Strategy 2014-20

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Strategy 2014-20 / / Engaging CIAT staff in the strategy update

Engaging CIAT staff in the strategy update

A group of about 40 CIAT staff attended a seminar held at headquarters in early April with the aim of fostering discussion about updating CIAT’s Strategic Directions (published in 2009) for the period 2014-2020. Since early 2012, a small task force has been meeting regularly and consulting with CIAT’s management to move this important task forward.


The update is expected to be light but robust and will be carried out in a way that is participatory and inclusive. Toward this end, various documents and PowerPoint presentations as well as this strategy blog have been developed to inform the CIAT family about the process and to engage them in discussions of key issues.

The task force chair, economist Guy Henry, opened the seminar by posing several questions: What is CIAT’s current strategy? Why do we need to update it? What will it contain? What purpose will it serve? How will we construct it? How will CIAT staff and external stakeholders be involved?

A lively discussion followed, in which it quickly became apparent that many staff are unfamiliar with the details of the original Strategic Directions document. A key issue in the discussion concerned the relationship between CIAT research that forms part of the new CGIAR Research Programs and that which does not. Guy noted that all research related to CGIAR programs is guided by short- or medium-term strategic objectives derived from CGIAR’s 2011 Strategy and Results Framework. Other CIAT research must also respond to major regional or global issues, which will shape the role that CIAT plays in the future. The consensus was that by updating its strategy CIAT can exert more influence over current and future CGIAR Research Programs.

The seminar marked an important first step toward informing CIAT staff and engaging them in the strategy update. Let’s keep up the interest and collaboration!