Descriptors for Documenting Innovations and their Contributions to Impact

The CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers, and Bananas (RTB) has been one of the leading CGIAR
research programs in designing, developing, and using complexity-sensitive tools and practices that
inform innovation management decisions in CGIAR. In addition to Scaling Readiness1
, which has been
adopted by One CGIAR2
, several CGIAR centers3
, and CGIAR research programs4
, RTB has developed
Scaling Fund5 as an instrument to nurture the innovations that have a significant potential for Scaling.
RTB has also developed many other innovations that address innovation portfolio management, such
as research impact forecasts6
and gender7
Building on its experience in developing innovation management tools and practices, RTB has recently
commissioned an interdisciplinary team, the RTB Catalog Team, to develop prototypes of a novel,
systematic, innovation documentation framework and an online portal featuring key innovations
generated by the program since 2015. The prototypes will be essential tools for establishing a new
innovation management architecture that better serves the needs of One CGIAR by systematizing the
existing CGIAR digital resources such as CLARISA, MEL, MARLO, and complementing them with an
application tested using the diverse innovations in the RTB portfolio.
In June 2021, two milestones were completed for developing the prototypes: the Methodology that
describes the conceptual model and design principles and the Review of Digital Data Resources on
Innovation and Impact. This document presents the third major milestone for developing the
prototypes: Descriptors for Documenting Innovations and their Contributions to Impact. Following an
introduction and description of the method, this paper presents the profiles and descriptions of each
of the shortlisted innovation and impact-related descriptors, selected from a longer list of 255
identified by the RTB Innovation Catalog Team from 19 global digital resources.