Oversight, planning, and management

The Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) is contracted by the Consortium Board to the lead center, IRRI, which is executing it together with AfricaRice and CIAT as the primary CGIAR research partners, and with other research and development partners. Among these partners, some may through their mission and resources contribute significantly to GRiSP research at an international level, thus enhancing its progress and impact across several themes and/or regions. Such institutions may thus also have status as a primary research partner, including greater involvement in strategic planning and implementation of GRiSP. At present, only Cirad, IRD, and JIRCAS belong to that category. Each of these institutions has an explicit international research for development mandate and very strong rice research activities that have been operating for decades in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean. They have also agreed to strategically align their future rice research activities and resources with GRiSP in order to achieve greater synergies. 
        In establishing the GRiSP, all three CGIAR member centers (AfricaRice, CIAT, IRRI) accept that all of their rice research agendas and financial obligations will be reported under GRiSP, except for certain activities that are reported under other CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs). IRRI, as the lead center of GRiSP, has the capabilities and is willing to assume the financial obligations and reputational risks involved in leading GRiSP. The following criteria were taken into account in the development of the oversight, planning, and management and implementation structures of GRiSP:
  1. Low transaction costs – free up more time for scientists to do science
  2. Transparency
  3. High involvement of stakeholders
  4. Avoidance of bureaucracy
  5. Fiscal protection of the lead center and other centers
  6. High-quality scientific oversight
The GRiSP oversight, management, and implementation structures, flow of funds, and relationships among GRiSP members and partners are shown in Figure 14. The director general (DG) and the board chair of IRRI will have the overall responsibility for GRiSP, including technical and financial reporting to the Consortium. GRiSP strategic guidance will be provided by an Oversight Committee (OC); research planning and management will be coordinated by a Program Planning and Management Team (PPMT) and a program director (PD) with a small Program Management Unit (PMU). Implementation will be through global and regional research teams. Research management structures and processes in the three CGIAR centers will be changed to fully align with the thematic and product-oriented management structure of GRiSP. Current research leaders will thus take on new responsibilities to reflect the global programmatic approach in GRiSP. The OC is designed to replace major current Board Program Committee functions at the center level. With the exception of the new external members of the OC, the PD, and the small PMU, GRiSP will be largely managed through existing staff. Additional administrative transaction costs for implementing GRiSP will therefore be only about 1% of the total program budget.

Role of the lead center

The DG of IRRI and its Board of Trustees are accountable to the Consortium Board for the successful execution of GRiSP, for effective engagement of the OC and the PPMT, and for fulfilling the lead center’s own contractual obligations to GRiSP. The IRRI board chair and DG will report to the Consortium Board on GRiSP as a whole, including an annual financial and progress report in relation to the performance contract signed between the Consortium Board and the lead center (IRRI). The lead center DG will also work closely with the Consortium CEO on matters related to GRISP and liaise with leaders of research partners in case conflict resolution cannot be achieved by the OC or PPMT, before bringing the matter to the attention of the Consortium CEO and board.

Role of center boards

All CGIAR centers involved in GRiSP will maintain their own legal status and boards, and authority over all center management policies. GRiSP activities will be reported by the respective centers in their audited financial statements. The PMU will prepare consolidated financial statements for GRiSP for review by the PPMT and the OC. IRRI will coordinate the audit and other due diligence and oversight responsibilities required by the performance agreement with the Consortium. Center boards will ensure that the centers assume their leadership role at the continental level within GRiSP (Africa: AfricaRice; Asia: IRRI; Latin America: CIAT). That is, AfricaRice will coordinate and report on activities by all GRiSP partners operating in Africa, IRRI will report on Asia, and CIAT on Latin America. In addition, IRRI will report on all cross-cutting global research done within GRiSP, including bilateral grants that may cut across several world regions. 
    The center board members on the OC (see below) will report to the center boards on scientific progress in GRiSP. As the new OC becomes operational, the boards of IRRI and AfricaRice will decide how current Board Program Committee functions can be handed over to the GRiSP OC to further reduce transaction costs. 

Oversight Committee (OC)

