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CATIE FINAL EEI REPORT MAI 2007 Powered By Docstoc
            27th of May 2007
                                              Table of Contents
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY................................................................................................. 3
1. INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................... 7
ENVIRONMENT ............................................................................................................ 10
     Agriculture and Natural Resources in the Region ............................................. 11
     CATIE’s Institutional context ............................................................................... 11
     CATIE’s comparative advantage – unique strengths ........................................ 13
     Collaborators and competitors ........................................................................... 13
     CATIE and the CGIAR .......................................................................................... 15
3. CATIE’s responses to the recommendations of the 2001 External Evaluation ... 16
     - Recommendations on specific research areas ................................................ 17
     - Research strategies and management ............................................................. 18
     - Education ........................................................................................................... 19
4. CATIE AND THE REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENDA: ...................................... 22
   Major Strategic Issues ............................................................................................. 22
     Innovation and Competitiveness as a basis for Pro-poor Growth .................... 22
     The Agriculture - Environment Nexus ................................................................ 23
     The Research – Policy Nexus .............................................................................. 24
     Outreach ............................................................................................................... 25
     Communication .................................................................................................... 27
     Field-level training and links to extension.......................................................... 28
     From farmer field schools to action research and adaptive management ....... 29
     Poverty Reduction: The need to critically reflect on outcomes and
     assumptions ......................................................................................................... 30
5. THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME ......................................... 34
   The Thematic Groups .............................................................................................. 34
   Evaluation panel comments on the Thematic Groups .......................................... 35
     DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND AGROFORESTRY .............................. 36
     1. Management and Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources (MURF) ..... 36
     2A. Agroecological Production of Annual Crops (GAE) .................................... 40
     2B. Research and Development of Clean Technologies for Musa .................... 41
     3. Coffee- Quality, Profitability and Diversification ............................................ 42
     4. Modernization and Competitiveness of Latin American Cacao Plantations
     (CACAO) ............................................................................................................... 44
     5. Livestock and Environmental Management (GAMMA) .................................. 46
     6. Forests, Protected Areas and Biodiversity..................................................... 47
     7. Global Change .................................................................................................. 49
     8. Integrated Watershed Management (MICH) .................................................... 50
     9. Center for the Competitiveness of Eco-Enterprises (CECOECO) ................. 51
     10. Socioeconomics of Environmental Goods and Services (SEBSA) ............. 53
6. THE GRADUATE SCHOOL ...................................................................................... 55
     Overview ............................................................................................................... 55
     Quality and relevance of the graduate programs............................................... 55
     Conclusions.......................................................................................................... 63
     Recommendations ............................................................................................... 64
7. FINANCIAL AND HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT ...................................... 65
     Background and Scope of Analysis ................................................................... 65
     CATIE’s Financial Condition 2002-2006.............................................................. 65

    Financial Sustainability and Areas of Activity: .................................................. 71
    The Graduate School ........................................................................................... 76
    Organization and Administration: ....................................................................... 82
    Human Resources Management ......................................................................... 83
8. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ......................................................... 86
ANNEX ......................................................................................................................... 91
   Annex 1: Terms of reference for the evaluation panel .......................................... 91
   Annex 2: Profiles of the members of the panel ..................................................... 97
   Annex 3: Persons and organisations consulted by the panel .............................. 97
   Annex 4: Acronyms ............................................................................................... 100

 2   A Panel of 6 members from 4 countries with diverse areas of expertise conducted an
 3   external evaluation of the programmes and management of CATIE during the first 3
 4   months of 2007. The terms of reference for the evaluation, a brief note on the
 5   composition of the panel and lists of persons consulted are appended to this report.
 7   The Panel reviewed a large volume of documentation on the work of CATIE, interviewed
 8   most staff members and a large number of external stakeholders – both within the region
 9   and internationally. The Panel spent the period from January 11th to February 8th in
10   Central America, most of this time on the CATIE campus. Members of the panel visited
11   CATIE projects, offices, partners and other stakeholders in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El
12   Salvador and Guatemala.
14   The overall assessment of the Panel is that CATIE has performed excellently over the 5
15   years since the last evaluation. During this period CATIE has suffered a difficult funding
16   situation as donor allocations for Central America and for agricultural and natural
17   resources research have declined. In spite of this the Center has prospered and has
18   continued to provide the region with high quality research, outreach and graduate
19   education. The 2001 external evaluation provided an ambitious set of recommendations
20   for changes at CATIE. The majority of these recommendations have been implemented
21   and, in those cases where they have not, CATIE management provided convincing
22   arguments for not adopting them. Our summary assessment of CATIE’s response to
23   these recommendations is given in Chapter 3 of this report.
25   The Panel considers that CATIE’s mission and objectives remain of the highest priority
26   for the region CATIE’s management team has been effective in generating and
27   allocating resources in pursuit of the mission and goals. CATIE’s basic management
28   structure and the division into 10 Thematic Groups (TGs) is sound, although some small
29   adjustments to the TGs might improve performance. CATIE has retained and/or
30   recruited high quality staff. Scientific productivity has improved; there has been a
31   significant increase in the number of papers published in high quality refereed journals.
32   Collaborative arrangements with centres of excellence in N. America and Europe have
33   been strengthened. The quality and relevance of the Graduate school has been
34   improved.
36   The panel is not recommending significant or fundamental changes in CATIE’s
37   programmes or management. In the main body of this report we discuss a number of
38   areas where we feel CATIE may itself wish to make improvements and in some cases
39   we make specific recommendations. Most of the changes that the Panel would like to
40   see have already been identified by Management and when action has not been taken it
41   has been for good reasons – usually financial ones. In most cases we think it
42   appropriate that we provide our perspectives and leave CATIE’s management and
43   boards to make the final decisions. We recognise that CATIE’s ability to respond to our
44   recommendations will often be dependent on funding.
46   Early in its deliberations the Panel decided to attempt to focus its report on strategically
47   important issues. CATIE may need to strengthen its efforts in conducting internal
48   evaluations of individual TGs and management functions. Thus, although we have given
49   our impressions of the work of the individual TGs and other functions we did not see this

 1   as our primary role. The following are therefore our views on CATIE’s response to, or
 2   performance in addressing, larger strategic issues over the past 5 years:
 4   1. The poverty focus: CATIE’s present strategic plan places poverty alleviation as the
 5      overarching priority. This is consistent with expectations of many donors and
 6      extreme poverty does indeed remain a major problem in Central America. However
 7      CATIE’s contribution to alleviating poverty will not necessarily come from working
 8      directly on the production systems of the poorest sectors of regional society. The
 9      Panel feels that CATIE’s mission is to contribute to the development of innovative,
10      competitive and sustainable agriculture and natural resource management in
11      the region. This will involve working with small, medium and in some cases larger
12      rural enterprises and it is the growth and prosperity of these actors that will create
13      opportunities for the advancement of the poor.
14   2. Understanding poverty: Notwithstanding the above CATIE must still asses its
15      impacts on poverty. This requires that CATIE should do research on the location,
16      causes and nature of poverty in the region and must develop a more refined
17      understanding of the potential routes out of poverty for rural people. This requires a
18      critical mass of scientists with special skills who have funding and time to allocate to
19      this issue.
20   3. Environment and Agriculture: CATIE has grown from a strongly agricultural focus
21      until today it addresses many of the pressing environmental problems of the region.
22      However CATIE’s governance structure is firmly rooted in agriculture. The Panel
23      believes that CATIE is well positioned today and that its ability to address the
24      environmental and the production issues of major agro-ecological systems in an
25      integrated way is a strength. Furthermore the ability of CATIE to address
26      environmental issues as they impact on the daily lives of rural people sets CATIE
27      apart from other environmental organisations that mostly focus more on
28      environmental protection with a rich world perspective. CATIE occupies a unique and
29      valuable niche in addressing environmental problems within a production system
30      context.
31   4. Links with centres of excellence: CATIE has become a hub for many agriculture
32      and natural resource scientists operating in the region. It is building bridges with
33      communities of knowledge worldwide that can provide valuable contributions in the
34      region and these contacts enhance the quality and relevance of CATIE’s work. Such
35      links are one of CATIE’s most valuable assets but CATIE needs to take care that is
36      does not over-extend itself in establishing external collaborative arrangements. It
37      takes resources to service these relationships.
38   5. Exploiting CATIE’s comparative advantage: Amongst CATIE’s strengths are its
39      excellent network of alumni, many occupying key positions in the region, its
40      outstanding campus; the best agriculture and natural resources library in the region;
41      its unique collections of germplasm and its competent and committed scientists.
42      These, amongst other strengths make CATIE unique in the region and CATIE needs
43      to market these strengths more effectively. It needs to be more strategic and
44      vigorous in telling the world about its strengths.
45   6. Regional ownership: CATIE’s Spanish language culture, its grass roots approach
46      and its reputation for working in practical, participatory ways with all stakeholders
47      have led to a great deal of affection for CATIE in the region – agriculture and natural
48      resources specialists in the regions feel ownership of CATIE. The qualities that lead
49      to this regional ownership must be retained at the same time that CATIE becomes
50      more integrated into the global research and higher education community – and as

 1       part of this more use of the English language for teaching and communicating is
 2       important.
 3   7. Action research with an agro-ecological systems focus: CATIE has been a
 4       pioneer of action research; it has a distinguished record of taking a holistic, systems’
 5       approach to agriculture and natural resource problems. Some CATIE scientists
 6       seem to take it for granted that CATIE is the leader in this field, some see
 7       participatory research as synonymous with action research – which it is not.
 8       Innovations in approaches to action research are taking place and CATIE must keep
 9       abreast of these. This does not simply require that individual scientists are at the
10       cutting edge of action research methods. It requires that there is debate and learning
11       within CATIE on these research methodologies. CATIE is the regional leader on
12       action research at large spatial scales. CATIE’s work has the potential to have
13       major impacts on agricultural and forestry systems and CATIE should continue to
14       make this type of research its flagship product. To achieve this CATIE should
15       reinforce its efforts to achieve continuity of its efforts in a set of key – benchmark –
16       sites. Work on model forests, cacao in Talamanca, forest frontiers and livestock in
17       the Péten etc all contribute to this continuity.
18   8. Geographic focus: CATIE’s heartland is Central America, but CATIE now has
19       activities in other parts of S. America and even some global initiatives. Up to a point
20       this is to be encouraged but CATIE should be cautious in spreading itself too thin.
21       CATIE should maintain a special focus on Central America whilst reaping the
22       benefits of the learning and impacts that it may have in strategically selected
23       interventions outside its region. Throughout this report the term “region” is used to
24       refer to Central America.
25   9. Genetic resource collections: CATIE has unique and valuable crop germplasm
26       collections. But these are costly to maintain and some are under-used. This issue is
27       given special attention in this report and recommendations are made on rationalising
28       these collections – maintaining those that will yield the greatest benefits to CATIE’s
29       ultimate beneficiaries in the region and that are most used by its TGs.
30   10. The social sciences: CATIE has moved a long way from its essentially biophysical
31       science origins to now host significant social science capacities. However the Panel
32       believes that the main drivers of CATIE’s agenda continue to be biophysical
33       scientists. The Panel has deliberated at length on the optimal way of deploying
34       CATIE’s social scientists in order to maximise their impact not only on implementing
35       the agreed research agenda but in helping to shape that agenda. This will require
36       that social scientists hold leadership positions within CATIE. Given their relatively
37       small number at present this might best be achieved by deploying them into the
38       agro-ecological TGs. If they are to be kept in their own unit(s) then they are going to
39       need more resources. Allocating scientists to new structures may be less important
40       that seeking changes in the science culture of CATIE – giving greater value to social
41       science work, rewarding multi-disciplinarity and giving leadership roles to social
42       scientists.
43   11. The Graduate School: The graduate programmes at CATIE are unique in Central
44       America and are making major contributions to the strengthening of the human
45       resource base for agriculture and natural resource management in the region. The
46       quality of education at Master’s and Doctoral level is high. The challenge is to
47       finance the time that CATIE scientific staff devote to the educational programmes
48       without transferring this increased cost directly to the students with the risk of pricing
49       CATIE out of the market. One solution would be to increase the student intake but
50       this could simply reduce the intensity of supervision of each student. Unless
51       significant grant funding can be found for the Graduate School CATIE will have to

 1       navigate carefully between increasing numbers and reducing quality. The addition of
 2       more endowed chairs would be a partial response to this problem.
 3   12. Funding: The Panel commends CATIE management on having succeeded in
 4       maintaining a good level of funding during a difficult period. A number of new
 5       initiatives have been taken that will eventually yield benefits. The Panel does not see
 6       any easy short term solutions to the funding problems. Management has been
 7       creative and entrepreneurial in exploring all possible options. An increase in the
 8       number of endowed chairs appears to offer the best fund raising prospect for the
 9       short to medium term. We encourage management to persevere in its full range of
10       fund raising initiatives but also to communicate CATIE’s inherent strengths – its
11       unique selling points – more forcibly.
12   13. Financial Management: CATIE’s financial and administrative management is of a
13       high standard. The custodial fund system is unconventional but appears to work.
14       There may be some room for improvement in ensuring that the full costs of all
15       activities and especially cross-subsidies are better accounted and understood. For
16       instance the education programmes are of high value but their full costs may be
17       underestimated.
18   14. Governance: CATIE has a complex governance structure which brings great
19       strengths and carries some limitations. The present Board is to be commended on its
20       move to be more directly engaged in promoting CATIE and in raising funds. Some
21       changes in CATIE’s overall governance arrangements may eventually be needed but
22       the issues are complex and clearly need to be explored carefully. There are
23       opportunities for better synergies with the work of IICA – particularly in exploiting
24       IICA’s access to policy processes. The Panel feels that better understanding of roles
25       and responsibilities and better management of relationships may be more
26       appropriate than structural changes in governance.
28   Overall the Panel were all impressed by the vitality, optimism, commitment and
29   friendliness of the staff of all levels. There is an almost universal sense of purpose,
30   industriousness and buoyant persistence. The environment to which students and
31   new staff are exposed is one of entrepreneurship, rigor, creativity and dynamism.
32   This is one of CATIE’s primary assets.


 4   CATIE's Board of Directors, in its XXIX Ordinary Meeting, in October, 2005, requested
 5   the Director General to commission an Independent External Evaluation of CATIE’s
 6   activities for the 2001-2006 period. The evaluation was to provide information to the
 7   Board, the Council of Ministers and other interested stakeholders on the Centre’s
 8   Programs and Management with emphasis given to its strategic position in the Latin
 9   American and Caribbean region.
11   The Board determined that a panel of four independent specialists be formed and
12   requested:
14   To carry out an independent external evaluation of CATIE's achievements in higher
15   education, training, research, outreach, management and strategic planning associated
16   with CATIE's (strategic goals), and the Centre’s relationship with collaborating and donor
17   agencies for the period 2001 to 2006, and to recommend actions for the future.
20   The panel was asked to give special attention to:
22   1. Implementation of major recommendations from previous external evaluations
23      presented to CATIE’s Board of Directors, and an explanation of those not
24      implemented, and their current relevance.
26   2. Implementation of major goals presented in CATIE’s planning documents and an
27      explanation of those not fully implemented, and their current validity.
29   3. Actions taken to overcome the shortcomings identified in previous evaluations and
30      processes and procedures in place to prevent their recurrence.
32   4. CATIE’s activities and efforts to contribute to poverty alleviation and gender and
33      equity issues in the region.
35   5. CATIE’s activities and efforts to contribute to the sustainable use of natural
36      resources, food security, competitiveness, rural development and environmental
37      conservation.
39   6. Steps taken to maintain or improve the quality and relevance of CATIE's Graduate
40      Studies and Training program.
42   7. Strategies and achievements with respect to strengthening cooperation and
43      partnerships within and outside the Latin American region, with public and private
44      institutions.
46   8. Progress in CATIE's institutional development in the administrative, financial,
47      outreach, educational and scientific areas.

 1   9. Identification of the strengths, opportunities, weakness and threats at CATIE,
 2      including the governance structure.
 4   10. Relevance of CATIE’s Strategic Plan and progress made to date in achieving the
 5       goals envisioned in the plan.
 7   11. Impacts of outreach on institutional strengthening and technology transfer.
 9   12. Impacts and relevance of CATIE’s research in meeting the demands in member
10       countries.
12   13. CATIE's contribution to human resources development and capacity building.
14   14. CATIE's organizational/institutional framework and management systems and
15       recommendations for any necessary adjustments for enhancing institutional
16       efficiency and effectiveness.
18   15. Progress made in fundraising and strengthening CATIE’s foundations (Fundatrópicos
19       and The Tropics Foundation) and endowment funds.
21   16. CATIE’s internal and external communication strategies and ways to improve them.
23   17. Continuing relevance of CATIE’s mandate and Mission.
28   The panel was also asked to look to the future and:
30    Evaluate the continued validity of current thematic areas and identify potential
31     thematic areas / opportunities for the institution, taking into account regional needs
32     and demands and CATIE’s comparative advantages.
34    Identify ways to strengthen and better position CATIE as an internationally known
35     Center in its areas of expertise.
37    Recommend strategies to improve CATIE's institutional administrative effectiveness
38     and efficiency.
40    Indicate potential ways to improve and strengthen CATIE's financial situation and
41     independence, including strategies to strengthen the Centre’s Foundations and
42     endowment funds and to diversify the portfolio of donor institutions.
45   The full terms of reference for the evaluation are given in Annex 1.
47   The panel consisted of four full time members and two resource persons from the region
48   to provide complementary expertise. The members and their areas of specialization
49   were Prof. Jeffrey Sayer (UK) natural resources management and forestry and team
50   leader. Prof. Luisa Castillo (Costa Rica/El Salvador) research and education, Dr. Ian

 1   Christoplos (Sweden), Agricultural extension and rural development and Dr. Richard
 2   Hannan (United States), crop improvement and genetic resources. The two resource
 3   persons were Dr. Keith Andrews (United States, residing in El Salvador) education and
 4   governance and Dr. Arnoldo Camacho (Costa Rica) finance and administration. A more
 5   detailed profile of the members of the panel is given in Annex 2.
 7   The panel took the major goals set out in CATIE’S Strategic Plan as a basis for its
 8   analysis. These goals are to:
10      •   Generate new productive options, technologies and management practices
11      •   Generate additional income and employment with high value added
12      •   Promote sustainable management of natural resources
13      •   Educate and train professionals, technicians and policy makers for a sustainable
14          and competitive rural sector
15      •   Strengthen public and private institutions in the Region concerned with
16          agriculture and natural resources management
17      •   Generate recommendations for appropriate policies and regulations to contribute
18          to rural poverty reduction and environmental protection
19      •   Increase the competitiveness of small and medium rural enterprises by
20          developing supply chains into value added chains
22   The panel conducted a number of interviews and reviewed documents in the period
23   November 2006 to January 2007. It then assembled at CATIE on January 15th 2007 and
24   worked both in Turrialba and in member countries until February 3rd. Consultations were
25   held with CATIE stakeholders and staff in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and
26   Guatemala. In-depth interviews were held with CATIE technical and administrative staff
27   and graduate students in Turrialba. Other important stakeholders were interviewed by
28   telephone including the Chairman and some members of CATIE’s Board, the Director
29   General and senior scientists at CIAT in Colombia, the head of the Science Council
30   Secretariat of the CGIAR at FAO in Rome, and academic staff of universities in USA and
31   Europe with whom CATIE has joint degree programmes. A list of persons interviewed is
32   given in Annex 3.
34   The panel also based its evaluation on a number of documents produced by various
35   external evaluations and external consulting missions during the period from 2001-2006.
36   Among these were a report commissioned by NORAD “Analysis of Reorganization Plan
37   for Increased Financial Sustainability”, (A.Skaaland, NCG, April 2001), the previous
38   Independent External Evaluation (Lundgren et al., May 2001),), a further NORAD report
39   on “Development and Implementation of a Reorganization Plan for Increased Financial
40   Sustainability”, (A.Skaaland, NCG, June 2001), and reviews commissioned by SIDA
41   “Continued core support to CATIE: A Desk Appraisal” (Mordt and Borel, March 2003),
42   and a “Follow-up Review to CATIE’s Medium Term Plan” (Borel and Iversen, April 2005).
44   The panel based much of its work on the CATIE Strategic Plan for 2003-2012 and the
45   CATIE Medium Term Plans for 2003-2005 and 2006-2009. The panel also made
46   extensive reference to two position papers recently produced by CATIE staff, an
47   “Approach to Rural Poverty Reduction in Tropical America” and “Donor Harmonization
48   and Support to National Development Agendas”. A very large number of other
49   documents were consulted by the panel and we have not attempted to list them. Many of
50   them were posted on a special section of the CATIE web site as a resource for the panel.

 1   The Director General, staff and students of CATIE were generous in the provision of time
 2   and facilities to the panel. The panel was given complete freedom to conduct its
 3   evaluation independently and was given free access to all the information and
 4   documents that it required. The panel therefore wishes to extend its thanks to the
 5   Director General and staff for enabling this evaluation to be conducted under excellent
 6   conditions. CATIE has been subject to unprecedented challenges and pressures in the
 7   five years since the last evaluation. This could have resulted in an institutional climate of
 8   negativism, defeatism and defensiveness. However we were impressed to find CATIE’s
 9   institutional climate to be very positive. The Panel were all impressed by the vitality,
10   optimism, commitment and friendliness of the staff of all levels. There is an almost
11   universal sense of purpose, industriousness and buoyant persistence. The
12   environment to which students and new staff are exposed is one of
13   entrepreneurship, rigor, creativity and dynamism. This is one of CATIE’s primary
14   assets.

