During the ILRI-hosted livestock fish Mega Program stakeholder meeting in August, Steve Hall, Director General of the WorldFish Center introduced the process of change in the CGIAR.
He highlighted four major changes in the new CGIAR:
- from 15 independent centers to 1 consortium
- from diffuse priorities to 15 Mega Programs
- from funded Centers to funded Mega Programs
- from recognition of impact to a focus on impact
He introduced 3 system level ‘strategic results’ (Lift productivity and reduce poverty; Contribute to sustainability and resource efficiency; Contribute to reduction of hunger and improved nutrition), and the concept of 15 mega programs (clustered in 7 areas) to achieve those results
Within this, the Livestock Fish Mega Program comprises
- Over-arching aim: To increase national and regional scale food and nutrition security by increasing livestock and fish production;
- Focal Beneficiaries: Livestock and Fish producers and consumers and developing country and regional economies;
- Geographic Focus: Countries or places where large scale increases in livestock or fish production is possible.
Reflecting on the process, he noted the ‘grand ambition’ of the change process, asking the recurring question: ‘where’s the new money’?
His answer: “a qualified yes – but it will not be a massive slug of new funding coming into the CGIAR system”. The money for the CGIAR will come through these mega programs.
He pointed out the massive potential for aligned and joined up work with many other partners in the new system. This results from a programmatic drive to make a difference, that will align resources and mobilize investments to make a much greater impact, in development. “If we get this right, we will get support. If we get it wrong or continue as before, we will wither on the vine.”
He concluded with several key messages:
This is going to be a radical shift in doing business, impacting the evolving roles and culture of the CGIAR:
- Moving towards a programmatic commitment to deliver impact – “that will link science more profoundly to development.”
- Adopting new ‘BBC’ roles for the CGIAR – as ‘bridge’ of best research to development; as ‘broker’ of partnerships; and as catalyst’ for change.
- With a radically new approach to partnership in the centers: to “How can we help?” instead of “Here’s what we want”; to “Thinking with” from the outset; and towards aligned incentives and interests (commitment to win-win).
In his view, the emerging role for the future CGIAR is to help make development happen (through BBC) and learning how to do development better, with partners
In response to questions, Hall emphasized that this is still a ‘work in progress’ in terms of some of the necessary organizational changes. On the CGIAR’s role in implementation, he emphasized that Centers envisage much stronger links through partnering, where needed, to bring Center research closer to development needs. On partnerships, he emphasized that the center of gravity needs to be closer to the needs of other partners and where the CGIAR can help, rather than the traditional CGIAR search for the partners it needs.
View his presentation: