Senior management leaders from ILRI and WorldFish came together on Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 August at WorldFish headquarters in Penang, to share their experiences and lessons as partners in the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish.
As in building any partnership it was a great opportunity to track current progress, and identify any strategic and operational issues from the early stages of the Program that may need to be improved.
The workshop was informal, which facilitated open discussion and gave the participants valuable time to talk face-to-face.
WorldFish Director General, Steve Hall felt that the timing was right to identify some of the key building blocks of the partnership, and assess how ILRI and WorldFish can ensure that their progress continues smoothly.
“The meeting was important because we are entering the 12 to 18 month stage of the Program, where it’s a really critical time to stop and reflect on how we are doing, and respond to that diagnosis. It was also the first time that we’ve had the opportunity to really sit down together and have the space for discussion,” Steve explained.
“We understand that there is no substitute for face-to-face discussion of the perspectives you have as an institution, and how you manage the issues and constraints you are working under. The more you understand about your partner, where they’re coming from and their viewpoint, then the better the partner you can be yourself.”
Tom Randolph, Director of the program, added that the direct exchange of perspectives will enhance the collaboration between the Centers.
“It was particularly useful for the ILRI team to appreciate the rationale for the different philosophies the two Centers are pursuing through the priogram and how they are interpreting ‘by and for the poor’ in the tagline: ‘more meat, milk and fish by and for the poor’,” Tom said.
One major outcome of the workshop was the development of an action plan for the coming months, to ensure that the program will reach its goals of sustainably increasing the productivity of small-scale livestock and fish systems, making meat, milk and fish more available and affordable to poor consumers across the developing world.
“ILRI are a really important partner to us and we need to ensure that our approaches are aligned so that we can make the Livestock and Fish research program as good as it possibly can be,” Steve said.
With a shared view of the prospects for the program, both Centers expect to see great results in the future.