On 17 September, the four CGIAR Centers working on this proposal – CIAT, ICARDA, ILRI and WorldFish – formally submitted their proposal to the CGIAR Consortium.
In their foreword, the Directors General of the four Centers wrote:
“In accepting the invitation to develop a CGIAR Research Program to increase global food security through livestock and farmed fsh, the participating Centers have embraced the spirit of the ongoing change process to propose a bold new approach for organizng and conducting our research. This new approach relies on two key principles: focus and new partnerships that together allow us to take more active responsibility for impact.
To improve our focus, we have agreed to concentrate our collective efforts on just eight animal‐product value chains in seven countries, replacing our conventional approach of more piece‐meal research across scattered sites. This will allow us to integrate our research in a holistic manner to generate the solutions that will transform the selected vlue chains and produce more food. Although counter‐intuitive, we see this focus actually enhancing rather than restricting our ability to generate international public goods for impact more widely.
Transforming value chains requires new partnerships, and here we propose to build on recent experiences in which Centers have been working more closely with development and privat sector partners. This emerging model has the Centers serving as the knowledge partner within large‐scale development interventions. This arrangement increases the urgency and relevance of our research while providing a mechanism for translating our research esults directly into use at scale. This also means that the Centers contribute directly to—and become accountable for—achieving verifiable development outcomes.
Clearly this approach will present new challenges and risks, but we are excited about its potential for generating measurable impact and are keen to begin. It will have implications for the way we organize ourselves and work together, but we have already been encouraged by the interactions and synergies being created among the four Center partners.
In the spirit of the GCARD meeting in Montpellier, we have actively engaged a wide range of stakeholders for their feedback and input as we developed the proposal, both through a series of face‐to‐face meetings and through a public e‐consultation. We have greatly appreciated and benefited from both the quantity and quality of response: the e‐consultation alone received over 14,000 visits and generated over 400 thoughtful — and often thought‐provoking— comments.
We now look forward to continuing to work with these stakeholders and new partners as we prepare to implement the Program to deiver impact on the ground for thousands of poor producers and improved supply of animal source foods for millions of poor consuers.
Ruben G Echeverría (CIAT)
Mahmoud Solh (ICARDA)
Carlos Seré (ILRI)
Stephen Hall (WorldFish Center)