21   The panel noted CATIE’s mission and vision as stated in its Strategic and Medium Term
22   plans:
25                                CATIE’s vision and mission
26   Our Vision to be – The regional scientific knowledge center for agriculture and the
27   management of natural resources, dedicated to sustainable rural development and
28                          poverty reduction in tropical America
30    Our Mission – to contribute to rural poverty reduction by promoting competitive
31    and sustainable agriculture and natural resources management, through higher
32                     education, research and technical cooperation
35   Agriculture in Tropical America: Primary agricultural production contributes between
36   7% and 22% to GDP in most of CATIE’s member countries. Processing and other value
37   added activities increase this share of GDP to up to 40%. Natural resources are the
38   foundation of a thriving tourist industry in the region and both forests and agricultural
39   systems contribute vital watershed protection services. The rural sector is therefore
40   fundamental to the economies of the countries and to the livelihoods of a large
41   proportion of the population including most of the poorest sectors of these populations.
42   In spite of this investments in agricultural and natural resources research are less than
43   0.1% of gross national agricultural product. CATIE’s member country governments
44   invest even less in research than other less developed or middle income countries. The
45   following table shows that investment in R&D in general are exceptionally low by
46   international standards.

 1   Investment in Research and Development in relation to PIB (%) in selected
 2   countries.
     Country or region                1996 (%)     1997 (%)      1998 (%)     1999 (%)      2000 (%)
     Costa Rica                         0,30         0,29          0,26         0,33          0,39
     Chile                              0,58         0,54          0,54         0,55          0,56
     Mexico                             0,31         0,34          0,47         0,43          0,40
     Panama                             0,38         0,37          0,34         0,35          0,40
     Uruguay                            0,28         0,42          0,23         0,26          0,24
     Spain                              0,83         0,82          0,89         0,88          0,94
     USA                                2,53         2,55          2,58         2,63          2,68
     Latin America and the              0,56         0,50          0,49         0,54          0,58

 5   Agriculture and Natural Resources in the Region
 6   The region is diverse and has large areas of fertile soils, abundant water sources, and
 7   extensive natural forests and wetlands. It is also subject to periodic extreme
 8   environmental events (hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts and volcanic eruptions) as well
 9   as more persistent problems of deforestation, reduction of biodiversity and soil erosion.
10   All of these require environmental management capacities. Adapting to climate change
11   will increase the need for natural resource management competencies. Most of the
12   region is composed of mosaics of farmed and forested land providing multiple goods and
13   services and needing to be managed for multiple functions. The rural sector is highly
14   diverse. It ranges from globally competitive coffee, banana, sugar cane, pineapple,
15   cacao and other estate crops; a growing and varied non-traditional sector (especially
16   vegetables and fruits); diverse intensive and extensive ranching operations; through to
17   very small farms cultivating multiple crops and augmenting their income from forest
18   products. Poverty can be alleviated through economic growth and employment
19   opportunities provided by the estate crops sector and improved productivity and
20   sustainability in the smallholder sector. Tourism and services are helping to diversify
21   rural economies. The entire rural sector and the wellbeing of the populations of the
22   region are dependent on the environmental services provided by both natural and
23   farmed systems. Several regional environmental initiatives have been taken, the meso-
24   American biological corridor, CCAD etc. This rapidly increasing integration of the region
25   into regional and world markets is providing exciting new economic opportunities but is
26   also exposing marginal and poor rural inhabitants and the environment to new threats.

28   CATIE’s Institutional context
30   During the earlier decades of CATIE’s existence, the Center was one of the region’s only
31   providers of R&D1, training and higher education in agriculture and natural resources.
32   Most people consider it to have been highly competent and successful. Today many
33   national, regional and international organisations are active in the field. An increasing
34   number of competent institutions are able to provide the services that the region needs.
35   Research is conducted by national universities, governmental institutions and the private

       In this report we have used the term R&D loosely as shorthand for full range of CATIE’s
     research, development, outreach and educational activities.

 1   sector. Natural resources management is the focus of many NGOs and other
 2   organizations; and crop improvement of numerous private or semi-private commodity
 3   crop science institutions, and CGIAR Centres. Training and outreach are provided by
 4   NGOs, regional schools, and numerous university departments and specialised training
 5   centres. Outreach activities are carried out by hundreds of NGOs, some very competent.
 6   It is becoming easier for students from the region to undertake graduate study in
 7   developed countries, to study remotely or to attend executive programs. Development is
 8   the focus of many NGOs and government departments. There are more and more actors
 9   in the rural sector, and although CATIE remains unique in the breadth, depth and
10   continuity of its coverage of the issues, it operates in an arena in which others challenge
11   its pre-eminence.
13   In addition to the expanding competition, financial resources are increasingly scarce. In
14   the past, Central America and CATIE member countries in South America were the
15   focus of major development assistance programmes. This is only now true of a subset of
16   these countries, and long-term trends suggest that aid flows may further diminish in the
17   region. ODA has been a major source of funding to support research, development and
18   outreach activities, and CATIE has received substantial support along with other R&D
19   organisations. There are now fewer donors active in the rural sector, and those who
20   continue are often looking for immediate impact, not research.
22   The draft 2006 Annual report says it well (p. 7): The “stagnation of core funding
23   represents the major institutional challenge and a chronic problem that does not
24   yet seem to have a solution.”
26   In spite of this CATIE is still seen as a centre of excellence in the region. People working
27   in the rural sector, from farmers to senior government officials are almost unanimous in
28   the esteem in which they hold CATIE. A perverse consequence of this is that many of
29   those that still fund R&D are giving priority to weaker national institutions, since CATIE is
30   now viewed by many as ‘fully developed’. Moreover, its location in Costa Rica, the
31   wealthiest of the Central American nations and not a target for development assistance
32   funds, works to its disadvantage. CATIE is the reference point for R&D and graduate
33   education in agriculture and natural resources management in the region. It is the first
34   choice of many students wishing to embark on careers in these subjects. Its graduates
35   readily find employment in influential positions throughout Latin America and beyond. Its
36   alumni are a powerful force throughout the hemisphere. CATIE is seen a beacon around
37   which the policy, research, development and training communities unite but, in spite of
38   all of this, it struggles to finance itself.
40   CATIE cannot be complacent. The combination of precipitous declines in readily
41   accessible funding, the changing demands of key stakeholders, and the emergence of
42   so many other providers of CATIE’s types of services make for a highly competitive
43   operating environment.
45   This evaluation attempts to help CATIE to improve its efficiency and effectiveness and to
46   sharpen its focus on those areas where its impact is most urgently needed and it has
47   strong, even unique, capacities.

 1   CATIE’s comparative advantage – unique strengths
 3   The evaluation panel concurs with the opinions of informants who recognised a number
 4   of features of CATIE that combine to set it apart from other institutions operating in the
 5   region and that enable it to meet its mission. Among CATIE’s exceptional strengths are
 6   the following:
 7            A broad coverage of agriculture and natural resource issues
 8            An ability to work across sectors and disciplines
 9            A culture rooted in on-the-ground realities
10            An ability and mandate to work on cross-border and regional issues
11            A true multilingual and multicultural institutional culture
12            Developed competence to address the agriculture – environment nexus
13            Strong international links to world-class universities and research establishments
14            Linkages from cutting edge research through to graduate education, training,
15                    extension, to on-farm action
16            Germplasm collections, especially of perennials, of global importance
17            Outstanding campuses with excellent infrastructure for field experimentation
18                    even if the laboratories are in need of updating
19            An excellent staff of competent, and in some cases outstanding, professionals
20            A powerful college of alumni
21            Credibility in, and links to policy making processes, notably given legitimacy by
22            the governance role of the council of ministers.

24   Collaborators and competitors
26   There are a growing number of institutions in the region working on agricultural and
27   natural resources R&D and higher education. CATIE has an extensive network of
28   collaborators amongst these institutions and at times may experience competition for
29   funding with some of them. Amongst the more prominent actors in CATIE’s general
30   fields of activity are the following:
31         Universities: All of CATIE’s member countries have universities active in crop and
32           natural resources sciences. In a few cases, and in some specialised areas, they
33           have capacities that exceed those of CATIE. The University of Costa Rica (UCR)
34           has more advanced biotechnology and soil science capacity; the National
35           University of Costa Rica (UNA) has an excellent school of wildlife management,
36           and INCAE is a regional centre of excellence in business administration, policy,
37           and sustainable development connected with competitiveness.
38         There are forestry schools at the National University of Costa Rica and several of
39           CATIE’s Central and South American members have institutions offering training
40           in forestry.
41         Graduate schools: Many universities in the member countries offer MSc
42           programmes and a few offer PhD courses, but CATIE remains pre-eminent in its
43           own specialised fields.
44         It is becoming easier for students from the region to undertake graduate study in
45           developed countries or to study virtually. Foreign universities are establishing
46           Executive Masters Programs in the region.
47         Non-agricultural programs (e.g. business administration, industrial and systems
48           engineering) attract many of the brightest who eventually move into leadership
49           positions in agriculture.

 1         Crop improvement research facilities exist for major commodity crops but mainly
 2          meet the needs of larger scale agro-enterprises. CIAT, CIMMYT and CIP provide
 3          high tech crop improvement research but focus on a relatively small number of
 4          major annual crops and are less active in Central America than in the past.
 5          Research conducted by multi-national private sector organisations provides
 6          products and technologies for the use of the large scale private sector. CATIE
 7          better addresses the needs of small farmers, specialises in regionally significant
 8          crops and operates on the environmental issues that underpin agricultural
 9          sustainability.
10         Several regional, national and international conservation NGOs conduct research
11          and development activities on environmental problems in the region. IUCN, CI,
12          TNC and WWF all have environmental research activities to support their
13          programmes on conservation and the improvement of rural livelihoods; however
14          they tend to be driven primarily by concern for global conservation values and not
15          local developmental values. They have often sought to work collaboratively with
16          CATIE.
17         Ministries in some countries and sectors have some capabilities to carry out R&D
18          work but in spite of some recent progress the general level of public sector
19          research remains poor and funding has actually decreased in most countries in
20          the region. Public sector coffee research has declined drastically in recent years.
21         Some commodities, notably coffee, bananas, sugarcane and cacao have national
22          organizations or farmers’ associations which carry out research, training and
23          outreach activities. FHIA conducts regionally relevant research in cacao and
24          bananas.
25         Research is conducted by national universities (for instance biotechnology at the
26          University of Costa Rica) and the large agricultural corporations and several
27          South American countries have growing capacities in this area.
28         There is a regionally prominent program in Wildlife Management at the National
29          University in Costa Rica.
30         International organisations like FAO, IICA, RUTA and GTZ engage in an ever
31          expanding array of activities, sometimes in areas that were once CATIE’s domain.
32          Some of these, CIRAD is a notable example, have mutually valuable
33          partnerships with CATIE.
34         European and N. American universities are active in the region. Several have
35          developed strong mutually reinforcing links with CATIE (University of Wales,
36          Idaho, Iowa)
37         Training and outreach are provided by many NGOs, regional schools such as
38          EARTH University in Costa Rica and Zamorano in Honduras together with
39          numerous national university departments and specialised training centres.
40         Outreach activities are carried out by hundreds of NGOs, some very competent.
41         The proliferation of rural sector R&D and education actually represents an
42          opportunity for CATIE – many of the regional initiatives lack critical mass and the
43          international connections of CATIE and rely on CATIE to support their activities in
44          various ways.
46   The highly developed competition in the region has to be mapped and considered by
47   CATIE’s management. CATIE’s programs have to be situated competitively within this
48   institutional map.

 1   CATIE and the CGIAR
 3   CATIE has had long and fruitful associations with a number of the Centres supported by
 4   the CGIAR. As the CGIAR centres have themselves experienced budget constraints in
 5   recent years and have reduced the level of their activity in Central America so the
 6   amount of shared activity with CATIE has declined. CATIE at present hosts a unit of the
 7   banana centre of the CGIAR – INIBAP, now part of Bioversity (IPGRI). It has
 8   collaborative projects with CIFOR, CECOECO works with CIAT and there is contact with
 9   IFPRI on the possibility of the Orton Library being used by the CGIAR. Beyond this there
10   has only been limited collaboration with the centres in the region, CIAT, CIP and
11   CIMMYT. These centres still concentrate a large part of their activities on annual crops
12   that are not central to CATIE’s program. The CGIAR has a small but growing set of
13   “Challenge Programmes” that are specifically designed to encourage collaboration
14   between CGIAR centres and other research and higher education institutions. At present
15   CATIE is not linked to any of these challenge programmes although several operate in
16   fields where CATIE has activities. An “Amazon” System Wide Initiative (SWI) of the
17   CGIAR works on sustainable agriculture, forest management and conservation in the
18   Amazon where CATIE has considerable capacity and could make a valuable contribution.
19   CATIE should seek to join this SWI. There are Challenge Programmes dealing with
20   climate change and crop improvement, and CATIE has the option of developing links to
21   these programmes. However, resources should only be invested in these collaborative
22   ventures when clear value added will result. The current work with CIFOR on adaptation
23   to climate change is clearly an example where such value added does exist.
25   CATIE’s Geographic area of activity
27   CATIE was founded and has traditionally operated in the Central American isthmus. It
28   now has significant activities in a number of South American countries, some subtropical
29   and temperate, and in the Caribbean. Students from the Graduate School come from all
30   over the hemisphere and from several European and a few Asian countries. The
31   expansion of the catchment area from which students are drawn is entirely appropriate
32   and clearly brings benefits to CATIE and to all of its students. It is also appropriate for
33   CATIE to provide R&D support to countries outside its primary focal area of Central
34   America, for instance member countries such as Bolivia, providing this is consistent with
35   CATIE’s capacities and provides for full cost recovery. The EP doubts if it is desirable or
36   feasible for CATIE to venture too far beyond the area where it clearly has the greatest
37   contribution to make and this area is Meso-America (Southern Mexico through to
38   Panama. The Spanish speaking countries of the Caribbean are also legitimate areas for
39   CATIE to be active. CATIE may have a comparative advantage in some of the
40   Anglophone Caribbean countries where national R&D in agriculture is weak. We would
41   not advise CATIE to attempt to become a centre of excellence for the entire American
42   tropics. The R&D work should remain focussed on meso-America – broadly defined
43   whilst higher education can clearly have a wider geographic catchment. Throughout this
44   report when we have used the term “region” without qualification in relation to CATIE’s
45   activities we are referring to Central America and not to the entire area where CATIE has
46   some activities.

 1   3. CATIE’s responses to the recommendations of the 2001
 2   External Evaluation
 4   The 2001 Independent External Evaluation of CATIE contained a large number of
 5   recommendations. The present EP has reviewed these recommendations in detail. In
 6   general we conclude that CATIE has responded positively and effectively to the majority
 7   of them. In those situations where it has not met the requirements of that evaluation it
 8   has usually been because of a lack of the necessary resources. In a few situations other
 9   impediments prevented CATIE from reacting and in some situations the external
10   environment rendered the recommendations inappropriate. In general we commend
11   CATIE for having reacted in a very positive manner to the 2001 evaluation report. In the
12   following section we give a very brief assessment of CATIE’s response to each of the
13   recommendations included in the Executive Summary of the 2001 evaluation. We have
14   abbreviated the recommendations and respond to them in the order in which they
15   appear in the 2001 document:
17         Establishment of an annual planning and review mechanism. CATIE works
18          to a detailed annual work plan established each year. It has also instituted a
19          “Semana científica” although this is only held every second year. It has been
20          used as an opportunity for reflection and exchange, rather than planning and
21          formal review and fills an important need for the Centre.
22         Greater use of the internet. Internet use appears now to be appropriate
23          however there will always be opportunities to innovate in this area – notably
24          through more use of on-line resources.
25         Collaboration with national universities. Collaboration may still not be
26          optimised, although we believe that CATIE should restrict such collaboration to
27          those national universities that have the capacity to provide genuine added value
28          in the achievement of CATIE’s mission. Some of the suggestions provided in the
29          2001 Evaluation would have strained CATIE’s resources and provided little
30          added value. CATIE has developed collaboration with the Institute for
31          Management and Conservation of Wildlife of the National University (UNA) of
32          Costa Rica both in teaching and research activities.
33         More effort on sustainable agriculture and genetic resource conservation.
34          The level of effort has been determined by the availability of resources, but
35          collaborators are concerned that the level of input into genetic resource
36          conservation is not sufficient to prevent genetic erosion in the collections.
37         Grouping of similar research areas. The reorganisation into Thematic Groups
38          has addressed this recommendation.
39         Greater collaboration with advanced research centres, especially the
40          CGIAR. Relations with CGIAR centres may actually have weakened, apparently
41          because of the resource constraints suffered by the CGIAR and their lower level
42          of activity in Central America. Collaboration with universities and institutes such
43          as CIRAD has strengthened. CATIE works with CIAT on a diploma in rural
44          enterprise development. Again the EP would urge caution and advise CATIE to
45          invest in such collaboration only when it provides value added in the achievement
46          of CATIE’s mission.
47         Role of the Unidad Técnica de Apoyo a la Investigación. This unit now
48          includes the soils, biotechnology and plant protection laboratories. It does not
49          however function as an administrative unit and the work of these laboratories is
50          driven by the demands of the TGs and the Graduate School. The 2001

 1          Evaluation recommendation appears to have been motivated by the need to give
 2          UTAI sustainable funding. This has not happened and the laboratories are in
 3          great need of investment. However, elsewhere in this evaluation we urge CATIE
 4          to re-evaluate the need for some of these laboratories.
 5         Strengthening research and information exchange. CATIE has done as much
 6          as was possible with the resources available.

 8   - Recommendations on specific research areas
10   Germplasm
12         Better management of germplasm collections. The EP questions whether this
13          was a feasible or wise recommendation. This was a generic recommendation,
14          but specific actions are needed. This issue is addressed later in this review.
15         Alliances with CGIAR centres on germplasm management. Such
16          collaboration only exists with IPGRI (BIOVERSITY) and focuses on Musa.
17          Broader progress in this area will only be likely if the Global Crop Conservation
18          Fund yields the resources to support such collaboration.
19         Consultancy on germplasm storage and use strategy. There was some
20          contact with other national germplasm systems, for example USDA in 2005, and
21          some of the storage recommendations have been implemented. CATIE
22          continues to provide a valuable service through the free distribution of high
23          quality germplasm of coffee and cacao.
24         Better use of biotechnology capacity. Essentially, this has not happened in
25          terms of actual ‘cutting edge’ biotechnology. The EP doubts if it will be feasible.
26          The EP notes the greater capacity of the University of Costa Rica and national
27          centres in other member nations in this area and encourages a strategic alliance
28          with these facilities.
29         Integrating thesis work into ongoing research projects. The EP is satisfied
30          that this is occurring.
33   Agroforestry
35         Sustainable vegetable production. CATIE’s work in this area has not expanded
36          although interesting initiatives have been undertaken in Guatemala, El Salvador
37          and Honduras.
38         Retaining key technical staff in times of resource constraints. CATIE has
39          succeeded in retaining staff in spite of serious resource constraints although
40          some attrition is inevitable in the current funding situation.
41         Reintroducing integrated livestock management. CATIE’s R&D in this area is
42          strong and has improved.
43         Incorporating economic studies into agroforestry and linking up with
44          ICRAF and CIAT in this area. There does not appear to have been a direct
45          response to this recommendation although economic expertise has been
46          strengthened, for instance in work on payments for environmental services.
47          CECOECO has collaborative work with CIAT on environmental economics.

 1   Forestry
 3         Diffusion of results of study of Impact of forestry research. CATIE has
 4          effective measures in place to disseminate the results of its forestry research.
 5         Application of “Adaptive forest management”. The concept of AFM is well
 6          incorporated throughout the DNRM area in CATIE.
 7         Involvement in international forestry processes. CATIE has responded to this
 8          recommendation. It is now the LAC node for the model forest network and hosts
 9          the regional node of the IUFRO Special Programme for Developing countries.
10          CATIE scientists have contributed to the United Nations University “World
11          Forests Society and Sustainable Development” initiative which has fed into the
12          UN Forum on Forests. The EP doubts if CATIE should invest more resources in
13          the presently stalled inter-governmental forestry processes. CATIE should target
14          its involvement to those areas where it can make an impact – broad engagement
15          with these processes could be very time consuming and might not yield major
16          impacts.
17         Greater involvement in regional forest policy dialogues. CATIE now appears
18          to be prominent in all regional forestry processes, for instance in climate change
19          mitigation and adaptation, as host of the IUFRO Special Programme for
20          Developing Countries model forest network etc..
23   Environmental economics
25         Strengthen work on small agro-businesses. CATIE has made considerable
26          progress in this area – notably through the work of CECOECO.
27         Strengthen research and partnerships on environmental economics.
28          CATIE’s work in this area has been greatly strengthened by projects executed by
29          the SEBSA TG in collaboration with universities in Sweden and elsewhere.
30          CATIE has been selected to host IDB Fellows on its MSc programme in
31          Environmental Socioeconomics.

33   - Research strategies and management
35         More research partnerships and decentralization in the region. CATIE has
36          done this as part of virtually all of its projects, but its ability to do this outside the
37          context of donor supported projects and graduate thesis research is clearly
38          limited.
39         Streamlining research proposal submission. CATIE has now streamlined this
40          process and scientists are in charge. There may still be a need for a central
41          “clearing house” function to ensure consistency and to lessen the burden on
42          scientists of some of the routine tasks associated with project formulation and
43          preparation.
44         Support for regional priority setting exercises, GFAR and FONTAGRO.
45          CATIE is adequately involved in these processes and the EP doubts that greater
46          effort is required.
47         Involvement of partners in proposal preparation. In some – many – cases
48          partners are adequately involved, in others this may need considerably more
49          attention.

