The World Agroforestry Centre is committed to generating and applying the best available knowledge to stimulate agricultural and forest growth, raise farmers' incomes and protect the environment through the provision of gender and socially differentiated answers to complex problems across different agro-ecologies, sectors and political spheres. The Centre's programme for research and development is based on three integrated strategic goals developed in consideration of the trends and challenges in the global environment, the emerging research needs and opportunities as well as the Centre's comparative advantage. The three goals are to: build livelihoods by generating knowledge, choice and opportunities; improve landscapes and their sustainability by better managing their complexity and, transform agroforestry impacts to large-scale through policy, innovation and partnerships. The description of the strategic goals as well as that of the Centre's role in research in development can be found in the Strategy 2013-2022.
The research office.
The World Agroforestry Centre's Research Office oversees the scientific research programmes at the institution by providing oversight of the Science Domains (Systems Science, Markets Value chains and Institutions, Tree diversity domestication and delivery, Land Health Decisions, Environmental Services and Climate Change), Regional offices (East and Central Asia, Eastern and Southern Africa, Latin America, South Asia, South East Asia, and West and Central Africa) and the global support units (GeoScience Lab, Knowledge Management Unit and Research Methods Group) that fall under the research directorate. The research office also oversees the mega projects including, African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC), Biocarbon and Rural Development in West Africa (Biodev), Biofuels Programme, DRYLANDS Development Programme (DGIS) and Vision for Change (V4C) phase II.
With the increasing demand for charcoal and other wood fuels and the rate of energy poverty higher than ever, there is urgent need for sustainable energy solutions. Our work on bioenergy aims to ensure improved access to energy among poor people in order to reduce poverty, improve food and nutritional security, improve livelihoods and increase incomes while maintaining the integrity of ecosystems and contributing to climate change mitigation. ICRAF's strategy on tree-based energy lays out an approach to developing various kind of bioenergy derived from trees primarily to improve the basic needs while at the same time providing modern sources of bioenergy for reducing poverty and improving livelihoods and income generation.
The ICRAF dashboard is expected to help monitor the performance of the key areas of the Centre by showing how the Centre operates as a business as well as empower staff to set priorities and take corrective actions. The dashboard will be built on a set of 7 key performance indicators which consist of finance, research, operations, partnership, personnel, communications/ donor relations and IT.
Performance monitoring and Quality assessment
Starting 2015 each unit will produce a work plan at the beginning of the year which is reviewed quarterly for compliance on the promises made as well as the quality of the results. Each month a policy is identified and shared with staff and then a SurveyMonkey is used to gauge how well people have understood the policy. Quarterly ICRAF laboratory meetings are held to review compliance on established safety and health standards
The annual ICRAF Science Week brings together ICRAF's scientists and key partners for a week of interaction and deliberations on the quality, impact and direction of ICRAF's research. From the multi and interdisciplinary 'eye-opening' topics to the cross-cutting break out and methods sessions, the annual event continues to be the primary opportunity for ICRAF to function as a global network and enhance synergy among the scientists.
Science Week will be held on 5-9 September, 2016 here in Nairobi.
ICRAF Science Seminars
The seminars are a science communications channel that staff use to communicate new findings and approaches in their research. The weekly seminar series also gives a platform for scientists to present their work for discussion and critiquing to an audience of ICRAF staff, donors and partners.
Held monthly, the check-in meetings offer an opportunity for research leaders and the research administrators to discuss the happenings within their respective units. The meetings are held at the HQ as well as in the regional offices.
Research Leaders meetings
Research Leaders' retreats and monthly meetings are a forum through which the research leaders can share knowledge and identify areas and topics of collaboration within and across the different Science Domains, Regions and Units. This has gone a long way in breaking the 'silo effect' and increasing the interaction between within and across the SDs and Regions as well as between the regions and headquarters.
Research Administrators meetings
The monthly research administrators meetings bring together all the administrators within the research directorate both at the HQ and the regional offices to discuss issues and challenges arising from their units and come up with solutions for addressing them.
Monthly policy review
Arising from the need to emphasize to all staff the importance for policies and procedures, the monthly policy review involves the staff reviewing a policy every month followed by a short survey to test if and how well the staff have read and understood the policy. The policies reviewed alternate between research and non-research policies.
ICRAF has a number of laboratories both at the headquarters and in the regional offices that complement the Research, Research and Development and, Research in Development work. They include: African Orphan Crop Consortium (AOCC) lab; Agroforestry species switchboard; Cocoa somatic embryogenesis Lab; Dendrochronology Lab; Ecology Lab, Geoscience Lab and Landscapes Portal; Living soil Lab, Seed genebank Lab and, Soil-Plant spectral diagnostics Lab.
Our publications record in terms of the peer reviewed journal articles has been rising steadily over the years.
The graph shows the trend in the number of published journal articles in the last 5 years.