Service
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SPIA and ISDC chairs, IAES Director, and IAES’s Evaluation Function Lead were invited to connect in person at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation over several days in late February at its HQ in Seattle, Washington, United States, to build awareness of our work. Though a short visit spanning just a few days, the trip led to a rapid and effective expansion of mutual understanding of needs and opportunities.

IAES, ISDC, and SPIA extend a tremendous thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for making possible our visit.

As Dinah Washington soulfully reminds us, one day can make an enormous difference. This is how visitors from IAES, SPIA, and ISDC perceived our recent visit to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The global pandemic taught the world a new way of working, gentler on the resources of time, money, and carbon, engineered around a steady stream of virtual interactions. Yet, on occasion, meeting face-to-face, whether for a day, a couple days, or a week, is an ingredient for successful, long-term partnership. In a survey of thousands of Harvard Business Review readers, 95% attest to the importance of face-to-face meetings in building and maintaining long-term business relationships (HBR 2009). In our visit, face-to-face interactions provided a different way for independent advisory and evaluation entities to engage and understand one of CGIAR’s strongest funding partners, by meeting and talking with many of the staff working on the foundation’s Agriculture Development strategy.

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