The impact of foreign assistance on the institutional development of NARS was conducted by looking at a selected number of key indicators. The key indicators have been chosen to reflect key elements that are essential to any successful NARS. Each project has been analysed with respect to these indicators. Conclusions have been drawn at country level. Additional available information was also used to analyse the material. The selected key indicators are:
quality of research management (policy, planning, organization);
levels of budget and stability of funding;
linkages with the World Knowledge System;
size of the research institution/system;
monitoring and evaluation.
The quality of management was analysed based on the following elements of management: policy formulation, organization; monitoring and controlling; and evaluation.
It is often necessary to deal with policy formulation at the highest level of government. Government policy statements provide a vision for NARS. It indicates what is expected of NARS in contributing to agricultural and economic development. Research policy statements should usually also provide indication of the national resources committed to development of NARS now and in the future. NARS needs this in order to plan activities, determine size of operations and agro-ecological coverage. The project data do not provide a blueprint for how policy formulation shall be done. Each country seems to have adopted its own approach. Each country has, however, created an apex body for policy formulation, but it does not seem that these have always been able to fulfil their national role. How these bodies have functioned and been influenced by foreign assistance is presented in the following pages.
Cameroon created a National Council for Applied Research (CNRSA) in 1962. The council was situated in the Office the President of the Republic. The intention of the council was to act as an apex body for research policy formulation. It is uncertain if it was able to fulfil this role. Later on ONAREST was somehow given the role of formulating and coordinating research policy. ONAREST took also direct management responsibilities for some national institutes later on. The succeeding institutions at government level, the DGRST, MESRES and MINREST did not have a clear-cut mandate. Therefore, there is at the present no explicit body defining government research policy within the country. The only nationwide and truly institution building project, the NARP, funded by the World Bank, ODA and GTZ did not tackle this issue. French cooperation that has existed since the colonial period did not demand an effective national policy formulating body.
Ghana, soon after independence, strove to streamline its agricultural research organization. It set up a body for policy guidance (CSIR). However, the CSIR, did not provide a lead in formulating agricultural research policies with clear linkages with national development objectives. The NARP funded by the World Bank was the only project that put this need as a major objective for its assistance to NARS. One of the five components of the project addressed this issue. The mid-term review of the project, 1995, reported, "the National Agricultural Research Committee (NARC) has been established as an apex body to formulate a national agricultural research policy and to determine agricultural research priorities at the macro-level. It played a key role in the formulation of the National Agricultural Research Strategic Plan (NARSP), a Technical Secretariat (TS), has been established to service the NARC". The adjustment was made as recommended by the mid-term review. The NARP was the only nationwide project that really addressed all aspects of NARS institution building/strengthening.
In Kenya, even before independence, the colonial power did formulate policy for agricultural research. The general policy on agricultural research after independence and recently has been presented in several sessional papers and strategic documents. The policies of agricultural research were a natural follow up on streamlining NARS, started in the colonial period and the collapse of the East Africa Community. Important sessional papers are No.1 of 1986 on Economic Management for Renewed Growth and of 1994 on Recovery and Sustainable Development to the year 2000; the National Development Plans of 1989-1993 and 1994-1996; the National Council for Science and Technology Report on National Priority Areas (No.30 of October 1989) and the National Agricultural Research Strategy and Plan (1986). There has also been special policy framework papers, especially the one of 1995-1997. The Letter of Sectoral Policy devoted to the National Agricultural Research Project Phase II (NARP), was also quite explicit. It can therefore be stated that Kenya has had in place a framework and structure for policy guidance to NARS through the National Council for Science and Technology and its Sectoral Committees. It is difficult to ascertain if it was able to perform and carry out its mandate in a satisfactory manner. Moreover, individual NARS institutions formulated their own detailed policy. Publicly funded NARS institutions have benefited greatly from foreign assistance in policy formulation. KARI was assisted by ISNAR through World Bank funding; JICA and DFID also assisted KEFRI and KETRI in this area respectively. The two projects analysed have contributed to consolidate and further improve and institutionalize policy formulation at the institution level.
In Madagascar, before independence and later on until 1974, the French institutes responsible for carrying out research were not interested in formulating any national agricultural research policy. They seem to prefer to maintain status quo. This involved basically promoting export of agricultural crops. In 1974 with the nationalization of the French research institutes and the creation of FOFIFA and other national research centres, the Government took the first decision to streamline NARS. An interministerial committee on technical and scientific research was created simultaneously with the creation of FOFIFA. Their mandate was to: deliberate on the general research policy, approve research programmes of the parastatal research institutions, and decide on the levels of resources to be provided by the Government as well as allocation of resources. At the same time a unique research institution FOFIFA was created with the mandate to formulate the national research policy on rural development in addition to defining, orientating, promoting, coordinating and controlling all research activities. The FOFIFA was mandated to present the national research policy for rural development, the budgets of the centre and the national and international agreements to the interministerial committee on technical and scientific research. Government reshuffling and other political changes led to the establishment of the Ministry in charge of scientific and technical research as the apex policy formulation body for Government with FOFIFA under its responsibility. Foreign assistance had little influence on this organizational set-up. However, during phases one and two of ATIA, ISNAR with World Bank funding helped FOFIFA to fine tune its organization and policy to be responsive to national agricultural development objectives and to farmers' needs. As a result FOFIFA prepared a national agricultural research master plan with a 15-year time horizon. The master plan led later on to development of the NARP project. The projects funded by the World Bank have contributed in consolidating, improving and institutionalizing policy formulation in the country.
Malawi had prior to independence and after, no clear-cut agricultural research policy. However, government policy was spelt out in the Statement of Development Policies (1987-1996) and Agricultural and Livestock Development Strategy and Action Plan (1994). With the assistance of donors and particularly the NARP project funded by World Bank/IDA, a streamlining process of NARS has been put into place with policy formulating bodies. The Agricultural Research Council of Malawi (ARCM) was established as early as 1967 only to be abolished in 1975. It was re-instituted in 1985 at the recommendation of the World Bank/IDA through the NARP project. The council has the following functions:
to ensure that the agricultural research strategy is consistent with the national development goals;
to outline an agricultural research policy that is compatible with and supportive of national goals;
to approve annual research programmes and projects for implementation by DAR;
to consider and recommend contract research proposals, including the level of funding;
to recommend the appropriate level of expenditure in agricultural research, with the target of eventually investing at least one percent of the annual value of the agricultural gross domestic product;
to prepare the agricultural research master plan, which allocates priorities according to national goals.
The ARC is made up of a cross-section of experienced persons in the public and private sector who have varying perspectives of the nation's economic and fiscal policies and agricultural development goals. The various NARS institutions are coordinated nationally by the Ministry of Research and Environmental Affairs (MOREA). The ARC was supposed to function differently from the Malawi National Research Council (NRC). NCR's main objective is to organize external financing for individual research projects in several sectors with the view of avoiding duplication and seeking to coordinate research efforts.
An effort to install proper policy formulating bodies was made with foreign assistance. However, available information does not provide a clear-cut answer if they were able to carry out their work effectively. The Completion Report of NARP cited above indicated: "the effectiveness of ARC was severely compromised by several factors. Its creation by internal memorandum, established ARC as an internal committee, without legal standing and little status. Meetings were ill attended and held irregularly because of competing claims on members' time. The Treasury did not fund ARC's approved programme and budget recommendations fully but, instead, cut them quite severely. These weaknesses were recognized and changes proposed, but they were not put into effect under the project. The ARC has been helpful to DAR in the provision of policy advice, development of the master plan and identifying strategic research issues." Recently, the Government has revitalized an Agricultural Sciences Committee under the National Research Council of Malawi, to coordinate agricultural research carried out by both government departments and private institutes. The responsibilities also include providing small research grants to deserving scientists upon application. Whether the semi-public and private components of NARS were better off in terms of policy guidance under their own governing bodies is not clear.
When Mali gained independence in 1960 it sought to organize and streamline its own agricultural research system. IER, which is the backbone of NARS, was organized under the Ministry of Agriculture, which determined its policy orientation. Soon, however a policy formulation organ for NARS was in place (the CNRA). The CNRA included all public stakeholders. NARC/CNRA was reformed in 1993 within the NARP covenants, based on the experience of the body over the last three decades. The new CNRA has the mandate to formulate agricultural research policy and strategy. It decides on research priorities and it reviews and approves research programmes and budgets. It also reviews research results and decides on their diffusion, monitors the use of resources and establishes linkages between research and external research organizations as well as within the country, with development agencies.
The role of the CNRST (under the Ministry of Education) in policy formulation is not clearly defined. The relation with the NARC/CNRA does not stand out clearly either. Foreign assistance has supported and contributed to strengthening agricultural research in Mali. However, how the new NARC/CNRA, whose role has been expanded, is discharging its function is not clear-cut from the information available.
