Basics – the new proposal

Some core aspects of the new proposal are:

  1. The Livestock Agri-food Systems CGIAR Research Program is intended to consolidate much of the CGIAR’s livestock research
  2. It will provide research-based solutions to help drive the transition to sustainable, resilient livelihoods and diets for future generations.
  3. It will focus on ‘smallholders’ – they produce most livestock (and half of crop) products in developing countries; transforming these systems can increase animal source food supply to consumers and supporting sustainable rural development and livelihoods
  4. Two livestock growth trajectories frame its research agenda: 1) ‘strong growth’ through sustainable intensification of livestock-based systems and 2) ‘fragile growth’ through enhanced resilience for livestock-based livelihoods.
  5. Research and development efforts will be targeted to specific locations and sites where technologies and interventions can be integrated into whole system and whole value chain analysis and partners are likely to take outcomes to wider scales.
  6. Partners are central to the Program, they contribute to discovery and delivery objectives: global to regional to national to local; from research to development; and from public to civil to private sector –specific to each research area and site.

It will be organized to deliver international and local public goods through:

  1. Three technology ‘flagships’ addressing productivity enhancing technology discovery and delivery strategies for animal health, animal genetics, and feeds and forages
  2. A flagship addressing integrative research on animal-source food systems and livestock-based livelihoods
  3. One flagship dedicated to strategies to manage livestock interactions with the environment
  4. With cross-cutting elements on gender, capacity development, communications, monitoring and evaluation/learning, open access and open data

The research flagships

Summaries of the proposed flagships: Animal feeds and forages
Aims to increase livestock productivity by identifying, testing and delivering superior feed and forage strategies responding to evolving demands for animal-source foods. It:

  • Works on more and better feeds: new feeds and forages; new strategies to use existing feeds and forages better
  • Works across CGIAR programs on ‘full purpose crops’; biological nitrogen fixation
  • Delivers options for delivery at scale of feed and forage technologies (eg seed systems etc); prioritizes opportunities for women, youth, new private enterprises

Summaries of the proposed flagships: Animal genetics
Works towards choices of improved breeds readily available, affordable and used widely and sustainably. It works on:

  • Understanding, characterisation, utilization and conservation of livestock phenotypes and genotypes in relation to future production systems
  • New and appropriate breeds: application of new opportunities in genomic and reproductive technologies
  • Effective delivery systems: breeding schemes, institutional arrangements
  • Policy and institutional support
  • New opportunities for business: especially involving youth and women
  • Increased capacity to undertake research in livestock genetics and genomics

Summaries of the proposed flagships: Animal health
Combines advances in vaccinology and diagnostics with refined herd health management to improve productivity and mitigate disease risks. It:

  • Evaluates animal health constraints and threats: methods and tools to identify the extent and impact of animal health constraints and how these are changing
  • Refines and adapts holistic herd health management approaches: impact of biosecurity, animal welfare and rational use of drugs
  • Develops diagnostics and vaccines: new products for monitoring and control of livestock diseases in the targeted livestock production systems
  • Develops delivery models to improve access to animal health services and products: demand-driven and gender-responsive delivery models

Summaries of the proposed flagships: Livestock and the environment
Works towards a reduced environmental footprint and enhanced positive ecosystem services from livestock systems that are adapted to environmental change. It:

  • Assesses the environmental sustainability, efficiency and adaptability of livestock production technologies
  • Optimizes natural resource use and enhance the provision of ecosystem services – exploring, testing and disseminating innovative livestock management solutions with end users
  • Develops and supports improved institutions and other governance mechanisms for environmental solutions
  • Unique role: to contribute evidence to the global debate on livestock and the environment that is particular to the developing world; and using field research to provide context-specific solutions

Summaries of the proposed flagships: Livestock livelihoods and agri-food systems
Carries out integrative research to improve animal source food systems and livestock based livelihoods in the following areas:

  • Systems analysis for priority setting and scaling and on livestock sector development
  • Gender-based analysis to inform research priority setting and equitable outcomes
  • Enhanced nutrition through livestock: nutrition-sensitive and cost-effective livestock interventions, market and investment assessment and opportunities to improve nutrition
  • Improving livelihoods of smallholder livestock keepers and their capacity to cope with shocks
  • Enabling policies, markets and institutions
  • Systematic learning to facilitate scaling of innovations related to the unique opportunities of livestock systems

Cross-cutting elements

Gender-integrated research — the coordination and consolidation of gender research across the portfolio

  • How gender (in-)equality affects the technological and institutional solutions that are designed, delivered and studied
  • How technological and institutional solutions impact on gender relations

Strategic gender research—specific research activities to inform the whole portfolio and beyond

  • How gender norms and structures shape the social/institutional context
  • Transformative approaches to addressing gender-based constraints
  • Opportunities for equitable livestock-related livelihoods and for equitable access, control and intake of animal-source foods

Capacity development

  • A strategic enabler in the complex process of achieving development outcomes through research
  • Multiple levels—individual, organizational and institutional—and covers a wider scope than the mere transfer of knowledge and skills through training
  • A key to engage with stakeholders in multiple ways and at different levels to ensure research outputs are taken to scale
  • Particular emphasis on the ‘design and delivery of innovative learning materials and approaches’ and ‘developing future research leaders through fellowships’

Communication, engagement and knowledge management
Helps in uptake and achieving outcomes and contributes to program effectiveness, learning and accountability. Across the program, will:

  • Support partnerships and policy processes so results are scaled
  • Communicate about the program, the science, results and progress towards achieving results
  • Promote learning and sharing to improve program effectiveness and collaboration
  • Make information, data and intellectual assets open and accessible.

Intellectual assets management
Helps in uptake and achieving outcomes and contributes to program effectiveness, learning and accountability. Across the program, will:

  • Formulate appropriate and effective IP models for prompt and broad dissemination of research outputs consistent with the CGIAR IA principles.
  • Identify and pursue IP protection when it is demonstrated that this will support global access objectives.
  • Develop and monitor IP and legal management of contracts with partners and stakeholders to ensure equitable attribution as well as compliance with our principles and guidelines.

Open access and research data management
Helps in uptake and achieving outcomes and contributes to program effectiveness, learning and accountability. Across the program, will:

  • Support flagships make all their research outputs, including data, open access
  • Support flagship activities to efficiently and effectively manage their research data from data collection through processing to open-access
  • Make information, data and intellectual assets open and accessible.