Newsroom  Press releases  2003

7) ICRISAT passes external review with flying colors (22 August 2003)

The External Management Review Panel, which recently reviewed the management and operations of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), has given the Institute a strong rating. “The Center has endured trying times,” is the succinct comment of the Panel.

This review complements the conclusions of the External Program Review (EPR) Panel that had earlier assessed the science quality and impact of ICRISAT. The EPR Panel had rated ICRISAT's scientific programs as excellent.

Dr William Dar, Director General of ICRISAT, said that the reports of the two panels highly commend the health and functioning of the Institute. “We have passed with flying colors. This will inspire us to enhance our productivity.”

According to Dr Dar, ICRISAT is here to stay in India and continue its work in Asia. It will also continue and strengthen its work in the sub-Saharan Africa.

In its 61-paged report, the External Management Review Panel observed that the past few years have been some of the most difficult times for ICRISAT. Even under these constrained circumstances, the Center has been able to adjust and improve its operations. The management has done well to focus the Center's human resources, rebuild staff confidence, and implement human resource management systems.

The report concludes: “A period of stability has begun, with improved organizational structures, and with strengthened financial, human resource, information and support systems in place.”

More specifically, the Panel states:

  • The Director General has successfully focused effort and attention on building a unified ICRISAT where staff work together collaboratively to ensure a common vision and enhance ICRISAT's international standing. This focus has not only brought scientists, management and support staff together but also created a shared mission and belief that, despite fiscal cutbacks, there can be stability and a sense of optimism for the future.
  • The Center has installed sound financial systems and has made an appropriate investment in information technology.
  • With regard to human resources, management has effectively maintained morale of the team during the trying times.

Nevertheless, the panel mentioned that there are still serious challenges ahead of ICRISAT, and the gains in Asia need to be expanded further to sub-Saharan Africa. Some of the key recommendations are:

  • Continued investments in communications technology.
  • A human resources activity geared for cultural diversity.
  • Optimization of its Patancheru facilities.
  • A more realistic strategic plan and annual budget.
  • Re-engineered business procedures to increase cost effectiveness.
  • Enhanced Governing Board oversight.

by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.