Senegal inherited, after independence, a large network of research infrastructure. The network was designed by the colonial power focussing on a federal level beyond fulfilling national needs. The Government adopted a careful stepwise approach in streamlining its research system and signed a bilateral agreement with France. Under the agreement, French research institutes managed the various research institutions under policy guidance of Government. As early as 1966 the Government set up an apex body for national science policy, which has undergone many alterations. It originally started as the Scientific and Technical Affairs Bureau in 1966 under the aegis of the Office of the Head of State. Later on it developed into the Scientific and Technical Delegation in 1992 and is now termed the Directorate of Scientific Affairs placed under the Ministry of Education in 2001. Throughout, the Interministerial Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CIRST), established in 1966, has been the body responsible for defining scientific policy. Major decisions are mainly made in its annual meetings (prepared by the lead agency backed up by the standing advisory committees). The Interministerial Council for Scientific and Technological Research meets every year under the chairpersonship of the Head of State. It deliberates on research priorities identified by standing sectoral committees. Moreover, the quinquennial Economic and Social Development Plan that defines the overall development policy also provides guidance on agricultural research policy and priorities. Within the cycle of sectoral adjustment programmes the country has gone through, the agriculture sector has issued several policy statements in which agricultural research policy and priorities are spelt out. However, these bodies are designed only to provide a general framework and not the detailed policy as needed by each institution. These are formulated under the supervision of individual governing bodies. For ISRA the backbone of NARS, the board of directors is mandated to provide, inter alia, strategic orientations on medium- and long-term research policy of the institute and monitor their implementation.
Once a policy is formulated, the next step is to formulate a strategy for its implementation. The usual practice is to prepare a plan that identifies and prioritizes research needs. In the francophone countries, planning of the national economy is a routine exercise. This is more seldom in the anglophone countries. How planning of agricultural research has been implemented and influenced by foreign assistance is described below.
In Cameroon, economic planning at national level was almost a routine exercise every five years. Each sector contributed to the exercise. Agricultural research was no exception in this respect. However, no separate agricultural research plan was made. So far annual planning or programming was the only exercise the research institutions went through. This was not always carried out with extension services and farmers. ISNAR in 1988 recommended in its review of IRA and IRZV that:" MESRES/IRA/IRZV, in consultation with other concerned parties, prepare a 15-20 year strategic plan for organizing agricultural research by agro-ecological zone, rationalizing research infrastructure within zones and over time developing this infrastructure for future needs as staff and funds permit without reintroducing undesirable dispersion". The World Bank picked up this recommendation and included it among the covenants of the agreement for the NARP. It was also included in the preparation of a National Agricultural Research Programme (NARP) which was supposed to be a sort of medium-term plan for IRA and IRZV. DRST was given responsibility for coordinating the exercise, which was intended to be institutionalized later on. Finally, the completion implementation report of the project prepared by the FAO Investment Centre for the World Bank in 1993 indicated that the programming system made good progress in IRZV thanks to the technical assistance of GTZ that was provided within the project. No progress was, on the contrary, made in IRA.
To summarize, none of the projects reviewed with the exception of the NARP World Bank led project addressed the urgent need for an overall strategic plan for NARS. Each project, however, managed to have some sort of annual programming for its own activities. A long-term strategic plan and subsequently a medium-term plan were prepared in 1994/1995/1996 with the assistance of FAO and other donors (particularly the World Bank). These strategic plans have streamlined the system, downsized activities in accordance with the foreseeable resources of the country and subsequently led to the creation of IRAD.
In Ghana, the logical process as outlined in Cameroon did not take place. No committee or particular body was made responsible for defining research priorities or was given the authority to allocate resources to particular research proposals. The lack of a functioning mechanism for setting priorities with the authority to allocate financial resources was reflected by the dispersed nature of the research effort. The situation was clearly unsatisfactory and formed a major constraint to effective operation of the national agricultural research system. The only project that addressed this important constraint was the NARP World Bank funded project. The National Agricultural Research Strategic Plan (NARSP) was published in 1994 together with a medium-term action plan. NARSP for the first time is a true NARS plan with involvement of all stakeholders. The NARP project also made funds available for NARS parties to participate in the implementation of priority programmes/projects outlined in the plan. NARSP also constituted the framework of priority programmes for other donors' assistance. The Plantain Development Project funded by IDRC was picked up from the priority programmes included in NARSP. The other projects included in this review implemented during the same period, did not participate in the NARP exercise or address this aspect in this assistance. The only exception was planning of its own activities for the achievement of the project's objectives.
Kenya's NARS institutions, such as KARI, KEFRI and KETRI have equally benefited from donor assistance in planning. NARP I and II were formulated with the assistance of donor community that later on supported the implementation. KARI's latest document on "Research Priorities to the Year 2000" benefited greatly from ISNAR assistance through World Bank funding; a workshop on principles and methodologies of priority setting was conducted which enabled the various KARI officers of the task force to come up with the above-mentioned document.
Similarly KETRI's Strategic Plan for 1990-2000 had not only the input of local scientists but also members of various external reviews, which the institution has undergone, and from the United Kingdom's DFID. For KETRI both the first workshop on setting forestry research priorities in Kenya in 1989 up to the year 2000 and the second workshop in 1997 to evaluate the progress made in the implementation of the recommendation of 1989 workshop, received financial and technical assistance from JICA.
However, all components of NARS do not have strategic plans and there is no formal National Strategic Plan derived from priority setting at national level. This is a definite weakness, because such an exercise would allow three crucial investment decisions:
what investment should be made in agricultural research versus other policy tools for agriculture sector development?
within agricultural research, how should funds be allocated across different components of the research system based on comparative advantages and mandates?
national agricultural research priorities in place would constitute the framework for cooperation with development partners and would make it easier to coordinate donor assistance.
In Kenya, it is usual for broad public-sector investment decisions to be made on the basis of national development objectives. These will often involve issues such as increased rural welfare, poverty alleviation, and export growth and food security. Formal analysis is rarely used to justify these decisions. It is therefore no revelation that the implementation of the national development plans does imply changes in overall development priorities.
In Madagascar, FOFIFA and to a lesser extent ESSA have benefited from donor assistance in planning research. As mentioned earlier, FOFIFA has prepared a master plan with the assistance of ISNAR. The master plan was funded by the World Bank with the condition (and recommendation by ISNAR) that organizational reforms, preparation of a research strategy and resources for its formulation be adhered to. Later on, the master plan was complemented with a Human Resources Development Master Plan, under recommendation and funding by the World Bank. Other institutions are also reported to have developed planning tools with the help of foreign assistance.
For Malawi, the ARC prepared a research master plan in the early years of the NARP project. It was extensively revised during the NARP project and has provided strategic guidance for prioritizing research. The preparation and updating of the master plan has become a routine exercise for the ARC. Foreign assistance has been instrumental for this to happen.
In Mali, the NARC, since its reform of 1993, has had the responsibility for the preparation, regular review and updating of the National Strategic Plan for Agricultural Research. External programme evaluations, every three years, are part of the inputs for the strategic planning exercise. The strategic plan provides broad guidelines and only identifies research themes, their priorities for the long-term and the resources required.
In Senegal, the quinquennial planning for economic and social development is a routine exercise and agricultural research is part of it. As mentioned above, within a general policy framework each institution under its own governing body formulates a detailed policy and an implementation mechanism. ISRA has since its inception accumulated experience in planning. Its first strategic plan was prepared in 1979, the second in 1989 and the third in 1995 for respectively the periods of 1980-1985, 1990-1995 and 1998-2003. The methodology has been fine-tuned over time with better involvement of all the stakeholders. Farmer organizations have in particular been better represented. The board and the STC played an important role in this process. Priorities are determined within the general framework of the government development policy and developed bottom-up in an iterative way, from identified constraints.
In conclusion: planning is a routine exercise in many countries. It is, however, not an end in itself, the most important is the basis for the formulation of the plan and the realistic commitment of Government to provide, in a sustained manner, the resources for its implementation.
Organizing the implementation of an agricultural research plan is an important next step. Tables 4, 5 and 6 summarize the organizational model of the backbone NARIs of NARS of the seven selected countries. What has been the impact of foreign assistance in the process is analysed below.
In Cameroon, none of the projects reviewed was concerned with the organization and streamlining of NARS or its major components IRA and IRZV. In 1974, the Government started organizing the research system. Before the reorganization had taken place, the affluence provided by oil revenues changed things. The organizational structure that existed in 1979 did not change until 1996.
