A Regional Approach to Setting Research Priorities and Implementation: Towards Satisfying National,
Janssen, Willem, Amir Kassam, and Alain de Janvry. 2003. “A Regional Approach to Setting Research Priorities and Implementation: Towards Satisfying National, regional, and Global Concerns”. Journal of Agricultural and Food Information 5(2): 67-100.
Regionalization of agricultural research across countries has received considerable attention in recent years, with the establishment of regional and sub-regional organizations in most regions. Recently, the CGIAR System has called for a regional approach to research involving bottom-up priority-setting and implementation, and integrating this with global priority-setting. This paper explores the possibility of developing an approach for research priority-setting that would satisfy national, regional and global expectations of regionalization and allow the regional and sub-regional organizations to assume a bigger role. The paper also considers how the CGIAR Centres may support this priority-setting process and how they may use it to define their regional activities. A review of existing regional research initiatives show the many models in use, with different extents of collaboration, and with different challenges and promises. Regional priorities can strengthen the relevance of agricultural research in a region or sub-region. A description of a relatively generic approach to establishing regional priorities is presented. Different research organizations that are present in a region can use the research priorities to enable their work, and it is possible for CGIAR Centres to participate in the regional agenda while respecting the global nature of the CGIAR System. The integration of regional priorities into the CGIAR global research agenda is an area where there is little experience in the CGIAR System. The challenge for the CGIAR is to determine how to maintain a global focus in its agenda while promoting a coordinated regional approach to research planning and implementation. Priority-setting in the CGIAR will become even more of an ongoing process while the bottom-up regional approach to research planning, priority-setting and implementation is established in all regions.
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