It is only through the transfer and exchange of knowledge , both explicit and tacit, that research organizations can really have an impact on the global issues that are facing mankind in the third millennium. Towards this end, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) have joined forces, working collaboratively on several projects.
During a recent meeting at the FAO offices in Rome , Enrica Porcari, Chief Information Officer of the CGIAR; Anton Mangstl, Director of FAO’s Library and Documentation Systems Division; and Johannes Keizer, AGRIS secretariat, FAO, spoke about their collaborative partnership. Excerpts:
Can you give some details of the things your two organizations have been doing together?
Johannes Keizer: From Info Finder, to metadata work, to translation undertakings… we have worked on many projects, but let me take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of the CGIAR’s participation in the new AGRIS Alliance. The CGIAR’s involvement started with an Expert Consultation in October 2005 that addressed the goal of developing coherence in international information systems for agricultural science and technology. Together with FAO and a few other key players, like GFAR (Global Forum for Agricultural Research), the CGIAR is now participating to help AGRIS achieve a global role in exchanging and managing research and extension knowledge. These three pillars (FAO, CGIAR and GFAR) are essential. The fact that the CGIAR has an important presence in the field and works closely with NARS, reaching out to other organizations, is also very important and should have a big impact on a lot of people. There is a big revolution out there. Formerly, there was a lack of coherence between the various organizations’ efforts, but now there is a real sense of common purpose.