The study review shows that each donor has added more or less a new unit within its own project. NCRE has expanded the infrastructure of IRA and has added testing and liaison units (TLU) with extension. The Garoua project added a new centre. The NARP/PRAN added the centre of Foumbot and two substations at Minkomeyos and Mbonda for IRA. A new commodity centre for regional purposes for bananas and plantains was created. Cameroon in the end solely supported it. Finally the network of centres, stations and substations of IRA and IRZV was 69 in 1994. Most of the reviews, particularly those of ISNAR recognized that the organization of agricultural research well covered the major agro-ecological zones. It was also recognized that the existence of IRA and IRZV in the same sites in these zones duplicated infrastructure. Many identified weaknesses were not promptly rectified. None of the donors or reviewers recommended a merger of the two institutions for the sake of efficiency and effectiveness of research and for reducing costs. The drastic reorganization first took place in 1995/1996 when the whole system was about to collapse and within the strategic planning referred to above. This led to the creation of IRAD.
The Agricultural Research System in Ghana is quite complex. The main components are, however, well identified. NARS is dominated by the CSIR. CSIR has under its umbrella 12 institutes. Eight of these are agricultural or agriculturally related. A director-general with executive functions heads the CSIR. A 26-member council assists him. Five technical committees make up the secretariat. The subcommittees of the council oversee and deliberate on specific areas of their competence such as agriculture, forestry and fisheries, etc. Each of the institutes is semi-autonomous and is headed by a director assisted by his own management board. Directors of different institutes meet monthly at the directors' management committee chaired by the director-general. The CSIR Council appoints the members of the management boards of the institutes. The other components of NARS include, the faculties of agriculture of the three universities of the country, the technical departments of the MOFA, commodity, corporations and commissions and to a lesser extent development programmes.
Analysis of the existing structure, has shown that in terms of determination of priorities and allocation of resources, programme formulation, budgeting and management, the organization was not effective and efficient in discharging the mandate of NARS. NARP has therefore addressed the issue. Under the implementation of NARP, each of the seventeen national commodity and factor research programmes had national coordinating committees, comprising the leading scientists in the field in addition to a national coordinating institute and a national coordinator. Programme budgeting has been introduced for carrying out these commodity and factor research programmes. The technical secretariat, established under the CSIR, coordinates the review of research proposals, their funding and quality assurance. So far, three of the seven agricultural research institutes have been subjected to an external review.
To summarize, as stated by the completion report of the NARP project "a reasonably working agricultural research system has been established, forging multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional collaboration by researchers in the national agricultural research institutes, the universities, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the private sector. The national agricultural research strategic plan, has been prepared using criteria reflecting the agricultural development priorities of Ghana."
The Kenyan NARS, has been well streamlined and consolidated into few publicly funded research institutions. KARI dominates NARS. The organizational structure is as follows. In the case of the publicly funded components of NARS, their management structure is built around three major bodies: the board of management, the executive (directorate) and the network of research centres. The boards are responsible for policy-making. They also ensure that they remain the apex organizations responsible for Kenya's agricultural research through development and application of science and technology. The board normally has two committees, namely: Finance and Administration and Research and Technical.
The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, is managed by a board of management comprising twelve ex-officio members representing relevant government offices, and seven members appointed by the MRTTT (one of whom is the chairperson) that represent researchers, members of the academic community, agri-business, organizations/parastatals and farmers. KARI comprises a headquarters secretariat that provides coordination of implementation through technical and administrative operations. The day-to-day management of the institute is the responsibility of the director-general of KARI. A director of research and a director of administration assists him. Under the director of research there is an assistant director for crops, an assistant director for livestock and five other assistant directors for disciplinary research areas who provide technical oversight.
A board of directors, on which farmers, the Coffee Board of Kenya, KARI and the Ministry of Agriculture are represented, governs the Coffee Research Foundation (CRF). The day-to-day management of CRF is delegated to the director of research who is assisted by a deputy-director of research. The Tea Research Foundation of Kenya (TRFK) is managed by a board of directors, on which are represented the Tea Board of Kenya, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Kenya Tea Development Authority, Kenya Tea Growers' Association and KARI. The Tea of Kenya supports TRFK. Its day-to-day management is delegated to the director who is assisted by a deputy-director.
The faculties of agriculture and other faculties carrying out research activities pertaining to the rural sector of the Kenyan universities and operate under their organizational structure.
The two projects under review have contributed a lot to improving the organizational structure and in setting research priorities.
NARS of Madagascar is relatively consolidated. The FOFIFA is the dominant component of NARS accounting for 80 percent of the potential agricultural research capacity of the country. The other publicly funded agricultural research institutions are much smaller and less structured as FOFIFA. The decision-making body of FOFIFA is the board of management. The board of management is made up of the Office of the Director-General, directors of the supervising ministries (MRS, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Budget, Ministry of Planning) and representatives of the technical ministries in charge of agriculture, livestock, and forestry. It decides on the allocation of all resources to FOFIFA. The board is assisted by an orientation scientific committee composed of the department heads of FOFIFA, the heads of regional centres and representatives of the supervising ministry (MRS) and of technical ministries. Three independent scientists of international repute or other resource persons are added as representatives of the development community. The mandate of this committee is to deliberate on priority research programmes, to formulate priority options and validate the research proposals of FOFIFA. The funding of the Agricultural Research Committee (COFIRA) is composed of the different donors and the management of FOFIFA with the mandate of deliberating on the funding of research programmes.
The director-general assumes responsibility for the day-to-day management of the institution. The director of administration and finance, the scientific director and the director of support services assist him. The scientific department heads report to the scientific director while the chiefs of the regional centres report to the director of support services. Initially FOFIFA included four research departments: agronomic research; livestock and veterinary research; forestry and inland fisheries research; and technological research. A research and development/farming system research department was added in 1984, while the rice research department was separated from the agronomic department in 1989. However, the mandate of FOFIFA has remained unchanged since 1974. FOFIFA has a network of eight regional centres, nine stations and seven substations covering the various agro-ecological zones of the country; in total 24 locations against the previous 31 and the proposed 17 of the master plan. The other public research institutions besides FOFIFA have a semi-autonomous status while the ESSA and the organizations of the universities operate under their organizational structure.
Initially FOFIFA was compartmentalized with little collaboration among departments and a concentration of staff in the capital city of Antananarivo. More than 70 percent of scientific staff was located in the capital. Donor assistance has been instrumental in decentralizing activities and the setting up of regional research centres with some financial management autonomy and with the deployment of scientific staff to RRC (56 against 27 at the start of NARP). The system is now effective, decentralized, nearer to its clients and more responsive to their needs. It is based in a network of regional centres, equipped with adequate physical facilities and staffed with core teams of researchers. Furthermore, donor coordination by the Government was also improved.
NARS of Malawi, is quite fragmented and organized under the ministerial departmental model, as there are many ministries dealing with rural development and many departments having research activities. The organizational structure of DAR, the backbone of NARS is as follows. The department of agricultural research and technical services programmes are organized into seven commodity groups each headed by a national research coordinator (NRC) and within each commodity group there are multi-disciplinary commodity teams each headed by a commodity team leader (CTL). Research funds are allocated to NRCs while the administration officers-in-charge of stations is allocated funds for administration. However, the accountable officer is the station's officer-in-charge. Since the reorganization exercise in 1985, allocation of research resources in the National Agricultural Research System relates to the nationally important commodities. It is also focussed on improving the quality and quantity of the output from the research system. Under the new system, a sharper focus is placed on the management of multi-disciplinary commodity research programmes, the plant protection and technical services.
DAR has, after the reorganization under the NARP in 1985, streamlined its network into three research stations, five experimental stations and nine substations, covering the three agro-ecological zones of the country and in total 17 locations. Basically, the new organizational structure is coordinated nationally and is using a multi-disciplinary team approach to research. Technically, the CTL is responsible to the NRC who in turn is responsible to the two deputy directors, one deputy for research programmes and the other for technical services and administration based at the headquarters within the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation Building. NARS operates within a set of guidelines and realities of the national budget. The responsibility of guiding NARS is vested in the ARC whose mandate and effectiveness has been discussed in the previous section. TRIM, FRIM and SUCOMA have their own organizational structure.
NARS of Mali is relatively consolidated and is prominently dominated by IER. Its organization set up has been decentralized and reduced. From 32 experiment stations and permanent research sites, the network has been reduced to six regional agricultural research centres (CRRA), nine research stations, 14 substations and four central laboratories, covering the whole agro-ecological zone of the country. Furthermore, within the NARP project the legal statute of IER has been changed from a ministerial departmental model structure to a public semi-autonomous organization with a board of directors. The board of directors of IER which consists of nine voting members including the President, the Minister for Rural Development, provides the management oversight with the following specific functions:
monitoring the implementation of NARC's decisions affecting IER;
proposing the appointment of the director-general and defining his/her mandate;
appointing the scientific director, the director of the technical support services, and the six regional centre directors upon recommendation of the director-general;
deciding on management policy by adopting the management operation manuals and deciding on their modification upon recommendation of the director-general; and
approving the annual budget and financing plan, verifying implementation of audit recommendations and approving the annual accounts.