Scientific oversight of GRiSP will be undertaken by an Oversight Committee representing the principal CGIAR centers in GRiSP and key stakeholder groups. The OC acts as an advisory body to GRiSP and reports to the board chairs of IRRI, AfricaRice, and CIAT. 
The composition of the OC is two board members from IRRI (including the current Board Program Committee chair), two board members from AfricaRice (including the current Board Program Committee chair), one board member from CIAT (the current Board Program Committee chair or member), at least four independent world-class thinkers from different regions that represent key stakeholders and have an excellent understanding of science and development issues, and the DGs of IRRI and AfricaRice as ex officio members.The four external OC members will be selected from eminent scientists nominated by, and representing the perspectives of, each forum where rice is important (i.e., FARA, APAARI, and FORAGRO). The OC will also be composed so as to ensure representation of all major scientific disciplines, regions, and partner sectors in GRiSP. Members of the OC are also expected to have good knowledge of gender issues in agricultural research and development. One of the four external experts will be elected by the OC to serve as the chair of the OC. The four external members of the OC will be elected initially by the boards of IRRI, AfricaRice, and CIAT. Subsequently, the OC will form a nomination and election committee to screen and recommend new members, with approval by a single majority vote of the whole OC. Representatives of the boards of IRRI, AfricaRice, and CIAT will be selected by the boards of these centers. Members of the OC will be appointed for 3 years, but terms of 2–4 years may be used initially to ensure a staggered turnover of members or continuity of the chair’s position. The OC may renew the appointment of an OC member once, at the end of his or her term. 
        The main functions of the OC will be to (i) monitor and review progress in science and its development relevance in relation to the agreed criteria in the performance contract; (ii) provide recommendations regarding strategic directions at the global level, new opportunities for investment, and enhanced performance; (iii) advise on the management and organization of GRiSP, including appointing new primary research partners to the PPMT; (iv) approve the annual GRiSP budget proposal prepared by the PD and PPMT; (v) provide input into center policies that impact directly on science; and (vi) propose and review GRiSP-commissioned external reviews on specific areas of research. 
        The OC will meet once a year during a 2–3-day Annual Science Forum (ASF) of GRiSP held prior to a board meeting by either IRRI or AfricaRice boards. The OC will meet at least once in every five years in Latin America, in coordination with a board meeting by CIAT. The OC may choose to hold a second meeting in certain years to examine specific issues of high priority. Topics for the Annual Science Forum can be proposed by the OC and the PPMT. The members of the PPMT may attend meetings of the OC as resource persons. Once annually, the OC will prepare a written report, which the chair of the OC will present in person or via video conference to the boards of the three major centers. This will constitute the technical report that will go to the Consortium board following incorporation of center boards’ comments and its approval by the IRRI board.
The OC will be informed about scientific progress made in the three regions through a brief mid-year update, which will also be part of the overall GRiSP communication and public awareness strategy. It will receive annual progress reports from the GRiSP program director on behalf of the PPMT and review those before submission to the Consortium CEO and board.  

GRiSP governance and management structure

Fig. 14. GRiSP governance and management structure.

Program Director (PD) and Program Management Unit (PMU)

GRiSP will largely be implemented through existing research management and administrative support systems of IRRI, AfricaRice, CIAT, and other partners in their respective target regions. However, to provide global leadership and coordination, GRiSP will be led by the program director (PD) and supported by a small Program Management Unit (PMU) composed of two assistant managers. The PMU will coordinate administrative support for GRiSP, drawing upon additional administrative support resources of the three CGIAR centers. The PD and PMU staff will be recruited and evaluated by the IRRI DG, who will also monitor the performance of the PD and the PMU and report on that to the OC.
The PD acts on behalf of all participating centers and partners in GRiSP. She or he will be responsible for
  • Coordinating, with the PPMT and theme leaders, strategic foresight, planning, and reporting at the GRiSP level
  • Preparing, with the PPMT and theme leaders, the 5-year and annual work plans and budgets
  • Communicating with the Consortium office and CEO on GRiSP-specific matters
  • Communicating with the leaders of other CRPs on coordinating linkages
  • Coordinating contracts with AfricaRice, CIAT and other strategic partners; centers will continue handling all other subcontracts with their respective partners
  • Monitoring and evaluation of progress against agreed milestones
  • Representing GRiSP at major events of the global/regional research and development communities
  • Fund raising for new global initiatives (together with the centers and other partners in GRiSP)
  • Managing the PMU, including the global program support and coordination budget, as approved by the PPMT. 
  • Preparing and conducting meetings of the OC, PPMT, and research leaders on GRiSP themes, and other small workshops with the research and development community worldwide
  • Implementing an effective internal and external communication strategy
While the PD represents GRiSP at public events, the DGs and DDGs of the three lead CGIAR centers and of strategic GRiSP partners will play commensurate roles. Key administrative support will be provided by the IRRI management system and the relevant management systems in AfricaRice and CIAT, particularly for managing finances, grants, reports, etc. Resources for this are included in the GRiSP budget.