 1        Evaluation and impact assessment should be integrated into proposals.
 2         This seems to vary from donor to donor and it is not clear if this recommendation
 3         is adequately addressed.
 4        Intellectual property rights expertise. This issue has been discussed, but there
 5         has been no cohesive movement forward in the region and it is a regional issue.
 6         There exist other national precedents for handling IPR, but no progress has been
 7         made on this issue here.
 8        Attention to copyright issues and ensuring that CATIE’s IP remains in the
 9         public domain. It is unclear whether CATIE has responded to this
10         recommendation. CATIE’s IP appears to be almost entirely in the public domain.
11        Placing CATIE germplasm collections under the FAO “International
12         network of ex-situ collections”. CATIE designated its collections to the
13         International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
14         (ITPGRFA).
15        Better management of material transfer agreements to facilitate access to
16         germplasm. An adequate MTA has been drafted and is effectively in use for
17         international germplasm exchange.
18        Strengthening work with commodity crop research networks. CATIE
19         appears now to have adequate links with such networks where they operate in
20         CATIE’s areas of activity. The networks themselves often suffer from resource
21         constraints.
22        Allocate research grants to support CATIE priority research areas. This
23         appears to be happening adequately but CATIE’s ability to do this is highly
24         dependent on its donors.
25        Encouraging MSc students to publish – and to do so in English. The
26         publication rate in Spanish for MSc students is good and increasing; capacity in
27         English amongst both MSc and PhD students is poor and this still needs attention.

29   - Education
31        Define terms of reference of academic coordinator. Academic coordination is
32         now the responsibility of the coordinators of the five MSc options.
33        Increase the flexibility of course work. This need is still felt by the students but
34         clearly it would carry high costs, and resource constraints will limit the extent to
35         which this is possible.
36        Increase quality and size of PhD programme without over-extending
37         CATIE’s capacity. CATIE is at near capacity. Links with universities in USA and
38         Europe are helping to maintain standards, but CATIE’s supervisory capacity is
39         being stretched. New scientific staff with skills and time to devote to scientific
40         supervision is an urgent need.
41        Collaboration with national institutions on MSc programmes. Some
42         initiatives have been taken, e.g. CECOECO with INCAE on the agribusiness
43         development MSc, and with the Institute for Management and Conservation of
44         Wildlife of National University (UNA) of Costa Rica in the Management and
45         Conservation of Tropical Forests and Biodiversity MSc. More links could be
46         developed, but CATIE must be cautious and ensure that such collaboration
47         brings added value.
48        More funds and better facilities for the Graduate School. CATIE has clearly
49         attempted to do this and within the constraints of resources available has made

 1          some improvements. This continues to be an issue although the EP noted that
 2          conditions compare very favourably with those in member countries and even
 3          with some developed countries.
 4         Use of PhD students as MSc teaching assistants. There have only been
 5          limited initiatives in this direction, and PhD students still express the need for
 6          more teaching opportunities and MSc students need more supervision and
 7          mentoring.
 8         More English medium teaching. CATIE has not done this and it remains a
 9          priority.
10         Use of distance learning and virtual technologies. This appears to still be
11          under discussion but has not been fully implemented. It might not be in CATIE’s
12          best interests to diversify into this demanding activity with its current
13          commitments and limited resources. Distance learning still requires time-
14          intensive mentoring and supervision.
15         Student feedback and improving teaching skills. The EP has the impression
16          that CATIE has progressed in this area. But more and better qualified
17          researchers with a clear and uncompromised commitment to teaching would
18          clearly enhance CATIE’s ability to remain a centre of excellence.
19         Communications with alumni. CATIE appears to have relatively good links with
20          its alumni but there is scope to intensify this communication. The Alumni data
21          base contains 770 addresses and the alumni association is beginning to function.
24   Miscellaneous recommendations addressed to the Graduate School
26         Seek more endowed chairs. CATIE now has two endowed chairs and is
27          actively seeking additional ones.
28         Better supervision of course modules. The EP is unable to judge this but
29          notes a growing involvement of teachers from partner universities and research
30          establishments in the USA and Europe.
31         Introduction of bilingual information bulletin. This has not been introduced
32          and might not be the best way to use scarce resources.
33         Evaluate the impact of abolition of the admission exam. A form of admission
34          exam is once again in use – the EP could not form an opinion of its value.
35         Better classrooms, library and computer access and computer loans. The
36          classroom facilities are good, even excellent. The library is one of the best in the
37          region, but is in financial crisis with a minimal budget for acquisitions and limited
38          operating hours. CATIE now guarantees computer loans from the on campus
39          bank for students.
40         Introduce M&E system for Graduate programme. Student evaluations appear
41          to be taken seriously at an individual level.
43   Outreach
45         Consolidate outreach functions at headquarters and perhaps create project
46          development team. Efforts have been ongoing, but the centrifugal tendencies
47          inherent in increasing reliance on project funding have in many respects
48          overwhelmed efforts to consolidate.
49         Separate commercial and core activities from core mandate roles by
50          establishing a unit for consultancy services. The expanding reliance of

 1       commercial consulting activities, even in areas that CATIE would like to have as
 2       core mandate roles, has meant that such a distinction is currently unrealistic. The
 3       EP would urge caution in separating these functions. Other organisations that
 4       have done this have experienced competition for funds between such
 5       independent units and their core functions. The present EP disagrees with this
 6       recommendation.
 7      Strengthen NTO management and backstopping from headquarters. Efforts
 8       have been made, but the core challenge that has emerged has been in
 9       addressing the NTO – TG relationship, since this constitutes the forum for most
10       interactions between headquarters and the NTOs. Despite considerable
11       discussions, this relationship remains problematic. The ability of the NTOs to
12       work more closely with the TGs would be greatly enhanced if more core seed
13       money could be provided to the NTOs, and if NTO activities were defined in ways
14       that made them more consistent with competencies and programs of the
15       Turrialba-based scientists.
16      Establish policy for distribution of NTO income so as to generate
17       incentives. This issue is primarily related to the preceding point. NTOs should
18       attempt to include provision for TG involvement in their funding proposals to
19       donors.
20      Proactive establishment of an “institutional project portfolio” for “core
21       outreach” related to priorities of governments and donors. The EP feels that
22       the need to present a clearer set of messages and priorities to governments and
23       donors is best achieved through a more strategic approach to outreach and
24       communication. A formal distinction between core and other projects could create
25       unnecessary tensions among the TGs that are dealing with strategically
26       important tasks, but which rely on small projects and consultancies for their
27       income.
28      Develop marketing strategy. The EP feels that “marketing” may be too narrow
29       a concept, and suggests a more strategic approach to outreach and
30       communication. This approach is elaborated in detail in the final sections of this
31       report.
32      Incorporate input into SICTA (The Central American Integrated Technology
33       System). CATIE has provided limited but strategic support to SICTA. However,
34       SICTA is primarily composed of public centre research organisations and CATIE
35       should remain strategic in its engagement.
36      Develop decentralised TGs and generally decentralise into regional
37       networks. This has been done in some respects in an experimental manner. It is
38       important to review lessons from current decentralisation initiatives as a basis for
39       further decentralisation. The most important task with regard to decentralisation
40       may be to increase articulation, dialogue and support between headquarters and
41       NTOs. Decentralisation should not be carried out at the expense of maintaining a
42       critical mass in Turrialba.
43      Expand membership. Some additional South American countries have joined
44       CATIE; however the EP would question the value of CATIE attempting to
45       significantly increase its geographic scope especially moving into non tropical
46       countries which already have strong research and educational capabilities.
47      Consider the idea of “sponsor country members” in order to bring in
48       additional resources. Spain seems to be a first attempt at this, but the full
49       sponsorship concept does not appear to be established as yet.

 1         Develop new areas of research through expanded partnerships. Progress
 2          has certainly been made but CATIE should guard against over-dispersal of its
 3          efforts. Dependence on project funding sometimes leads to drift of the research
 4          agenda in unplanned directions.
 5         Incorporate new research priorities in a visible and relevant way to the
 6          organisational structure. New research areas have been incorporated within
 7          the TGs, but the lack of a strong communications strategy, combined with
 8          reliance on project funding, has meant that visibility and genuine integration may
 9          not have been adequate. Some TGs, for instance SEBSA, are in reality
10          assemblages of disconnected projects.
12   Management, governance and funding
14         Complete the development of a Strategic Plan with participation of the
15          Council of Ministers. Done


19   Major Strategic Issues
20   Innovation and Competitiveness as a basis for Pro-poor Growth
22   CATIE’s position in the regional development agenda is based upon its well-established
23   capacities in agriculture, natural resource and environment R&D. CATIE also responds
24   to the political will to promote pro-poor rural development through greater innovation and
25   increased competitiveness. There is a widespread assumption among policy makers in
26   the region that poverty cannot, and should not, be addressed only by providing support
27   to very poor farmers. The greatest opportunities lie in taking advantage of the livelihood
28   opportunities created through more dynamic rural development, and this will only
29   emerge through greater innovation and competitiveness. Pro-poor growth is expected to
30   be largely a product of investments on middle-sized and larger farms and investment in
31   education and training so the poorest can successfully move out of farming. Nonetheless
32   the smaller farms, of 1 – 10 ha, are a dynamic and in many cases successful part of the
33   rural landscape in meso-America and CATIE must continue to contribute to their R&D
34   needs.
36   This chapter looks at how CATIE has engaged in the regional innovation and
37   competitiveness agenda, and whether it has achieved its overall goals. Outreach efforts
38   are also analysed, as it is largely through outreach that CATIE’s research, consultancy
39   and project management activities will ultimately impact on the lives of the rural poor.
41   CATIE’s mission is to contribute to poverty reduction by promoting competitive and
42   sustainable agriculture and natural resources management, through higher education,
43   research and technical cooperation. However, in its draft discussion paper on poverty
44   reduction it is declared that: “sustainable agriculture and natural resource management
45   are no longer goals per se, but means to achieve rural poverty reduction.” The EP
46   questions whether this is in reality an appropriate way for CATIE to articulate its goals.
47   We are concerned that it may be a response to perceived short term donor expectations.

 1   Sustainable agriculture and natural resources management remain legitimate goals for
 2   CATIE in their own right. The implication in the draft discussion paper that CATIE should
 3   be evaluated uniquely against its impacts on poverty seems to us questionable.
 5   Furthermore, it may be premature or inappropriate to assess actual impacts on poverty
 6   for three reasons.
 7         First, this objective is rather new in the organisation and it will require a
 8           considerable period of time before evidence of outcomes can become a guide for
 9           CATIE’s diverse portfolio of activities.
10         Second, poverty in the areas in which CATIE works is a function of fundamental
11           structural issues in rural development which require a multitude of actions from a
12           range of stakeholders.
13         Third, whereas good R&D is a precondition for effective poverty reduction, it is
14           just one component in a much more complex set of interventions.
16   CATIE has made great strides in moving from a rather traditional ‘technology transfer’
17   oriented agricultural institution fifteen years ago to an institution that is now focused on
18   integrated analyses of sustainable development challenges. This has also carried with it
19   a shift from on-station research to participatory on-farm, watershed and forest landscape
20   analysis. CATIE is now dealing with agricultural and forestry “systems” and “landscapes”
21   in which the multiple dimensions of livelihoods and environmental outcomes are
22   addressed in an integrated way. This ‘hands on’ specialisation has given stakeholders
23   confidence that CATIE can, through a combination of research and outreach, make a
24   major contribution to poverty reduction in the region.

26   The Agriculture - Environment Nexus
28   CATIE began life with its main focus on agriculture. This is reflected in a governance
29   structure that brings together the Ministers of Agriculture of its member countries and
30   IICA. CATIE now has many activities in the broader natural resources and environment
31   fields – areas where ministries of environment, created post UNCED, normally provide
32   national leadership. Some perceive CATIE as straying outside its traditional agricultural
33   heartland. Many of the administrative structures in CATIE’s member countries remain
34   highly sectoral and CATIE’s position astride the agriculture – environment boundary
35   creates some ambiguities within these sectoral agencies. The evaluation panel sees this
36   positively. For CATIE “environment” means the natural resource systems that produce
37   the ecosystem services upon which the sustainability of agriculture and the livelihoods of
38   the rural poor depend. CATIE should continue to focus on the maintenance of the
39   environmental goods and services that provide benefits to agriculture and the rural poor
40   whilst recognising that many of these environmental issues are of major concern to the
41   entire population of the region. CATIE is clearly filling an important niche – for instance in
42   its climate change and biodiversity research. CATIE’s ability to build bridges between the
43   agendas of agricultural agencies and environment agencies should be seen as one of its
44   strengths and should be exploited. Amongst the greatest threats to agriculture in the
45   region are environmental degradation and the impacts of climate change. CATIE has
46   institutional relationships with the Global Mechanism of the UN Convention to Combat
47   Drought and Desertification and with the UN Convention on Climate Change and these
48   are additional strengths. In terms of the future livelihoods of the rural poor these two
49   environmental conventions are clearly the most pertinent.

 1   The Research – Policy Nexus
 3   CATIE is expanding its role in providing policy analysis support to decision-makers in the
 4   region. This is seen by the panel as a welcome development. There is certainly a
 5   demand in the region for CATIE to increase its already strong efforts in connecting
 6   national policy debates more closely to regional and international experience and
 7   scientific findings. CATIE has engaged in policy discussions for some years, and in
 8   topics such as forestry and issues related to international conventions is already a major
 9   actor. Though the findings of CATIE’s research are very relevant as an input into policy
10   formation, they are not always analysed through the lens of understanding the
11   processes by which policies are established and implemented. CATIE’s policy analysis
12   plans, as described by staff, tend to assume a supply side approach of better ‘marketing’
13   of research findings to policy makers. Although CATIE has an excellent record in
14   influencing policy in the region there may be a need to give more attention to the nature
15   of demand for policy advice and how ‘science’ can most effectively impact on the political
16   sphere.
18   Some confusion about roles and approaches seems to stem from lack of semantic clarity.
19   IICA has a mandated role in advising national ministries on agricultural and rural
20   development policies. CATIE should of course avoid directly replicating their role. Some
21   of those stakeholders interviewed felt that CATIE had somewhat greater independence
22   from the ministries than IICA, and thus had a better chance of providing a platform for
23   critical debate on policy alternatives. CATIE does not, however, have the clear mandate,
24   personnel, access or track record in policy formulation that IICA has, but due to its
25   greater independence may have a very complementary evidence-based analytical role.
26   CATIE clearly has a respected role as a convener of regional discussions (e.g., through
27   the H. A. Wallace Conferences) and has been requested to provide other support, most
28   notable in assisting in strengthening the agriculture-environment nexus that is so
29   problematic due to ministerial divisions and other forms of fragmentation in the green
30   sector. It is not recommended that CATIE adopt a strict division of responsibilities with
31   IICA covering agriculture and CATIE the environment since it is the interplay within these
32   areas that is perhaps most important for policy formation in the region. Closer
33   collaboration and mutual support between CATIE and IICA -building on their
34   complementary capacities and mandates – would appear to be possible and indeed
35   imperative.
37   The NTOs and their respective networks (especially among CATIE alumni) have a
38   central role in developing and maintaining a link between national policy debates and the
39   regional/international overview, which is CATIE’s comparative strength. Ideally, they
40   should present an integrated vision of CATIE, and counteract a tendency for the
41   organisation to be seen as a ‘federation of projects’ at national levels. The NTOs are,
42   however, sometimes treated more as a logistical hub for projects than as offices which
43   must become respected conveners of high-level policy dialogue. Researchers from the
44   TGs have a tendency to see requests for support from ministries (channelled via the
45   NTOs) as unfunded distractions, rather than as opportunities for research and enhanced
46   policy impact. Any shift toward a strengthening of policy analysis functions would need to
47   look closely at how the intellectual weight of the NTOs can be enhanced, perhaps
48   through better dialogue with Turrialba and more effective mobilisation of alumni.

 1   Donors are shifting the emphasis of aid to sector support. If this happens it will create a
 2   need for more research on how these sectoral activities impact on rural poverty. CATIE
 3   is well placed to provide this link between policy makers and realities on the ground. At
 4   the same time, there are concerns that ministries are not giving priority to research within
 5   their sectoral programmes. This gap could provide an opportunity for CATIE. The study
 6   underway in Nicaragua of lessons that can be learned from FondeAgro for PRORURAL
 7   is an excellent example of how CATIE might operate if sectoral approaches become
 8   dominant.

10   Outreach
12   CATIE has an “Outreach Division”, but outreach efforts involve the majority of
13   researchers as well as students, alumni and others. Unlike many academic institutions,
14   CATIE has demonstrated a strong ownership of outreach, which is in no way seen as an
15   additional burden to be managed after research and extension. Perhaps due to this
16   broad commitment, it is not always easy to specify what CATIE’s outreach actually
17   consists of since it is effectively a far more cross-cutting set of activities than that
18   referred to in strategy and planning documents. The following is a summary of the
19   evaluation panel’s interpretation of what ‘outreach’ consists of at CATIE.
     Outreach              Key Partners         Other                Observations
     approach                                   stakeholders
     Communications        Media                Regional             Primarily focused on
     through                                    institutions         public relations, branding,
     publications and                                                technical support and
     website                                                         developing a clearer
     Scientific journals   Scientists and       Other R&D and        Disseminating scientific
                           extension workers    educational          innovations
     Action research       Wide range of                            The main methodological
                           local partners                           innovation that has
                                                                    established CATIE’s vision
                                                                    for outreach
     Rural development NGOs, ministries,        Farmer orgs,        Major demand from
     projects          local government         national research member ministries and
                                                institutes, private from donors, but danger of
                                                sector              losing research focus
     Extension             Line extension       Policy makers       Good links, but lacks
                           departments,         and donors          strategic perspective
                           NGOs, private        engaged in
                           sector, farmer       extension policy
                           local government
     Alumni                Alumni in various                         Perhaps CATIE’s
     engagement            national orgs                             strongest but least visible
                                                                     outreach function
     Think tank            Ministries, NGOs,    Regional             Primary focus of visions,

    activities           IICA                  institutions within   but thus far insufficient
                                               and beyond the        capacities and
                                               rural                 mechanisms
    Providing            Governmental          NGOs                  Some stakeholders
    guidance in          decision-makers,                            perceive this to be a core
    abiding with UN      donors                                      comparative advantage
    Joint research       National research     CGIAR, research       Strong link with natural
                         orgs, IICA            institutions in       science partners which
                                               other regions         sometimes provides
                                                                     channels for outreach,
                                                                     less with social science
    Consultancy          Donors, projects      Private sector        Growing importance, but
                                                                     also growing concerns
                                                                     about how to find more
                                                                     synergies with research
    NGO collaboration    NGOs, farmer                                Outreach of local partners
                         orgs                                        is in some respects more
                                                                     important than CATIE’s
                                                                     own direct efforts, but
                                                                     CATIE’s support can be
    Fundraising          Donors                Private sector        Unclear if and how this
                                                                     has impacted on outreach,
                                                                     but clearly donor demands
                                                                     for ‘impact’ strongly affect
                                                                     CATIE’s approach
    Public/private       Private sector        Ministries and        Necessary for finding a
    partnerships                               organisations         niche in value chains, but
                                               involved in           thus far hindered by
                                               private sector        uncertainty regarding how.
                                               development           There may be a need to
                                                                     engage with entirely
                                                                     different set of
                                                                     stakeholders in
                                                                     Agroindustry and
    Member country       Local partners,       Ministries, other     Some effective efforts, but
    level training       farmers               projects              lack of strategic clarity
                                                                     regarding respective roles
    Conferences          Virtually all                               An important way to link to
                         stakeholders                                international efforts
                                                                     beyond Latin America
3   It should be stressed that the range of activities described above are not reflected in the
4   activities of the Outreach Division, which is primarily a unit which manages the
5   relationships between the NTOs and the projects of the TGs. Indeed, the Outreach

 1   Division’s objectives are paradoxically rather inward and service oriented, focused on
 2   solving CATIE’s problems rather than those of national stakeholders and the rural poor.
 3   The Division has struggled to deal with a thorny set of relationships within CATIE, often
 4   at the expense of devoting its limited resources toward representing CATIE outwards. It
 5   has attempted to raise attention to the need for a strategy to respond to national
 6   demands, but its agenda has remained largely dominated by the demands for services
 7   from Turrialba based scientists and their search for donor-funded projects.
 9   CATIE operates within a very effective range of partnerships throughout the region.
10   Indeed, ‘partnership’ might be a better label for the activities that are loosely referred to
11   as ‘outreach’ today. Whereas the need to trace ultimate impact through such
12   partnerships is a valid demand for any development research, it is important to define
13   the roles of different institutions in achieving this impact. CATIE has a responsibility to
14   demonstrate how its work relates to the overall agro-environmental knowledge and
15   information systems (AKIS). Too many research institutions just assume that impact is
16   something to be left to ‘somebody else,’ e.g., extension, NGOs, etc. CATIE’s outreach
17   approach is very appropriately built on partnerships that are intended to ensure that this
18   is not taken for granted. The commitment to these partnerships is strong and has clearly
19   resulted in good outcomes which show promise of ultimately leading to wider impacts.
20   The element that is perhaps lacking is a more strategic approach to the outreach
21   process. Despite strong implicit skills in outreach among many researchers, there is no
22   explicit analysis of the various AKISs in which CATIE works at local, national and
23   regional levels. Some partnerships are somewhat ad hoc and opportunistic but the Panel
24   noted examples of sustained and productive partnerships in the Péten and with partners
25   such as NITAPLAN in Nicaragua.
27   A more strategic and explicit framework for considering the AKIS could give CATIE a tool
28   with which to reassure national ministries, donors and other stakeholders that it is indeed
29   contributing to the desired impacts, while better highlighting the motivations and
30   sustainability of the actions of its partners. CATIE should be cautious of allowing the
31   desire to show impact in a way that portrays partner organisations as mere
32   ‘implementers’ of a CATIE project. CATIE would be well served to instead portray itself
33   as providing a research support function to other actors that can more sustainably
34   ensure the actual direct impact on poverty and the environment. A clear ‘partnership
35   policy’ outlining CATIE’s corporate commitments could be an important component of
36   this process. This strategy could outline how CATIE intends to be accountable to its
37   partners with regard to capacity building, acting in a demand-driven manner, promoting
38   joint learning and other aspects of their relationships.

