BIFAD review of the Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) Model
From the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) Secretariat:
For more than 30 years the Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) has served as a principal component of a strategy to implement the grand vision of strengthening USAID‘s research engagement with U.S. universities under Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended. In an era of periodically spiking food prices, and international response to reduce the rates of hunger and poverty in the developing world, the CRSPs have become an important tool to advance host country technical capacity to address these challenges.
USAID Administrator Dr. Raj Shah asked the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) to commission this study. Dr. Brady Deaton, BIFAD Chair, assembled a six-person study team led by Dr. Robert J. Jones, Senior Vice-President for Administration, University of Minnesota.
The team conducted a series of interviews and investigations, resulting in an excellent analysis that addresses the strategic alignment and prioritization of research and HICD priorities of the CRSP under the USG Feed the Future Initiative. The report made a series of recommendations to the BIFAD for transmittal to the Administrator, as a way of clarifying next steps for USAID’s university engagement. Major recommendations from the report are: that USAID develop an overarching strategy for engagement with US universities in agricultural research and capacity development; that USAID appoint a chief scientist to oversee the CRSPs, with outside advice sought on research priorities; that links be strengthened between CRSPs and partner institutions; and that the capacity development component of CRSPs be enhanced to include a greater institutional focus.
The BIFAD transmitted its final report to Administrator Shah in August, 2012 – the report, as well as the BIFAD letter to Administrator Shah, can be found here.
Questions about the Review of the CRSP Model can be directed to Susan Owens, BIFAD Executive Director.