Capacity strengthening—that is, expanding the capability to design and implement sound food policies around the world—is a pillar of IFPRI’s mandate and an essential way for the Institute to accomplish its goals. It continues to be an important component of IFPRI’s support of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) agenda, under which African governments seek to achieve a growth rate of 6 percent and budget share of 10 percent for agriculture. IFPRI and its collaborators have produced more than 100 country background papers examining agricultural growth and poverty-reducing investment options, which have fed into country CAADP compacts and implementation plans signed by African governments and partners. In addition, IFPRI’s Regional Strategy Analysis and Knowledge Support Systems (ReSAKSS) program supports peer review, benchmarking, and mutual learning processes while the program’s flagship publication—an annual report on African agricultural trends and outlooks serves as the main method of monitoring and evaluating CAADP’s implementation progress. The interactive ReSAKSS website has become a prime destination for agriculture-related data and knowledge products, which are being used not only by African governments and regional economic communities but also by international universities to enhance training resources and donor agencies to develop programs such as the United States Feed the Future initiative.
In December 2009, IFPRI developed a comprehensive strategy for capacity strengthening, which calls for programs dedicated to capacity strengthening research and outreach, coordination of capacity strengthening activities by a committee, and a monitoring and evaluation plan complete with performance indicators. The research
activities of the former Knowledge and Capacity Innovation Division have been fully integrated into other IFPRI divisions, and the new Partnership, Impact, and Capacity Strengthening unit is up and running.