40   Communication
42   A paradox of CATIE´s organisation is that it is has a vast range of outreach efforts but
43   (until very recently) no communication strategy. CATIE researchers are extremely active
44   in communicating and producing a range of mostly high quality materials, but they are for
45   the most part not interested in finding ways to engage in these tasks in more effective
46   and coordinated ways. The proceedings of the 2006 Scientific Week declared a
47   readiness to considerably strengthen communications efforts, but interviews with
48   researchers did not suggest that this is a genuine priority for many. CATIE has a
49   Communications Unit, but researchers very often fail to budget for the involvement of

 1   this unit in finding effective ways to ensure that research reaches its desired audience -
 2   from farmers to ministers- in an effective and efficient manner. There is insufficient
 3   acknowledgement of the professional nature of these tasks and the need to think about
 4   strategies for reaching audiences, and not just ad hoc assistance in how to produce a
 5   brochure or a report. Management has recently been giving more attention to
 6   communications and signs of improvement are apparent.
 8   There is a real need to avoid the inefficiencies and missed opportunities that result from
 9   poor communications and the consequent reduced impact of research on policies and
10   practices. It is also important that CATIE as a whole does not continue to fail to present a
11   clear and coherent image regarding its regional role in research, education, outreach,
12   technical assistance and above all in poverty reduction. Many of those stakeholders
13   interviewed seemed to know more about CATIE´s financial difficulties than its research
14   findings. Outside stakeholders meet different scientists looking for funding for projects,
15   but these stakeholders are not left with a clear image of the overall strengths of CATIE.
16   Increased investment in communications will be likely to yield significant dividends.
17   Better communications will help CATIE to establish a clear and compelling persona or
18   brand for itself. Stakeholder appreciation and support are based on quality work
19   (generally the case of CATIE), relevance (CATIE is better than most institutions in the
20   region) and stakeholder appreciation of CATIE’s comparative advantage (largely absent).
22   There are many reasons for this communications problem. One is the attitude among
23   many researchers who are resigned to hustling for whatever consultancies they can get,
24   when funding would probably improve if CATIE´s image was more consolidated. In
25   addition, the communications unit is seen simply as a service unit and does not
26   command the respect that it needs (a situation that is common in many research
27   organisations). Strong and concerted leadership from higher levels within CATIE is
28   essential if the communications unit is to attain the status it needs to undertake its
29   responsibilities. In addition, guidelines could be developed to ensure that project budgets
30   include allocations for communications functions and tasks. Policy change is high on
31   many donors’ agendas, and such work ought to be easily funded. The recently approved
32   Communications Strategy is a step in the right direction, but the Evaluation Panel feels
33   that some aspects, particularly with regard to the role of overall leadership, should be
34   made more forceful.

36   Field-level training and links to extension
38   In addition to its regular agenda of formal training courses, CATIE provides a
39   considerable amount of small-scale training for a range of stakeholders including the
40   staff of partner and farmer organisations, producers and other stakeholders. CATIE
41   claims to train an impressive total of over 20,000 people per year. It is difficult to obtain
42   an overview of the nature or quality of such a massive range of activities. Feedback
43   received suggests that this support is considered valuable, particularly when it is a
44   structured approach, as in some of the projects in Nicaragua. Some partnerships have
45   included sustained high levels of training, elsewhere concerns have been raised
46   regarding the ad hoc nature of training provided to partner organisations, designed
47   mainly to ensure that partners could effectively implement a CATIE-led project, rather
48   than as part of a strategy to build their institutional capacities. This suggests that CATIE
49   should look more closely at its partnership strategy to ensure that these relationships

 1   reflect core commitments to building capacities within the region and that such training is
 2   provided systematically and with continuity.
 4   It is difficult to generalise about CATIE’s approach to extension, since it varies
 5   enormously depending on the local context, availability of partners and strength of
 6   partnerships. In a de facto manner, CATIE has adopted a ‘pluralistic approach’ to
 7   extension, working with whoever seems most effective in a given context. Some local
 8   extension partners praise how CATIE’s research agenda has had a positive impact on
 9   their own organisations by making space for new methods and priorities that their
10   organisations would otherwise have not accepted. This is a very positive outcome in
11   influencing the extension agenda and CATIE should highlight it more.
13   On the whole, this pluralistic approach is highly appropriate and should be continued.
14   Some problems exist where local partners capable of providing extension services are
15   weak and where CATIE has been drawn in to fill the gap with its own staff, including
16   training farmers directly. These are tasks for which national and local partners should
17   always take the lead. CATIE could however play a more valuable role by training trainers
18   in the different countries. CATIE has a clear role in strengthening the capacities of local
19   organisations and providing them with technical assistance, but it should not become an
20   extension agency. Another important issue with regard to extension is that of
21   sustainability. Working with a local partner does not guarantee sustainability, especially if
22   the local partner is entirely funded by CATIE. Some researchers interviewed are aware
23   of these challenges and are taking them into account. Others are not. CATIE, like many
24   others, is confronted with the dilemma of providing sustained support over long periods
25   whilst being dependent upon short-term and irregular funding sources. Given the
26   importance of sustainable extension as an integral part of the methodologies that CATIE
27   is developing, this would seem to be a topic that deserves closer and more consistent
28   attention. One might hope that regional governments, especially those benefiting from
29   agricultural sector and budget support might see the value of supporting CATIE in its
30   outreach and extension work.

32   From farmer field schools to action research and adaptive
33   management
35   CATIE has gone through a considerable reform in its approaches over the past decade.
36   This stems to a considerable extent from its earlier catalytic success in IPM where a
37   momentum has developed in the adoption of new methods and perspectives. The
38   comments here are intended to present where CATIE stands today in this process and
39   the potential for further progress. The observations presented regarding what has not yet
40   been accomplished should not be interpreted as detracting from an overall assessment
41   that the organisation has made impressive and rapid progress in recent years in
42   adopting new appropriate and participatory methodologies.
44   CATIE has moved forward rapidly and has embraced ‘action research’ before having
45   come to a consensus of what this methodology entails or even an understanding among
46   many researchers of how the concept has been used within the development community.
47   Action research has sometimes become a label that glosses over the difficult choices
48   between action and practice, rather than a way of defining CATIE’s core strategy for
49   outreach and poverty reduction. This is not a deficiency that is unique to CATIE. There is

 1   always a grey area between ‘participatory action research’ and the good participatory
 2   development methods that should be applied in any development project. CATIE’s
 3   embrace of new methods has sometimes tended toward the latter approach. This is
 4   beginning to change. Some CATIE researchers are indeed concerned that they have
 5   been undertaking ‘action research’ activities for a several years without having had the
 6   methodology predefined. An initial concept paper has recently been prepared which
 7   provides an overview of basic concepts regarding participatory development and
 8   participatory action research, but further effort is needed to distinguish between the two
 9   and to hone CATIE’s role in this area. Action research, like any scientific methodology,
10   requires a high degree of critical self-reflection and rigour to be used effectively. Well
11   employed, it can reveal a profound understanding of the perspectives of different actors
12   in a polarised and conflict ridden environment such as that existing in many rural areas.
13   Although CATIE strives to find ‘win-win’ approaches, action research can reveal the
14   deeper nature of the goal conflicts within the agriculture-environment nexus that are
15   currently presented in a rather simplistic manner in much of CATIE’s research.
17   It should also be stressed that, although CATIE has strongly embraced participatory
18   methods, it has not taken the ‘next step’ of becoming a demand-driven institution that is
19   prepared to adapt its overall research agenda to the demands of the rural population.
20   This largely relates to the funding and governance structures. CATIE is not owned by the
21   farmers or the rural poor or by their direct representatives. Nonetheless, a proactive
22   stance on presenting evidence of the demands and needs of the rural population could
23   be a way for CATIE to become a voice for them in informing ministries and donors about
24   their concerns. Also, despite the significant progress that has been made in adopting
25   participatory approaches, there are several programmes that only incorporate farmer
26   perspectives at the stage of verifying the relevance of technologies, rather than in
27   defining the criteria or priorities for technological changes. The application of
28   participatory approaches in CATIE research is uneven, and some programmes make no
29   explicit reference at all to the perspectives or even the needs of the rural population.
30   There is potential for the more advanced thematic groups to advise and assist the
31   weaker groups in reflecting upon and reconsidering their relationships with rural people.

33   Poverty Reduction: The need to critically reflect on outcomes and
34   assumptions
36   CATIE’s overall objective of poverty reduction is not explicit in the work of some TGs. In
37   most cases overall programme objectives make no reference to poverty or include it only
38   as a sub-objective. As mentioned above, some programme objectives make little
39   reference to intended impact on rural people at all, being entirely oriented toward
40   ecosystem related goals. Despite considerable progress over the past few years, and
41   most notably a draft policy paper on poverty that has recently been prepared, there is
42   inadequate attention given to the analysis of poverty as a research topic in its own right.
43   There appear to be two reasons for this:
44        There may be an assumption that outreach must demonstrate that technologies
45          are being ‘transferred’, and a failure to critically analyse whether or not different
46          technologies and methodologies are genuinely ‘pro-poor’ or demanded by rural
47          people.
48        A lack of poverty analyses is a reflection of CATIE’s human resources, with very
49          few staff with an appropriate background to perform this type of research. The

 1          researchers who have this background primarily provide a support function rather
 2          than actually conducting critical research. CECOECO and SEBSA, for example,
 3          are very positive and appropriate initiatives, but are primarily education and
 4          outreach units with inadequate resources to develop research agendas of their
 5          own.
 7   Building these human resources will require incentives to attract more qualified
 8   economists and social scientists. These areas have grown dramatically within CATIE in
 9   recent years, but more needs to be done. The most obvious incentive for attracting more
10   social science researchers would be the creation of a stronger, consolidated social
11   science research agenda. The ‘service’ role of these researchers in a range of CATIE
12   projects is a good start, but this needs to be consolidated with more research activities
13   actually being led by social scientists and economists. The Panel was encouraged to
14   hear of attempts to obtain endowments for chairs in this area, especially the proposed
15   “endowed chair in Rural Poverty and Environment” being pursued with the University of
16   Laval.
18   Although some excellent work has been done in a number of areas on environmental
19   economics there has been a lack of targeted work on the nature and dynamics of
20   poverty. There is a notable lack of critical analysis of the implicit assumptions and
21   hypotheses that underlie most programmes regarding how they may actually contribute
22   to poverty reduction. These assumptions are often taken for granted, sometimes
23   summarily analysed, and, (albeit with some significant exceptions) rarely treated as an
24   integral part of the research process. Some progress is being made regarding economic
25   analysis, primarily in the design and early stages of research processes, but less
26   progress has thus far been made with respect to social and anthropological analysis and
27   the political factors which are particularly important in Latin America. Capacities in
28   sociology and anthropology are being strengthened, but there are no political scientists
29   on staff and although some researchers recognise the dangers of this ‘blind spot’, there
30   is insufficient analysis under way, or planned, regarding the structural aspects of power
31   and exclusion that underpin the persistence of continued poverty in economies that are
32   otherwise growing.
34   There is some work underway in watershed related governance, which is very relevant
35   for CATIE’s positioning in today’s rural development agenda, but again, without a
36   sufficiently explicit analysis of the complex politics of how watershed governance
37   functions both horizontally at local level and vertically into national and even regional
38   structures. This is a lost opportunity and results in these projects being more about
39   ‘doing governance’ than researching governance. It must be noted that this form of
40   research could create discomfort within CATIE’s political governance structure as it
41   could lead to questioning of the assumptions behind the policies of its host ministries. It
42   would, however, fit very well with the newer donor priorities throughout the region which
43   are increasingly shifting towards promoting pro-poor growth and improved governance.
45   CATIE need not develop extensive internal capacities in these areas since there are
46   other research institutions with complementary competencies that could help to fill these
47   gaps through closer partnerships. Indeed, some of CATIE’s partners have such
48   capacities (e.g., Nitlapan in Nicaragua and organisations such as CIFOR and ODI
49   internationally) and a degree of mutual learning is underway. A degree of human
50   resource expansion into these areas would be required, however, in order to build more

 1   effective partnerships with other research institutions that have a different scientific
 2   culture.
 4   Another aspect of more holistic rural research that is currently weak at CATIE but is
 5   essential to understand poverty is that of rural development. CATIE’s position paper on
 6   poverty reduction gives repeated emphasis to the need to look at these objectives within
 7   an acknowledgement that the rural poor will probably benefit most from income and
 8   employment effects of more dynamic rural economies and growth in commercial farming
 9   since the majority of the poor are landless, near landless or are farming on land that is
10   not suited to agriculture. This is a highly appropriate point of departure for CATIE’s
11   research, but again, it has thus far not been well integrated into researchers’ thinking.
12   Some research refers to poverty reduction through employment generation and small
13   enterprise development, but does not include actual monitoring of whether the new
14   technologies being promoted result in increased employment, well-being or profitability
15   for the micro-enterprises that are ostensibly being assisted (e.g., research on
16   ornamentals in Agroecology). CECOECO has clearly identified a gap between CATIE’s
17   main research agenda and an understanding of the factors that stimulate or hinder
18   entrepreneurial development, but their ‘research’ consists largely of the understanding
19   that they can develop from consultancies. GAMMA is monitoring labour demands in
20   changing silvopastoral systems, which is a highly appropriate topic. These examples
21   show some progress in adopting a rural development perspective, but are insufficient in
22   light of CATIE’s overall portfolio.
24   Steps are also being made to develop a closer relationship with the private sector,
25   including transnational corporations. This is positive in that these are very major actors in
26   the sector. It is important, however, to have the capacity to objectively and critically
27   analyse the roles of the value chains that these actors are promoting to ensure that
28   these partnerships contribute to CATIE’s research agenda and do not just provide
29   opportunities for financial investment. CATIE is aware that these forms of partnership
30   could create an “image problem”. This risk could be mitigated by the presence of
31   research efforts that are designed to actually assess the impacts of changing value
32   chains on the livelihood opportunities of the poor. CECOECO is well placed to develop
33   such understanding and recent agreements for collaboration with CIRAD and INCAE
34   target this research area..
36   It is widely acknowledged that CATIE lacks sufficient human resources to fully integrate
37   analysis of poverty impact and AKIS structures as part of its full range of research, and
38   there are concerns that donors may not be prepared to fund such areas of research. In
39   light of this, it is important to assess whether these are issues that are at least addressed
40   in a somewhat less ambitious manner as part of monitoring and evaluation. Even if a full-
41   fledged research programme on poverty reduction is difficult to finance, it is likely that
42   donors would be supportive of including a rigorous poverty-focused monitoring and
43   evaluation component in existing projects. Poverty indicators are being developed
44   already for incorporation into CATIE’s M&E systems and this is a positive move. The
45   reality of CATIE’s position as an extremely project dependent institution naturally creates
46   certain disincentives to internal evaluative analysis that questions the fundamental
47   validity of it ‘products’. CATIE must demonstrate ‘successes’ in order to survive.
48   However, it also needs to present its unique role as a research and education institution,
49   which by nature must be based on providing an environment for critical analysis. CATIE
50   clearly has an organisational culture that encourages and provides outlets for a lively
51   debate among staff and students. It would seem that a more concerted commitment to

 1   assessing the quality of outreach and the relevance of findings for poverty reduction
 2   would find fertile ground in the institution.
 4   It should be stressed that the concerns expressed in this evaluation should not be
 5   interpreted to imply that CATIE should become a social science led institution. Its raison
 6   d’être is, and will continue to be, in promoting technological and methodological
 7   innovation with a strong emphasis on biophysical factors. Stakeholder buy-in is based on
 8   this focus, and it would be inadvisable to suggest a fundamental shift. The issue is
 9   whether CATIE is fulfilling its responsibilities as a research institution to critically analyse
10   its own implicit hypotheses regarding whether an innovation is genuinely pro-poor and
11   whether its recommendations are anchored in sustainable institutions and organisations
12   that are explicitly committed to these tasks. Methods cannot be divorced from the
13   question of who is using them and the socio-political, economic and cultural environment
14   that must underpin their application. At best this requires a significant redirection of
15   energies with regard to research formulation. At a minimum this requires a commitment
16   to critical monitoring and evaluation that includes analysis of coherence and
17   connectedness between the proposed innovation processes and rural society.
20   Conclusions
22   1. CATIE has developed a strong role in informing, advising and debating with actors in
23   the region on key aspects of how poverty can be alleviated through efforts to promote
24   environmental sustainability and agricultural competitiveness. It has unique opportunities
25   to influence policy makers, and to promote more evidence-based policy formation
26   through its NTOs, alumni and by leveraging its impressive reputation, but due to the lack
27   of a consolidated outreach and communications strategy it is not using these assets in
28   an optimal manner.
30   2. CATIE’s most important and distinctive asset is its base in field level realities. Over the
31   past decade it has established itself as an organisation which works with farmers and
32   listens to them. This is the basis for much of the quality of CATIE’s input into policy
33   discussions. Field experience is the anchor for its ability to verify innovations and
34   progress in methodological development. These skills mean that CATIE has much more
35   than a theoretical role in analysing links to poverty alleviation. Research is moving away
36   from traditional approaches. This process is as yet incomplete and there is some lack of
37   clarity regarding roles and objectives. Many key scientists who are leading participatory
38   action research activities are not fully aware of the current debate on how to best
39   combine ‘action’ with ‘research’. Ultimately, the small number of social science
40   researchers and their tendency to act primarily in a ‘service function’ has resulted in
41   relatively limited ability to critically reflect on how the innovations being developed by
42   CATIE are actually impacting on poverty
45   Recommendations
47   1. Outreach efforts should be reassessed in a much broader strategic perspective based
48   on research into the agro-environmental knowledge and information systems in which
49   CATIE operates.

 1   2. The role of the NTOs should be reviewed and their relationships with TG projects
 2   redefined. This should be based on a much more strategic analysis of how CATIE can
 3   function more as a think tank and capacity builder at national levels.
 4   3. Outreach and policy support should be integrated with a communications strategy with
 5   very strong support and direction from CATIE leadership and dedicated budgetary
 6   resources in virtually all project activities.
 7   4. Although CATIE has invested in developing participatory action research
 8   methodologies these still might be further refined, with greater emphasis on the process
 9   of documented critical reflection regarding impacts on poverty and rural livelihoods from
10   a political economy perspective. This will require strengthened human resource
11   capacities in political economy and other social sciences.
12   5. At a minimum, CATIE should strengthen its efforts to monitor and evaluate outcomes
13   and impacts on poverty throughout its project portfolio.

17   The Thematic Groups
19   The research scientists at CATIE are organised into 10 Thematic Groups (TG),
20   separated into two departments, the Department of Agriculture and Agroforestry (DAAF)
21   and the Department of Natural Resources Management (DNRM). This arrangement was
22   put into place in early 2003 and replaced an organisational structure based upon four
23   major groupings and a number of “Research Areas”. The primary intention was to
24   improve internal communications and collaboration. Another intention behind the new
25   structure was to reduce the administrative load on the scientists. However, the
26   dependence on securing project funding and administering projects has meant that the
27   TG leaders and many staff have retained considerable administrative loads.
29   Most members of the research TGs teach at the Graduate School, undertake technical
30   assistance consultancies, both within and outside CATIE member countries, and
31   contribute to the execution of development projects. There are few staff totally dedicated
32   to research and some scientists are not now directly engaged in any research.
34   In the present period of financial stringency the TGs are almost entirely funded from
35   external projects. A total of only $900,000 is allocated from core funds to the two
36   departments. Some scientists are totally dependent on outside funding. Scientists have
37   to raise project funding to cover their staff costs and overheads. Funds from external
38   projects are channelled into Fondo Custodia in the name of the scientist concerned. The
39   scientists are required to keep their individual Fondo Custodia in credit. This system is
40   clearly far from ideal, but in the circumstances in which CATIE finds itself it may be the
41   best option. To date the system has worked and most scientists have succeeded in
42   keeping their Fondo Custodia in credit. Failure to do so should in theory lead to the
43   dismissal of the staff member concerned but management recognises the need to
44   maintain key staff through difficult periods and has not yet lost staff as a result of the
45   application of this system.
47   The TGs have quite different profiles. Some are heavily engaged in research while
48   others have more of a support, facilitating and technology transfer function (CECOECO

 1   and Global Change). TGs are organised both around agro-ecological systems
 2   (Silvopastoral, Cacao, Coffee, Forests) or around cross cutting themes (SEBSA,
 3   Watersheds, Agro-ecology). SEBSA’s role is largely to provide social science support to
 4   other TGs and projects.
 6   Most field projects are fully integrated into TGs and form part of their core activities. In
 7   other situations the TGs are used as resource centres that are called on to support field
 8   activities that are primarily run from the National Technical Offices (NTOs).