There are two mandatory meetings of the board each year: one before the end of the fiscal year and following NARC's meeting of November to approve the budget and financing plan and the other following the annual audit to formally approve IER's accounts. The other components of NARS operate under their own organizational structure.
NARS of Senegal has been rather well consolidated since the creation of ISRA in 1975 concentrating all research pertaining to the rural development with the exception of food technology research vested in ITA. The two institutes represent about 99 percent of NARS research capacity. ISRA is the dominant component of NARS as mentioned earlier. It had semi-autonomous status already on its creation. However, its status has changed recently into the public scientific and technological institution more appropriate for a research institute. The governing bodies have not changed and encompass the board of directors, the scientific and technical committee (CST), steering committee and the office of the director-general. The board of directors of ISRA consists of 18 members, among them 12 have voting rights, six have consultative status including the director-general an ex-officio member assuming the secretariat of the board. The board members appoint among them a chairperson and vice-chairperson. In general the 12 members of the board are heads of departments of the various subsectors of rural development (agriculture, animal production, fisheries, forestry), representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Prime Minister and two representatives of professional organizations of rural development and agro-industry, etc. The board provides the management oversight with inter alia the following specific functions:
provides strategic orientations on medium- and long-term research policy of the institute and monitors their implementation;
approves research programmes both annual and multi-annual;
approves annual budgets and the financing plan, verifies implementation of audit recommendations and approves the annual audited accounts;
approves the annual activity report of the institute.
The board meets at least three times a year at the convocation of the chairperson. ISRA has a network of four national research centres, seven regional research centres, 10 research stations and around 20 experimental sites covering all the agro-ecological zones of the country. The steering committee is a subsidiary body of the board that deliberates between sessions of the board on matters delegated to it by the board. It is chaired by the board chair and is composed of the representatives of the two supervisory ministries (Agriculture and Finance), the vice-chair and three other board members elected by their colleagues, the director is an ex-officio member with consultative status and secretary of the committee. The Scientific and Technical Committee (STC) is a consultative body of the board with specifically the following functions:
advises the board on scientific and technological orientations of the institute as well as on the research programmes, the recruitment and training of the scientific staff. It also advises on the transfer, production and communication activities;
advises on the rules and procedures for the evaluation of the activities, of the structures and the scientific personnel. Examines all evaluation reports and makes recommendations to the board;
organizes, draws up the terms of reference and supervises the evaluation missions on the research activities and the research staff and advises on the common principles of evaluation; it is also responsible for taking any appropriate initiative in its field of competence, to guarantee the quality of research activities in view of conferring the scientific integrity and needed credibility of the institute and reports to the board.
The STC is composed of national and foreign scientists competent in the fields of activities of ISRA. The Ministry appoints them to their position based on their personal competence. It elects a chairperson. The STC meets at least once a year in ordinary session and as necessary on extraordinary sessions. The STC can set up ad hoc subcommittees. The director-general assumes the secretary of the STC.
Annex 2 gives an historical overview of NARS. The overview shows that research institutions have changed organizational structure many times. As in many segments of society, the research institutions must also evolve over time to adjust to their environment and for agricultural research institutions in particular to adjust to the needs of their stakeholders. However, frequent changes and reorganization may be disruptive and this is why it is useful to look at the institutional instability and how it has been influenced by foreign assistance.
In Cameroon, during the period 1960 to 1974, the Government tried to take over the system from the French. They started carefully with policy formulation and coordination. From 1974 onward, many changes occurred until 1991. The period corresponded with the setting up of IRA and IRZV, which became two truly national research institutions. These two institutions also dominated NARS. The organization has been streamlined at each step. The most recent change occurred in 1996 with the merger of IRA and IRZV into one institute IRAD. The projects under review did not have a major influence on this organizational process. The NARP/PRAN project might have had a slight influence. Donors who wanted to reduce costs due to the financial crisis that had affected the country since 1986/1987 triggered the creation of IRAD.
Since independence the Government of Ghana has striven to streamline NARS. NARS is dominated by the CSIR with its 12 to 13 research institutes. Seven to eight of these deal entirely or partly with agricultural research. The foreign supported projects that had institutional strengthening at its core were integrated in the existing structure (Nyankpala Experimental Station, The Ghana Grain Legumes Development, Plantain Development), namely the CRI of the CSIR. The Nyankpala Station, given its dimension at the end of the project became a fully-fledged institute, named the Savannah Research Institute (SARI). This corrected an imbalance of NARS coverage of agro-ecological zones in the country. Furthermore, the network of research stations has been drastically reduced from 30 to eight national stations run by the institutes, complemented by six regional research stations to be run by the MOFA. Foreign assistance can therefore not be said to have detrimentally influenced the stability of NARS in Ghana.
For Kenya, the Government worked consistently on streamlining the research system. Now NARS are composed of a limited publicly funded research institution dominated by KARI that results from the consolidation into one institution of all the previous research organizations and projects dealing with publicly funded agricultural research with the exception of forestry and fisheries. The projects under review contributed to this consolidation. They have assisted in reducing the network of research centres and stations to a manageable size and at the same time in covering all agro-ecological zones. Therefore, foreign assistance has not detrimentally influenced the stability of NARS.
In Madagascar, NARS is dominated by FOFIFA under the aegis of the Ministry of Scientific Research that controls all public applied research institutions of the country. However, this has not prevented some institutional reshuffling. FOFIFA has been restructured five times since its creation and three times during donor assistance. The restructuring process under way has improved its effectiveness. The other institutions have been relatively stable. It cannot be stated that donor intervention has had a detrimental impact on the stability of NARS in Madagascar.
In Malawi, the research division of the Department of Agriculture already existing in 1964, evolved eventually into the Department of Agricultural Research (DAR). Research was organized on a project basis, by crop, livestock or discipline and was carried out in a network of 11 main stations, nine substations and 220 trial sites scattered throughout the country. In 1985 within the NARP, DAR was reorganized as mentioned above and the network of stations was reduced to three main stations, five experimental stations and nine substations. One new trial site was constructed in the north at Mkondezi, an otherwise unrepresented eco-agricultural zone, for research on tropical fruits and roots/tubers. Great care was taken to ensure that this consolidated network represents all of Malawi's arable ecological zones and that research services are available regionally. It can be stated that donor intervention has been instrumental in streamlining the research system and stabilizing its current structure.
Mali, was the first francophone country to create its own national research institution immediately after independence. Since then NARS did not evolve much except for a split of the Ministry of Agriculture into two ministries in 1981. The split was instrumental in creating a new institute, away from IER, under the aegis of the new ministry of livestock and forestry. In 1990 a new IER was constituted from the merger of IER and INRZFH, following several mission reviews and appraisal of NARS. This was followed a step further with the preparation of a long-term master plan submitted subsequently for funding to the World Bank. NARS is mainly composed, besides the apex body for policy formulation and management (the NARC/CNRA), of the IER that dominates the whole agricultural research system. The network of research facilities has been downsized and streamlined in the period under review with the assistance of donors. Donors have for instance built the station of Cinzana from scratch (mainly by the CIBA-GEIGY). Foundation for an otherwise not covered agro-ecological zone. It can, therefore, be stated that donors have contributed positively in streamlining and stablizing the whole system.
In Senegal, ISRA was stable up until the mid-1980s when it became over-sized as a result of huge infrastructural investments made through two World Bank/IDA projects (PRA I and II). During this period and later, the institutional-capacity building effort has been hampered by a relative rapid and continuous turnover of senior management, particularly at the director-general level. ISRA has had, in 26 years of existence, eight director-generals. The average tenure duration was 3.25 years. Moreover, each director-general has brought a new deputy or director of research. Rapid turnover has meant that the institution has gone from one strategic plan to another as each director-general attempted to set his stamp on the evolution of the institution.
This institutional instability at management level was also observed at ITA especially at the start (1965 to 1968). The director changed four times at a crucial time at its beginning when stability was essential. Later on things improved and from then to 2001 the management staff has remained almost unaltered.
Although in terms of NARS components, some stability was noted as no major new institution was added. Within ISRA, the backbone of NARS, besides the management changes indicated above, new stations and centres were added (Kaolack Centre, Tambacounda Centre, CDH, Fanaye Station, etc.) The number of scientific departments increased from seven at the creation of ISRA to twelve in the mid-1980s. The institutional organizational chart changed significantly at least four times from 1981 to 1995. A recent evaluation report of USAID assistance to ISRA, July 1998, indicated "the leadership changes seem to have moved USAID support increasingly away from the capacity building support to ISRA".
Overall, although some good practices in terms of research programming, planning, financial and personnel management have been introduced, the institutional growth quickly outstripped ISRA's internal administrative capacity to manage its expansion and was soon judged not sustainable.
Foreign assistance has played a major role in this situation by indiscriminately providing huge infrastructure beyond the capacity of the recipient country to operate and maintain.
