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Partnerships are at the core of CGIAR’s work. In 2017, CGIAR programs reported a total of 1,961 external formal partnerships. These involved a wide range of partners, from policymakers in governments and international agencies, to research collaborators in other research and academic institutions around the world, and public and private sector companies and non-profit institutions involved in development and scaling of innovations.1 The distribution of formal partnerships reported by phase of research for development (R4D) is shown in Table 1. A small selection of examples of partnerships in 2017 is given in Table 2 and a more extensive list is available in Selected external partnerships in 2017.

A message from CGIAR’s science leaders on scientific research partnerships

Analysis of the innovations2 reported in 2017 also shows how vital partnerships are to CGIAR Research Programs (Figure 1). Overall, only 14% of innovations were tagged as being the ‘sole’ product of CGIAR and of these, nearly two thirds (61%) were at the first stage of innovation (discovery/proof of concept). At the development/scaling stage, 94% of innovations were the product of joint work: in 73% of cases the CRP was the ‘lead organization’ in a partnership, while in 21% of cases, the CRP was a ‘contributor’ to a team led by partners.

The 2017 IEA Evaluation on Partnershipsi found that more than half of partnerships, in all the categories  considered, have been established since the introduction of CRPs, including new engagement in different kinds of partnerships for scaling and a deliberate efforts to involve more non-governmental organizations. “CRPs have been influential in both increasing Centers’ collaboration within the programs and positioning of external partnerships along the impact pathway” (page ix). In addition, many programs and platforms have reported increased engagement in global multi-stakeholder platforms (collaborations between governments, private sector and civil society to tackle complex problems). Partnership models are being customized to suit different types of partners and geographical locations, and almost all research outputs and publications are now based on collaborative work.

Challenges identified by the evaluation included the need for clear strategy and planning for partnerships, greater clarity on management of public-private partnerships at system level, and further sharing and learning from experience.

The Synthesis of CRP Evaluations, also contained an important message (p.3): “The quality of partnerships with research partners in the ‘South’ could be improved by engaging them more fully in the entire research process from the design stage and by addressing the power imbalances that may result from their role as subcontractors for much of the CRP research”.

With capacities and interest evolving fast, CGIAR and its partners need to continuously reflect on their respective comparative advantage. Centers must maintain scientific expertise in core areas, and they must collaborate with organizations that have strong capacity for scaling.ii

The evaluation’s recommendations, in particular the need for every CRP to have an updated partnership strategy, were broadly agreed oniii by the System Management Board, and are being implemented.

Table 1. Number of formal CGIAR partnerships reported in 2017, by phase of research for development (R4D)

PHASE OF R4DNUMBER OF PARTNERSHIPSPERCENTAGE
Research99451%
Piloting20510%
Scaling64733%
More than one phase161%
Not defined995%
Total1961100%

Source: CRP Annual Reports 2017

Table 2. Examples of CGIAR external partnerships in 2017

CRP OR PLATFORMPARTNER NAMEDESCRIPTION OF MAIN ACTIVITIES
A4NH
Vietnam
World BankSupporting situational analysis of food safety in Vietnam; collaborating on two major food safety investment reports.
A4NH
Kenya
Government of Kenya Zoonotic Disease Unit and County GovernmentsSurveillance of zoonotic diseases in Kenya, with provision of
access to national surveillance data and integration of project
data to national recording.
BIG DATAUniversity of Minnesota
International  Agroinformatics Alliance
Collaboration on secure data handling and cleaning.
BIG DATAAgroknow Inc *Pilot of Semantic Web application to agricultural data exploration and mining, and development and delivery of the CeRes data harvester.
CCAFS
India
Indian Council of  Agricultural ResearchDevelopment, validation and scaling up of climate resilient farming systems. Capacity development and policy engagement
for scaling investments for Climate Smart Agriculture. Development of post-flood management strategy, including
index-based flood insurance.
CCAFS
India
Agriculture Insurance Company of India Limited*Development and scaling out of insurance products and engagement with the Ministry of Agriculture, Farmers and Welfare.
CCAFSGreen Climate FundInforming the Fund strategy for investing in transformative actions in agriculture.
EiBSyngenta Foundation &  Market Edge Consulting*Leveraging Syngenta sponsored projects about creating impact in CGIAR breeding programs.
EiBRoy Cantrell *Collaboration on process and potential teaching opportunities.
FISH
Egypt
Central Laboratory for Aquaculture Research, EgyptHosting of the Abbassa Aquaculture Research and Training Facility in Egypt.
FISH
Pacific
Secretariat of the Pacific
Community
Scaling partner for small-scale fisheries in the Pacific region.
FTA
Indonesia
Forestry and Environment Research, Development, and
Innovation Agency,  Indonesia
Developing and promoting market-based agroforestry options
and integrated landscape management for smallholder forestry.
FTA
Laboratory of Geo- Information Science and Remote Sensing, Wageningen University & ResearchPart of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) Global Comparative Study on Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), partners contribute to research on Module 3 that focuses on measuring
carbon emissions and determining forest and carbon reference
levels, and works on the Monitoring, Measurement, Reporting
and Verification of forests and carbon.
GENEBANK
National genebanksHosting safety duplicates on behalf of partners or colleagues.
GENEBANK
International Treaty on Plant
Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and  Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariats
International policy development, capacity building for national
programs’ policy development.
LIVESTOCK
East Africa
The Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines, GALVmedMaking improvements to the live Infection and Treatment
Method vaccine for East Coast Fever.
LIVESTOCK
Ethiopia
Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Amhara Region Agricultural Research Institute, Southern Agricultural Research Institute, Oromia  Agricultural Research Institute, Tigray
Agricultural Research Institute
Coordinating sheep and goat research nationally and responsible for aligning objectives of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) funded project with the national strategy; the regional centers are responsible for implementation of agreed project activities in the seven value chain sites in Ethiopia and support the project with staff time and facilities of the designated local research centers.
MAIZE
Kenya
Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization and Agricultural Research OrganizationElite germplasm for product development.
MAIZE
Purdue UniversityDiverse yellow/orange maize germplasm for provitamin A enrichment.
PIM
Asia and Pacific Region
Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research InstitutionsAgricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI): Leading capacity strengthening and data collection on agricultural R&D indicators in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.
PIM
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)FAO’s Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies Program is a partner in a series of policy-oriented research studies, and FAO’s Special Program on Youth Employment in Africa team is collaborating with PIM on the forthcoming book “Youth and Jobs in Rural Africa”.
PIM
International Land CoalitionScales up the use of Collaborating for Resilience approaches through 22 National Engagement Strategies.
RICE
Kenya
Cornell University and Makerere UniversityCapacity building, Design, Analysis and Communicating results (by Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation, GREAT).
RICE
LEHNER*Piloting precision application technologies.
RTB
Natural Resources Institute, UKDevelopment of gender-aware user-preferred product profiles for RTB breeding under the RTBFoods project, taking into account food science and economic considerations. Methods to
be shared widely with RTB Breeding teams as appropriate.
RTB
Intertek Lab*The High Throughput Genotyping platform is a genotyping project. The service is provided by Intertek Lab which became operational in 2017 and offers high-throughput single-plex SNP assay for forward breeding (marker-assisted selection) at competitive rates.
WHEAT
China
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), China, BeijingJoint labs, staff, research.
WHEAT
Central Asia
University of Central Asia
Kyrgyzstan, Tajik Agricultural
Academy of Sciences, The
Scientific Research Institute of Agricultural Economics
Adoption and Impact Study in three countries, Central Asia.
WLE
(5 countries)
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur
Internationale  Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Joint work to share project results with stakeholders, policy makers. Partnerships with the GIZ Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security Program: Piloting of soil fertility and soil carbon enhancing technologies in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, and India.
WLE
Ethiopia
Sustainable Land Management Project, EthiopiaPiloting and scaling of successful land restoration practices co-developed by WLE in Ethiopia.

