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A practical perspective on One CGIAR. Lessons from 15 years of CIALCA agricultural research for development consortium work in Central Africa
van Asten, P.
Review StatusInternal Review
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This perspective paper complements the Special Issue, by taking the five Challenges and Recommendations to One CGIAR as a starting point, and grounds those recommendations in the 15 years of AR4D practice of the Consortium for Improving Agriculture-based Livelihoods in Central Africa (CIALCA). CIALCA is a longstanding consortium of CGIAR centres and regional and national research and development partners that aims to accelerate the impact of agricultural research for sustainable development and transformation. CIALCA has had a strong focus on the Great Lakes Region countries of Rwanda, Burundi and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, with affiliated research and capacity development activities in the broader East Africa Region (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania). The objective of this perspective paper is to derive key success factors and lessons learned from CIALCA that can support the development, establishment and impact of similar consortia as part of Regional Integrated Initiatives under One CGIAR. The table provides an overview of the challenges and recommendations made to One CGIAR by Coffman et al. (2020) and what we believe are the three most important practical recommendations based on CIALCA experiences, reflections and lessons learned. The core text of the perspective paper provides additional recommendations, perspectives and details. Our reflections could provide the starting point, or inform a broader assessment of successes, failures and learning among similar existing, mature CGIAR consortia and partnerships elsewhere, from which more concrete guidelines can be distilled to inform the establishment of new Regional Integrated Initiatives under the One CGIAR framework. It is important that such guidelines are broad enough to accommodate social, political and cultural diversity across the locations where CGIAR is active. CIALCA confirms that the key principles that drive the transition process towards One CGIAR make sense and should be pursued. Strong and continued (pooled) investment creates a stable and enabling environment for collaboration, learning and combining demand- and supply-driven research and delivery with partners. It also allows to bring together international, regional and national expertise to tackle complex agricultural problems in a multi-disciplinary way. When investors and partners see this happening, they are more than willing to co-invest and work together. If this occurs in an organizational set up that is conducive for doing state-of-the-art science and delivery, then this will attract and motivate young researchers and have a higher likelihood to lead to real innovation and impact. In the operationalization and implementation of its research agenda, One CGIAR should learn from, and build upon existing, mature AR4D consortia and initiatives such as CIALCA to ensure that existing relations, collaborations and innovation and scaling processes are preserved and exploited. However, we also recommend that One CGIAR actively supports and incentivises re-organisation, optimization and change in existing consortia and their modus operandi to further increase efficiencies and avoid business-as-usual mentality.
This research was supported by the Belgian Directorate General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGDC) through the Consortium for Improving Agricultural Livelihoods in Central Africa (CIALCA – www.cialca. org ). The research forms an integral part of the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) which is supported by CGIAR Fund Donors (www.cgiar.org/about-us/our-funders ). CIALCA has provided a basis for and has benefitted from various donor funded projects in the ...
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Permanent link to this itemhttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12478/7837
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