5) ICRISAT gets a positive assessment from the External Program and Management Review
The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) received a positive assessment report from the Sixth External Program and Management Review (EPMR) organized by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
The review was carried out in 2008-2009 and the report was submitted recently by the 5-member EPMR Panel. Each of the 15 international agricultural research centers that are members of the CGIAR undergoes an external review, sponsored by the CGIAR, to assess the Center’s research impacts and management practices.
According to Dr Stein Bie, Chair of ICRISAT Governing Board, the commendation from the EPMR Panel has strengthened the Institute’s hands in working to improve agricultural productivity and livelihood security in the semi-arid tropics of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, said that the positive report from the EPMR Panel is an encouragement to ICRISAT on the policies and strategies it had adopted in the past five years, and also an indication of the effectiveness of the Institute’s research and management activities.
ICRISAT’s EPMR assessed the Institute on the effectiveness and impact of its strategic planning and priority setting; science quality; research programs; partnerships and capacity building; and governance, management and finance.
The report highlighted: “ICRISAT today is a thriving research institute with a unique capacity to address poverty alleviation, food security, and natural resource protection in the SAT. The 6th EPMR Panel found a remarkable turnaround in the five years since the Center’s 2003 review thanks to strong leadership and improved staff morale. The budget grew by 70% and is projected to continue growing over the next five years.”
Echoing his team’s views, the Chair of the EPMR Panel, Dr Kenneth G Cassman wrote to the CGIAR: “The Panel finds ICRISAT to be in the midst of a renewal after many years of retrenchment. It is a strong, well-funded research institute that has expanded its regional programs in sub-Saharan Africa while also building strategic research capacity at its headquarters in Patancheru, India.
“The Center has strengthened its collaboration with the host country and also with national agricultural research system throughout the semi-arid tropics (SAT). Overall the Panel commends ICRISAT for a well-balanced and substantive research portfolio.”
Further, the Panel recommended that ICRISAT give greater emphasis to strategic planning and research prioritization to help guide decisions about the regional balance in resource allocation and about where to position the institute’s work across the research to development continuum.
“The Center has enjoyed continuity and strong leadership during the past five years, and the Panel is pleased to note that staff morale is high. ICRISAT has made a substantial commitment to improving its governance and management, and building a prudent and sustainable financial framework.
“While the Center can be proud of its achievements in the last five years, it should not rest on its laurels because there remains a formidable challenge ahead. Fortunately, with good strategic planning and attention to building research capacity in a few key areas, the Panel believes that the Center is poised for success in building programs to accomplish its mission.” the EPMR Panel noted.
The Panel made 17 recommendations to further strengthen ICRISAT’s impact from research and management.
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