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Learning from the Periphery: The CGIAR and Civil Society Partnerships

Executive Summary:

This report aimed to better understand the organisation, development and impact of Consultative Group / Civil society organisation (CSO) partnerships, having been initially commissioned by the Standing Panel on Mobilizing Science of the Science Council of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The report presents key insights and lessons learned from the analysis of six notionally successful CG-CSO partnerships and we hope demonstrates not only the impact of these partnerships, but also how partnerships of this nature might be best organised and supported in the future.

The partnerships studied encompass many CG Centres, environments, technologies and developmental needs. From Papa Andina's demand-led methodologies, to '˜Poverty Elimination Through Rice Research Assistance's' (PETRRA's) support and development of complex research partnerships, to the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics' (ICRISAT's) or the International Water Management Institute's (IWMI's) focus on community-level innovation all the partnerships, to varying degrees, articulate need, deliver technologies, develop innovative methodologies and build capacities, trust and the networks that increasingly border CG Centres. However, partnerships are also developing other, sometimes unforeseen outcomes, including giving insight into institutional innovation, developing international public goods (IPGs) such as methodological insights into demand-led research and gearing CG Centres towards more '˜innovation systems' thinking.