CGIAR / Engagement / Fish / Livestock

Debating the Livestock Fish Mega Program

On August 24, participants from around the world converged on Addis Ababa to discuss the proposed CGIAR ‘Livestock-Fish’ research Mega Program. Participants attending came from 4 CGIAR Centers – CIAT, ICARDA, ILRI, and WorldFish; others came from Africa, Latin America, Europe and Asia. They represent governments, national research organizations, regional and sub-regional bodies (FARA, IBAR, ASARECA, CORAF), NGOs, the private sector, as well as international organizations (FAO, World Bank).

They came to Addis Ababa to share thinking on the Mega Program, test emerging conclusions,align the ideas of the various stakeholders, understand better how to make the partnerships work, and generally collectively refine thinking on how best to take the proposal forward.

Update on the CGIAR Change Process

The first day kicked off with a presentation on the CGIAR change process by Steve Hall, Director General of the WorldFish Center. In his view, the emerging role for the future CGIAR is to help make development happen and learning how to do development better, with partners

Introducing the Livestock-Fish Mega Program

After the general introduction to the CGIAR change process, ILRI’s Tom Randolph introduced the proposed Mega Program in more detail.

The proposed Mega Program has three main components:

  • A ‘value chain development component’ (the front end);
  • A ‘technology generation component’ (the back end);
  • A cross-cutting component on ‘targeting and M&E’, with activities on prioritization, impact assessment and learning, horizon scanning, improved mapping of systems, and gender analysis.

He introduced the notion of value chains that underpin much of the work of the Mega Program. This is the so-called ‘front end’ where the Mega Program partners engage in specific value chain development interventions, comprising assessment, implementation, and policy analysis phases.

The so-called ‘back end’ – the engine behind the Mega Program – will focus on technological development on high-priority cross cutting issues: feeds, breeds, and health – where the Mega Program expects to make biggest gains in productivity.

He concluded by elaborating on the niche to be played by the Mega Program. According to Randolph: “we want to play a catalyst role that brings together research and development actors through effective partnerships.” In this Mega Program, the CGIAR will become a knowledge partner for development organizations; and it will take on brokering roles that help bring development needs to our research colleagues.”

His presentation generated a wide-ranging discussion on the proposal in general as well as many specific elements. Participants also identified a substantial list of strengths and weaknesses of the proposal. Many of these were taken up in subsequent sessions discussing strategies on value chain development and scaling out in the proposal.


Postings about the consultation process and the stakeholder meeting

Photos from the stakeholder meeting

Video interviews from the stakeholder meeting

Powerpoints from the stakeholder meeting

2 thoughts on “Debating the Livestock Fish Mega Program

  1. Talking about ‘front-end’ and ‘back-end’, isn’t MP1 the real ‘front-end’ of the new CG? And if so, how do MPs articulate with MP1. In my view, those mechanisms need to be put in place ASAP.

  2. This is an important point to discuss.

    At one level it is certainly true that work done under MP3.7 needs to feed into MP1. And I agree that we still need to work out how best to do this. Having said this, however, it is important to recognize that MP3.7 is also making a very firm commitment to help deliver direct impact on the ground through its focussed work on key value chains. In that sense, it also has a “front end”.

    The easiest way to differentiate between the MP1 and MP3.7 in my mind is that MP1 is committing to improve the livelihoods of those who are especially poor and vulnerable, while MP3 is commiting to substantially increase the availability of and affordability of animal source foods for poor consumers. The links and synergies between these are important,and work under MP3 has much to contribute to MP1, but we should not lose sight of this differentiation.

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