CGIAR-CSO Engagment

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This is a long overdue blog entry on the CGIAR's first-ever Forum for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) at its recent Annual General Meeting in Washington, DC and forum follow-up. I am writing about it as Bellanet played a role in its implementation by developing the agenda with the CG Secretariat and Simone Staiger of CIAT.

As noted on the CG website...

"Attended by more than 100 CSO representatives, the event featured a series of lively group discussions aimed at identifying lessons learned and new avenues for improved collaboration, drawing on the experience of nearly 50 current CSO-CGIAR partnerships. These partnerships were presented in a three-day Innovation Marketplace.

The outcomes from this day of dialogue, the report to the CGIAR Business Meeting from CSO and Center representatives, and a full description of the CGIAR's engagement activities with CSOs can be found on its CGIAR-CSO Forum."

Bellanet continues to support the CG in the development and implementation of a strategy that is intended to improve CSO-CGIAR engagement. At the end of January, I was invited to Washington to join a day of planning on proposed activities and a process for taking taking them forward. One activity that has already been implemented is the launch of a Competitive Grants Program, funded by the CGIAR, in support of innovative partnerships and projects jointly conducted by CSOs and CGIAR Centers. Deadline for submission of concept notes is March 15, 2007.

Planned activities are focused around five aspects or levels for working together:
- Information Sharing
- Dialogue
- Consultations
- Mutual Learning
- Partnerships

Immediate work centres on development of a platform for information exchange and refreshing the CSO virtual discussion list.

We are sometimes asked the question why are we involved in this project. My answer is threefold: The area of focus is of interest to Bellanet and inline with our mission; the project is challenging which makes the potential for learning high; and, Bellanet sees value in maintaining the strong working relationship that it has with the CG which was built over the past three years mainly in the implementation of the CG's Knowledge Sharing Project.

[ Posted by Abubaker Basajjabaka on Monday, February 19. 2007]