Fourth External Programme and Management Review of IPGRI, 1997
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External program and management review of IPGRI conducted between March 1996 and February 1997 by a panel chaired by Calvin Qualset. The document contains an excerpt from the summary of the CGIAR meeting of May 1997, a transmittal letter from the TAC Chairman and CGIAR Executive Secretary, TAC comments, IPGRI's response, and a transmittal letter from the review panel chair.This is the second review of the institute following its transition from an FAO unit to independent status. The panel notes considerable expansion of staff and funding, as well as the addition of responsibility for bananas and plantains under INIBAP. IPGRI is not a research organization primarily, but a service organization, which serves as well as coordinator for the Systemwide Genetic Resources Program (SGRP). Its strategy is intended to protect genetic resources for future use. The panel made a very positive report, with 16 recommendations. Among these was the use of competitive methods in subcontracting research, strengthened program planning and review, and an active role in ensuring that IARC representatives can participate authoritatively in strategic planning, and consult about options for programmatic integration of CGIAR germplasm efforts. It also noted that IPGRI Board members work as individuals with virtually no committee structure.TAC saw a need for rigorous priority setting, given IPGRI's broad subject matter and mandate. Linkages between strategic planning and operational aspects needed to be strengthened. TAC also urged more attention to impact assessment, and improved coordination on banana and plantain with IITA. An external review of SGRP would address issues raised about global planning, and the articulation and representation of CGIAR policies on genetic resources. TAC was not in favor of having a staff legal expert at IPGRI, but encouraged more work on policy, including collaboration with IFPRI.