Discussions leading up to and during the recent CGIAR Reform highlighted the number of committees (e.g. Board and CRP Science Committees plus ISPC and IEA) involved in the oversight of CGIAR research and their differing definitions of “science quality”. A special Task Force (TF) for strengthening the ISPC recommended expanding the remit of the ISPC to ensure that science quality is consistent across the System . The TF highlighted the need for increased coherence, linkages and coordination between the different System entities with respect to identifying and implementing actions required to ensure high quality of science across the CGIAR. The TF also recommended that the ISPC be tasked with ensuring effective dialogue and exchange of information on quality of science and future science direction in the CGIAR. Since the Task Force report was considered, the System Council has made clearer its expectations that funding decisions on CRPs need to take account not just of the quality of the proposals but also the likelihood of delivery and hence the need to move from just considering quality of science to quality of research. This can only be achieved by expanding beyond the disciplinary confines of science and embedding it within the broader concept of quality of research for development.

It was suggested that the ISPC was in the best position to facilitate System-wide agreement on the nature and assessment of Quality of Research for Development (QoR4D). The approach adopted was to establish a small working group (WG) on QoR4D with representation from Centers, CRPs and the IEA. This WG planned a workshop to learn of good practice from outside the CGIAR. The workshop was held at FAO HQ, Rome, Italy on 06-07 February 2017 with representation from across CGIAR System constituencies (such as DDGs-Research, Board Science committees), and key findings from those discussions are elaborated in the attached brief.

Read Workshop Brief here