Drought tolerant ‘magic beans’ developed and released in Southern Africa by CIAT and PABRA. Photo: Neil Palmer/CIAT




The Independent Evaluation Arrangement (IEA) is an independent unit established to advise the System Council by providing accountability, contributing to learning and supporting decision- making through the conduct of evaluations on the overall performance of CGIAR research, and functions and structures of the CGIAR System.

In 2016, IEA:

  • Completed the entire CGIAR Research Program (CRP) evaluation series: 2016 brought to a close 15+1 CRP evaluations (requested by The CGIAR Fund Council), resulting in a body of knowledge on research and organizational performance of CRPs since their formation. The evaluations provided independent expert assessment on relevance, quality of science, partnerships, governance and management. They have been used by Research Centers, the Consortium Office, the Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) and donors for changes in management of current programs, proposal development and decisions about the second phase of CRPs.
  • Completed a synthesis study of lessons learned from CRP evaluations: identified patterns and lessons for System-wide learning focusing on relevance, quality of science, impact, partnerships, governance and management. Overall, the study found that CGIAR has improved on production of international public goods reflecting science excellence, articulation of research-to-development theories of change, and partnerships.
  • Initiated three thematic evaluations: on key areas of Gender (research and workplace); Capacity Development; and Partnerships.
  • Completed evaluation of ‘Strengthening Impact Assessment in CGIAR’, assessing achievements of the ISPC-led project.
  • Enhanced evaluation quality in CGIAR through two technical workshops: ‘Assessing Quality of Science’ and ‘Use and Assessment of TOC’.
“As an international research for development organization with an ambitious mandate, learning from the past is critical for CGIAR to achieve its goals. Equally important is the need to ensure high credibility and provide accountability to donors, partners, and all those the System Organization aims to serve. Evaluation is an essential mechanism to address all three needs (learning, credibility, accountability) for effective change, as it helps CGIAR to learn from successes and failures, while also building trust and confidence for the future.”

Rachel Sauvinet-Bedouin
Head of IEA