CGIAR Capacity Building & other Efforts to Improve Food and Nutrition Security...The inside story

"The need for Capacity Development arises in all fields of agri-food research, but is particularly pressing in new areas such as Data Management and Communication Technologies, Landscape analysis and Climate-smart agriculture". These issues, together with other CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) strategic priorities for a food-secure future, are defined in the CGIAR Strategy & Results Framework (2016-2030)

This entry will highlight several Capacity Development efforts that have been undertaken by some of the 15 CGIAR centersthrough the existing CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) making up the CGIAR Portfolio 2017-2022. 


CGIAR’s 15 Research Centers implement collaborative large-scale CGIAR CRPs conducted in more than 60 countries with the support of over 10,000 world-class scientists and other staff, systematically contributing to CGIAR System Level Outcomes (SLOs) aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Besides two cross-cutting  interlinked clusters of challenge-led research: Agri-Food Systems  and  Global Integrating Programs  -  the CGIAR Portfolio 2017-2022  also includes three cross-cutting Research Support Platforms (which underpin the research of the whole CGIAR system):  

CGIAR cross-cutting issues embrace : Climate change - Gender and youth - Policies and institutions -  CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT (& monitoring, evaluation and learning as functions coordinated by specific Centers or Communities of Practice to ensure integration and coordination across the CGIAR Research Programs).


much broader than mere knowledge and skill development through training and education. Capacity Development is considered the responsibility of more than 60 CGIAR partner countries with donors and outsiders playing a support role of mobilizing capacities that reside within individuals and institutions. CGIAR Research Centres play an important role in mobilizing capacity by:

  • Facilitating access to knowledge (with Open Access & Open Data Support);
  • Brokering multi-stakeholder agreements that remove blockages to capacity mobilization;
  • Participating in relevant policy dialogue or advocacy;
  • Providing incremental resources that help in overcoming bottlenecks in change processes; 
  • Creating spaces for "learning by doing".

Through Capacity Development (enabling, for example, a specific theme, to make it grow and to flourish) can be improved Organizational Policies, Designs, Strategies, Plans and Processes.

In addition, Capacity Development can promote networking among individuals and organizations in order to improve synergies.


CGIAR Centers &  Areas of Work 


Related Capacity Development efforts



CIAT leads the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

All related research activities are carried out research in five regions : East AfricaWest AfricaSouth AsiaLatin America and Southeast Asia


CCAFS aims at providing a one-stop shop for data and knowledge generated by its research activities.

The program is mandated to produce international public goods (here: high quality open data outputs) that are freely accessible to the global community.. CIAT has developed a Data Management Strategy for its researchers and partners to enable them fulfill these obligations, while at the same time enabling a variety of data management procedures and good practices at project level. Much of this process is being guided by the CCAFS Data Management Support Pack


CIMMYT  leads the following CGIAR agri-food system programs :

  • MAIZE (to achieve greater impact on maize-based farming systems in Africa, South Asia and Latin America) and
  • WHEAT (to raise the productivity of wheat in developing countries).

In addition, CIMMYT has taken on a convening role in developing the aforementioned CGIAR Research Support Platforms.

Besides, CIMMYT is maintaining CIMMYT institutional network of scientific datasets and software repositories and Publication Repository, helping also to achieve compliance with common agreements (on Big Data , Open access, Open Data), and processes.

Through CIMMYT Academy and an  Learning Management System, CIMMYT (& partners):

  • Foster internal Staff Training Programs to help build attractive careers and strengthen the institution;
  • Involve graduate students, postdoctoral Fellows and Visiting Scientists in cutting-edge, impact-oriented research, hands-on and highly specialized (online MOODLE) courses, workshops, visiting scientist appointments and field days. These events can last from one day to an entire year.

Find out more from CIMMYT STRATEGIC PLAN 2017-2022 >>> Capacity Building


The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) is a centre of scientific excellence possessing the world’s largest Repository / Science Quality Platform of Agroforestry science and information focused on four Research Priorities:

The World Agroforestry Centers are based in:


Strategic themes for Capacity Development are:

  • Learning for impact
  • Creating synergies
  • Managing for results

ICRAF mobilizes human and institutional capacity:

  • for research to generate knowledge (supervise graduate research students and other young scholars through mentoring and on-the-job training, seminars, workshops and conferences);
  • for education to advance the communication of the knowledge (supporting educators to teach agroforestry)
  • for extension and development agencies to bring the knowledge to practical use and application.

Learn more from ICRAF Capacity Development Strategy (2013-2018)

Find out more about a highly variegated ICRAF’s Capacity Development Programme.

ICRAF’s Resources Online contain ToolKits,  Publications, Success Stories, Databases, Datasets, Concept Notes, Models… on support of Capacity Development. 


Bioversity International is a global research-for-development organization, which has a vision (supported by its huge Research portfolio– that agricultural & tree biodiversity can contribute to improved nutrition, resilience, productivity and climate change adaptation.

Bioversity International works with partners in low-income countries in different regions :

Through its E-Library, Bioversity International provides access to Training and self-learning materials  on selected topics on the use and conservation of agricultural and forest biodiversity for a variety of audiences including researchers, technicians, university lecturers and policymakers.

Many of the training packages include lecture support notes, exercises, notes for trainers, further reading, references, links and slides. Some materials are available in different languages.



Here are the latest news from all CGIAR Research Centers.


CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture (Communities of Practice) :

Crop Modeling -  Data-driven agronomySocio-economic data -  Ontologies [see : Workplan 2017] - Geospatial Data

The Platform will also connect CGIAR with existing initiatives, for instance, the Global Agricultural Concept Scheme (GACS), FAO’s AIMS, CIARD, the Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) of the Research Data Alliance (RDA), and the Global Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative are of high importance and relevance.