As already shown, many governments made major strides to develop the human resource base. Human resources form a key element in institutional development of all research institutions. Equally important, however, is how one should motivate and inspire staff in order to retain them. This question along with how foreign assistance has contributed to stablize the research personnel in NARS institutions, is dealt with in this section. Analysis of the project reveals large differences from one country to another.
In Cameroon, the staff of the agricultural research system (constituted by IRA and IRZV) increased tremendously in the two decades following independence. The most striking change occurred with regard to scientific staff. The number of national research scientists in 1974-1975 was 44. Already in 1980-1981 this had increased to 68 implying a 54 percent increase in six to seven years. During the period 1984-1985 to 1988-1989, the number of national scientists rose from 137 to 246 representing an 80 percent increase in five years or a 16 percent increase per year. A sinusoidal pattern appeared from 1989-1990 to 1993-1994 giving a total number of research scientists of 227 (IRA and IRZV). This represented a decrease of 8 percent in six years, which cannot be considered as high.
The major increase in number of scientists (average 9.6 percent per year) throughout a fifteen year period cannot be explained by the need for replacing expatriates. The average decrease in the number of expatriates was about 5 percent in the period from 1984 to 1994. Other staff categories did not experience the same increase. The number of technicians remained fairly stable which maintains the non-favourable technician/researcher ratio. In 1993 the distribution of staff categories was as follows: researchers 9.9 percent, technicians 10.2 percent, administrative staff 5.2 percent and the support staff 71.5 percent. The introduction of a more attractive service scheme in 1980 encompassing additional allowances attracted and maintained staff in the institutes. Furthermore, the economic prosperity provided a favourable research environment and working conditions during this period. From 1986 and to the start of the economic crisis around 1994 the situation changed. The suspension of government contributions curtailed funding for operational and running expenditures as well as causing delays in payment of salaries.
The projects also experienced an increase in staffing. During the crisis period 1986 to 1993 they constituted islands of affluence within the whole system, as only scientists working in projects had the resources to do their work. This situation was frustrating for the other scientists and introduced some element of instability in the whole system.
For Ghana, the situation appears different. Scientific research staff increased annually at about 4.2 percent (1961 to 1990). This is slower than the 6.8 percent average of sub-Saharan Africa (1961 and 1985). The share of expatriate agricultural researchers was only 35 percent in 1961-1965, modest by African standards at the time. Since the 1970s the share has remained at less than 10 percent. The foreign assisted projects have increased the quality of the human resources through intensive post-graduate training programmes. This was particularly the case with the NARP project, the Nyankpala project and the GGDP. Short in-country courses were arranged for scientists and technicians. Some were also given the opportunity for short courses abroad.
A CSIR/ISNAR review in 1989 showed a very high attrition of staff from the CSIR institutes over the previous decade with rates ranging from 12 to 60 percent. NARS is in a sense reconstituting after this decade of loss. Many scientists left the country mainly to escape the hardship of the economic crisis, which had a major de-motivating effect on agricultural research. The sign of the return of researchers is an indication of an improved economy and foreign assistance to agricultural research. A Human Development Resource Plan was developed along with NARSP/MTAP. However, the conditions of service are poor. Promotion criteria have recently been reviewed. Greater recognition is now given to work that may not directly lead to research publications, but that makes an important contribution to solving farmers' problems.
In Kenya, scientific research staff grew rapidly at an annual rate of around 12.5 percent from 1961-1965 to 1971-1975. It slowed down in 1976-1980 to an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent. This again increased to 6 percent in 1981-1985. For the whole period the growth of the research personnel was estimated to be about 7 percent of full time researcher equivalent. This is equivalent to the average of sub-Saharan Africa between 1961 and 1985, which was 6.8 percent. As regards expatriate researchers, it took until the mid-1970s before the number actually began to decline. Currently less than 10 percent of the research staff is expatriate compared with 85 percent in the early 1960s. For the national scientists although the upgrading to higher degrees has been fast, the upgrading to PhD level appears to have been relatively slow. Even in the early 1980s the number of PhDs declined probably due to an inadequate personnel service scheme. The projects under review improved the stability of the personnel by assisting in having new and more rewarding schemes of service and providing a better work environment in KARI. Overall the turn over of staff during the last ten years has been low.
In Madagascar, as a consequence of the nationalization of the research institutions in the 1970s, there was a reduction of researchers during the 1970s. A slight recovery was experienced from the mid-1980s onwards. Staff increase over the period is around 2.2 percent per annum. This is three times less than the average of sub-Saharan countries (1961-1985). Foreign assistance has improved the quality of the staffing through the programme of degree training. The plethora of non-essential staff has been reduced. A better scheme of service has been put into place with incentives for staff working in remote research centres and stations. The percentage of expatriate scientists is low, only 7 percent for FOFIFA.
In Malawi, the situation has been alarming. A high rate of attrition is reported resulting in personnel instability. Low salary levels have complicated the issue of personnel instability. Poor salaries have been reported to be the main cause of people leaving NARS as well as Malawi altogether. In the last 10-15 years six MARE-trained staff left NARS' services for the private sector. A recent study by the World Bank consultant found that from 1985 to 1991, thirty-one people or 32 percent of DAR professional staff (MSc or PhD degree) had left the department. This has been cited as evidence that trained personnel were leaving for higher salary packages. In the long run more people may leave due to low salaries, low operational funds or general frustration of NARS lack of ability to perform in an efficient manner.
This is a real dilemma. Country and the donor community that have assisted in educating a motivated and energetic group of agricultural scientists only come to realize that NARS in the end cannot afford to retain them. NARS institutions have thus come constantly to recruit new personnel with little experience who are in need of further training. Thus, instability of personnel resources has robbed NARS institutions of creative scientists hindering development of research quality.
The issue of human resource development was properly identified in the NARP appraisal. A technical career stream for DAR was introduced with the intention of providing good incentives for scientists. Despite strong pressure from IDA, the establishment of a scientific career stream outside the main civil service grade structure was not achieved (according to the Completion Report of the NARP). This was due to GoM opposition, who feared budgeting implications and isolation of researchers from other civil service career streams. NARS scientists have recently formulated and submitted proposals for salary incentives and a social welfare scheme for national staff. The objective is to upgrade all scientific positions. Under the proposal, scientists would be promoted to senior positions without assuming administrative responsibilities.
Mali placed emphasis on recruiting and training national scientists as a matter of priority soon after Independence. However, as in many other sub-Saharan countries funding did not follow suit. Donors have insisted on the need for streamlining the system. Human resources development should focus on quality instead of quantity. Considerable efforts have been made to recruit and train well-qualified national personnel. Between 1976 and 1990 the total number of scientific staff increased from 65 to 243 for the two national research institutes. This is an annual increase of more than 18 percent the highest recorded in West Africa. The high rate of recruitment has not had a negative impact on qualification levels as the post-graduate holders represented 180 or 74 percent and the PhD holders rose at the same time from 3 to 60 or 25 percent of the total.
During the last years a high rate of attrition in the research scientist category has been noted due to the non-application of the new scheme of service (around 30 in two and a half years). This has occurred despite the recommendations of the World Bank/IDA for the application of the new service scheme. It is reported that the morale of the remaining scientists is quite low. However, recent supervision mission reports of NARP indicated positive development in this regard. The new status as well as the new scheme of service is applied. To support the effort, donors have agreed to temporarily contribute to salary payment.
In Senegal, the situation was not much different in terms of evolution of human resources. With the creation of ISRA in 1975, the Government placed great emphasis on recruitment and training of national scientists. The number of scientists grew at an annual rate of 8.2 percent. By early 1987 the management of Senegalese research was entirely under national directorship. The number of Senegalese scientists increased from 30 at the end of the 1970s to 110 representing almost a four times increase. This increase of research scientists and nationalization of management has made ISRA a truly Senegalese research institute. The hope is that this will better orientate research towards national priorities and local conditions.
The remarkable agricultural training effort was largely supported by donors, in particular within the projects analysed in this study. However, also for ITA, foreign assistance has been instrumental in the development of human resources, even if ITA has always had a small staff. There were 15 full-time equivalent researchers in 1990, and 10 in 1992.
Overall, the Senegalese NARS, had in 1990, 194 full-time equivalent researchers, of which 132 were provided by nationals (68 percent) and 62 by expatriates or 32 percent. The expatriates were mostly French and one of the highest concentrations of French agricultural scientists in West Africa.
Both institutes went through severe personnel cuts under the structural adjustment programme. In early 1987, ISRA personnel were reduced from 1 500 to less than 1 000. It was further reduced to 600 in 1990 before the start of the second agricultural research project. The balance between scientist and support staff also worsened. ITA also experienced similar drastic personnel cuts.
