The Program Management Framework sets out the processes, activities and tasks that need to be carried out for efficient and effective project management. The need for such guidance has been recognized throughout the CGIAR. During a recent survey of Centers by the Consortium Internal Audit Unit the lack of effective program and project processes and procedures was identified by Centres as one of the greatest risks to their operations. As we move to larger, more complex projects with multiple partners across countries the need for effective project management becomes critical – we can no longer manage our projects on the back of an envelope. The framework also sets out the role of different staff in the processes of project management. Many of you have been involved in developing the framework over the past 9 months and following the general staff meeting a series of workshops are planned over the next few weeks to roll it out. See https://www.ilri.org/pmf
We also launched the Institutional Ethics Research Committee in May. Ethical approval of all ILRI research is now a requirement. It is demanded by many journals, increasingly donors are asking that the research they fund is approved by the ethics committee of the organizations that they contract and in some countries where we work it is a legal requirement. For most of the work we do a fairly light review is all that is required although some research will require a more careful review. A new on-line tool to facilitate the process will be available soon. I want to thank the committee and the staff of the Research Compliance Office for the work they have done in getting the processes in place.
The Institute Research and Management Committee met for three days to discuss resource mobilization and how to strengthen our regional programs. Prior to the meeting programs had identified a number of topics that could form the basis of large resource mobilization efforts. Each of these was presented, discussed and critiqued. A modified list of topics or ‘big ideas’ has been produced and now teams will be formed to develop these into concept notes that will form the basis of discussions with potential donors. Each idea will also have a ‘marketing plan’ which will set out how we will move from an idea to a funded project.
On 17 June several of us met with senior staff of the Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO). The purpose was to identify areas of common interest through which we could strengthen our collaboration. We also agreed to sign a new MoU between ILRI and KALRO. The text has now been agreed and we are looking for a date when it can be signed by the two DGs.
In May the United Nations Environment Assembly met in Nairobi, facilitated by UNEP. This is the main global event at which governments meet to discuss global environmental matters. ILRI co-sponsored an important side event on sustainable pastoralism. This was designed to raise the awareness of the importance of pastoralism globally. The event attracted a large audience. The assembly also approved a resolution on the importance of pastoralism, tabled by the Government of Ethiopia. ILRI’s Fiona Flintan worked closely with Ethiopian Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, H.E Shiferaw Teklemariam on drafting the resolution. One of the main clauses in the resolution calls for UNEP, with other stakeholders to ‘….explore whether there are gaps in the current provision of technical support and environmental and socioeconomic assessments of grasslands, rangelands, soil erosion, land degradation, land tenure security and water security in drylands…’ Polly Ericksen and I have had preliminary discussions with UNEP on how ILRI can contribute to this gap analysis. We anticipate that the analysis will identify the need to a comprehensive global assessment of rangelands and pastoralism.
With Ethiopian Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Ethiopia, Dr Shiferaw Teklemariam at the UNEP side event
Till next month.