By Dagmar Wittine, RTB Program Manager

The CGIAR Consortium of International Agriculture Research Centers is actively promoting Results-Based Management (RBM), which shifts incentive structures from rewarding research outputs to focus on the development outcomes they lead to. This requires a much more systematic effort to engage partners and should enhance efforts to reduce rural poverty, improve food security, nutrition and health, and promote sustainable resource management. RTB is one of five CGIAR Research Programs that were recently awarded funding for the implementation of an RBM pilot.

In 2012, RTB began shifting from an output-focused research agenda to a Results-Based Management model, to improve research performance, enhance progress toward desired outcomes, and increase value for money through evidence-based impact.

Based on: “The RBM life-cycle approach”
Source: UNDP, Handbook on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluating for Development Results, 2009.

RTB has begun to define its Theory of Change (ToC), which identifies how change is expected to occur along the pathway from output to outcome to impact.  The ToC is the point of departure for RBM providing the basis for monitoring results. In RTB, the ToC is organized as a set of flagships, linked products and associated impact pathways.

During the pilot we will validate three or four downstream delivery flagships of different crops and one upstream discovery flagship with partners and engage them in the implementation process (for more information, see Planning For Greater Impact and Piloting RBM in RTB).

The design of the full set of flagships will be finalized by inclusion of stakeholder input. The entire set of flagships will then be reviewed for consistency, which will entail mapping the flagships and linked products onto the current structure by Themes, and then mapping from the specific Intermediate Development Outcomes and the CGIAR System Level Outcomes (less rural poverty, better food security, nutrition and health, and sustainable resource management) back to flagships.

Gender is an integral part of the approach to client responsiveness and achieving outcomes that include improved gender equity, where possible.

Delivery flagship: Raising incomes and improving the health and safety at small cassava processing centers – rural women

We are looking forward to the RBM pilot as a central element in the RTB change process. In 2014 we will adapt and improve the RBM framework, and incorporate lessons from application to improve its utility. Because of shared attribution of outcomes, we will further refine the pilot through engagement with our key stakeholders. This would lead to a progressive roll out of RBM in 2015 and 2016, looking to a second phase of RTB in 2017 with a program portfolio structured around flagships and comprehensive RBM.

We are keen on building such a system jointly with other CGIAR Research Programs and sharing experiences for cross-programmatic learning.  We have already begun discussions with Humidtropics, another CGIAR Research Program, for joint implementation of RBM in at least one of their Action Areas.