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Glossary of terms used in the strategic planning process


detailed set of tasks to produce the outputs that are specified in the research and related themes

alternative suppliers or research providers

other institutions that have the capabilities and mandates to undertake the research and related themes identified as candidates for priority assessment


major disciplinary and multidisciplinary aggregations established by the institute to address problems and constraints and identify candidate or indicative themes; a focus group addresses each area


safety from biological materials such as pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites) and genetically modified organisms


camels, llamas, alpacas

candidate themes or topics

see indicative or candidate themes or topics

capacity building

enhancing the capabilities of institutions to undertake their assigned responsibilities in a more effective manner

center-commissioned external review

evaluation of research and related activities of the institute undertaken external review by a panel with no current affiliation with the institute at the request of the institute

comparative advantage

the improvement in overall cost-effectiveness of outcomes when parties specialise in components in which they have lower opportunity costs; new comparative advantages can be developed over time and are not immutable

complementary advantage

a niche where a technical input by the institute to balance an input by partners leads to a multiplier effect or spillover resulting in an outcome much greater than the sum of the individual contributions

composite index

using agreed criteria, a measure of how well an indicative or candidate theme contributes to attaining the goals of the institute

critical mass

the minimum complement of scientists needed to provide leadership and generate impact in a scientific field of endeavour

crop–livestock system

a livestock system in which animals are integrated with the production of crops in such a way that they complement each other

Decision-support system

a formal method or mechanism, often but not always computer based, for generating and collating information in an interactive fashion and providing it to end users; it is designed to assist in making management and other decisions

delivery pathways

the mechanisms by which research leads to technology options that are adopted by livestock keepers

Delphi approach

an approach where initial estimates are shared among respondents, who are then given the opportunity to change or revalidate their original estimates, based upon what the rest of the group provide as their estimates

discovery-to- delivery-to-impact

the continuum from more basic research aimed at new understanding and knowledge through to the design of new technology options and their packaging to facilitate adoption and the subsequent generation of new income streams

ex-ante impact assessment

evaluation of the likely consequences of investments in R&D before investment is made; this may include effects on the environment, the poor, biodiversity and capacity building of NARS


smallest unit of activity or task with detailed protocol setting out hypotheses, background and work plans

ex-post impact assessment

evaluation of the actual consequences of investments in R&D after investment has been made; this may include effects on the environment, the poor, biodiversity and capacity building of NARS

external influence

trends and developments in the global ecological, social, cultural and socio-economic environments that will have a bearing on the future strategies and priorities for livestock R&D

feed grains

grains fed to animals, as differentiated from grains fed directly to humans (food grains)

focus group

A number of external and internal participants in a team established at ILRI to undertake a review of a particular area of livestock research and related activities, to identify indicative or candidate themes for further consideration and to prepare theme briefs describing their expected inputs, outputs and impacts

food grains

grains eaten directly by humans, as differentiated from feed grains fed to animals

genetically modified organism

organism that has been altered through recombinant DNA technology


the total complement of genetic material (DNA) in a cell or an organism

geographic information system

a computer-based system used to store and manipulate digital geographic information


the aims and objectives of strategic options and candidate or indicative themes

grassland livestock system

see grazing livestock system

grazing livestock system

a livestock system in which the animals primarily depend on pasture for their feed requirements, on an ad libitum rotational basis on either private or communal land; also referred to as pastoral, rangeland or grassland systems

indicative or candidate themes or topics

research and related topics that address the identified major problems facing poor livestock keepers in developing countries, which will be addressed in the priority assessment framework proposed

industrial livestock system

a livestock system in which large numbers of animals are kept in a system confined, capital-intensive environment with controlled management of feeds and diseases; also referred to as landless or intensive systems

intensive livestock system

see industrial livestock system

international public goods

public goods that are available to all countries (see also public goods)

Key research area

research into a particular area of problems or constraints that inhibit improvements in the welfare of poor people, including food and nutritional security and endowment of the environmental resources on which they depend

knowledge products

publications, from conventional paper products through computer based multimedia and expert systems, that combine and link information, from ILRI and other sources, with information and knowledge generated by ILRI research. These products go far beyond the traditional concept of information products such as databases and bibliographies and add value to the outputs of ILRI's research

landless livestock system

see industrial livestock system

livestock production system

the type of agroclimatic and socio-economic environments within which livestock are managed to produce animal products and livelihoods