10   Evaluation panel comments on the Thematic Groups
12   The TG system is effective and efficient. However there is a stronger rationale for the
13   TGs organised around agro-ecological systems (GAMMA, Forests, Biodiversity and
14   Protected area, Coffee, Cacao etc) than for those organised around cross cutting
15   themes. Thus SEBSA and Agro-Ecology do not operate as coherent teams addressing a
16   single group of issues – rather they provide resources to the other TGs. CECOECO, as
17   its name suggests is a relatively independent Center that provides facilitation,
18   technology transfer and education. The panel felt that the composition of the portfolio of
19   TGs might be re-examined. There is a need to increase the role of social scientists in
20   defining the research agenda and not simply providing social science support to
21   agendas defined by biophysical scientists. The specialists working in SEBSA and Agro-
22   Ecology might be deployed directly into production system TGs. However, If such a
23   measure were taken there would still be a need to provide some means of sustaining a
24   “community” of social scientists in CATIE. Many research institutions struggle to make
25   such matrix approaches to management work. Those that succeed tend to do so
26   because they develop a strong institutional culture for internal collaboration and
27   encourage scientists to come together in informal groups around issues. Administrative
28   structure is only a small part of the solution to this problem.
30   MURF is also a cross-cutting theme but the need for specialised expertise and facilities
31   for its work seems to argue more powerfully for its retention as an organisational unit. Its
32   present relations to the production system TGs appear to be working well in both
33   providing services but also in guiding the research agenda.
35   CECOECO might be used as a model for future time-limited, financially autonomous
36   centres to address specific technology transfer needs. Many universities and other
37   academic institutions now encourage the creation of such Centres and this might provide
38   for greater use of CATIE’s core facilities and enrich the academic life of graduate
39   students. However, if such a model were to be developed it would be essential to “pay”
40   such centres for the contributions that they make to training and education programmes.
42   The following notes on the individual TGs were compiled by the evaluation panel in the
43   process of our evaluation. We have not attempted to make judgements on the relative
44   quality and relevance of the different TGs as we did not have the time or resources to
45   make such judgements. The following texts are therefore simply intended to provide
46   some feedback to the TGs on our interactions with them. CATIE management might
47   consider instituting a more formal process of internal evaluations for the TGs and other
48   major organisational units.


 3   1. Management and Sustainable Use of Plant Genetic Resources
 4   (MURF)
 6   This TG is one of the longest established research and service programmes at CATIE.
 7   MURF has a productive and progressive history. There are currently several germplasm
 8   collections (coffee, cacao, peach palm, tomatoes and peppers) at the Turrialba site that
 9   are recognised as extremely valuable plant genetic resources not only for the region, but
10   for the world. In recent years, with the change in programmatic direction at CATIE, these
11   collections now fall into one of three categories. The first are collections that are being
12   actively utilized, expanded and integrated into funded projects. These collections
13   encompass both base collections and holdings of advanced lines (coffee, cacao). The
14   second category consists of collections that were once considered mandate crops for
15   CATIE. In recent years they are neither utilised by CATIE programs, nor are they
16   considered a high priority for funding (peach palm, bean, tomato, squash, yam, and
17   pepper). The third group are the forest seeds that are maintained primarily as a
18   commercial enterprise that also contribute to some research project activities.
19   Maintenance and long term security of most of these collections should remain of utmost
20   importance, and critical decisions need to be made as how to best achieve an
21   acceptable level of germplasm security. One option that has to be confronted is that of
22   focussing resources on the most important components of the collections and ceasing to
23   attempt to maintain those that have less value to CATIE’s programmes and immediate
24   stakeholders.
26   Significant achievements since 2001:
27       As recommended in 2001, a PGR TG was formed in 2003 to improve, better
28          maintain and increase the use of the collections.
29       In recent years personnel and resources have been dedicated to the inventory
30          and cleaning up the physical field plots for the clonal collections, the botanical
31          garden and the seed collections held in cold storage at CATIE.
32       There has been some use of the various collections as an educational tool.
33       Backing up the collections is recognized as an important activity. A complete
34          duplicate set of clones of cacao has been planted at one site and a partial set at
35          another.
36       CATIE has collaborated with the USDA in recent years to upgrade the
37          conservation and use of the Cacao collections.
38       High yielding, disease resistant cacao genotypes have been produced by the
39          breeding program and are ready for trials.
40       Advanced propagation techniques including somatic embryogenesis and grafting
41          is likely to yield impacts in the near future.
42       The coffee collection has been upgraded with emphasis on disease resistant
43          coffee lines. Endangered accessions have been grafted to secure their long-term
44          conservation.
46   Quality of research and relevance to regional development needs:
47   The evolution of the cacao and coffee research programs and development of the two
48   germplasm collections are of particular significance in the region, and due to the quality

 1   of the work, these programs have international impact on trade in these two commodities.
 2   Likewise, there has been a productive program working with Musa. The research on
 3   efficient propagation methodologies has been practical, and the in-house development
 4   of new technologies should be published and shared with the rest of the germplasm
 5   scientific community. There has been significant acquisition and distribution of
 6   germplasm of the crops where the research efforts are strongest.
 8   Challenges for the next 5 years:
 9       There is a critical need to secure representative back-up samples of each
10         accession of the collections. Priority should be given to the collections critical to
11         CATIE’s primary crop research foci and only when these are secure should
12         resources be invested in the other crops that are maintained at CATIE.
13       An LN cryopreservation system is an urgent requirement for the clonal collections.
14       Resources must be found to maintain unique collections, especially the orthodox
15         seeds that are not currently being researched by any of the CATIE programs.
16         These collections should be backed up.
17       More importance should be attached to producing scientific publications (peer
18         reviewed and others) in order to disseminate the information derived from the
19         research program.
21   Opportunities for the next 5 years:
22      Seek external funding for the explicit purpose of regenerating, and/or backing up
23         the priority collections.
25          Collaborate with, government institutions and universities in other countries in the
26           long term preservation of these collections.
28          Explore the possibility of revenue generation and sharing resulting from the
29           release of advanced germplasm (breeding lines and released varieties) to
30           support both the PGR as well as the specific crop TG (cacao, coffee).
32          Thesis work by MSc and where appropriate PhD students can contribute to
33           improved maintenance and documentation of the collections.
35   Outcomes and potential impacts: CATIE must urgently seek collaborators in the world
36   plant germplasm conservation community, both to support the long term security of the
37   valuable collections at CATIE and to enhance recognition and use of the germplasm
38   collections. Continued research and evaluation of the germplasm collections may lead
39   to the future utilization of rare alleles to respond to biotic and abiotic pressures in coffee
40   and cacao in Central America.
43   Plant Genetic Resources
45   The Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) program, essentially contained within the TG MURF, has
46   a long history at CATIE. It was formally established in 1976 with the goal of establishing an
47   infrastructure for building collections of specific crops. In 1986 the emphasis was no longer on
48   building collections, but on developing a capacity to evaluate collections using the latest
49   biotechnology. From 1991 the focus has primarily been on developing a few targeted
50   collections. The overall PGR is comprised basically of two major components. There are the
51   base germplasm collections that were collected and/or otherwise acquired since the inception

 1   of PGR at CATIE, and which contain a wide range of genetic diversity of both clonal germplasm
 2   and orthodox seed. Within this component there are the advanced germplasm lines in a couple
 3   of the currently economically important crops of coffee and cocoa. These derive from breeding
 4   programs at CATIE. Secondly, there is the Forest Seed Bank, which actually is not a
 5   germplasm collection so much as a revenue generating seed sales operation that provides
 6   excellent technical support and training to forest tree producers in the region who purchase tree
 7   seed from CATIE. CATIE is recognized and/or perceived as the only institution in the region
 8   that has germplasm collections of any stature, number or quality.
11   Germplasm collections
13   At CATIE there are some collections of major importance not only to the region but to the world.
14   The prominent ones in existing and ongoing CATIE projects are coffee and cocoa (940
15   accessions), but the collections of peach palm, and the orthodox seed collections of pepper,
16   tomato, squash, common bean, and other vegetables are significant. As these are a world
17   resource, there are certain implicit obligations and responsibilities for CATIE to ensure their
18   long term security. Almost as important is the associated passport data and information for
19   each individual accession.
21   The institution must take a critical look at the role of the PGR activities in the context of the
22   evolution of programs and project direction at CATIE. It also has to be recognized that this is
23   one facet of CATIE´s overall suite of projects and responsibilities that will always operate at a
24   financial deficit. Direct outside support and project funding for maintaining large germplasm
25   collections is often difficult to secure, but there is some funding that can be obtained.
27   In the past five years the clonal collection plots have been significantly cleaned up in terms of
28   plot maintenance, but still there is much left to do in terms of plant health and accession
29   identification. There are still some questions surrounding the actual identity or accession
30   number of some of the plants. Most of the orthodox seed collections have been sealed in
31   moisture proof pouches, and placed in -20° storage, and in some cases other collection sites in
32   the world have been contacted for the purpose of germplasm exchange.
34   Currently the inventories are either loaded into, or being loaded into a PC platform data base
35   management system. In the past five years there was an initiative to place the CATIE data set
36   on the Spanish language platform of the Genetic Resources Information Network (GRIN) of the
37   USDA that was developed for countries in the region, but due to the fact that the hardware and
38   necessary software to complement GRIN was prohibitively expensive, the data has not been
39   loaded.
42   Recommendations
44   It is essential to critically and pragmatically assess the level of funding support and in house
45   resources that will be available to commit to these collections in the near and long term. As an
46   institution, CATIE must decide to either fully commit to these collections or seek an alternative
47   approach at long term preservation. At the same time, the PGR unit can prioritize the
48   collections, by crop, in terms of actual functional value and probable utilization by CATIE
49   researchers or in CATIE projects.
51   Specific criteria for the process of prioritizing the collections might include:
53    What is the extent of use and /or utilization of the collection by CATIE researchers and
54   students?
55    What is the estimated annual cost of regeneration of the collection? This includes field,
56   greenhouse and laboratory costs?

 1    What is the annual cost of simple maintenance (field maintenance of clonal collections or the
 2   cost of refrigerating the orthodox seed collections).
 3    What would be the cost of backing up the collections, either in Costa Rica or in another
 4   country? In the case of the latter, how much would the collaborating institution contribute?
 5    Assess the level of distribution (number of outside requests) of accessions in each collection
 6   on an annual basis and the costs associated with these distributions.
 7    Determine whether or not there are adequate alternative sites in the world that could accept
 8   and maintain those collections that cost too much to maintain at CATIE and are not sufficiently
 9   utilized in CATIE projects.
10    Determine whether or not a given clonal collection, which might in some cases not be utilized
11   by CATIE staff, contributes to the value of the botanical garden as a tourist attraction.
12    Assess the extent and value of the data available for each accession. The data must be in an
13   internationally usable data base.
14    Determine if the size of the collection is adequate for true representation of the genetic
15   diversity in the crop. If not, will the collection be added too, or if the collection probably
16   contains duplicate accessions, then what will be the strategy and cost to optimize the number
17   of accessions in the collection.
18    If the collection is, in fact, of significant value, determine if the selection of a core subset is
19   advisable. This will impact regeneration, maintenance and distribution costs.
21   In all cases, CATIE should derive a strategy within the framework of the next five year plan for
22   1: An initial fast track back-up of each accession for both clonal and orthodox seed. 2: A
23   subsequent in house or in region back-up program using more sophisticated technologies.
25   The first fast track back-up might best be accomplished through the black box approach and in
26   collaboration with other large collection sites in the world. The second accession back-up
27   approach may well be accomplished by finding institutional partners, for instance those that
28   support Master’s degree programs at CATIE.
30   The value of these collections is compromised if there is not quality passport and evaluation
31   data that is readily accessible to the user community. CATIE should find the resources to
32   assemble and digitize all of the available information on each accession, even if the accessions
33   have been lost in the on-site collections. Recovery of many accessions will be possible from
34   past recipients of distributed materials.
37   Advanced Breeding Materials
39   CATIE has expended considerable resources on the development of genetically advanced
40   cocoa and coffee germplasm lines, and this investment needs to be carefully considered in
41   terms of distribution strategy. There are intellectual property rights (IPR) issues involved that
42   are complex and completely beyond the scope of expertise of this panel. However, a few
43   general statements can be made. Regarding IPR, the bulk of the genetic resources, in terms of
44   numbers of accessions at CATIE, are in the public domain. At this time it is our understanding
45   that there are not established or uniform regional policies that specifically address IPR in
46   Central America. Material transfer agreements (MTA) will not suffice to fully cover and protect
47   CATIE’s research products. However, some of the advanced materials that have resulted from
48   development efforts at CATIE through project funding should be protected for the short term in
49   some way that is more secure than an MTA.
51   There are good precedents for doing this in the EU, US, Canada, and Asian Pacific rim
52   countries that seem to function well, and are not overly proprietary and restrictive.

 1   Recommendation
 3   CATIE, if it does not initiate discourse on this topic, should definitely engage and participate in
 4   the discussions in the region regarding the IPR issue.

 6   2A. Agroecological Production of Annual Crops (GAE)
 8   This is an interdisciplinary team which includes agronomic, horticultural, social and
 9   economic scientists. The stated areas of research are on biological pest control and
10   organic production of numerous crops, including the new and potentially very important
11   industry of ornamental production for export. The goal is to develop and implement
12   systems that specifically target capacity building at the family and small business level.
13   Many of these projects were initiated within the last few years, but some have carried
14   through productive and useful themes from the earlier IPM programme.
16   Significant achievements since 2001:
17       This group has provided training at the top of a pyramid whereby trained
18          specialists disseminate technologies down to the rural family level.
19       The TG continues research on integrated pest management for the control of
20          weeds, insect pests and pathogens. Specifically, projects have emphasized
21          organic approaches, such as biopesticides, biocontrol of fungal pathogens using
22          antagonistic non-pathogenic fungi, as well as advanced crop production
23          methodologies (small greenhouses) applicable to small scale operations.
24       The TG has collaboration with other institutions (i.e. with Purdue, UI, etc.) where
25          sharing of resources has enhanced individual projects. The TG has strong
26          collaborations with other TGs (coffee, cacao and with Bioversity (previously
27          INIBAP).
28       There is strong evidence that research has been combined well with education
29          through both degree and training programs.
31   Quality of research and relevance to regional development needs:
32   New areas of investigation, such as the ornamentals exported to the US, have been
33   initiated and the research appears sound in the planning and execution. The group is
34   actively participating in congresses and producing publications in both technical and
35   scientific journals. .
37   Challenges for the next 5 years:
38       Staff expressed concern that they were spread too thin.
39       Resource constraints limit contributions to graduate student supervision even
40         though this is critical to the overall mission of CATIE.
41       Decrease of job opportunities in agriculture might affect the interest of potential
42         students in agroecology.
43       Opportunities to study agroecology or sustainable agriculture are now available
44         elsewhere in the region and in Spain.
45       The Bioversity group (previously INIBAP) needs to be better integrated in the
46         Agroecology TG.

 1   Opportunities for the next 5 years:
 2      It is imperative that efforts are made to refine the focus of the TG whilst at the
 3         same time encouraging cross TG collaboration. This might be accomplished by
 4         setting more explicit milestones and multiyear plans at the onset of each large
 5         project.
 6      Short courses could provide efficient technology transfer as well as generating
 7         some revenues.
 8      The TG must focus on its areas of comparative advantage and avoid duplicating
 9         services provided by other Costa Rican institutions (i.e. EARTH, UCR, UNA).
11   Outcomes and potential impacts:
12   Production methodologies must be transferred to producers to increase the income of
13   small to medium horticultural and ornamental farmers. There could be significant
14   contributions to the regional agro-environment agenda and to the efforts to promote
15   environmental sustainability and agricultural competitiveness.

17   2B. Research and Development of Clean Technologies for Musa
18   This TG was merged with the Agro-Ecology TG 2005. The following comments relate to
19   the activities of the CATIE collaboration with the INIBAP (now Bioversity) group that is
20   housed at CATIE. This is an interdisciplinary team with strong international funding. The
21   main components of the program are clean technologies, economic studies and agro-
22   industry (mini-agro-business). There is considerable expertise in leaf, soil and post-
23   harvest pathologies and this has been applied in organic banana plantations. This group
24   is under the umbrella of the Agroecology TG, only one member of the Musa staff is paid
25   ¼ of his salary from core budget. However collaboration in teaching is important
26   especially in the MSc program.
28   Significant achievements since 2001:
29       Focus has been maintained on one of the main diseases limiting Musa
30          production in the tropics (Black Sigatoka).
31       Development of non-chemical alternatives for nematode and fungus control.
32       Adaptation of clean technologies for the production of Musa, leading to organic
33          production techniques
34       Involvement in the Research and Development Network of Plantain and Banana
35          for Latin America and the Caribbean (MUSALAC).
36       Training of a significant number of pre- and postgraduate students.
37       Support to farmer groups in Mesoamerica and South America.
39   Quality of research and relevance to regional development needs:
41   The TG has influenced decision-makers to develop Musa production that is more
42   committed to environmental and human health. The TG contributes to the Research and
43   Development Network of Plantain and Banana for Latin America and the Caribbean
44   (MUSALAC).
46   Challenges for the next 5 years:
47       Clarify the relationship with the Agroecology TG.

 1         Bioversity is seeking an independent legal status, which when achieved, will
 2          make them less dependent on CATIE and together with their financial
 3          independence this could discourage integration.
 5   Opportunities for the next 5 years:
 6      Banana and plantain production in Latin America and the Caribbean is an
 7         important economic activity.
 8      European consumers are active in demands for cleaner production technologies
 9         which should increase the funding possibilities especially if they are linked to
10         small banana producers who are usually amongst the poorest indigenous
11         populations.
12      Work on endophytic fungi shows promise both for Musa and potentially for other
13         crops.
15   Outcomes and potential impacts:
16   The TG could meet the need for more Latin American professionals with excellent
17   training in Musa clean production. Sustainability is a key issue for Musa. The region
18   needs more productive, sustainable and competitive small and medium farms. Poor
19   indigenous populations could potentially benefit greatly from improved small and medium
20   scale Musa systems.

22   3. Coffee- Quality, Profitability and Diversification
24   The work of the coffee TG, has grown from a commodity research programme into a
25   diverse, multi-disciplinary approach to enhancing the productivity, competitiveness and
26   profitability of small, and large size coffee production in the region. This has
27   undoubtedly contributed to growth of the overall agricultural economy. Principle areas of
28   focus include complex multivariable (pests, pathogens, production approach, etc.) field
29   research experiments, multi-disciplinary research, and technology transfer at multiple
30   levels. Good synergies are apparent between the work of this TG and the work of the
31   PGR TG in the development of advanced coffee germplasm and the improvement of
32   diversity of the coffee collections.
34   Significant achievements since 2001:
35       CATIE has achieved wide recognition for its work on bio-physical interactions of
36          coffee agroforestry systems and especially the environmental services that they
37          provide.
38       A complex, multi-variant experiment has been maintained at two locations that
39          will provide critical information on coffee management strategies. Production
40          alternatives that reduced pesticide use have been developed.
41       Methodologies have been developed to increase organic production of coffee
42          and assist in better market penetration for this product.
43       Training at multiple levels is provided for the coffee industry.
44       Linkages have been developed between small regional producers and special
45          coffee markets in the world. There is increasing involvement in value chain
46          related research and technical assistance. The TG is collaborating with other
47          TGs, national government institutes, NGOs, and donor organizations.
48       CATIE (PGR TG) has maintained existing accessions and acquired new coffee
49          germplasm to broaden the genetic diversity of what is one of the world’s most

 1          important coffee collections. The collection has been enhanced by developing
 2          and adding advanced breeding lines.
 5   Quality of research and relevance to the regional development needs:
 6   The breeding program and production research experiments are of a very high quality in
 7   terms of design and implementation. The continued development and expansion of the
 8   coffee germplasm collection places CATIE in a unique position of having one of the best
 9   collections in the world. The TG has the ability to distribute germplasm in a timely
10   manner which adds significant credibility to the institution. Close ties to CAFENICA and
11   the cooperatives, like CECOCAFEN, increase the relevance and application of research
12   that addresses the immediate needs of the regional coffee production industry.
13   Research initiatives provide a forum for analysis of the changing socio-economics of
14   coffee production in the region which allows for advancement in the entrepreneurial
15   capacity of small producer associations. The coffee TG has produced an excellent
16   portfolio of articles in international refereed journals.
18   Challenges for the next 5 years:
19       When prices are not conducive to organic farming, the farmers shift back to
20         conventional systems. For example, organic production is now half of what it
21         once was.
22       It is also important that the germplasm collection of both wild and primitive coffee
23         accessions, as well as the more advanced breeding lines, be maintained,
24         duplicated at an alternate site, and backed up under either tissue culture or
25         cryogenic conditions.
27   Opportunities for the next 5 years:
28      Technical assistance must be increased for farmers associations and value chain
29         actors but additional efforts are needed in order to also provide a basis for
30         understanding the effects of agricultural system changes on rural livelihoods and
31         poverty.
32      It was noted that for the last 50 years a few variants of one variety, Caturra, have
33         predominated in the region. Disease resistant genotypes of this variety are
34         needed to protect the industry from potential problems associated with mono-
35         cropping with a single variety of coffee.
36      The results from the coffee experiments should continue to be recorded in the
37         scientific literature through high quality manuscripts in international journals.
38      Links with the national coffee research institutes and cooperatives need to be
39         optimized.
40      The excellent cooperation with other TGs, especially the PGR TG, national
41         government entities, NGOs, and donor organizations should be maintained.
43   Outcomes and potential impacts:
44   Production methodologies should continue to be transferred to producers in the region,
45   especially to the small to medium coffee farmers. More attention should be given to the
46   economic valuation of the environmental benefits that flow from coffee agroforestry
47   systems. The TG should engage better in the policy discourse in the region. Programs to
48   enhance ‘fair trade’ value chains or other strategies that enhance the entrepreneurial
49   capacity of the coffee producer associations and related business components should

 1   be undertaken by the TG. International status as the holder of the most valuable and
 2   accessible coffee germplasm collection must be maintained.