Program Planning and Management Team (PPMT)

Initially, the PPMT will be composed of senior representatives of the institutional architects of GRiSP: the DDG (R) of IRRI, the DDG of AfricaRice, the research area director (RAD) of CIAT, the rice research leaders of Cirad, IRD, and JIRCAS, and the GRiSP program director (PD). For greater efficiency and alignment, Cirad and IRD may choose to have one representative for both organizations.
The DDGs and RAD of IRRI, AfricaRice, and CIAT have the primarily responsibility for implementing all GRiSP activities in their region and they will therefore play a major role in strategic planning and resource allocation within the PPMT. In addition to that, they have numerous other center-specific functions, including ensuring high quality of science in their center, research activities in other CRPs or other areas that are outside GRiSP, management of staff, etc. 
        Positions for other global rice research leaders will be available on the PPMT for countries/institutions with major international research for development agendas provided that these institutions wish to integrate their research programs with the GRiSP strategic and work plan and they are willing to co-invest significant financial and human resources. Countries with multiple institutions interested in participating in GRiSP will select a national representative, which may also rotate among different institutions from that country. The OC will consider such applications and appoint representation accordingly. Specific guidelines for PPMT membership and the roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities of these additional members will be developed by the OC in the first half of 2011. 
The PPMT will be responsible for the establishment, execution, and monitoring of the full GRiSP research portfolio, including the development of GRiSP strategic and work plans and business plans and regular revisions of research priorities. Full PPMT meetings will be held at least once a year, typically in conjunction with the Annual Science Forum. PPMT members will also meet monthly via video/phone conferencing and maintain frequent communication through other means. 
        Led by the PD, the PPMT will develop the annual GRiSP budget for approval by the OC. Annual budget proposals will be developed by the PPMT based on evidence derived from regular strategic priority assessments (see below) and agreed work plans submitted by the participating centers and their strategic partners. In the event that the resources coming from the Fund are not sufficient to cover the full range of proposed GRiSP activities, the PPMT will decide on budget adjustments and inform the theme leaders, who will then implement budget adjustments based on priorities within their themes. Key decisions will be made in a consultative and subsidiary manner among PPMT members. If the PPMT is not able to come to agreement on the allocation of Fund resources (primarily windows 1 and 2), the OC will be the final authority. Funds channeled directly to centers under Fund window 3 will be managed by the DDG/RAD of that center, as part of the overall GRiSP budget. The main recommendations of the PPMT will be presented by the GRiSP program director to the GRiSP Oversight Committee. 
        The PPMT will establish reporting regimes and develop mechanisms for tracking progress against milestones and budget use. In addition to external reviews commissioned by the OC, the PPMT will organize periodic research reviews to be held in conjunction with existing periodic scientific conferences organized by the two rice centers. The PPMT will implement changes in the program as indicated by these reviews. In cases of significant deviations from commitments by participants, the PPMT will recommend action to be taken by the OC. 
        The individual centers will be responsible for obtaining and maintaining any bilateral grants, including technical and financial reporting. However, to ensure a coherent research strategy in GRiSP, the PPMT will review all major bilateral grants proposed by the primary research centers in GRiSP with regard to research priorities and gaps in GRiSP. 
The DDGs of IRRI and AfricaRice and the RAD of CIAT will report back to the PPMT on GRiSP research activities in their respective regions and involve all relevant partners to prepare such reports beforehand, for example, through the involvement of GRiSP partners in annual research days organized for Africa, Asia, and Latin America, respectively. Each DDG (or RAD for CIAT) will therefore talk on behalf of the region and not on behalf of his or her center. These technical reports will cover all aspects of GRiSP activities and will be mapped against milestones. 

Regional oversight and linkages with stakeholders

The three principal CGIAR centers in GRiSP will continue to seek advice on regional priorities and implementation strategies through interaction with existing regional bodies and partners representing the agricultural, environmental, and health research and development sectors.  
In Asia, IRRI will interact closely with the Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutes (APAARI) and seek specific advice from the Council for Partnerships on Rice Research in Asia (CORRA), representing the leaders of the rice-sector NARES in 10 Asian countries. IRRI also interacts with the various regional fora under the GCARD process, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN; IRRI has observer status), APEC, and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and actively participates in regional and national investment fora and agricultural development initiatives. 
In Africa, AfricaRice and IRRI are active members of the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD, www.riceforafrica.org), a consultative group of bilateral donors and regional and international organizations working in collaboration with rice-producing African countries. CARD is a rice-specific response to the NEPAD/CAAD process, led by JICA and AGRA, and GRiSP will therefore be well linked with this major economic development initiative. The goal of CARD is to support the efforts of African countries to double rice production on the continent within 10 years. AfricaRice will also seek guidance from its Council of Ministers (COM, ministers of agriculture of 24 countries) and the National Experts Committee (NEC, NARES leaders of AfricaRice member countries) and by interacting with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), subregional research organizations (CORAF, ASARECA, CARDESA, NASRO), and regional economic communities (ECOWAS, CEMAC, COMESA, SADC) in Africa. In Latin America, CIAT will seek guidance from FORAGRO and the 15 members of FLAR, who represent a wide range of public- and private-sector institutions.
In addition to these higher-level stakeholder interactions, numerous products in GRiSP will be implemented through specific regional consortia, networks, or task forces, most of which have steering committees with wide representation of stakeholders (see the Partnerships section). They play an important role in setting priorities, overseeing specific GRiSP research, and linking it with national systems and investments.