NARS in Senegal is experiencing a crisis due to insufficient funding and poor personnel management. At ISRA, the situation is more or less just as discouraging as at the advent of heavy foreign assistance in the 1980s. Foreign assistance seems therefore not to have improved things for the better.
This is a crucial item for all NARS in sub-Saharan Africa and particularly for those countries under review in this study. The level is important but equally important are the stability and foremost timely disbursement of funds. What has been the influence of foreign assistance on these issues is analysed in this section.
In Cameroon, the budget of the two institutes decreased continuously from 1984-1985 to 1992-1993. There were barely funds for paying staff salaries. The expenditure per scientist during the period decreased from US$58 085 to US$9 591. Salaries represented 55 percent of total budget on average during this period running costs for administration and research programmes accounted for 10 and 12 percent, respectively and infrastructure and equipment 20 percent. Disbursement of funds was neither regular nor timely during this crisis period. In general, projects that did not contribute to running costs suffered from these crisis as Government counterpart for these expenses was not paid.
Ghana experienced a rather different scenario. Overall agriculture research expenditures during the past 30 years grew on average at a rather low annual rate of 2.2 percent. During the period of structural adjustment from 1984, a rather higher growth rate, caused mainly by more donor support, was experienced. In terms of research intensity, the ratio of research expenditure was in 1989-1991, 0.38 percent from the national budget. With foreign assistance included, it became 0.41 percent. However, with the costs of expatriates at national costs, it increased to 0.49 percent. In terms of source of funding of agricultural research, Ghana is among the few African countries where national effort has always been prominent. National contribution has stood at about 80 percent. Foreign assistance including loans represented in 1989-1991 20 percent of total research expenditures of US$11.9 million. The level of funding per scientist during the period 1974-1987 decreased from US$56 700 to US$33 140, in constant 1987 dollars. In 1989, in the CSIR institutes concerned with agricultural research, the actual recurrent expenditure per researcher per year, net of salaries, was even lower in terms of dollars, amounting to only US$3 900, this including donor funding for operational expenses. The figures above indicate a low level of financial support to NARS in proportion to the human potential. In most national institutions, with the exceptions of CRIG and OPRI and the foreign assisted programmes of CRI, national scientists are condemned to severe underemployment. As a result NARS did not have more than about 150 real research years in 1987.
In Kenya, the trend has been similar to Ghana, but higher in terms of rate of evolution. Total agricultural research expenditures increased steadily from 1983-1984 to 1986-1987 at an annual average of 21 percent. Later on it attained a high annual average of 45 percent per year. This corresponded to increased donor funding from 1987-1988 to 1992-1993. As a result the research intensity has been high, reaching 2.1 percent which includes donor contribution. This is far above the average for sub-Saharan African countries. The research intensity with GoK funds averaged 0.61 percent which is also high by African standards. In spite of sizeable total investment in agricultural research, the funding pattern is clearly deficient. More research scientists have not been matched by increases in operating cost per scientist. Today this stands at US$2 000, which is clearly inadequate. Personnel costs absorb overall 76 percent of funding allocated to research, leaving about 24 percent for operations.
Madagascar has had a different pattern. From the creation of FOFIFA in 1974 until 1992 the institute was funded nationally. National budget provided from 64 to 75 percent with remaining funds coming from sales and services. In 1989-1990 the Government and IDA signed an agreement for funding of the NARP. A major increase of research budget followed from this. The share of the IDA increased steadily between 1992 and 1997 to reach 67 percent of the total budget of the institute. From 1992 to 1997 FOFIFA took 85 percent of the budget allocated to the MRS. A marked change in the distribution of funding occurred in 1996-1997. The share allocated to the network of centres and stations rose from 6 percent in 1992 to 38 percent. The distribution of more funds to centres and stations reflected the decentralization policy of the World Bank supported NARP project. After 1974, the share of funding to public research institutions has been fairly constant. It has fluctuated between 91-94 percent of the total agricultural research expenditures, leaving a modest 6-9 percent for the academic sector. From the period 1961-1965 to 1991 the research intensity ratio dropped by 4.1 per annum from 1.18 to 0.57 percent. This is quite in line with sub-Saharan averages.
In Malawi, overheads and administrative costs absorbed NARS resources, before the reorganization and streamlining of the research network. For DAR for example these expenditures amounted to nearly 50 percent of its recurrent budget. In DAR's fiscal year 1984/1985 research work absorbed only 31 percent of the recurrent budget. Since the restructuring process things improved. However, the annual data for the years 1986 to 1991 reveal a substantial degree of instability in total real agricultural research expenditures. Malawi experienced a high rate of inflation at this time with prices doubling between 1985 and 1989. The instability was also caused by change in donor capital investment from one year to another. Research intensity figures have also been high despite a drop from 1991. In 1986 to 1991 the ratio was a high 2 percent falling to 1.66 percent in 1991. The figures reflect the effect of high inflation and varying donor contribution. Data for the fiscal years 1992/1993 indicate an intensity of research expenditure of 0.5 percent from public resources. The master plan proposals sought to raise this level of investment in research by more than 100 percent. The target was above one percent of agricultural GDP in real terms over a five-year period and was to reach 2.5 percent by 2000. The contribution by the Government of Malawi to the total research budget was only 28 percent in 1998/1999. The remainder coming from donors and local seed companies. The country is therefore heavily dependent on foreign assistance.
In Mali, in 1990 the total agricultural research expenditures was estimated at US$11.2 million. In terms of research intensity it was 0.34 percent in 1989 if only the national contribution is included. Total agricultural research expenditures stood at national costs at 0.56 percent of the AgGDP. From 1984 the Government contribution increased steadily from zero to 10 percent yearly. After the devaluation of the CFA currency in 1994 this was decreased, but catching up later on. The rise signifies the Government commitment to fund a substantial proportion of the national agricultural research from its own resources. It became difficult to maintain a high level of national support and foreign contributions became steadily more important. The financial resources were, however, unequally distributed between NARS institutions and within IER among the research units and programmes. Those receiving funding from foreign assistance being more affluent than others. The former received between US$20 000 to US$33 000 for operations and equipment, the latter received barely US$6 600 per researcher per year. The NARP project intended to correct such imbalances. This was not achieved despite the availability of financial resources. The main reasons seem to be inadequate for financial management or lack of proper training on the new computerized financial management system put into place by the SPARC project funded by USAID.
The Senegalese NARS was not better off. The total financial resources in 1990 was US$19.7 million. The national agricultural research expenditures from national sources, without loans and grants represented 0.44 percent of the AgGDP in 1990. The total agricultural research expenditures evaluated at national factor costs was roughly US$14.2 million or 1.18 percent of the AgGDP, one of the highest rates in sub-Saharan Africa. During the 1985-1990 period, the financial resources of ISRA fell sharply: the total consolidated budget (including the cost of expatriates) fell from US$26.6 million to US$18.6 million, basically because of retrenchment of personnel, (personnel cost of nationals decreased from US$9 million to US$4 million). The analysis of the financial situation of ISRA in the period of 1993 to 1995 confirms the trend of the previous decades. Government contributions did not exceed 30 percent of total research expenditures. The research intensity for this period averaged to 1.23 percent, which is high in Africa. Personnel costs despite several retrenchments remained at the high level of around 69 percent from 1976 to 1992.
This precarious financial situation is pervasive, as during transition periods from one IDA project to another and follow-up projects of several other donors, research activity at ISRA came to virtual standstill due to lack of funds to cover operating costs. The shortage of recurrent operating funds led to serious underfunding of recurrent station operating and maintenance costs, thereby increasing the need for infrastructure rehabilitation.
In this section the situation of the role played by foreign assistance in the programming process is examined.
In Cameroon, evaluation reports indicated an improvement in programme planning. This was especially the case within animal research, but also overall. This occurred despite lack of national research plans. Institutes responded, however, positively to the orientations towards national agricultural development. The projects under review played a positive role in this respect. Most have as their objectives: increased food security, diversification and intensification of production, better linkage with extension and farmers, for better transfer of results, participatory approach in programming, sustainable improvement of farming systems, adapting technologies to the small farmers' and herders' circumstances and accelerating the transfer of technologies to the producers to raise their productivity and income.
Leadership has been stable within the research system with a positive effect on the stability and relevance of the research programmes. The research programmes have been properly distributed to different agro-ecological zones. Relevance and effectiveness of the research system were mitigated by the difficult economic situation of the country during most of the period under review. This coincided with implementation of the structural adjustment programmes. There seems, however, still to be a neglect of attention of real transfer of research results to farmers, the relevance of the programmes and the pertinence of the whole system.
