Science Forum 2016: 12-14 April 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
26 November 2015

For 2016, in response to the new CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework having 3 SLOs, and with suggestions from the Consortium and Centers, the ISPC has selected the topic: “Agricultural research for rural prosperity: rethinking the pathways” to focus on the SLO which has not yet been addressed in a Science Forum (SF) – the contribution of agriculture to reducing poverty. The main objective of SF16 is to rethink the pathways for agricultural research to stimulate inclusive development of rural economies in an era of climate change. The Forum will marshal evidence and build on lessons learned to date, to suggest an updated list of priority research areas and approaches which involve more strategic and inclusive engagement with partners.

SF16 will be co-hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and held from 12-14 April 2016 in Addis Ababa. See the SF16 website for more details about the program and participation.

Is Rice Improvement Still Making a Difference?
20 October 2015

SPIA, through a competitive process in 2011, funded three impact assessments (IAs) to broaden and deepen the evidence base regarding the impact of agricultural research on the overarching goals of the CGIAR. One of these three studies, a collaboration between IRRI and University of Missouri-Columbia, that aimed to try and assess the contribution of recent modern varieties and traits (of rice) to yield with a new level of rigor has just been published. The IA uses time series-cross sectional data on varietal adoption, input use, and outputs, along with innovative econometric methods for three country contexts (Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines), and applies econometric estimates in welfare modeling to explore how benefits generated have been distributed and with what consequences. One of the main findings is that over (2005) PPP$25 billion of benefits are generated over the period in the three focal countries by the diffusion of post 1989 MVs, of which PPP$9 billion are attributable to IRRI genetic contributions, with similar distributional implications to the total effect of newer MVs (results subject to a set of main modeling assumptions). Approximately 45% of benefits are captured by those under the PPP$2.0 per day poverty line, while the aggregate impact on health from reduced caloric insufficiency due to post 1989 MVs is nearly 1.5 million Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). More about the background to this SPIA project as well as the publication (PDF) is available here http://impact.cgiar.org/impacts/poverty.

Seeking New Executive Director, ISPC Secretariat
5 August 2015

The ISPC is seeking a new Executive Director to lead the Secretariat. The Executive Director will be responsible for planning and organizing the work of the ISPC, the administration of the Secretariat (including budget management), and monitoring the execution of the Council's recommendations after approval by the Fund Council of the CGIAR. Please see the full vacancy announcement No. IRC2961 here.

Science Forum 2013 - Special Section - Food Security
9 June 2015

The Science Forum organized by the ISPC (co-hosted by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development – BMZ, Germany) in 2013 took the title: Nutrition and Health Outcomes: Targets for agricultural research. Forum discussions identified the need to conduct research which focuses on better understanding of some of the pathways between agriculture and nutrition as well as how to measure or evaluate progress along them. Another area in need of further exploration was how research could help to ensure poor consumers had access to diverse, nutritious foods. These two broad topics were explored in more detail at a joint Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH)/ISPC follow-up workshop held at IFPRI exactly one year after the Science Forum; key findings from the workshop were published in a brief in January 2015.

NOW - a set of papers from the 2013 Science Forum has been published in a special section of Food Security entitled “Strengthening the links between nutrition and health outcomes and agricultural research”. The 10 papers in the issue illustrate how global food systems are changing and suggest how agricultural research needs to change if it is to make a major contribution to nutrition and health outcomes. The papers, together with an editorial by the ISPC, can be accessed here.

SIAC Midterm Review, February 2015
23 March 2015

Strengthening Impact Assessment in the CGIAR (SIAC) is a 4-year program of work funded by BMGF and CGIAR core resources. This mid-term review meeting, held in February 2015, aimed to (1) give an account of SIAC activities (assess progress-to-date, provide comprehensive, integrated overview of SIAC); (2) solicit advice and feedback on SIAC, taking constraints and new opportunities into account; (3) solicit advice on plans for a final review in late 2016, and (4) identify areas of focus for a potential second phase (from 2017). More details here.

ISPC Strategic Studies: Metrics and Biotechnology Reports
17 February 2015

The ISPC has recently published the final outputs from the strategic studies on ‘Metrics’ and ‘Biotechnology’. We hope that these publications will be valuable contributions to the development of the SRF and the next round of CRPs. The Strategic Study of Biotechnology Research in CGIAR addresses issues ranging from gene discovery to the delivery of GM variety and livestock research products, bioinformatics, IP rights, and capacity issues; in addition to 10 recommendations; it also offers detailed suggestions for implementation. The report of the Strategic Study on Data, metrics and monitoring in CGIAR presents an analysis of the current activities within CGIAR concerning data, metrics and indicators, and offers a series of recommendations to address the key issues and challenges identified.

Seeking New Members of Council
16 February 2015

The ISPC is seeking to appoint three Council Members in July 2015: one with expertise in Crop science, one in Social Science and one in Water research and management. A fourth Council Member will be appointed in March 2016 with expertise in plant genetic resources and their management. View the advert here.

Experimental Evaluations Call
9 January 2015

SIAC's Project Steering Committee (PSC) approved the funding of 3 proposals under the April 2014 experimental evaluations call. 21 expressions of interest (EOIs) were received in June 2014, and 8 proponents were invited to submit full proposals by September. More details on the project page. Full proposals will be shared shortly.



The fifteenth meeting of the ISPC will be 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.


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

Following SF 2016, the ISPC conducted an evaluation of the Forum to assist in planning and modeling future events more successfully. An online participant survey was carried out and citation analyses were done for the papers published in the special issues after the previous three SFs.