Fifth External Programme and Management Review of IITA, 2001
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External program and management review of IITA, conducted between January and April 2001 by a panel chaired by Dr. Ken Cassman. The documents consists of an excerpt from the report of the 2001 CGIAR Annual General Meeting, a transmittal letter from the TAC Chairman and CGIAR Director, TAC comments, IITA's response, and a transmittal letter from the panel chair. The panel supported the programmatic changes set down in IITA's draft strategic plan for 2001-2010, which entailed widened partnerships with national programs and subregional organizations, demand-driven identification of research needs, and an agro-ecological approach to agricultural development. Recommendations included the development of methods for agenda and priority setting, and relatedly, recruitment of a deputy director general for research to be accountable for the management and evaluation of IITA's research program. The Crop Improvement Division was urged to define its priorities and objectives explicitly in terms of target environments and users and prospective impacts, and to orient yam breeding towards reduced labor intensity. The Resource and Crop Management Division was encouraged to make greater use of geographic information systems and modeling applications. Appointment of an agricultural economist and senior economist were suggested as ways to strengthen and guide socioeconomic research. Closer collaboration with other Centers and advanced institutes was recommended to improve understanding of the factors constraining the adoption and performance of improved varieties in humid and subhumid Africa. The panel suggested that IITA's Board undertake a number of reforms to clarify its division of responsibilities with IITA management and to keep board members abreast of developments between board meetings. The report was an agenda document at TAC 81 and at the business meeting of the 2001 CGIAR Annual General Meeting.