 5   4. Modernization and Competitiveness of Latin American Cacao
 6   Plantations (CACAO)
 8   The cacao efforts are a historically central activity of CATIE. They have a long (40 years)
 9   history at the institution. Although all of Latin America currently contributes a small
10   percentage of the global cacao production, it is a significant crop with great expansion
11   potential for the region. Cacao is an important crop for a large part of the poorer
12   indigenous populations. CATIE R&D has contributed to making the regional producers
13   competitive. The research and development of multifaceted agricultural systems or
14   methodologies is needed to reduce the dependency on just one crop by the small and
15   medium sized farmers. The work of this TG is greatly supported by the activities and
16   collections of the PGR TG. CATIE now maintains the only truly fully international cacao
17   germplasm collection where all of the accessions are in the public domain.
19   Significant achievements since 2001:
20       Pioneering work on participatory and integrated approach to the management of
21          cacao agroforestry systems and their environmental values has been a major
22          CATIE success.
23       The combined agroforestry to production model has given fiscal security to small
24          to medium farm operations.
25       Work on environmental issues relating to Cacao has been innovative and
26          valuable in promoting more sustainable Cacao systems and opening the way for
27          certified production and niche markets.
28       Education of students is an important contribution of this program. Training and
29          education of technical workers and producers has been valuable.
30       The PGR TG has secured the collection of both primitive and older accessions in
31          addition to the advanced breeding lines in several separate geographical
32          locations. This is a model for other collections kept by CATIE.
33       The development of disease resistant and qualitatively superior cacao
34          germplasm was a critical step. Introduction of agroforestry concepts to the
35          producers added positive impacts to both the social and environmental aspects
36          of cacao production
37       Collaboration between USDA labs and the CATIE breeding program on
38          characterizing the accessions at both the morphological and molecular genetic
39          levels has produced valuable genetic trait information for the future development
40          of disease breeding lines or ultimately resistant varieties.
41       Enhanced and continued quality maintenance of one of the largest cacao
42          collections in the world is important. It was very significant that the base (wild,
43          primitive and heirloom) cacao germplasm collection was duplicated to another
44          site.
45       Advanced propagation techniques, and introduction of methodologies of grafting
46          to soil borne pathogen resistant rootstock has significantly impacted production.
47       The TG has produced a large number of articles in both the regional Spanish
48          language and international peer reviewed journals.

 1   Quality of research and relevance to regional development needs:
 2   The quality of the agroforestry research and its environmental dimensions has
 3   international recognition. The breeding research is valuable, and the collaboration with
 4   foreign laboratories on the expensive molecular genetic component of the genetics work
 5   was prudent. The new germplasm developed by the CATIE program has had an
 6   immediate impact on the development needs of the region by introducing disease
 7   resistant germplasm to the cacao industry, including the small producers.
 9   Challenges for the next 5 years:
10       Work to promote sustainable Cacao agroforestry systems should be maintained
11         and intensified – environmental dimensions should continue to be emphasised.
12       The advanced germplasm lines developed by CATIE have been designated
13         being in the ‘public domain’. Fair and equitable distribution to all those requesting
14         access to this material will be important.
15       It is important that the CATIE cacao program stay at the forefront of germplasm
16         enhancement, especially regarding introgression of disease resistance genes.
17       The completion of the accession back-up process should be completed at the La
18         Lola site, and backing up the collection at a third site should be reassessed in
19         relation to using other technologies like tissue culture, cryogenics, or simple cold
20         storage.
21       Continued or sustained technology transfer to the producers will be difficult
22         without outside support.
24   Opportunities for the next 5 years:
25      There is potential for Cacao to expand in the region and to provide improved
26         livelihoods for many poor rural people – including many indigenous communities
27         and this development will need sustained CATIE support.
28      It will be important to enhance the already unique status of the CATIE cacao
29         collection as one of the only completely international collections available to
30         researchers worldwide.
31      The continued collaboration with well equipped labs (USDA, ARS and others) will
32         provide the opportunity to make significant progress in understanding cacao
33         genetics without the need for huge inputs into expensive laboratory infrastructure.
34      Continue close collaboration with other national and university research labs and
35         progress on the identification of individual valuable accessions that will contribute
36         genes to develop disease resistant germplasm lines.
38   Outcomes and potential impacts:
39   Support to this TG will result in the development and continued recognition of the CATIE
40   approach to integrated agroforestry systems as cutting edge. Cacao is highly
41   decentralised and much comes from small farms, many operated by poor indigenous
42   communities. This TG has direct potential benefits for some of the poorest sectors on
43   society in the region. The Cacao collection are one of the more valuable and unique
44   collections in the world. It is important to maintain the world-wide collaboration on the
45   genetics and subsequent breeding of disease resistant lines in order to keep ahead of
46   the evolution of existing pathogens or the introduction of exotic ones. The continued
47   development of germplasm as well as better production technologies will impact on
48   income of poor indigenous populations by making cacao farming a more profitable
49   enterprise.

 1   5. Livestock and Environmental Management (GAMMA)
 3   This program has been revived in the past few years and has evolved into one of the
 4   more diverse programs at CATIE with numerous multidisciplinary projects that address a
 5   wide array of specific problems for the small to medium scale farmers in the region. The
 6   TG combines valuable production system R&D with innovative work on the
 7   environmental performance of agro-ecosystems.
 9   Significant achievements since 2001:
10       Introduced systems whereby small rural families can farm and manage livestock
11          in new diversified production systems that increase net income, but lessen the
12          negative impact on the environment in terms of pesticide use, soil erosion, water
13          quality and reduced impact on native biodiversity.
14       Accumulation of information and production of a data base developed from
15          information from local farmers and how it affects the biodiversity in six
16          silvopastoral sites.
17       Developed a model of carbon dioxide production in forest/pasture systems..
18       Influenced policy in the areas of regulations, water management and sustainable
19          livestock systems.
20       Strong publication record, inclusion and participation of graduate students in
21          organizing symposia, meetings, etc.
23   Quality of research and relevance to the regional development needs:
24   Good quality research resulting in peer reviewed manuscripts in international journals, as
25   well as books, and the media. The research is particularly relevant to the stated mission
26   and goals of the DAAF.
28   Challenges for the next 5 years:
29       To continue to interest collaborators in multi-stakeholder participatory R&D.
30       It will be important to maintain the research focus if and when the scope of the
31         projects increases.
32       To continue to minimize the loss of biodiversity in silvopastoral systems, although
33         some loss is inevitable.
35   Opportunities for the next 5 years:
36      Continue to derive and introduce new improved methodologies for recovery of
37         degraded pasture lands.
38      Measurement of the enhanced quality of soils as a result of grass-legume
39         pasture mixtures, as well as the improved water quality resulting in less erosion
40         and pesticide laden runoff is needed.
41      Evidence is needed of impacts of better quality pastures on the productivity of
42         cattle, and the income of the small to medium scale farmers.
44   Outcomes and potential impacts:
45   The adoption of SPS by more and more farmers in the region will result in the enhanced
46   education and subsequent participation by communities in making pasture systems
47   compatible with conservation of biodiversity through the use of biological corridors as
48   well as impacting the soils, watersheds, and carbon exchange. Stronger contributions of
49   social scientists are needed. GAMMA must maintain a high level of publication of
50   scientific results.


 2   6. Forests, Protected Areas and Biodiversity
 4   This TG brings together 12 scientists and several research students to address CATIE’s
 5   traditional heartland activities of forest ecology and biodiversity. CATIE has exercised
 6   leadership in these fields for several decades. Although other institutions in the region
 7   have strong capacity in studies of the ecology and biodiversity of natural tropical forests
 8   (The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, the Organisation of Tropical
 9   Studies in Costa Rica) CATIE has emphasised work on the ecology of managed and
10   fragmented forests, the regeneration of secondary forests and the establishment and
11   management of plantations. In recent years CATIE has expanded the scope of its forest
12   work to address issues of forest governance and systematic conservation planning and
13   has been a leader in the region on more diversified approaches to ecosystem and
14   landscape-scale management, especially for environmental services. CATIE has in the
15   past received significant project funding for regional work in these areas but this has
16   declined recently. The lack of project funding has been offset by the establishment of
17   two endowed chairs. These are the “Latin American Chair in Ecology and Management
18   of Tropical Forests” and the “Chair in Multifunctional Tropical Forest Management”.
19   CATIE’s association with the USA NSF funded long-term ecological research
20   programme and with the work of the Inter-American Institute for Global change provide
21   some long-term opportunities in this thematic area.
23   Significant achievements since 2001
24    This TG now hosts the Latin American regional secretariat for the Global Model
25      Forest Network and the regional secretariat for the IUFRO Special Programme for
26      Developing Countries. These provide CATIE with a platform for exerting major
27      influence on forestry in the region, especially on multifunctional forest and landscape
28      practices.
29    The 400,000 ha Revantazon Model Forest covering the upper reaches of the
30      important watershed of the Revantazon River close to Turrialba provides an
31      excellent opportunity for long-term action research on a large social – ecological
32      forest system. This area contains indigenous peoples who are amongst the poorest
33      people in Costa Rica. Livelihood issues of these people are being researched.
34    CATIE has provided research support for the major international initiative to develop
35      a meso-American biological corridor (MABC). It has made notable contributions in
36      addressing some of the livelihood issues raised by the MABC.
37    CATIE research has led to changes in government regulations on natural forest
38      silviculture, notably on felling-cycle lengths and in the development of standards for
39      SFM.
40    The scientists of the TG supervise a large number of Masters and Doctoral students
41      and work with supervisory committees that include scientists drawn from universities
42      and research institutes around the world – only one third of them from CATIE. The
43      Master’s programme on “Conservation of Tropical Forests and Biodiversity” has
44      been one of CATIE’s more successful courses.
45    This TG has a good publications record both in international English language
46      refereed journals and in regional Spanish language publications.

 1   Quality of Research and Relevance to Regional Development Needs:
 2   The TG includes scientists who are widely respected as leaders in their fields in the
 3   region. However these scientists are increasingly devoting their time to the provision of
 4   expertise to regional governments and processes and to the supervision and teaching of
 5   students. The scientists are in such high demand that it is doubtful if they have the
 6   resources or time to devote to significant new research endeavours. This is
 7   compensated for by the intellectual contributions brought in by scientists from partner
 8   organisations and from initiatives such as the model forest network, the NSF long-term
 9   ecological monitoring programme and participation in networks working on illegal logging
10   and governance. Research conducted by doctoral students, especially those jointly
11   supervised by scientists from CATIE’s partner universities continues to allow for scientific
12   innovation. Forests are major resources for the poorest of the poor in the region and
13   work on NTFPs in the Péten and with indigenous groups in the region has contributed to
14   addressing the needs of this client group. Research on Payments for Environmental
15   Services, conducted in collaboration with SEBSA, has potential to bring benefits to the
16   poor. Issues relating to the rights and ownership of forests by the poor – local
17   governance arrangements and institutions may still require greater intensity of effort.
19   Challenges for the next 5 years:
20       More effort is needed to develop concepts and approaches for large scale
21         approaches to forest management – notably landscape and ecosystem
22         approaches, especially in the model forests of the region. The main challenge
23         here is to determine the place of forests in providing both environmental and
24         livelihood benefits in mosaic landscapes.
25       There is potential for greater use of simulation models in understanding large
26         scale forest systems and in underpinning their management.
27       More research is needed on the local institutional arrangements for ownership
28         and rights to forest resources and the TG could benefit from the inclusion of a
29         senior social/anthropological scientist.
30       There is a need to involve social scientists more in defining the research agenda
31         and not just in supporting its implementation
32       The project work of the TG is concentrated in Costa Rica although the student
33         alumni allow its influence to spread widely in the region. However opportunities to
34         conduct research with partners in other member countries should be sought. The
35         model forest network provides opportunities to become more active and to
36         influence forest programmes in other countries in the region.
38   Opportunities for the next five years:
39      Developing approaches for management of large-scale forest – agriculture
40         landscapes in ways that maintain environmental values and alleviate poverty.
41         Management approaches could be supported by simulation models.
42      Understanding the synergies and trade-offs between poverty alleviation and
43         biodiversity corridors and protected areas.
44      Achieving the endowment of the proposed Kenton Miller chair of “Protected
45         Areas Management”.
46      Exploiting synergies between this TG and the Global Change, CECOECO and
47         SEBSA TGs, especially on governance, climate change adaptation, small and
48         medium forest enterprises and environmental service payment research.

 1   Outcomes and potential impacts:
 2   The impacts of the work of this TG are likely to only become apparent in the long-term.
 3   However many of the poorest of the poor and especially representatives of indigenous
 4   ethnic groups live in forest areas and depend upon forest resources for their livelihoods.
 5   The focus on biodiversity and other non-timber products may provide opportunities for
 6   greater short term impacts on these very poor indigenous populations than the impacts
 7   that come from CATIE’s agricultural work. This would require a greater effort on the part
 8   of the TG to address the needs of these people and would require that the TG
 9   strengthen its capacity in anthropological and governance research. Research on the
10   conservation and management of biodiversity addresses global environmental needs
11   and may only indirectly contribute to CATIE’s mission of alleviating poverty and
12   conserving the resource base upon which poor people depend.

14   7. Global Change
16   The Global Change TG grew out of a Grupo Carbon under the old structure of CATIE. It
17   has established an important niche for itself as a convener and resource centre for
18   climate change work in the region. It has formed an effective network of scientists and
19   decision makers that is exercising leadership in LAC. It has focussed mainly on carbon
20   sequestration issues and the Clean Development Mechanism. It is providing support to
21   the Rainforest Coalition, a grouping of tropical developing countries led by Costa Rica
22   and Papua New Guinea that is exercising leadership on the issue of the inclusion of
23   avoided deforestation in the next round of climate change negotiations under the
24   UNFCC.
26   Significant achievements since 2001:
27    TG outputs have strengthened the negotiating position of regional countries in
28      international climate change negotiations
29    Understanding of the complexity of possible climate change mitigation mechanisms
30      and measures in the region has been increased
31    The TG is exercising leadership internationally on IPCC discussions on the potential
32      of avoided deforestation as a mitigation measure
34   Quality of research and relevance to regional development needs:
35   The TG is well connected to global leaders in its field and is clearly held in high regard.
36   Under certain scenarios climate change mitigation measures could make significant
37   contributions to poverty alleviation and to broader environmental objectives – although
38   this is far from certain. Costa Rica has already established itself as a leader in measures
39   to pay for environmental services (PES) and so the country has a comparative
40   advantage for testing payment measures for carbon sequestration or storage. The TG
41   has produced an interesting series of publications in refereed journals and a significant
42   number of technical outputs aimed at climate change negotiators and decision makers.
43   Teaching at the graduate school has certainly resulted in a significant number of middle
44   level natural resource management specialists in the region having a sound
45   understanding of climate change issues.
47   Challenges for the next 5 years:
48   The TG needs to guard against getting over-extended as demands for its technical
49   services will exceed its capacity to maintain a core research agenda.

 2   Opportunities for the next 5 years:
 3    Climate change negotiations are going to be intense over the period 2007 – 2012.
 4     CATIE has an important opportunity to continue to contribute in its established area
 5     of mitigation measures.
 6    The most important issue for many of CATIE’s beneficiary groups (the poor) in the
 7     region and for the environment will be adaptation to climate change. CATIE has just
 8     secured a major grant from the EU to work on adaptation measures in collaboration
 9     with CIFOR and other international groups. Adaptation to climate change is probably
10     more important than mitigation for the achievement of CATIE’s mission so this new
11     initiative is welcome. Overall the balance of work should shift towards adaptation.
12    The agricultural production system TGs will all be impacted by climate change and
13     achieving an optimal penetration of the knowledge and expertise of the Global
14     change TG into the work of the Cacao, Coffee, Musa, GAMMA and Forests TGs will
15     provide significant value added to these groups.
17   Outcomes and Impacts: The Global change TG has the potential to produce many
18   valuable outputs. Outcomes will be measurable in terms of the results of international
19   climate change negotiations and the measures adopted by CATIE’s member countries.
20   Impacts on livelihoods and environmental values will be long term and it will be difficult to
21   attribute them to CATIE’s contributions.

23   8. Integrated Watershed Management (MICH)
25   This TG was built on the framework of the long history (40 years) of land use
26   management at CATIE and 25 years experience in watershed management. It is now a
27   diverse program with numerous projects. Examples of areas of research with regional
28   emphasis include projects involving co-management, land use planning, identification of
29   critical watershed recharge issues, and development of methodologies that address
30   integration of agriculture, forestry and pasture enterprises. Also, the monitoring and
31   evaluation of hydrological systems is an important contribution.
33   Significant achievements since 2001:
34       Established a role as leader in developing co-managed of watershed to achieve
35          specific outcomes such as potable water in both rural and urban areas, irrigation
36          and to some degree reduced vulnerability to high runoff.
37       Effectively utilized and integrated teams of scientists from geo-physics, geology,
38          agriculture, sociology and economics in developing co-management strategies.
39       Successful shift from post-disaster agricultural rehabilitation modalities to more
40          ambitious approaches in FOCUENCAS II.
41       MICH has used watersheds as a platform to facilitate the integration of the work
42          of the other TGs – for instance through Focuencas.
43       The new program has had high levels of adoption of new methodologies
45   Quality of research and relevance to the regional development needs:
46   The team has a strong capacity to deal with social processes in integrated watershed
47   management. Much of the work is the facilitation of co-management but there appears to
48   be insufficient attention given to measurement of outcomes that occur as a result of
49   changed management arrangements. The TG seemed to base much of its work on the

 1   unproven assumption that the extent of tree cover is the major determinant of watershed
 2   performance. Data on the hydrological performance of managed watersheds is lacking.
 3   There is still major uncertainty as to the influence of different land cover types on
 4   watershed performance and it was not clear that CATIE’s work was addressing this
 5   fundamental knowledge gap.
 7   Challenges for the next 5 years:
 8       There should be enhanced or expanded documentation of the results of
 9         technology transfer for all levels of impact.
10       There needs to be some way to get personnel in this TG involved in the
11         discussions of policy at the national and/or regional level so that policy
12         development and decisions can be made based on scientific results and practical
13         interpretations of sound data. The capacity of the GIS group could be better used
14         but this will be contingent on additional funding – the use of cheaper external
15         providers of GIS services should be discouraged.
16       Further emphasis is needed on the contribution of watershed management
17         activities to rural development and poverty alleviation. FOCUENCAS ll was
18         designed with this in mind.
19       More attention needs to be given to the impact on water quality and flows of
20         watershed management innovations – CATIE – and the region - should have a
21         number of instrumented watersheds where long-term trends in water yields and
22         quality can be monitored.
24   Opportunities for the next 5 years:
25      There is potential to show successes in project locations and then expand the
26         technologies to other parts of the region.
27      Further efforts could be made in developing enhanced community commitment to
28         the watershed issues such that up and down stream communities collaborate on
29         a collective watershed strategy that evolves from the project research.
30      There will be good opportunities to export the positive research results to other
31         communities, even some outside of the region where watershed issues are
32         critical.
34   Outcomes and potential impacts:
35   There should be continued emphasis on maintaining the stability of the network of
36   human capital in the region. The expanded education of the population through
37   education and training strategies may be achieved and have long term impact on
38   community involvement in maintaining water quality. There should be an increased
39   positive impact on the environment by simply expanding the awareness of community
40   leaders of environmental degradation events or possibilities.

41   9. Center for the Competitiveness of Eco-Enterprises (CECOECO)
43   CECOECO grew out of the research areas on “Environmental Economics and
44   Sociology”. It is called a “centre”, but it does not have a significantly different structure
45   from the other TGs. Activities are primarily oriented toward facilitation and capacity
46   building, but it has provided strong support and has been innovative in developing the
47   socio-economic components of the graduate school programmes. Limited research
48   funding has been obtained and this has enabled the theses work of MSc and PhD
49   students to be supported. Collaboration with Imperial College London and others will

 1   enhance the research profile of the TG. Even though CECOECO and SEBSA deal with
 2   ostensibly similar issues (e.g., institutional development) differing perspectives have
 3   meant that this has not resulted in widespread synergies or a critical mass for socio-
 4   economic analysis. This is recognised, and some efforts are underway to find more
 5   common ground. Demands for its services have allowed CECOECO to grow, but the
 6   topics with which CECOECO works are primarily seen as being areas where services
 7   are needed more than research per se, thus limiting opportunities for critical reflection
 8   and analysis.
10   Significant achievements since 2001
11       Rapid growth in staff capacity in an area of strategic importance for CATIE´s
12          future.
13       Establishment of a clear and easily comprehensible portfolio of activities that are
14          demanded by a range of stakeholders in the region.
15       Support for CATIE to enter into highly relevant fields, such as value chain
16          development and business development.
17       Provision of a crucial bridge between CATIE´s research and the demands of
18          development actors in the region for tools to promote business development and
19          competitiveness.
21   Quality of research and relevance to regional development needs
22   The theme of CECOECO´s work is highly relevant for CATIE´s current and future efforts.
23   Indeed, it is something of a paradox that it has been so difficult to establish a research
24   agenda around a set of topics that are seen to be so relevant and where current efforts
25   have demonstrated a high level of skills which could be applied toward the development
26   of quality research products. The regional rural development agenda is largely about
27   innovation and competitiveness, and CECOECO provides a small but dynamic base for
28   understanding the demands that must be met if the innovations that CATIE as a whole is
29   developing are to become competitive. The range of services provided undoubtedly
30   contributes to the relationships that CECOECO needs. Once the unit establishes a more
31   solid research base it may be advisable to place some of these service functions with
32   other organizations in the region to better highlight primary tasks in research and
33   education.
35   Challenges for the next 5 years:
36       Greater access to MSc students is essential to enable CECOECO to mobilize
37         human resources for research.
38       CECOECO needs to break out of its image as a service unit if it is to achieve the
39         more strategic role within CATIE that it must play in the future.
40       If these new trends do not result in a shift to more stable research funding, there
41         is a significant danger that the pressure of continuous consultancies will lead to
42         deteriorating quality and motivation among staff.
44   Opportunities for the next 5 years:
45      The initiation of a joint Master in International Agribusiness Management (MIAM)
46         together with INCAE can be expected to open new opportunities for CATIE to
47         become better integrated into the priorities of ministries and donors with regard to
48         innovation and economic development.

