Embracing Change: An Update on Implementation of CGIAR Reforms, June 2009

June 19, 2009.  

In December 2008, the CGIAR decided to change its governance structure

and way of doing business to respond more effectively to the needs of

its beneficiaries and to enhance its position as a key global provider

of agricultural research for development. Nearly six months into the

implementation phase of the Change Initiative, this edition of

Embracing Change highlights the progress made so far as we approach the

Executive Council meeting - a key landmark in the reform journey. It

also features a contribution from Tom Remington of Catholic Relief

Services, reporting on a CGIAR and civil society organization dialogue

about the change.


Next Checkpoint: ExCo


The Executive Council (ExCo) will convene from June 4-5 at CIAT in Cali,

Colombia, for what will be a pivotal moment in the implementation of the

CGIAR Change Initiative. Some have likened the implementation phase of the

reform process to a strenuous climb up a steep mountain. ExCo will serve

as a critical checkpoint in this ascent, assessing progress to date and

determining any changes needed as we continue to approach the summit.


At ExCo, the Transition Management Team (TMT)

<http://www.cgiar.org/changemanagement/cm_transitionteam.html> will

present the first concrete proposals for how the central elements of the

new CGIAR - the Fund and the Consortium - will operate.


Acting on behalf of all CGIAR Members, ExCo will evaluate the draft

constitution for the new Consortium, the framework for the Fund, the

Strategy and Results Framework, Mega Program mock-ups, the accountability

framework for the new system and preparations for the Global Conference on

Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD).


Entering into ExCo, the reform process will benefit from TMT's strong

leadership and the outcomes of recent preparatory meetings, notably the

meeting of the Alliance of the CGIAR Centers and the informal London

donors meeting. Both of these events, described below, undertook an early

evaluation of progress to date and made mid-stream adjustments prior to

ExCo. However, several issues remain to be addressed and the debate at

ExCo promises to be lively. The next edition of Embracing Change will

follow shortly after ExCo with information on key points of the discussion

and decisions made.


Consortium Design Milestone Reached


The Alliance of CGIAR Centers reached an important milestone at its recent

meeting on May 11-13 in Rome. Alliance leadership (Center Board Chairs and

Center Directors General) reached consensus on a workable model for the

Consortium constitution and the process for developing the Strategy and

Results Framework (SRF) and Mega Programs.


The Alliance examined all aspects of the draft constitution, using a set

of key design questions previously discussed with stakeholders on a range

of topics - decision making, fund allocation, Consortium Office

financing, the Consortium's role in organizational redesign and the

Consortium Board. The draft constitution reflects unanimous agreement on a

number of key Consortium design issues. However, the Center Boards have

yet to approve the draft constitution.


With regard to the Strategy and Results Framework and the Mega Programs,

the Alliance approved the approach proposed by the Strategy Team, led by

Joachim von Braun, Director General of IFPRI. Analytical quantitative and

qualitative work on the Strategy and Results Framework and Mega Programs

will take place through the end of July, under the leadership of the

Strategy Team in cooperation with CGIAR Centers and partners.

Consultations with partners and stakeholders will take place during

June-August, culminating in a draft for wider circulation and consultation


With a "green light" from ExCo, the second phase of the Consortium

development will pick up speed between June and December, involving

further elaboration of the Strategy and Results Framework and Mega

Programs, nomination and selection of the inaugural consortium Board,

design of the Consortium Office and development of a proposal for shared

services. In addition, the cost of the new Consortium will be evaluated

and a transition plan developed. Over the coming months, the Alliance will

engage with stakeholders, including the donor community, and with the

Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development process. The

Alliance will next meet in late October to prepare for the CGIAR Business

meeting in December.


A full report of the Alliance meeting will be available on the Alliance

information and communication website




Informal London Donor Workshop Confirms CGIAR Reform is "On Track"


The Transition Management Team (TMT) convened an informal donors' workshop

in London on April 29-30 to provide an update on progress with many of the

key elements of the new CGIAR. The meeting allowed for an advanced

discussion of items on the agenda for ExCo-16, and feedback from those

discussions helped to inform final preparations for ExCo-16. Donors were

reassured that the reforms are "on track," but they expressed some

concerns as to whether we are moving quickly enough and whether the

changes are deep enough to create a new CGIAR able to meet development

goals directly. To learn more about this meeting, visit the change blog



<http://cgiarchangemanagement.wordpress.com/> , where you can hear

reactions from those who attended the workshop, including my own reaction

to the first day.


This site (http://sites.google.com/a/cgxchange.org/alliance/welcome

<http://sites.google.com/a/cgxchange.org/alliance/welcome> ) deals

specifically with the information arising, and being generated from, the

two elements of the transition that the Alliance is directly responsible

for leading - the creation of the Consortium of Centers and development of

the Strategy and Results Framework (SRF) and the Mega Programs. Updates on

progress and draft documents associated with the Consortium, SRF and Mega

Programs are all available here.


Source: <changeupdate@cgiar.org>


Günther Manske

Dr. Günther Manske