GCARD2010: Collective action in international agricultural research

The afternoon session on collective action in international agricultural research was conceived as a linkage with the regional discussions from the morning. Dr Colin Chartres of IWMI gave a presentation on the CGIAR perspectives on partnerships, outlining the challenges and opportunities based on concrete examples of the CGIAR’s work with regional partners.
Chartres acknowledged that the CGIAR was a small player in the AR4D system and that expectations often exceed what the CGIAR can and should deliver.
He acknowledged that the current GCARD process is critical to the design of the new Mega Programmes, even though some donors have raised concerns about lack of progress.
The CGIAR’s role should focus on the developing of international public goods, addressing complex problems at the intersection of poverty, food security, and an environmental risk.
“We can also serve as an honest broker and intermediary between countries,” he added. “Because we are small, we can also act as a catalyst, helping nations adapt and adopt global public goods developed elsewhere.”
Looking ahead, the CGIAR will focus on producing more demand driven, product-oriented research outputs, with greater focus on coordination, and continued emphasis on partnerships.
During the discussion session, participants highlighted low farmer involvement in the design and implementation of programs and suggested that the Centers include more farmers on their boards and management committees, and incorporate indigenous knowledge into the research cycle.

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