 1         MIAM should also provide an opportunity to link better with education, an aspect
 2          that has been limited in the past due to the lack of interest among most of
 3          CATIE´s other students in issues of competitiveness.
 5   Outcomes and potential impacts:
 6   CECOECO is helping to increase the impact of CATIE´s overall research portfolio by
 7   helping researchers to consider the relevance of their work in terms of livelihoods and
 8   economic realities. Further impact with regard to understanding livelihood impacts and
 9   relevance to poverty alleviation will depend on further integration with the more
10   qualitative research efforts of SEBSA. Close and constructive collaboration with
11   researchers involved with coffee and cacao exemplify the need to build on CATIE´s
12   traditional strengths in commodity research by linking these findings to current
13   international research and development trends related to value chains and general
14   market orientation.

16   10. Socioeconomics of Environmental Goods and Services (SEBSA)
18   SEBSA is not a thematic group in the same sense as any of CATIE´s other TGs. It is
19   rather a loose network of researchers with more or less related interests. It is in effect a
20   ‘catch all’ function for sociologists and economists that support other TGs. SEBSA grew
21   out of the former Rural Development Area in the previous structure. Its primary activities
22   are to support education, conduct consultancies (to a large extent as subcontractors to
23   other TGs) and more recently managing research on PES. The staff engages in ‘team
24   efforts’ largely on an ad hoc basis, and there is little group dynamism. Despite this, the
25   individual researchers are providing invaluable input into CATIE´s research and
26   education programmes and technical assistance activities are increasing CATIE’s profile
27   in areas of great strategic importance. SEBSA (together with staff from the Graduate
28   School) is also the custodian of efforts to raise attention to gender issues within CATIE.
30   Significant achievements since 2001
31       Establishment of a firm ’foothold’ in the integration of socio-economic concerns
32          into a large range of CATIE research activities.
33       Progress in a gradual (but not yet complete) shift among CATIE natural science
34          researchers from past grudging acceptance of integrated interdisciplinary
35          analyses to active requests for socio-economic input.
36       Development of a well considered policy outlining CATIE´s role in poverty
37          reduction, together with others (especially CECOECO).
38       SEBSA has made major contributions to strengthening the socio-economic
39          components of the courses offered by the Graduate School. SEBSA has
40          provided leadership for the MSc on Environmental Socio-Economics.
41       The beginning of a socio-economic research agenda, particularly in PES.
42       Slow but significant progress in raising attention to gender issues both in the
43          internal culture of CATIE and in its field research activities.
44       Valuable analysis of the impacts and sustainability of past projects and of the
45          institutional conditions and social processes that led to long term impacts.
47   Quality of research and relevance to regional development needs
48   The themes covered by SEBSA are highly relevant to regional development needs.
49   SEBSA’s lack of its own research portfolio has been an obstacle to enhancing the quality

 1   of CATIE research more generally. This ultimately limits the quality of impacts on the
 2   education programme. There is a limit to what can be achieved through support
 3   functions to ongoing projects managed by others, although SEBSA is beginning to be
 4   invited to provide input at earlier stages in research design. Participatory action research
 5   methods introduced by SEBSA have made great and positive impact in enabling CATIE
 6   researchers to engage with farmers in more meaningful ways. This process is still
 7   incomplete, however, as the more critical perspectives on participation that are
 8   increasingly the norm internationally have not been absorbed in a significant manner.
 9   Also, although SEBSA has helped to define CATIE’s poverty agenda, it has not had the
10   resources to put this agenda into action. Finally, SEBSA has made some progress in
11   developing analysis related to institutions at local level. Although useful, wider relevance
12   to changes in the region will require a broader and more ambitious link to governance.
13   This has been noted within CATIE, but strategies are still lacking regarding how to take
14   this additional step.
16   The research on payments for environmental services has been exemplary. CATIE is
17   well respected in this domain in the region and beyond and has provided analysis that
18   has helped CATIE to become a world pioneer in PES.
20   Challenges for the next 5 years:
21       CATIE´s credibility will increasingly rely on its ability to move beyond declarations
22         of intent regarding poverty reduction, and SEBSA will have a leading role if this is
23         to be accomplished. The recent “Environment for Development Initiative” has
24         potential to make valuable contributions.
25       SEBSA, as it is at present organised and funded, is unlikely to make inroads into
26         the wider perspectives of CATIE´s other researchers. A balance has to be sought
27         between the need to have the critical mass necessary for a more fertile and
28         dynamic research environment and the need to embed the social scientists within
29         the production system TGs.
31   Opportunities for the next 5 years:
32    The research agenda will probably require restructuring to create a more fertile and
33     dynamic socio-economic research environment by moving from a loose network to a
34     critical mass.
35    Efforts to secure an endowment for one or more chairs in SEBSA’s areas of activity
36     should be pursued.
38   Outcomes and potential impacts:
39   SEBSA could play a major role in synthesising CATIE´s research in such a way as to
40   make it relevant to policy makers with primarily socio-economic priorities. SEBSA
41   acknowledges that it has not made significant efforts to monitor impacts, which raises
42   significant concerns about its ability to ensure that CATIE’s socio-economic objectives
43   are met. Impact assessment may become particularly important for SEBSA in the future
44   as CATIE’s regional relevance is increasingly being measured in terms of influence on
45   national policies and practice. Efforts drawing attention to the importance of gender
46   should lead to significant outcomes with regard to researchers’ perspectives on socio-
47   economic change, but it is too early to judge whether initial acceptance of gender as a
48   factor will lead to significant influence on research priorities and conceptualisation. The
49   panel noted with approval the fact that a gender specialist was included in the initial
50   phases of a new Cacao project.

 2   Overview
 4   CATIE currently offers five MSc. programs and two joint PhD programs (one with the
 5   University of Wales, another with the University of Idaho) and a CATIE-only PhD option.
 6   Students pursuing the CATIE PhD are required to undertake at least 50% of their course
 7   work at outside institutions – some have done this at Purdue and Yale and some at the
 8   University of Costa Rica. CATIE has extensive professional and technical training
 9   activities that also greatly enhance its reputation and impact in the region. The issues
10   relating to training are dealt with partially in this chapter and partially in Chapter 4.
12   Many external stakeholders consider the graduate program to be one of, even the
13   principal, contribution made by CATIE to improved agriculture and natural resource
14   management in the region. Clearly, the scientists and staff consulted in CATIE recognize
15   the importance of the institution’s teaching mission. They consider students to be
16   valuable assets in their programs, and most of them recognize teaching as part of their
17   mission.
19   The Graduate programme brings prestige to CATIE and enhances its profile in the
20   region in sustainable agriculture and natural resources. The network of alumni is a
21   valuable resource in extending CATIE’s outreach and enhances CATIE’s fund raising
22   potential. Former students now hold key positions in government, academia and
23   conservation and development NGOs. The fact that CATIE’s teachers are active
24   scientists or development specialists in their field of expertise is a valuable asset.

26   Quality and relevance of the graduate programs
28   Alumni and external supervisors were not systematically surveyed by the Panel to
29   determine their opinions, and CATIE could not provide the results of any recent studies
30   on this matter. However a number of stakeholders: collaborating institutions, academic
31   staff, current students, authorities of government institutions and non-governmental
32   organizations were consulted in this matter:
34             CATIE PhD programmes have produced some excellent graduates in recent
35              years and thesis topics and published outputs suggest that graduates are of a
36              high standard internationally. Masters students give the impression of being
37              motivated and highly competent, and their record of publications in refereed
38              journals is high compared to the levels attained in European and N. American
39              universities.
40             CATIE is committed to interdisciplinary research, and many of the PhD and
41              Master’s theses are the result of teamwork amongst scientists from different
42              disciplines. Supervising committees often contain scientists from different
43              backgrounds and this is a strength of the programmes.
44             The requirement of the NSF IGERT programme that PhD theses contain
45              chapters that are co-authored with students from different disciplines is
46              a welcome and valuable initiative. Many universities around the world are
47              struggling against the tendency for the requirements for a PhD degree to
48              encourage lone scientists working on narrow technical subjects. The shared

 1       authorship chapter approach might be extended to CATIE’s other PhD
 2       programmes so that scientists in the region are encouraged to have the
 3       ability to work across disciplinary boundaries and to work in teams. CATIE’s
 4       programmes should continue to give emphasis to providing graduates with
 5       these skills.
 6      The subjects of recent PhD and Masters Theses were topical and the
 7       standard of work appeared to be internationally competitive. The
 8       diversity of students working at CATIE is clearly a source of strength and
 9       good students have the opportunity to interact with a rich pool of students and
10       their supervisors from around the world.
11      The Panel sought the opinion of the head of the joint PhD programme with
12       the University of Wales who confirmed his institution’s satisfaction with the
13       arrangement which has so far attracted 15 students, 13 of them from LAC.
14       These students are examined by independent examiners and standards are
15       identical to those of any other UK students. Students have an individual study
16       plan to ensure that basic skills (statistics, English language, etc.) are at the
17       required level. The University of Wales itself benefits from the knowledge and
18       skills of CATIE in this programme. The joint programme has a successful
19       fund raising record for research. The programme head commented on the
20       value of CATIE’s engagement with policy processes in the region in getting
21       delivery and uptake of research results coming out of the programme.
22      The recently negotiated joint degree programme with Freiburg University
23       in Germany will bring added strength to the Forest and Environment
24       activities of CATIE and is to be welcomed. It is also encouraging that CATIE
25       continues to negotiate such agreements with other centres of excellence.
26      CATIE also has looser connections with other universities whose
27       graduate students spend time at CATIE. The work with the Ecole
28       Polytechnique Fédérale in Zurich, Switzerland has led to useful
29       collaboration on issues related to payments for environmental services.
30      The general perception is that the five CATIE MSc programs are, by
31       regional standards, very competitive, credible and attractive. The large
32       numbers of students who come from South American countries with good
33       universities is evidence of this. MSc. level students enrolled in CATIE are for
34       the most part satisfied with their educational experience; they report that their
35       thesis work is important. The MSc. programs seem to be complementary to
36       those offered by other institutions in the region.
37      Viability. There is no doubt in the evaluators’ minds regarding the desirability
38       of continuing the M Sc programs and seeking to increase the student
39       enrolment. Options for merging the 5 MSc programs into 2 or 3 need to be
40       further examined. The programs already have four basic courses in common.
41       The key issue is to ensure that students are given the best possible
42       grounding in integrated approaches to natural resource management and
43       artificially segregating the programmes may run counter to this. The Panel
44       tends to favour rationalising the programmes and reducing their number.
45      Data reveal that during the five year period evaluated there has been an
46       increasing number of applicants. However, the percentage of accepted
47       students who actually enrol has declined. There has been a slight long term
48       downward trend in enrolment, although in 2006 enrolment increased slightly.
49       The scarcity of scholarships seems to be an important reason for declining
50       enrolment although it is encouraging to note an increase in the number of
51       scholarships available for 2007. The World Bank – Japan scholarship

 1              programme and the IDB have recently increased their support for
 2              environmental socio-economic studies.
 3             The recommendation of the 2001 evaluation to encourage the use of PhD
 4              students as teaching assistants in the MSc programs students in the PhD
 5              programs has not been implemented. PhD students feel that they would
 6              benefit from teaching responsibilities in the MSc program. The initiative would
 7              improve the PhD students teaching skills. However caution would be needed
 8              to ensure that this did not compete too much with the needs of the students
 9              to complete their PhD research. Any teaching by PhD students should be in
10              addition to that provided by the senior professors and should not replace it.
11             Some of the PhD students without scholarships have encountered
12              financial problems to complete the required coursework in the allotted time
13              since they are not able to take courses in the partner international universities
14              and CATIE courses are not always available to them within the periods for
15              which they are funded.
16             There is a need in most member countries for more PhD level
17              specialists. The PhD graduates will strengthen research capabilities in the
18              region, as well as teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level
19             The number of information requests from potential students has remained
20              close to 300 for the study period (2002-2006) and the number of students
21              admitted is close to 60 for the different years with the exception of 2005 and
22              2006 which was lower. (See Table 6.1).
23             Some students are having difficulties completing their course work
24              within the periods covered by their scholarships. This seems to be
25              related to the difficulties of having their studies divided between two
26              institutions. The Dean commented on the difficulties of students of who need
27              to go back to their home countries before they complete the writing phase.
28              However the fact that only less than 10% of the students are in this situation
29              after two years of completing their training is not at all bad. However, all
30              efforts should be made to decrease the time to complete their thesis and
31              graduation.
34   Profile of students
36             The participation of women averaged 42.7% for the five year period (2003-
37              2007) with a peak in 2005 (51.9%) and a low of 35.8% in 2006. Efforts should
38              be put in place to keep the percentage of women students over 40%. A mean
39              to achieve this would be to search for gender oriented scholarships.
40             During the five year period evaluated the single country providing most
41              students is Colombia, followed by Nicaragua, Mexico, Peru and Honduras.
42              37.4% of the students come from the Central American countries and 59%
43              from the rest of Latin America. Measures might be taken to increase the
44              numbers of students coming from countries such as Guatemala and El
45              Salvador. The number of students from the later is outstandingly low. This
46              suggests the need to provide scholarships that favour students from low-
47              income countries.

 1   Table 6.1.
     Country           2003-        2004-        2005-       2006-      2007-           Total
                       2004         2005         2006        2007       2008
     Belize                             1                                                  1
     Guatemala              1           4             2          2           1            10
     El Salvador                        1                        1                         2
     Honduras               1           7             4          5            9           26
     Nicaragua              5          15             10         6            8           44
     Costa Rica             2           2             5          5            2           16
     Panama                 6                         1                       1            8
     Mexico                 4            6            5          8            8           31
     Colombia              14            8            9          8           14           53
     Bolivia                7            4            3          6            3           23
     Peru                   5            4            4          7            7           27
     Other LA              14            8            9          5            3           39
     U.S.A                               1                                                1
     EU + Asia              3                                                 2           5
     TOTAL                 62           61            52        53           58          286
 6   Quality of student life issues
 8   The Dean showed genuine concern for the quality of life issues that so directly affect
 9   students. He reportedly has dedicated considerable effort and resources to making
10   improvements within the limits imposed by budgetary constraints.
11           Living conditions. Students expressed several concerns regarding their
12              living conditions and/or costs of same. The single students seem to be the
13              most dissatisfied. An impromptu inspection of two dormitories revealed no
14              major defects; in fact the conditions seemed to be quite acceptable, although
15              there are details that need to be looked into, especially the limited kitchen
16              and dining space in one of the dorms. General maintenance seems good.
17              Student informants reported that some repairs are not made rapidly. The
18              evaluators conclude that students in CATIE are certainly better off than those
19              studying in most regional universities and are actually better off than students
20              in many developed countries.
21           Security issues. Some isolated problems with theft of personal property in
22              the dorms were reported, but the problems do not appear to be critical. The
23              evaluators noted that bicycles on campus are rarely padlocked and there
24              were no generalized complaints from other sources. The Dean reported that
25              some security enhancement measures were being taken and a policy paper
26              on student security is being prepared.
27           The need for a personal security policy. The Dean recognizes the need for
28              a well thought out and practical institutional personal security policy; he is
29              working on the document that should become part of the institution’s
30              orientation and support procedures.
31           The hiring in 2006 of a psychologist is an important initiative.

 1             Legal requirements for students of some nationalities are difficult if they
 2              need to travel to take courses abroad. In some cases visas can only be
 3              issued in their home country or require additional legal papers. Some
 4              problems could be solved with better information before the students leave
 5              their home countries. This is not a problem for most students.
 6             Communication with administrators. There seems to be room for
 7              improvement, some first year students claimed that they were not adequately
 8              briefed.
10   Financial issues
12   The number of scholarships provided by aid agencies and governments is insufficient to
13   meet demand. CATIE has instituted a student loan programme and this has financed the
14   studies of a number of students. CATIE needs however to carefully assess the optimum
15   enrolment numbers for graduate students. Such as assessment would need to take into
16   account the amount of accommodation available and the teaching and research
17   supervision capacity. The number of students required to achieve economies of scale in
18   costs and facilities could then be calculated. .
20   A number of specific issues were identified:
21          Sources of top students and financial aid. The 2001 EE recommended
22             that CATIE increase its agreements with regional universities. One of the
23             legitimate rationales for the development of workable agreements with
24             regional universities is to assure that more of the top graduates coming out of
25             the best undergraduate programs in the region come to CATIE. However,
26             there appears to be very little continuous, systematic effort to present
27             CATIE’s educational offer to prospective students in key “feeder schools”.
28             CATIE could follow the lead of INCAE and US and Taiwanese universities
29             who annually recruit in Zamorano, EARTH and other good programs.
30          In addition, CATIE could potentially generate the financial aid for
31             outstanding students that currently lack funding and operate its MSc
32             programs at full capacity through low cost marketing of its MSc programs to
33             targeted institutions with a need to upgrade their personnel in those areas in
34             which CATIE is recognized as a leader. It would benefit CATIE to
35             systematically promote in and recruit from academic institutions, Ministries of
36             Agriculture and Environment, NGOs active in areas that CATIE works in, and
37             selected private sector organizations. Many of these institutions can provide
38             financial support as well as rehire the graduates they have sponsored. The
39             Dean is aware of the need to build on the pilot efforts to make these linkages.
40          The opportunities to create endowments to fund scholarships in countries
41             outside of CR should be investigated. This has been successful in other
42             regional universities. These funds, impossible to raise in Costa Rica, could be
43             managed by CATIE and used to generate financing (scholarships/loans) and
44             thesis support for graduate students from that country. They could be used to
45             support outreach and research and development activities in that country.
46             Some donors will welcome the opportunity to create a simple mechanism that
47             assures that CATIE can respond in perpetuity to the needs of the neediest
48             countries.
49          As is the case in almost all other schools and universities, formal
50             education in CATIE is not “profitable”; the costs of providing a quality
51             education greatly exceed the income that the activity generates. While the

 1       Graduate School should not be viewed as an opportunity to generate net
 2       income, it is clear that it must increase revenue and control costs. One
 3       means for making the graduate program as cost effective as possible is to
 4       optimize/increase the number of students. An initial analysis indicated that
 5       CATIE should attempt to enrol more MSc students per year. The
 6       opportunities to increase tuition without jeopardizing access for poorer
 7       students needs to be considered; CATIE’s MSc program must compete
 8       based on quality, not on price.
 9      CATIE should be congratulated for not (apparently) sacrificing the
10       quality of the graduate program in the face of financial limitations. The
11       programs continue to be good. But problems loom. If the financial situation of
12       the School is not improved soon, the tiny, incremental losses of capacity and
13       the lack of enhancements will lead to a second rate program.
14      The use of Core Budget support to compensate scientists for the time
15       they dedicate to graduate affairs is just and in some cases has even
16       helped increase the ties and level of collaboration as is the case of the Musa
17       TG. However it is necessary to be careful: Quality teaching and learning are
18       not achieved by payment. It can only be the result of dedicated teachers who
19       are doing what they love and feel to be a calling. It takes time.
20      Possible consolidation of the MSc programs. The evaluators heard from
21       several sources that there is an active discussion regarding the possibility of
22       fusing some of the MSc programs. Some of the programs enrol few students,
23       and some have few faculty members. Two principal arguments in favour of
24       fusion seem compelling, and a study of this issue should be undertaken. First,
25       some fusion might be necessary in order to facilitate the accreditation
26       process; without fusion, some of the programs do not have access to the
27       minimum faculty resources necessary. Secondly, an appropriate fusion would
28       strengthen interdisciplinary research capacity; clearly options for a high
29       degree of individual program flexibility must remain in order to respond to the
30       diversity of student and faculty interests. The fusion, if it takes place, must be
31       done carefully and intelligently. Care is needed to avoid the loss of rigor, any
32       reduction in commitment of faculty to the new programs or negative external
33       perceptions.
34      Commitment to teaching by scientists who have multiple obligations
35       and pressures. The evaluation team heard repeatedly that many scientists
36       feel a strong conflict between their obligation and desire to teach and other
37       responsibilities. The CATIE model is potentially the best of all worlds –
38       professor-practitioners who are actively engaged in international field work on
39       important topics and can not only teach in the classroom based on that
40       constant engagement but also involve their students in that work. But in the
41       current environment of resource scarcity, there are counter currents and sub
42       themes that weaken the model.
43      There is a need to assure that in the future scientists maintain their
44       interest in and commitment to learning. This is achieved by - among other
45       things - the careful recruitment of professionals with the desire and ability to
46       teach and work with students; the institution of appropriate evaluation and
47       reward systems and adequate financial mechanisms to allow those who are
48       inclined to teach to do so.
49      Relation of the Graduate School to the Thematic Groups: Students
50       appreciate the fact of the link to the relevant and on-going research projects
51       in which their teachers are involved. Students have the opportunity to do their

 1          thesis work in these projects. This is a guarantee of a continuous link with the
 2          thematic groups and it also is a partial solution to financial problems for thesis
 3          work. However some of the academic staff raised the issue of competition for
 4          students, based not on interests of the students or quality of research of the
 5          TGs, but because of available funding.
 6         Follow up studies on graduates: A follow-up study on CATIE graduates
 7          showed that many were working in research and academic institutions, in the
 8          government and in non-governmental organizations. See Table below.
11   Table 6.2. Placement study of a sample of CATIE graduates (1990-2001)
                 Type of institution                         Number of alumni
        Education and Research                                     90
        Research and science and technology                        52
        Public sector                                              48
        NGOs / International organizations                         19
        Private sector                                             19
        Other                                                       2
        Participants in graduate programs                          12
                         Total                                        242
14         A high proportion of the graduates are active in teaching and research, which
15          is of great relevance in countries with weak national research programs in
16          agriculture and management of natural resources.
17         According to the information presented to the donors (March 2006) there are
18          also important examples of alumni that occupy high positions in governments
19          such as ministers and vice-ministers. Also CATIE graduates are well
20          positioned in academic institutions and in development organizations.
21         Improvement/strengthening of the Alumni Association. CATIE could not
22          provide the results of any recent studies of alumni opinions. However the e-
23          mail accounts and newsletters are excellent instruments and should be
24          encouraged and their distribution expanded.
25         The AGCATIE initiative is important in this regard. CATIE has supported the
26          efforts of this alumni association but it would be desirable that it should
27          become financially self-sufficient or should even yield a cash flow to CATIE in
28          the future.
29         Human and financial resources have not been available to carry more
30          complete and in-depth follow up studies as well as better communications.
31         The incomplete follow up has a cost. The best competitor institutions maintain
32          effective communications and conduct follow up studies. CATIE needs to
33          invest in the cultivation of alumni. It could pay off in friend and fund raising.
34          Informed, satisfied alumni who are actively involved in their alma mater can
35          be invaluable allies in the cultivation of supporters and the execution of
36          outreach activities. They are the best collaborators in student recruitment.