In Ghana, all the agricultural research projects analysed had programmes relevant to national development objectives and a positive impact on national agricultural production. The NARP completion report noted that institutes have released several recommendations for adoption, particularly new crop varieties and improved cultivation practices of maize, cowpeas, soybeans, cassava, plantain, millet, sorghum, pineapples and vegetables. Crop production in Ghana has increased which is reflected in a per annum growth of 4 percent in the agriculture sector since 1996. In particular, production of maize increased by 70 percent from 700 000 tonnes in 1993 to 1.2 million tonnes in 1997. The release and enthusiastic adoption by farmers of several soybeans, cowpea varieties and the high lysine maize variety, Obatampa, has contributed to improved rural nutrition. In addition three high-yielding hybrid varieties of maize were released in 1998. The other production related research programmes have also developed useful technologies capable of sustaining high productive capacity of the natural resource base. Leadership has been stable within the system and had a positive effect on the stability and relevance of the research programmes. The programmes had good agro-ecological coverage.
In Kenya donors agreed to fund coordinated programmes/projects during the NARP (I and II) implementation. Priority programmes received sufficient funding although GoK contributions have been smaller than foreseen. All institutions of NARS including academic institutions have been as well endowed as KARI. Proper national priority setting procedures involving all the stakeholders has increased the relevance of the research activities and linked research closer to national development policy. There is also great emphasis on the on-farm and participatory research approaches. This is grounded in the mandates given to NARS institutions. The research programmes located in the network of research centres ensure good coverage of the agro-ecological zones.
In Madagascar, overall programme stability and relevance has improved greatly with the help of donor assistance. A bottom-up approach planning process has been adopted involving extension services and farmers. Implementation of the multi-disciplinary, on-farm research programme has been instituted. FOFIFA also modified its strategy in 1997 to adapt to the national and international economic environment. Priority was given to market-oriented agriculture in high potential areas, including diversification towards high value crops for exports, while maintaining yield levels in marginal areas. Genetic improvement remains the underlying thrusts for yield improvement and increasing adaptability to local conditions and resistance to pests and diseases. To improve the quality of research programmes, each researcher is now obliged to include indicators that can be monitored for their research work and to monitor field impacts at farmer level together with extension staff. Staff has been deployed to regional research centres and stations in order to be closer to the end-users. FOFIFA is also developing its links and cooperation with the large private sector as a result of its work on export-oriented higher value agriculture (cotton, vanilla, soybeans, temperate and tropical fruits, etc.).
In Malawi, before the reorganization of DAR in 1985 under the NARP, investments have not always reflected national or farmers' priorities. Increasing expenditure on overheads and non-research work had also greatly exceeded what was invested in research. The current priority setting procedure, programme formulation and management was implemented with donor assistance, in particular during the NARP project. Effective channels of communication with all stakeholders (policy-makers, all researchers in the system, extension workers and users of research information and technology) have been established. All partners in the research process are part and parcel of priority settings and programme formulation. This holds for all agro-ecological zones covered by the research network. This ensures relevance to the national and farmers' goals with the ARC playing a leading role as the apex body. However, the Treasury seldom follows recommendations from ARC in terms of resource allocation. As a consequence DAR needs to spread its resources thinly over a large number of projects greatly reducing the likely impact of the research.
For Mali, since the reorganization of the NARC/CNRA, introduction of a decentralized structure of IER and the strategic planning process involving all the stakeholders (in particular the users through the users committees at the local regional and national levels) through a bottom-up approach, research programmes have become more relevant to national development objectives and to the users' needs. Through the pilot users' fund established by the World Bank/IDA, the users have a leverage to orient research activities on themes of particular importance for them. The NARC with its various committees, the new structure of IER and management system, are proper safeguards for continued relevance and stability of research programmes. However, over-reliance on foreign assistance for funding these programmes particularly as regards operating expenditures remains an Achilles' heel.
In Senegal, proper programming priority setting mechanisms are in place. ISRA has also gained considerable experience in preparing strategic plans. It has developed several strategic plans with foreign support. The USAID projects SARP and SAR II in particular, presented many tools and methodologies that helped ISRA in its strategic planning work. The support permitted also competent reviews of the ongoing research programmes. During this period ISRA in search of a more efficient management strategy began to re-examine its research portfolio.
Long-term strategic programme planning is, however, "meaningless if the resources to permit implementation cannot be assured" as mentioned by the USAID mission team. ISRA has never had necessary government support to adequately maintain a core staff with reasonable pay, neither have they been given a meaningful level of resources to carry out implementation of established strategic plans. The donors have not been of major help in this area. On the contrary, ISRA's experience demonstrates how donor funding, "being the only game in town" can distort institutional long-term plans and priorities, moulding them along donor driven themes and interest.
NARS, as outlined earlier, have developed good linkages within and outside the systems. The donor community has helped NARS develop and maintain these links. Mechanisms such as TLU (testing liaison unit) for Cameroon, or research/extension liaison committees (RELEC) in Ghana, agricultural research fund in Kenya, Malawi, Mali and Senegal, adaptive research team (ART), in Malawi, etc., have been created with donor assistance. Donors have had the explicit intention of fostering linkages within the system. The focus has in particular been on linkages with extension/farmers. A 1995 SPAAR report on lessons learnt from the implementation of the Frameworks for Action (FFAs) indicated that attempts to institutionalize researcher-farmer linkages at national level have gone furthest in Mali. A hierarchical system of user consultation has been set up within IER programming, priority setting and reporting process, to be overseen by NARC/CNRA. Outside the system, the most widespread linkages are with the IARCS of the CGIAR and regional and subregional organizations and some bilateral organizations. Creating linkages is a continuous process that should improve as contacts intensify. Currently the main issue is how linkages can be optimized and transformed into a true partnership for the strengthening of NARS.
In Chapter 3, the actual size of each NARI/NARO of NARS of each country, was described. The present size of NARS is as a result of a long evolution process often involving periods with painful downsizing of activities. In countries with structural adjustment programmes, no institution could escape this process. How donors contributed towards build-up of oversized and unsustainable research systems are well documented in the section above. According to the definition of a sustainable NARI/NARO/NARS provided by ISNAR (ISNAR, 1991): "as one in which domestic funding provides most of core salaries, operating funds, and capital investments; and where the contribution from external sources is within the limits of domestic effort that the Government could take on progressively, with a definite schedule". This has also been termed by Eicher (Eicher, 1999) as "the ability to mobilize domestic political support to pay the salaries and required operating costs of the core scientific staff from national sources". None of NARS in the countries under review is for the time sustainable. They are often fragile as the case of ISRA in Senegal demonstrates. During the transition period from an IDA project to another and follow-up projects of other donors, research activity at ISRA came to a virtual standstill due to lack of operational funds. A USAID impact study of its assistance to ISRA (July 1998) describes the situation "As the National Agricultural Research Centre for Senegal, ISRA in 1998 is in critical danger of extinction. From the days and months lived during the SARP project years, which could perhaps be considered ISRA's best and most promising years, there has been a steady institutional decline, in spite of USAID/Senegal and other donor support... ISRA's major problems are systemic. Having a professional and active agricultural research programme focused on long range issues of national significance does not appear to be a national priority, as reflected in the major decline of the Government support to the programme over the past 17 years. Pulled one way and another by the nature of the financial support and conditionalities of donors, ISRA has lost any clear Senegalese vision of its future". The situation is similar to most NARIs of sub-Saharan Africa. Below are excerpts from IDA/NARP completion reports for the selected countries
Cameroon, is not sustainable in relation to public or national funding for a foreseeable future, neither is Ghana. The relation between financial resources and available human resources is not sound. In Kenya the Project Appraisal Report of NARP II concluded that "GoK finances about a third of the total cost of agricultural research and the balance is currently financed by donors." The donor share of research financing is expected gradually to decline over the years. In Madagascar, the current size is not sustainable. As stated in the completion report of NARP, until 1997 the Government did not meet its obligations of providing adequate funds to pay wages, arrears in social benefits and staff pensions and back taxes. The project completion report for the first NARP phase rated the achievements of the institutional development objective substantial and sustainability as likely. Malawi, as regards sustainability, the NARP completion report indicated, "sustainability of the activities/programmes supported by the project and the facilities provided is in doubt." For most of the project duration, GoM was unable to provide operating costs at the level agreed to at negotiation. This affected both the conduct of experimental programmes and maintenance of buildings and plant. DAR, despite strong pressure from IDA, was unable to establish a separate scientific career stream that would provide incentives to motivate and retain research scientists. In Mali, the NARP completion report is not yet available, however the analysis indicated that, despite the remarkable effort made by the Government, the system cannot yet operate properly and fulfil its mandate without donor support for many years to come.
These results confirm those of a World Bank study (WB, 1997). Of nine free standing research projects, the sustainability was rated only likely for two, uncertain for six and unlikely for one. Institutional development was rated as modest for the entire sample in the World Bank study. The current study also shows the same picture. Although the research intensities, calculated with national resources alone, for the countries in the sample, remain well in the regional average, and above the developing countries average (Byrelee and Alex, 1998) funding remains the Achilles' heel for the sustainability of NARS. Downsizing of facilities and retrenchment of staff do not seem to create enough resources to provide sufficient operating funds for research programmes or decent salaries for research personnel.
