Welcome to the ISPC
The Independent Science and Partnership Council is a standing panel of world-class scientific experts. Our aim is to strengthen the quality, relevance, and impact of science in the CGIAR, a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research for sustainable development with the funders of this work. The funders include developing and industrialized country governments, foundations, and international and regional organizations.
The ISPC is pleased to announce the appointment of Maggie Gill as the new ISPC Chair, and welcomes the arrival of two new Council members, Segenet Kelemu and Thomas Tomich. Ken Cassman, former Chair, and Rashid Hassan, former Council member, concluded their terms at the end of 2013. With thanks for their valuable contributions, the ISPC wishes them well in their new endeavors. Magie Gill (UK) has been with the ISPC/Science Council since 2004 and is Chair of Integrated Land Use at the School of Geosciences, College of Physical Sciences, University of Aberdeen. Formerly, she was seconded to the Department for International Development (DFID) as a Senior Research Fellow. Maggie has served as the Chief Scientific Adviser, Rural Affairs and the Environment, Scottish Government; Chief Executive and Director of Research, Macaulay Land Use Research Institute; and Chief Executive NR International, a joint venture company. She has undertaken consultancies and/or research in over 20 developing countries and was a member of the Board of Trustees of ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute).
A new CGIAR Impact Assessment site, managed by ISPC’s Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA), has been launched. The website has a number of new features, including an Impact Blog, a Key References page featuring significant research findings related to CGIAR impacts, and a page entitled "Where is the Evidence?" that maps publications (a work in progress). In addition, the site will provide regular updates on impact assessment activities around the CGIAR and attempt to build a Community of Practice. In time, SPIA plans to feature a large and quality-rated database of CGIAR impact assessments, allowing readers to see a broad range of impact assessments and to derive useful impact-related information. Click here for more.
The ISPC Secretariat is seeking applications from qualified candidates for a Senior Agriculture Officer (Agricultural Research) post. The incumbent will provide scientific and technical analysis in the areas of strategy and trends for agricultural research in developing countries, independent program review, mobilization of science and impact assessment. The deadline for applications is 19 June 2014. The full vacancy announcement is available here.
The ISPC recently conducted a self-evaluation of the Science Fora (SFs) as a core mechanism for mobilizing science in terms of identifying new science needs and opportunities, forging new partnerships, and increasing the visibility of the CGIAR. The purpose of this evaluation was to gauge the extent to which the SFs met their objectives, document their merits and shortcomings and detail the major lessons learned from the SFs so that future SFs can better address changes in world agriculture and associated research. The outcome of this evaluation is mainly positive and the report reflects that the SFs have evolved since their inception in line with experience and the lessons learned. The report can be accessed here.
A set of papers from the ISPC strategic study on conservation agriculture (CA) has been published in a special issue of Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment entitled “Evaluating conservation agriculture for small-scale farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia”. The 13 papers in the issue give insight into the state of the science on CA across a range of disciplines—agronomy, economics, environmental science and social sciences. The papers, together with an editorial by the ISPC can be accessed here.
Read the latest newsletter from the ex-Chair of ISPC, Kenneth Cassman, as he reflects on ISPC activities in the second half of 2013.
Science Forum 2011 - Special Feature in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA
Selected papers presented at the most recent Science Forum held in October 2011 in Beijing on the “Agriculture-Environment Nexus” have recently been published as a Special Feature in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA). The papers in this special feature collectively consider how agricultural science is responding to environmental challenges and highlight innovations in agriculture that could contribute to producing more food without increasing environmental pressures. The papers, together with an introduction by Ken Cassman, ISPC Chair and Jeff Sayer, ISPC Council member, can be accessed here.
Farm Size and Urbanization Study
How are trends in urbanization and changes in farm and animal herd sizes affecting agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia? What impact does this have on local and regional economies, on trade and on poverty? And what are the implications of these important changes on the agricultural research agenda of the CGIAR?
Read more to access commissioned paper and analysis
The Natural Resources Management (NRM) Research Stripe Review was designed to provide the Consortium leadership, CRP and Center management, and donors with insights that may facilitate the design and implementation of future successful NRM programs – programs that can produce international public goods and achieve impact at scale. The present report seeks to identify conceptual and operational issues that still require attention from CRP leaders, CGIAR Centers, the Consortium and the Fund Council, in order to develop research that will meet CGIAR system-level outcomes.
The ISPC mobilizes science for development by promoting international dialogue on critical and emerging issues. It works to foster partnership between the CGIAR and collaborators worldwide. The biennial CGIAR Science Forum is a meeting place for scientific exchange between CGIAR research centers and current potential partners. It is an opportunity for scientists to come together and examine emerging challenges, identify key research issues, and establish strategic alliances to address them. To this end, the theme of Science Forum 2011 focused on the "Environment-Agriculture Nexus".
This report examines at the challenges and opportunities for measuring environmental impacts from agricultural research; summarizes experience from four recent case-studies led by CGIAR centers; and presents new estimates of the impact of the Green Revolution on long-run global land-cover change.
The Impacts of CGIAR Research: A review of recent evidence
Authors: Renkow, M. and D. Byerlee
How successful have the CGIAR Centers been in pursuing the System's core missions? This review covers evidence dating back to 2000 and charts the impact of research contributions at local, national, and international levels.