*Private sector entities. A longer (but incomplete) list of partnerships in 2017, is available in Selected external  partnerships in 2017. A full partnerships database is under construction for the future CGIAR Results Dashboard.

Figure 1. Partnerships are integral to the development of innovations: reported level of contribution of CGIAR  programs to innovations in 2017

FEATURED PARTNERSHIP
In an effort to improve the livelihoods of nearly 6 million cocoa farmers across Africa, Asia and Latin America who produce 90% of cocoa worldwide, the Global Network on Cacao Genetic Resources Conservation and Use (CacaoNet), coordinated by CGIAR, brings together actors from public and private sectors to facilitate cocoa breeding and many other activities, including the International Cocoa Awards.

 

Partnering with the private sector for greater impact

Global private spending on agricultural R&D – excluding R&D by food industries – rose from USD 5.1 billion to 15.6 billion between 1990 and 2014.iv In India alone, the private sector now invests more than four times as much as the public sector in agriculture and agri-food value chains.v

Against this backdrop, CGIAR in 2017 renewed its commitment to forging partnerships with private sector players as an important pathway to addressing its key objectives. CGIAR is focusing on building high-level buy-in and awareness for a market-based approach to private sector partnerships. Plans are well under way to drive systemic change across CGIAR to generate social and economic value from collaboration with industry.

A message from CGIAR’s science leaders and private sector partners on strong partnerships with the private sector

A survey conducted under the 2017 IEA Evaluation of Partnerships in CGIAR showed that “the percentage involving private sector partners [has] increased over time, from 15% established before CRPs began, to 19% early in the CRP period and 28% established later.”vi A small selection of examples of partnerships, including private sector  partnerships, in 2017 is given in Table 2 and a more extensive list is available in Selected external partnerships in 2017.

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Footnotes

1 Tagging by partner type was inconsistent for 2017, so it is not possible to reliably report numbers by type.
2 Innovations are significant products of Research for Development, such as varieties, technologies, methods or findings. The analysis covers only those innovations which were correctly tagged for ‘contribution of CGIAR’.

References

i CGIAR-IEA, “Final Report: Evaluation of Partnerships in CGIAR” (Rome, Italy: Independent Evaluation Arrangement (IEA) of CGIAR, 2017), http://iea.cgiar.org.
ii FCGIAR-IEA, “Final Report: Evaluation of Partnerships in CGIAR”, p.2.
iii CGIAR, “System Management Board Commentary on the Evaluation of Partnerships in CGIAR” (CGIAR, December 12, 2017), http://iea.cgiar.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/SMB-Commentary_2017-Evalulation-Partnerships_Submission-to-SC.pdf
iv K. Fuglie, “The Growing Role of the Private Sector in Agricultural Research and Development World-Wide,” Global Food Security 10 (2016):29–38.
v M. Ferroni and Y. Zhou, “The Private Sector and India’s Agricultural Transformation,” Global Journal of Emerging Market Economies 9, no. 1–3 (January 1, 2017): 28–37, https://doi.org/10.1177/0974910117716406.
vi CGIAR-IEA, “Final Report: Evaluation of Partnerships in CGIAR”, p.20.

Photo by D. Mills/WorldFish.