Doing research business differently in eastern and southern Africa

Research institutions in eastern and southern Africa are changing the way they do business to unleash innovations.
Research institutions in eastern and southern Africa are changing the way they do business. They aim to make dramatic impacts on poverty by doing so. In tackling problems like climate change jointly, these institutions are aligning their programs, sharing their services and developing research platforms to provide easy access to people, knowledge, equipment and innovative institutional arrangements.

The sixth and most recent consultation in a series of meetings held over the last 12 months—including three formal workshops and over 200 people from national institutes, universities, other research partners and centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)—was held 24-25 May.

The integrated medium-term plan for eastern and southern Africa that these partners are co-creating will allow them to work effectively as one system. Their plan involves a Network Cluster comprising the 15 CGIAR centres and their African partners facilitated by a Network Hub operating virtually to help the dispersed groups in the region clarify and meet their needs. The start up plan will be refined and submitted to the CGIAR Science Council in June 2006.

The designated focal points for centres and partners involved in developing this plan are excited about what they are accomplishing and the momentum they are building. The CGIAR was an institutional innovation when it was created four decades ago. By aligning itself with its partners to ‘unleash innovations’-in strategy, structure, support systems, skills and shared values-it looks to be so again.

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