The Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) 2010
Montpellier, France, 28-31 March 2010
The Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) 2010 being held in Montpellier, France from 28-31 March 2010 will provide a global action plan and strategy for improving agricultural research in order to make maximum impact on development, especially of the poor. This plan and strategy will be developed on the basis of a global framework of agricultural research needs and priorities, which will be established through consultations with representatives from a wide range of agricultural research stakeholders around the world. The Conference is expected to usher in change that will reshape agricultural research and innovation and improve resources for research.
GCARD is being organized by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) in collaboration with the Consortium and Independent Science and Partnership Council (now being formed) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The Conference will replace both the GFAR Triennial Conferences and the Annual General Meetings of the CGIAR.
The objectives of GCARD are to ensure that:
· Agricultural research outputs are accessible and relevant to the poor in developing countries
· Research focuses on the right questions and is driven by the development needs of the resource-poor
· Knowledge generation through scientific research is embedded in development thinking and practice
· Funding systems are aligned between research and development
· Effective innovation pathways are developed between diverse stakeholders
· International agricultural research systems are effectively integrated with regional and national partners (NARS, public, private and civil) and respond to national and sub-regional demands to help ensure development impact.
To carry out this major undertaking, GFAR will be reaching out to all stakeholders in agricultural research for development, working through its constituent agencies and networks, which include: the six Regional Research Fora, the Association for Agricultural Research in Near East and North Africa (AARINENA), the Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutes (APAARI), the Central Asia and the Caucuses Association for Agricultural Research Institutions (CACAARI), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), the European Federation for Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD) and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Latin America and the Caribbean (FORAGRO), who represent National Agricultural Research Systems and Institutes, the Alliance of CGIAR Centres, the FAO, IFAD, representatives of farmers organizations, civil society, the private sector and donor agencies.
The GFAR Steering Committee has appointed the GCARD Task Force, chaired by World Food Prize Laureate Dr Monty Jones, to oversee the organization of the Conference and the consultations preceding it. The Task Force reports to stakeholders via the GFAR Steering Committee.
The elements involved in the GCARD consultation process include:
1) Regional reviews, being conducted now and expected to be completed by 30 August 2009, through a synthesis of existing national and regional studies and reports on agricultural research and development needs and priorities. The reviews will produce a summary of regional research and development needs within the global context of agricultural research. The outcome of these reviews will also be used to frame questions for the e-consultations at regional and global levels.
2) Electronic consultations expected to be held between August and September 2009 and face-to-face dialogues, expected to be completed by mid-November 2009 in each region, will provide diverse perspectives on the priorities for agricultural research for development, working back from the desired development impacts to ensure that research and innovation are focused on meeting development goals.
3) The reform of the CGIAR, now in progress, which includes a review of global processes and assessments to frame the strategic operation of the international agricultural research centres. Consideration of the CGIAR Strategic Framework and impact-driven programs will be included in the consultation process as they evolve, to ensure that their focus, mutual accountability and relevance meet national development needs.
4) The Conference will be held from 28 to 31 March 2010 to align diverse stakeholders in agricultural research around a common agenda and develop the linkages required for its delivery.
The Broad Outline of the four-day GCARD 2010 Program is as follows:
28 March 2010
Examine investment needs for systems of agricultural research, innovation and knowledge sharing. These sessions will feature high level consultations and focus on policy change.
Summary: Day 1
29 March 2010
Enhance North-South collaboration with specific examples from the Mediterranean basin. Other issues include the recruitment of young people into agricultural research and extension.
30 March 2010
Priority development challenges and the potential role of research in delivering desired impacts.
31 March 2010
Possible solutions and ways forward to address the challenges identified. Participants will strive to identify better ways in which AR4D actors can work together to achieve development goals.
Summary: Day 4
5) Follow-up actions: The Conference will lay the groundwork for a reshaped global AR4D system with its action plan and strategy, as well as initiate new ways of working through global collaborative action. The policies, principles and practices included in the action plan will be further developed throughout 2010 into iterative cycles of learning, feedback, monitoring and repositioning culminating in a bi-annual GCARD conference.
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