“The new CIAT Strategy 2014-2020 is well structured and targeted”
That is how Wanda Collins, Chair of CIAT’s Board of Trustees, referred to the new strategy last Thursday during a gathering with staff following the Board’s 68th meeting, held from 18-21 November at CIAT headquarters in Palmira, Colombia.
Two new Board members were present at the meeting: Charles Rice, a professor at Kansas State University with extensive experience in soil and climate change research, and Juan Camilo Restrepo, ex-Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Colombia, who previously served as an ex-officio member of CIAT’s Board during his term as Minister.
The Board Chair also took the opportunity to announce that Geoffrey Hawtin, Graham Joscelyne, and she herself will continue as Board members through 2014 and that John Hamer will be the program focal point.
The Board meeting was also attended by several guest observers: Marion Guillou-Charpin, a member of the CGIAR Consortium Board; Luis Aníbal Solórzano, the Consortium’s Director of Staff; Nguyen Van Bo, President of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS); and Malu Muia Ndavi, Senior Program Officer in the Strategy and Knowledge Management Department of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
During the first 2 days of its meeting, the Board made major decisions, including approval of the CIAT Business Plan 2014. Collins highlighted that the CIAT Strategy 2014-2020, the result of team work ably coordinated by Guy Henry, is very well aligned with the priorities of the CGIAR Consortium. The strategic initiatives proposed in the document are expected to open up new avenues for achieving development impact and influencing the CGIAR research agenda.
The Board also approved the Center’s budget, which for 2014 increased to virtually US$100 million: “This is an indicator of the good work performed by the scientific and support staff, as well as of the donors’ willingness to interact with us,” Collins said.
In addition, the Board received positively the results of the recent external review of Corporate Services and looks forward to the implementation of recommendations. Leadership in this area was recognized as a value for CIAT to play a highly constructive role in the CGIAR Consortium.
With regard to CIAT policies, Collins stressed the importance of fostering a better understanding of these among Center staff, particularly the policies on topics such as open access to research results.
In response to the outcomes of a recent evaluation, Collins concluded the meeting by encouraging all staff to send their suggestions and proposals to the Board, concerning how it can interact more frequently and effectively with the entire CIAT community.
The next CIAT Board meeting is scheduled for 26-30 May 2014.