Unanimity to support CGIAR change process

9 October, 2009 by (comments)

Deputy directors of research and finance of the 15 CGIAR centers have opted to support unanimity in the sharing of common services between them, as the CGIAR continues its transformation from a center-specific into a program-specific organization.

The decision was made at this week’s four-day Alliance Deputy Executive (ADE) meeting at the CIAT headquarters in Colombia, and is part of the ongoing CGIAR change process.

Participants met with Accenture, a consultancy company that has been reviewing the CGIAR’s current system of service provision in administration, finance and research support, to make it more comprehensive and efficient. The meeting followed a similar gathering held in Rome earlier in the year, which saw the formation of the Reference Group, which worked with Accenture to identify the main areas where sharing of services generate a significant impact.

At this week’s meeting, five models for providing such shared services amongst the CGIAR centers were developed and discussed. One of the aims was to agree on a recommendation to the CGIAR Transission Management Team (TMT) on the type of shared services and how an agreement could be reached for implementation.

On Tuesday, participants agreed to propose that the best option is for decisions to be made unanimously. This means the centers, together with the soon-to-be- established Consortium and Fund will discuss and agree on the services to be shared with implementation taking place when agreement amongst the centers is reached.

To discuss the shared services agenda in more detail, the ADE meeting then proposed to form four working groups to address areas where significant challenges are expected as a result of the transformation process: general capital management; centers’ infrastructure maintenance; Secretariat-to-Consortium transition; reporting and accounting requirements of Mega Programs.

Albin Hubscher, CIAT’s Director of Corporate Services was very pleased that the meeting took place at CIAT and that further progress has been made on this very complex transition process: “The meeting was productive and it clearly showed that the devil is in the details. On the ADE finance side, we have identified the areas that are crucial for this process to be successful. With the help of Accenture, which has provided options under which services can be shared, we hope the moves made will improve services across the board and reduce the need for redundancies.”

Filed Under: Inside CIAT