The Global Forum is shaping the global orientation and governance of agri-food research and innovation systems, ensuring greater transparency, accountability and commitment across the sector.

The GCARD process, with its focus on research priorities and partnerships for results, ensures mutual accountability, feedback and learning among  GFAR stakeholders.  We are strengthening GFAR’s governance; to be more inclusive of all stakeholders, and are supporting Regional Fora  so that each becomes a more effective agent of national change and regional collective action.  We are implementing monitoring and evaluation measures including measures of social impact, empowerment and behaviour change, so that we can show the difference we are making.  And we are working to ensure our constituency has a voice in international policy processes and to strengthen connection and co-ordination between regions.  

Strengthening GFAR Governance

For the Global Forum to continue to work effectively and efficiently as a collective movement for change, it requires strong and robust governance. We need a system that is truly representative of all our stakeholder groups and which brings them together on an equal basis, to engage in dialogue, to determine how to implement agri-food research and innovation systems globally and within their own regions and/or sectors, and to lead and support each other in transforming agricultural research for development. 

As the result of a governance review, conducted in 2013, the Global Forum has begun a change process, setting up a Strategic Governance Working Group to fine-tune the governance structure for the transition, and to lead a process of strategic reflection and renewal looking at the issues raised by the Review. The first step was the Constituent Assembly in August 2015 to review the role, purpose and governance of the Global Forum.

The Global Forum is supporting and strengthening the operation and inclusivity of the Regional Fora so that each becomes a more effective agent of national change and regional collective actions. We are also supporting the participation of stakeholder groups themselves – farmers, civil society, SME networks, and advisory services, youth, and women producers - in collective actions.

For more information on the new GFAR governance visit the page on Our Governance and Management


The Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) process, with its focus on research priorities and partnerships for results, ensures mutual accountability, feedback and learning among the many partners in GFAR involved in agricultural innovation systems.   It is an ongoing, iterative process of dialogue and consultation for transforming and strengthening agricultural research for development around the world, organised by the Global Forum with CGIAR. GCARD helps improve the governance of these systems globally. Cycles of learning, reported publicly, allow stakeholders from all sectors to mobilize and bring together their own commitments to progressive change.

The GCARD process began with extensive regional consultations on priorities in agricultural research for development systems.  At GCARD1 (2010),  participants identified the key strategic elements required of well-functioning agricultural research for development systems, so that they can achieve greater development impact around the world. These were expressed in the GCARD Roadmap and agreed among all sectors involved and are the basis for GFAR’s Work Streams,  as set out, monitored and evaluated against the GFAR Medium Term Plan.

At GCARD2 (2012)   stakeholders explored the practical implications of partnership and pathways to impact, which led to a range of 15 new commitments to partnership, capacity development and foresight in the CGIAR GCARD3 (2015-2016) is a two-year consultation process to help shape the strategy and future direction of international agriculture research and innovation. Regional and national consultations will culminate in a GCARD3 event in early 2016, leading to further development of the next round of CGIAR Research Program proposals.

Monitoring Progress

The Global Forum works to transform agricultural innovation systems through the actions of its partners, as set out in the GCARD Road Map, to outcomes specified in the Medium-Term Plan . The GFAR Steering Committee monitors the development of the the Global Forum's program as defined in the Plan and periodically commissions an external evaluation, to assess progress against the goals and objectives.

The GFAR Annual Report  provides a broad summary of results for external audiences.  

Letters of Agreement with GFAR stakeholders establish accountability in delivering collective actions against the Medium-Term Plan.  Resources mobilized by the GFAR Secretariat are there to catalyze actions alongside partners’ own human and financial resource commitments and mobilization efforts in line with the Plan, and according to their own priority areas.  Partners receiving funds through the Global Forum provide Program Reports which include monitoring and evaluation processes specifying intermediate outcomes and indicators and to assess results.

Measuring the impact of networked actions is challenging, but a new Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation (MLE) approach for the key outcomes is being rolled out to the Global Forum's partners and their constituencies. The MLE is designed to document institutional and individual achievements as well as capacities, and will improve the quality of reporting.

International Co-ordination

Through its networks of stakeholders, the Global Forum is mobilizing the agricultural research for development sector in international policy processes, and strengthening the coordination of bilateral and multilateral systems. Our aim is to develop greater inter-regional connection and improve the governance and orientation of global agricultural research and innovation in development processes. For instance, the Global Forum actively contributes to the processes of the G8, G20, CFS and other international policy bodies, the FAO, IFAD and the CGIAR. The Global Forum also supports the G20 Meetings of Agricultural Chief Scientists and sharing feedback from this group to wider constituencies.

The Global Forum is  focused on promoting greater coordination and cross-learning between regions. Examples include the promotion of Europe-Africa and Europe-Asia links and of South-South capabilities, such as innovation marketplace links between Brazil and Africa, and by linking capabilities in India, Russia and China with national partners in their respective regions of focus and with international actions. Throughout 2015, the Global Forum has partnered with the South North Mediterranean Dialogue Foundation in a series of sub-regional dialogues and a Global Congress in Milan in October 2015.