The ISPC contributes its independent feedback to the CGIAR System Council on the strategic relevance, rigor, and credibility of proposed Research Programs, capturing synergies across CGIAR research and providing coherence to the Strategic Results Framework. It also provides the System Council with recommendations concerning research quality in the CGIAR System, including periodic analysis of the System portfolio with respect to duplication, omission, and areas of comparative advantage.


CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs)

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The 15 CRP proposals were submitted for ex ante peer review in a sequential manner over a period of over two years (2010-2012). In the ISPC’s appraisal of the CRP proposals it became apparent that the research outlined initially included a considerable proportion of ongoing research brought together under the CRP umbrella. Furthermore, due to the sequential development of the CRPs, the proponents had not been able to consult with each other to shape an overall cohesive research agenda. The ISPC therefore undertook a series of strategic oversight analyses once the complete portfolio of the CRPs was available. Themes for these analyses were chosen on the basis of the cross-cutting nature of the topic.

This strategic think piece was commissioned by the ISPC in mid-2013. The aim was to provide an analysis of livestock-related research across the CRPs as a basis for providing advice to the Consortium and Fund Council on how best to enhance the CRP inter-linkages and coherence of the System’s agenda on livestock-related research issues.

This report examines processes and methods for priority setting to underpin a future revision of the SRF by the Consortium. This paper examines priority setting at both the strategic System level (SRF/SLOs) and at the operational level of CGIAR research programs.

The think piece on Theories of Change and Impact pathways, commissioned by the ISPC centers around theoretical articulation of the concept and components of a TOC. It provides a useful assessment of the adequacy and thoroughness by which the CRPs present the assumptions about their research leading to the planned outcomes and impact.

These think pieces deal with the interface between research and development. The two think pieces provide very useful analysis of the issues where the CRPs can share their common lessons and plan collective strategies and actions, and where some CRPs have specific strengths from which other CRPs can benefit.

This meta-level synthesis highlights common features, shortcomings and potential risk areas perceived in the governance and management arrangements described in the proposed CRPs with regard to the CRPs' quality of science, role and strategic engagement of partners and, in general, ability to deliver on CRP objectives.

In 2010, a survey was conducted among the Challenge Programs partners and stakeholders. The objective was to learn from the experiences of the ongoing multi-partner programs, particularly regarding factors that are essential for making complex partnerships work optimally for the benefit of the development objectives.



The fifteenth meeting of the ISPC was held from 04-05 April 2017 in Rome, Italy.

The fourteenth meeting of the ISPC was held from 14-16 September 2016 at ICRISAT Headquarters, Patancheru, India.


This Summary Report of Science Forum 2016 (SF16)  held from 12-14 April 2016 in Addis Ababa summarizes the Plenary and Breakout sessions of the event. The objective of SF16  was to reassess the pathways for agricultural research to stimulate inclusive development of rural economies in an era of climate change. Nearly 200 participants from around the globe representing the CGIAR and research organizations attended SF16.

For each of its Science Fora, the ISPC has developed a special issue journal publication to inform CGIAR research and the field at large. This Brief highlights key messages from a Special Issue Workshop held after Science Forum 16.