Applied participatory priority setting in international agricultural research: Making trade-offs transparent and explicit uri icon

abstract

  • This paper describes an ex-ante multi-objective framework (economic efficiency, equity, internationality and sustainability) for assessing research priorities at an international agricultural research center. With its supplyside methodological orientation it complements the Technical Advisory Committee/Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research demand-side analysis and thus represents a step forward in formulating research agendas. The distinct advantage of the framework described here is that at a time of intense competition for scarce funds, it makes explicit the benefits that would flow from additional investments to an institute as well as the opportunity costs corresponding to reductions. This kind of information is useful for the TAC and the CGIAR Secretariat in making decisions about allocating scarce research resources across CGIAR centers.The methodology used in setting research priorities for ICRISAT's (International Crops Research for the Semi-Arid Tropics) 1994?1998 Medium Term Plan provides clear criteria for establishing choices among competing research activities, is analytically rigorous, draws on scientists' empirical and intuitive knowledge base, and is transparent and interactive. Research themes identified are impact-oriented, projecting clear milestones against which progress can be measured and evaluated ex-post. Thus, assumptions about prospective yield increases, research lags, probabilities of success, and adoption lags and ceilings can be tested against actual delivery of a new research-induced technology. This forms an integral part of the research evaluation process and facilitates revising priorities in the light of such experiences

publication date

  • 1995
  • 1995