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ILRI's strategic plan to 2010 anticipates the challenges to livestock development posed by the doubling of demand for meat and milk in developing countries over the next two decades. The development of this plan involved the active participation of external stakeholders as well as ILRI's staff, management and Board.

The planning process included analysis of the external influences likely to affect livestock development, the appropriate roles for ILRI and other research providers in the discovery-to-delivery research continuum, and the potential for impact in terms of the CGIAR goals for poverty alleviation, food security and environmental protection.

The process has been guided by agreed principles. Key among these was that the strategy be led by demand, reflected in the needs and expectations of its partners in developing countries and responding to the development priorities of the institute's investors. Other strategic principles:

The strategic planning process, detailed in Figure 2.1, defined the key research and related areas that address global needs and constraints to sustainable livestock development. The process included assessment of external influences and their implications for international livestock R&D, as described in Chapter 2. The key research and related areas led to strategic approaches for problem solving to provide opportunities for international livestock research and development. These opportunities are reflected in the research and related outputs, resulting from focused efforts on priority research and related themes.

These four elements represent the decision-making hierarchy in formulating the research agenda for ILRI. Broad strategic directions are formulated for ILRI in terms of species, livestock systems and geographic regions. Candidate research and related themes are identified to address constraints and opportunities across these three dimensions. After the candidate themes are analysed, priorities for them will be set, as described in Chapter 3. The priorities as determined will form the basis of the medium-term plan, which will include the themes with their implications for using resources. The framework for setting the priorities is included in this strategy document, although the thematic priorities themselves are not.

In Chapter 1, the strategy document first assesses the external influences on setting priorities for international livestock research and development. These influences include the role of livestock in poverty reduction, food and nutrition security, human health, and the trends to 2020 in livestock demand and production, especially in developing countries but also globally. The rationale for the strategic choices that ILRI plans to make in the first decade of the new millennium follows in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 contains the strategic choices themselves, and Chapter 4 concludes the document with implementation of the strategy.

John Vercoe
Chair, Board of Trustees

Hank Fitzhugh
Director General

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