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Strategic partnership between the CGIAR and the Netherlands well on track

Report of the June 21 Planning and Evaluation meeting
July 4, 2018 By: F&BKP Office Image: CGIAR

Increasing the contribution of agriculture to nutrition and health, creating and implementing policy frameworks for sustainable agro-value chains and developing tools for climate smart agriculture are key achievements of CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs). This work receives support from the Netherlands, as part of the NL-CGIAR Strategic Partnership. Instruments managed by NWO-WOTRO have been developed to facilitate the NL-CGIAR Strategic Partnership and the collaboration between CGIAR and Dutch knowledge partners.

After 2.5 years of the partnership agreement, a planning and evaluation meeting with 35 participants and a Meet & Greet with additional ministry invitees, took place on June 21, 2018 in The Hague, the Netherlands. CRP leaders, CGIAR officials, Dutch research partners, and stakeholders from enterprises, civil society, research and government, in particular the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, actively participated in the event organized by Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP).

The excellent work done by the CGIAR was considered relevant and in line with the goals of the partnership. Among the priorities for the coming period until the end of 2019 and beyond three issues stood out:

  • More partnerships for enabling and scaling are needed to achieve optimal impact. The CGIAR is encouraged to put more emphasis on partnerships not only with national agricultural research systems (NARS) and governments, but also with local private sector partners like civil society and (SME) enterprises in the countries where it is active. The envisaged collaboration on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) between the Netherlands and the CGIAR at System level can support this goal. Closer collaboration with (Dutch) embassies and networks of excellence, and stronger interaction with other CRPs were suggested, also for leveraging different types of funding.
  • The role of women in agriculture in Low Income Countries is important and changing, for example the observance of feminization of agriculture in fragile states. The Netherlands is a strong supporter of the CGIAR priority for using and developing research methodologies strengthening the role of women in agriculture (SDG5).
  • Apart from farmers as food producers, also the role of both rural and urban consumers should be taken into account in research strategy and planning.

Participants at the workshop highlighted that it is not easy to find the sweet spot between requirements of different funders and instruments, which easily results in very high transaction costs, and called for more or at least continued attention for keeping procedures simple and pragmatic.

The next period until the end of 2019 will be used by strategic partnership, many stakeholders of which were present at the workshop, to strengthen and fine tune the research planning also in line with new CGIAR and Dutch policy developments and documents, and to start discussing the priorities and set up of a potential next phase of this pragmatic partnership. Participants acknowledged that the research narrative is changing. More focus is needed on how to tackle complex problems like food security, how to scale innovations and how to organize transformation of the food system. The future challenge is also to build research into development including early articulation of research questions with stakeholders and focus on research uptake.

Background information

Please find below links to the presentations given during the NL-CGIAR Planning and Evaluation meeting on June 21, 2018:

General presentations

Presentations by CRP and Platform leaders



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