Monitoring and controlling are pervasive functions of management that should be performed on a continuous basis. They are a process of tracking or follow-up and documenting observations on how decisions regarding programmes have been implemented, the deviations to the intended objectives, the reasons and the corrective measures that ought to be taken, etc. Evaluation is an exercise that should be carried out at regular intervals. While the former is purely an internal exercise, the latter can and should involve outsiders either nationals outside the system, foreigners or both. The effectiveness of monitoring therefore depends on the effectiveness of management at all levels and in particular on its organizational structure and delegation of authority. The quality of management has been dealt with in a previous section.
As regards evaluation it concerns the institutions and their programmes as well as their personnel, while the former is scientific and managerial, the latter is more administrative. Internal institutional bodies perform programme planning, monitoring and review (as described earlier). The issue here is how these bodies perform these functions. For all the institutions under NARS included in the study, donors have put into place mechanisms for evaluation of performance. Furthermore, within NARP projects funded by the World Bank, monitoring and evaluation systems have been part of the institution-building project component. All countries have therefore developed systems for monitoring and evaluation of projects more or less operational as shown briefly below.
In Cameroon, programming committees at the national and regional/agro-ecological zone levels also have responsibility for annual evaluation of programmes. Programme and subprogramme data sheets were available and used as tools for monitoring and evaluation. ISNAR in its review of 1988 recommended that all programmes be reviewed every four to five years with some external participation and the data sheets updated as appropriate. Personnel evaluation follows the civil service mode as spelt out in the researchers' scheme of services adopted in 1980. Although the initial scheme had provision for reward systems with various kinds of allowances, economic crisis and structural adjustment programmes have eliminated all rewards as such, only the seniority increment was granted.
In Ghana, the projects under review have established regular evaluations. For NARS as a whole the mid-term evaluation mission of the NARP recommended a monitoring system of the project. The monitoring should be carried out jointly with the programme coordinator, the director of the coordinating institute and the technical secretariat. An external evaluation of the institution every five years was also proposed. The NARP completion report noted that three of the seven agricultural research institutes have been subjected to an external review. For personnel evaluation in the CSIR institutes two types of appraisal are undertaken: a) grade promotions; and b) annual confidential reports. For the former, the research scientists are submitted to procedures of the university. External assessors rely solely on written material. The appropriate CSIR Promotion Panel reviews their assessments. Primary emphasis has, until recently, been given to scientific publications in scientific journals, which has meant that there is little incentive for staff to participate in programmes to strengthen linkages with farmers. Promotion criteria has recently been reviewed and greater recognition is now given to work that may not lead to research publications, but makes an important contribution to solving farmers' problems. Concerning annual confidential reports, a more open process has to be introduced.
In Kenya, the projects and Government agreed on regular evaluations. Moreover, a monitoring and evaluation unit has been established within the directorate of KARI. External evaluation of NARS as a whole or particular components, has been explicitly mentioned in this context.
Personnel, whether scientific or support staff, must as a matter of routine be reviewed annually in order to establish performance. The performance review forms the backdrop for salary increases and promotion. The scheme goes back to the civil service arrangements where salary awards are related to each individual performance. It also determines whether or not the individual staff should be recommended for further studies. Unfortunately, the system has not worked well. The creation of KARI was not preceded by a carefully developed compensation strategy. KARI management has endeavoured to produce, within NARP I, a workable scheme of service involving better terms and conditions but it has not managed to have them institutionalized. Consequently promotions and salary awards are on an ad hoc basis.
In Madagascar, the establishment of the Funding Steering Committee for Agricultural Research (COFIRA) with the mandate of approving the work plan and budget, was considered an innovative set up with positive connotations for FOFIFA. The NARP appraisal report indicated that "Research quality and adaptability improvement" of the NARP was to: "reinforce research monitoring and evaluation through the introduction of a research programme review system, including research protocol reviews, report writing standards and requirements, mid-term and pluri-annual reviews, and a research data resource management system." The completion report of the NARP is mute on the achievement of this activity.
Concerning the evaluation of personnel the NARP project has assisted in: 1) the development of a human resources development master plan; 2) the creation of a personnel and human resources development service; and 3) the improvement of personnel management policies and procedures including the introduction of incentives for scientific staff to work and live on remote research stations.
In Malawi, prior to submission of each subsequent fiscal year's budget, DAR management including NRCs, review and evaluate the quality, productivity and cost of each research programme of the previous season. Next year's proposals are also reviewed in terms of content, cost and importance to the national economy. DAR management also presents annually a programme and budget to the ARC for review and adjustment.
Within the NARP IDA there have been requests that every third year a group consisting of a distinguished research scientist of international repute review the whole research programme in depth. The ARC was responsible for organizing such triennial reviews.
The Completion Report of NARP indicates that two triennial reviews (1989 and 1992) both reported extensively on research programmes as well as management issues. It was mentioned that the reviews provided valuable information to help guide the research effort and its management. However, external reviews need considerable preparatory work by research workers, especially the CTL and NRC, which contributes towards reducing time available for research. Triennial reviews are unusual, both IARCs and some NARS have for a long time settled on reviews every four years for their external reviews, therefore, the current practice should be adjusted accordingly for the future. The personnel employed prior to implementation of NARP did not have proper job descriptions. Criteria for the assessment of potential recruits for promotions were therefore not clear. Currently managers prepare annual confidential assessments of their staff using standard evaluation forms, which are finally transmitted to the Public Service Commission (PSC) for review. The evaluation format is quite comprehensive, but it lacks both an adequate assessment of quality of output and a system of feedback to the staff on their performance. Since 1983 the PSC has ruled that promotion of civil servants should be by interview on issues related to their field of competence. Recently DAR attempted to evaluate its staff on the basis of the following criteria: technical ability, technical bulletins and reports, technical output, creativity, managerial ability and special contributions.
Mali, the research programming, monitoring and evaluation of IER prior to the NARP was considered extremely weak. A process linking the short-term activities proposed by individual scientists to the strategic plan was to be put into place. Independent external evaluation of research projects under implementation and upon their completion was undertaken only in the context of individual donor projects. USAID under the SPARC project provided technical assistance to IER in the design of a research programming, monitoring and evaluation system. Under the NARP it was decided that IER was to implement jointly with extension services, impact evaluation for at least five programmes per year. The first impact evaluation of all programmes was completed in 1997 and the supervision mission report of NARP dated February 2000 recommended that all programmes should have been re-evaluated before the end of June 2001. The system of programme budgeting has been considered lengthy and cumbersome. The effect on the availability of resources to research programmes and on their performance is deemed to be negative. Prior to the NARP and the new statutes of IER, the staff, in particular the scientists, were civil servants. They were evaluated every year for salary increments and upgrading. Within the NARP and the new statutes whereby all staff are seconded to IER and subcontracted, initial evaluation was made for all staff to determine their new grade by an initial evaluation committee of independent external scientists. The personnel management manual henceforth determined the procedures for regular annual evaluation.
Senegal, the board of directors of ISRA and its subsidiary committee the STC have a major role in the process of monitoring and evaluation. STC has in particular mandate to: 1) advise, also on rules and procedures for the evaluation of the activities, structures and scientific personnel and examine all evaluation reports and makes recommendations to the board; 2) organize, draw up the terms of reference and supervise the evaluation missions on the research activities and the research staff and advise on the common principles of evaluation.
It is also responsible for taking any appropriate initiative in its field of competence, to guarantee the quality of research activities taking into account scientific integrity and needed credibility of the institute. During the second World Bank project, ISRA introduced external programme reviews in the CGIAR model, aimed at improving research quality. Five (out of 23) programmes were reviewed in 1993 and 1994. In addition, in 1995 as part of the mid-term review and as a basis for preparing ISRA's 1998-2003 Strategic Plan, all programmes were reviewed. It was noted, however, that mechanisms to ensure that recommendations made by the external programme review teams were implemented, did not exist. The Completion Report of the second World Bank project mentioned that ISRA did not have a formalized monitoring and evaluation system. However, its management was aware of this need and it was planned to address the issue as part of the implementation of the 1998-2003 Strategic Plan. This plan effectively contained, in annex, a logical framework that should allow monitoring of activities. How effective it will be applied remains to be seen. As regards personnel evaluation, a one shot exercise was carried out, but the outcome was never applied. The evaluation system of personnel put into place by the French institutes has therefore been abandoned and no system of researcher promotion exists at present. As a condition for the third phase of assistance from the World Bank, new ITA and ISRA conditions of service have been adopted. The new system involves ongoing evaluation of staff performance, including an incentive and reward system. The salary scale is high enough to attract and retain well-qualified personnel while compatible with government contribution. Both institutes have also adopted a management and internal organization manual.