Livestock Revolution

the term used by Delgado and others (1999) to describe the substantial growth in livestock consumption and production projected to occur in developing countries to 2020

log frame

objectives and outputs of the organisation, programme or project to be appreciated through a table. The specific milestones that serve as markers towards achieving the objectives leading to the overall goal are presented in a simple matrix format

marker-assisted introgression

repeated backcrossing to introgress a specific gene into an elite genotype (for example, introducing trypotolerance genes into highly productive but non-tolerant breeds). Genetic markers are used to measure the percentage of the recurrent parent for each individual in each generation and then to choose the genotypes (individuals) having the highest percentage of the recurrent parent at each generation

medium-term plan

a document the CGIAR requires of each IARC, which details the research and related activities that the centre plans to undertake, along with the resource requirements over a 3-year period

mixed crop–livestock system

sedentary production of crops and livestock on the same farm. Animal feed is provided by crop grain and crop residues as well as grazing, and animal manures are spread on the cropland. Animals are often also used for traction, transport and home consumption


pigs, poultry, fish and companion animals, which have only a single compartmented stomach; at present, ILRI work with monogastrics emphasises pigs and poultry

Net-based technologies

information and knowledge that can be made freely and immediately available to a wide audience on the Internet (World Wide Web)


see monogastrics

opportunity costs

the economic value of the use of resources next best to the use to which they are currently assigned

pastoral livestock system

see grazing livestock system

priority Assessment Criteria Working Group

small group of ILRI economists working to develop a set of standard criteria to use in assessing priorities among themes them 

priority assessment framework

a procedure developed to evaluate research and related themes to rank  them  based on agreed criteria

private goods

goods and services that have a recognised market where they can be exchanged at agreed prices and where consumption of them by one prevents consumption by another

public goods

goods and services for which there are no formal markets or prices in a country and where consumption by one does not prevent consumption by others

public health externalities

activities that have as an unintended side effect the spread of disease to the community in general

rangeland livestock system

see grazing livestock system

recommendation or research domain

a relatively homogeneous crop–livestock–groforestry system with similar productivity constraints, research opportunities, agro-ecologies and resource endowments to which the same new technology or policy options are expected to be adapted or applied

research and related themes

set of related activities and unit of analysis within an area, aimed at addressing specified problems, and used for priority setting and resource allocations

research efficiency outputs

results or outputs from research that have as a major implication the improvement in the quality or timeliness of the research of others

Research products

the intermediate outputs from the conduct of research that are necessary to generate ultimate economic, environmental and other impacts

research tools

analytical techniques and methodologies required for the efficient conduct of research

resource-poor livestock keepers

includes households with or without access to land, who manage or own livestock for home consumption or market sale or both, and whose resources do not generate sufficient cash or non-cash income to place them above the poverty line

restricted funding

financial and other support that is provided with clear specifications as to where or on what the resources can be spent


includes cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo and non-domesticated species such as deer and antelope. Characterised by multicompartmented stomach and the presence of anaerobic microbes in an additional stomach called the rumen

satellite imagery

digital raster data obtained by remotely sensing wavelengths of energy from the electromagnetic spectrum to get information about the earth's surface or atmosphere

science and research continuum

the range from basic, strategic, applied, adaptive, diagnostic and participatory research

scientific critical mass

the minimum number and disciplinary composition of a team of scientists required to have a core of competence to address the major strategic options identified in the strategy

spatial analysis

examination of how geographic features relate to one another over space

Spearman rank correlations

standard statistical measures. Instead of the cardinal values of two variables, their ordinal ranks are used to calculate the correlation coefficients between them


those who have a vested scientific or economic interest in the outcomes of the institute

steering committee

small group of persons constituted by ILRI representing wide knowledge and experienced in strategic plan and medium-term plan development and priority setting to oversee the process

strategic alliances

the forging of associations among like-minded institutions, bound by shared goals, responsibilities and resources

strategic approach

the type and nature of research and related activities aiming to solve the major problems and alleviate constraints and thus improve the well being and security of resource-poor livestock keepers in key research areas in developing countries

strategic research

research that is aimed at providing generic solutions to problems or constraints to agricultural and economic development (as distinct from either basic or applied research); its results then require applied or adaptive research before the knowledge is translated into technology or policy options for adoption


the approach to be taken to achieve planned outcomes

stratified animal production system

a combination of two or three of the following systems: grazing, mixed crop–livestock, industrial

subunit vaccine

a vaccine based on specific antigens of the infectious agent; they stimulate an immune response in the body of the host and so confer resistance to the disease

systems analysis

a branch of enquiry concerning natural or humanly induced assemblages of components that interact for a common purpose, whose task is to understand the interrelationships between the components and the operation of the system as a whole. The rationale for systems analysis is that without an understanding of the system and its components, an improvement in one component cannot be presumed to lead to overall improvement in the whole

theme brief

a document that details the problems, potential solutions and approach, time frame, expected poverty, economic and environmental impacts, and resource requirements, based upon which the theme can be evaluated in the priority assessment framework

unrestricted funding

financial and other support that is provided to the institute to use at its discretion on any aspect of its agreed priorities, rather than on specific components only

Withdrawal period

the time after a drug or chemical is used before its residual effect has reduced to the point that the plant or animal on which it has been used is considered safe for humans to consume

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