 1   Other academic issues
 3             The value of the accreditation process. The Graduate School has begun
 4              an accreditation process with two agencies (SINAES in Costa Rica and
 5              SACS in the USA). The Dean plans to pursue both avenues actively. The
 6              local accreditation process will probably be more rapid and easier. However,
 7              the process for accreditation of master programs by SINAES in Costa Rica
 8              has been postponed until they reach an agreement with the CISEVAES (the
 9              accreditation agency promoted by CSUCA (Council of the Central American
10              Universities)). The evaluators support the accreditation efforts. This is a
11              priority for the use of the limited financing available to the School.
13             Library issues. The Evaluators are concerned about the budget crisis. If the
14              library cannot continue to acquire literature it will lose its value to the region. If
15              electronic options can genuinely replace the need for paper, then there is no
16              problem. CATIE and IICA need to seriously evaluate the library’s current
17              state and future and make strategic decisions: either more financing or a
18              change of course/strategy. The access to the library of Universities of Idaho
19              and Wales as part of the joint PhD agreement is invaluable.
21             English language competency. The Graduate School offers some English
22              language training, but it does not appear to be very intensive (two or three
23              sessions per week). Special help is available for students with the greatest
24              difficulties. No English language electives are offered. The Dean reports that
25              PhD students are no longer accepted into the joint programs if they cannot
26              demonstrate fluency as required by US or European institutions, potential
27              students are required to achieve 550 points in the Toefl Test, if they achieve
28              between 500 and 550 they are accepted but must reach the 550 level in one
29              year. The EP feels that the 2001 recommendation to the effect that CATIE
30              needs to strengthen its English language preparation is still valid.
32             Added value of laboratories and laboratory skills for students. The
33              laboratories should be available for students, as part of their learning
34              activities and also for their research work. However, the laboratories need
35              investment and this is an issue that should be dealt with. If significant
36              investment in improving the laboratories cannot be made then options of
37              improving access to the labs of CATIE’s collaborating universities must be
38              explored.
41   Commentary on the Masters in International Agribusiness Management (to begin
42   this year
44   This is a potentially valuable initiative and will bring CATIE closer to the highly successful
45   INCAE. Issues relating to financial sustainability still need to be resolved. The Panel
46   sees this as opening up possibilities to improve its research and teaching in areas
47   identified as priorities in other parts of this report, for instance on value chains, small and
48   medium enterprises etc.

 1   Student and faculty evaluations
 3   The EP feels that the Dean has increased the efforts of communication with the students
 4   and has improved the evaluation process, although some students still complain that
 5   faculty evaluations need to be taken seriously and used more effectively. All courses are
 6   evaluated, the results are reported to the Dean and he forwards the information to the
 7   professor with copies to the Director General, Academic Coordinators and Directors of
 8   the Departments involved. If there are any problems detected the Dean has a meeting
 9   with the professor. A special mention for the best teachers should be implemented; this
10   could be an incentive for improvement and would also be an indication to the students
11   that their evaluations are taken into account.
13   Professional and vocational training
15   The evaluation panel was only able to form a superficial opinion of the short term training
16   programmes provided by CATIE. Our overall judgement was that these programmes are
17   valuable and provide a service that CATIE is better qualified to provide than anyone else
18   in the region. Training courses provide a fast track option for communicating research
19   results to end-users. Chapter 4 gives some cautionary advice on not over-extending the
20   training function. CATIE should not itself become an extension organisation – but it can
21   train trainers and extension workers. We also feel that CATIE must be able to
22   demonstrate that the full costs of the training are known and evaluated and that training
23   does not receive subsidies from core budgets and projects unless a conscious decision
24   to make such subsidies is taken. At present ad hoc training activities are said to operate
25   at a profit.

27   Conclusions
29      The Master Programme is a successful program, receiving and graduating students
30       from Latin America and even a few from other regions. The program has prestige
31       and benefits from having a competent academic staff involved in international and
32       interdisciplinary research. Alumni are working in academic and research institutions,
33       government, etc.
34      The recruitment of students from some of the Central American countries is low and
35       efforts should be made to change this situation.
36      There is a need to make a decision in the short term regarding the fusion of the five
37       MSc programs into two or three.
38      English language capacities of students in the graduate program still need to be
39       strengthened.
40      The PhD program is a valuable component of CATIE’s academic curricula; however
41       supplementary efforts should be made to achieve additional academic links. The lack
42       of funding makes it difficult to support the CATIE scientists who invest their time in
43       PhD supervision and this threatens the sustainability of the programme.
44      In general there is a shortage of scholarships for the graduate programs. Fund
45       raising efforts need to be increased.


 2   Recommendations
 4      There is a need to develop a coherent, systematic program to recruit larger numbers
 5       of top students and to increase financing. The pilot programs that target specific
 6       institutions have been successful and could be scaled up. CATIE should create and
 7       sustain a systematic, low cost, targeted information and recruitment program to
 8       increase the enrolment of significant numbers of professionals who are currently
 9       employed by organizations that need employees with advanced degrees in areas in
10       which CATIE offers M Sc. programs. More attention to promotion in feeder schools is
11       also needed. These activities are low cost.
12      Support the NTOs in their role in recruitment and follow up of alumni.
13      Increase efforts to achieve more joint agreements with other academic centres of
14       excellence.
15      CATIE should strengthen its faculty recruitment policy in order to attract and retain
16       the most appropriate and highly qualified professionals with the desire and ability to
17       teach. This can be difficult taking into account the financial limitations. However
18       CATIE can overcome this problem using creative and aggressive policies to bring in
19       visiting professors, sabbaticals, etc. Also it is possible to involve the PhD students in
20       teaching activities in the MSc programs (lectures, seminars and thesis advisors).
21       The PhD students will benefit from this practice to improve their teaching skills.
22      Increase links with national, regional and international academic institutions but only
23       where this brings clear advantages in terms of the quality of the educational
24       experience provided. These links need to be institutionalized. Partnerships should be
25       selective, focusing on links to a few centers of academic excellence with
26       complementary capabilities and to feeder schools.
27      Consolidation of the student scholarship-loan program, ideally transferring
28       responsibility to a commercial Bank.
29      Additional efforts to improve English skills of students need to be implemented such
30       as individual tutoring, compulsory English seminars, etc.
31      There is a need for additional follow up studies on alumni, especially placement rates,
32       employment history, satisfaction with their experience in CATIE, and involvement in
33       alumni activities, to mention a few of the relevant parameters. The need for this
34       follow up was mentioned in the 2001 report but has been acted upon only partially.
35       The AGCATIE initiative should be encouraged but should rapidly achieve financial
36       self-sufficiency.
37      The development of a simple, useful, professionally validated policy for personal
38       security, especially off campus is urgent and should become part of an orientation
39       process for new students and again as students leave campus for internships and
40       research.

 2   Background and Scope of Analysis
 4   Then previous external evaluation of CATIE required the Board of Directors draw up an
 5   action and negotiation plan to address the following finance and administration issues:
 7       •   Negotiate increased Member Country contributions and support the agreed
 8           regional agenda.
 9       •   Add compatible new Affiliated and Regular Members.
10       •   Reinforce relations with IICA and other organizations having complementary
11           competencies and mandates.
12       •   Negotiate access to national and regional financial resources from bilateral and
13           multilateral sources
14       •   Enhance the Boards and improve the strategies of CATIE’s foundations
15       •   Negotiate and interact with the philanthropic sector to enhance CATIE’s
16           endowment fund.
17       •   Increase the offer of CATIE’s products and services among others in projects
18           administered through the Office of Regional Technical Services,

19   CATIE’s Financial Condition 2002-2006
21   Although CATIE has experienced significant changes in its sources of revenue and costs
22   that led to important adjustments in the structure of its balance statement, the Institution
23   has demonstrated its capacity to adjust and still generate surpluses. In spite of this, the
24   institutions financial base and cash flow remain weak, which may impact on its long-term
25   sustainability. In fact, CATIE is not able yet to generate surpluses from its core activities
26   to cover operational and investment needs, while some gaps still persist in some areas
27   of activity or programs.
29   The evaluation of CATIE’s consolidated condition was conducted through the use of
30   analysis techniques, financial ratios and performance indicators generated from the
31   information contained in external audit reports for the 2002-2005 period. Preliminary
32   financial information provided by the Administration and Finances Division of the
33   organization was used for 2006. The diagnostic analysis focused on the evolution of
34   Income, Balance and Cash Flow Statements.
37   Income Statement, Revenues and Costs Structure
39   The evaluation of CATIE’s revenues and costs structure was based upon the institution’s
40   Income Statement, focusing particularly on: (1) the composition and sustainability of
41   income sources; (2) the nature and magnitude of relevant costs; (3) the institution’s
42   ability to generate surpluses; (4) the minimum revenues required for the institution to
43   cover its basic costs (break-even analysis); and, (5) the stability of revenue and cost
44   sources.

      This chapter was prepared by Dr Arnoldo Camacho of INCAE. The work was largely
     undertaken after the main evaluation report was completed.

 1   The diagnostic revealed that significant changes were experienced in the composition of
 2   the institutions revenues during the 2002-2006 period. Among these changes, as can be
 3   observed from Table 7.1, the most important points to mention are the ones associated
 4   with the following facts:
 6       •    A higher amount of project funds has provided the main source of income growth.
 7       •    The institution experienced a significant decline in core contributions and
 8            donations, which fell from 11 % to 7 % of revenues.
 9       •    Delinquent quotas from Member Countries continue to affect the institution, which
10            tied to the decline in other forms of core support represent a decline of 4 % in
11            total revenues.
12       •    The primary surplus generated is highly variable and less than 2% for most years,
13            which indicates that CATIE remains highly sensitive to small fluctuations in its
14            revenue sources.
15           CATIE faces a challenge to cover its operating and investment needs from its
16            primary surpluses. This suggests that CATIE should focus on generating more
17            permanent sources of income, without disregarding the contribution of existing
18            ones. This would reduce the institution’s sensitivity to changes in its sources of
19            revenue.
     Table 7.1: CATIE´s Statement of Activities
     (End of year, thousand of US$)

                                                  2002        2003            2,004        2,005        2,006

     IICA and member countries quotas         1,650,000       1,700,000    1,700,000    1,700,247    1,700,000
     Technical support services                 228,045         206,341      209,043      194,114      175,460
     Training activities                        718,886         310,366      273,454      252,467      260,540
     Administrative and logistical support      516,235         368,942      249,178      499,791      409,797
     Miscellaneous                               54,220          13,593      184,687       63,128       11,126
     Funds released from restrictions        10,509,585      10,901,074   10,759,963   12,686,104   13,336,261
     Management of goods and services           799,249         741,959      661,657      731,607      718,665
     Productive activities                      559,692         611,206      576,649      633,665      669,497
     Specific donations and contributions
                                              1,831,740       1,813,681    1,544,191    1,288,412    1,293,921
         Total revenues                      16,867,652      16,667,162   16,158,822   18,049,535   18,575,266

     Revenues: % of total revenue
     IICA and member countries quotas         9.78%          10.20%       10.52%        9.42%        9.15%
     Technical support services               1.35%           1.24%       1.29%         1.08%        0.94%
     Training activities                      4.26%           1.86%       1.69%         1.40%        1.40%
     Administrative and logistical support
                                              3.06%           2.21%       1.54%         2.77%       2.21%
     Miscellaneous                            0.32%           0.08%       1.14%         0.35%       0.06%
     Funds released from restrictions         62.31%         65.40%       66.59%       70.28%       71.80%
     Management of goods and services
                                              4.74%           4.45%        4.09%        4.05%        3.87%
     Productive activities                    3.32%           3.67%        3.57%        3.51%        3.60%
     Specific donations and contributions    10.86%          10.88%        9.56%        7.14%        6.97%
         Total revenues                      100.00%         100.00%      100.00%      100.00%      100.00%

     Uncollected quotas                            226,328     125,508      226,435      190,043      na
     % of total income                            1.3%        0.8%         1.4%         1.1%          na

     Primary Surplus                               124,293     396,540      162,021      324,500      215,741
     As % of total Income                         0.7%        2.4%         1.0%         1.8%         1.2%

21   Source: External Audit and Preliminary report 2006

 1   With respect to the institution’s expenses and cost structure, the main results of the
 2   diagnostic study indicate that:
 5      •    Personnel expenses continue to be directly tied to the increase in income,
 6           particularly to the revenues from project restricted funds.
 7      •    General expenses experienced a trend to increase both nominally and as a
 8           proportion of total expenses.
 9      •    There was a significant reduction in training and scholarship revenues, due to the
10           loss of scholarships from agreements and a shift from full tuition scholarships to a
11           mix of partial tuition scholarship and student loans as a way to finance graduate
12           students.
     Table 7.2: CATIE´s Expenses and Overhead
     (end of year, thousand of US$)

                                             2002              2003        2,004        2,005        2,006
     Personnel                               8,811,157     9,145,709    8,927,333    9,870,493   10,369,662
     Travel and per-diem                       873,509       942,293      939,505    1,104,382    1,156,753
     Communications and printing               792,921       722,960      703,078      685,972      613,298
     Building maintenance                      530,836       590,853      465,099      593,479      475,097
     General expenses                        1,270,580       934,866    1,520,736    1,903,667    1,758,769
     Training and scholarships               2,270,831     1,868,607    1,386,634    1,455,518    2,193,897
     Investments (in assets)                   537,795       448,156      632,797      548,840      498,140
     Supplies and costs                      1,212,864     1,070,386      922,721    1,140,243    1,009,397
     Overhead costs                            442,866       367,335      312,038      344,125      284,512
     Doubtful accounts                                       179,457      186,860       78,316          -
          Total expenses                    16,743,359    16,270,622   15,996,801   17,725,035   18,359,526
     Surplus (deficit) primary                 124,293       396,540      162,021      324,500      215,741

     Personnel                              52.24%         54.87%      55.25%       54.69%          55.83%
     Travel and per-diem                    5.18%           5.65%      5.81%         6.12%           6.23%
     Communications and printing            4.70%           4.34%      4.35%         3.80%           3.30%
     Building maintenance                   3.15%           3.55%      2.88%         3.29%           2.56%
     General expenses                       7.53%           5.61%      9.41%        10.55%           9.47%
     Training and scholarships              13.46%         11.21%      8.58%         8.06%          11.81%
     Investments (in assets)                3.19%           2.69%      3.92%         3.04%           2.68%
     Supplies and costs                     7.19%           6.42%      5.71%         6.32%           5.43%
     Overhead costs                         2.63%           2.20%      1.93%         1.91%           1.53%
     Doubtful accounts                      0.00%           1.08%      1.16%         0.43%           0.00%
          Total expenses                    99.26%         97.62%      99.00%       98.20%          98.84%
     Surplus (deficit) primary               0.74%          2.38%       1.00%        1.80%           1.16%

15   Source: External Audit and Preliminary report 2006
19   Balance Statement and Asset and Liability Management
21   The analysis of Balance Statements focused mainly on the use of the institution’s
22   installed capacity and its efficiency in asset and liability management. The key indicators
23   used are: (1) asset composition and efficiency management; (2) liabilities growth and
24   impact on cash flows; and (3) asset turnover and income margins. Finally, the evaluation
25   of cash flows concentrated on: (1) the stability of funds generated by the institutions

1   current operations; (2) the ability to institution to cover with the primary surpluses its
2   operation and investment needs; (2) the consistency in the use of funds and debt
3   provided. Tables 7.3 and 7.4 present the evolution and composition of CATIE’s assets
4   and liabilities.
    Table 7.3: CATIE´s Statement of Financial Position
    (end of the year, thousands of dollars)

                                                    2,002         2,003        2,004        2,005        2,006
     Cash and cash equivalents                  4,914,586      5,056,729    4,229,942    8,135,946    8,207,766
     Current investments                                 0       115,000      439,258      142,763      126,674
     Accounts receivable                        3,569,340      4,788,469    4,571,546    4,855,675    4,743,705
     Inventories                                  169,582        178,965      260,691      148,330      224,832
     Trust funds                                  600,000        750,000      900,000    1,050,000    1,530,993
     Property, furniture and equipment - Net    6,307,338      6,081,831    5,994,004    5,758,558    5,779,612
     Other assets                                 401,592        378,721      310,311      242,964      206,999

    TOTAL                                      15,962,438     17,349,715   16,705,752   20,334,236   20,820,579

    (As a percentage of total income)
    Income                                     16,867,652     16,667,162   16,158,822   18,049,535   18,575,266
                                                    2,002          2,003        2,004        2,005        2,006
     Cash and cash equivalents                      29.1%         30.3%        26.2%        45.1%        44.2%
     Current investments                             0.0%          0.7%         2.7%         0.8%         0.7%
     Accounts receivable                            21.2%         28.7%        28.3%        26.9%        25.5%
     Inventories                                     1.0%          1.1%         1.6%         0.8%         1.2%
     Trust funds                                     3.6%          4.5%         5.6%         5.8%         8.2%
     Property, furniture and equipment - Net        37.4%         36.5%        37.1%        31.9%        31.1%
     Other assets                                    2.4%          2.3%         1.9%         1.3%         1.1%

    TOTAL                                         94.6%           104.1%      103.4%       112.7%       112.1%
    Source: External Audit and Preliminary report 2006

     End of the year 2002-2006
     (Expressed in U.S. Dollars and as % of total Income)

                                                    2,002           2,003         2,004        2,005        2,006
      Accounts payable and accrued expenses     1,707,289        2,339,981    2,465,585    3,490,880    1,845,856
      Current portion of long-term debt            43,714           43,714       43,715       26,216       23,714
      Deferred income                             122,009          135,408      121,366      145,000      285,010
      Notes Payable                                97,010
      Long-term debt - Less current portion       154,786         111,072       67,357       41,141      107,428

          Total liabilities                     2,124,808        2,630,175    2,698,023    3,703,237    2,262,008

      Unrestricted funds:
       Regular funds                            3,272,471        3,689,606    3,749,940    4,074,440    4,258,520
       Plant fund                               6,307,338        6,081,831    5,994,004    5,758,558    5,599,781
      Temporarily restricted funds:
       Funds in custody                         1,529,127        2,626,797    2,355,977    2,979,835    3,180,058
       Agreements fund                          2,728,694        2,321,306    1,907,808    3,818,166    4,638,472

             Total net assets                  13,837,630    14,719,540      14,007,729   16,630,999   17,604,831

     TOTAL                                     15,962,438    17,349,715      16,705,752   20,334,236   19,866,839

     As a percentage of total income
      Accounts payable and accrued expenses         10.1%           14.0%         15.3%        19.3%         9.9%
      Current portion of long-term debt              0.3%            0.3%          0.3%         0.1%         0.1%
      Deferred income                                0.7%            0.8%          0.8%         0.8%         1.5%
      Notes Payable                                  0.6%            0.0%          0.0%         0.0%         0.0%
      Long-term debt - Less current portion          0.9%            0.7%          0.4%         0.2%         0.6%

          Total liabilities                         12.6%           15.8%         16.7%        20.5%        12.2%

      Unrestricted funds:
       Regular funds                                19.4%           22.1%         23.2%        22.6%        22.9%
       Plant fund                                   37.4%           36.5%         37.1%        31.9%        30.1%
      Temporarily restricted funds:
       Funds in custody                              9.1%           15.8%         14.6%        16.5%        17.1%
       Agreements fund                              16.2%           13.9%         11.8%        21.2%        25.0%

             Total net assets                       82.0%           88.3%         86.7%        92.1%        94.8%

     TOTAL                                          94.6%          104.1%       103.4%       112.7%       107.0%

 1   Source: Audited Financial Statements
 4   As can be observed in Tables 7.3 and 7.4, the evaluation of the assets and liabilities of
 5   the institution indicate that total assets as a percentage of total revenues have increased
 6   significantly, revealing:
 8       •      A reduction in asset turnover which increases fixed cost and may reflect a loss in
 9              efficiency in the use of the institutions installed capacity.
10       •      The permanent maintenance of significant cash holdings, surpassing US$ 4
11              million dollars for most of the year.
12       •      Low levels of financial investments.
13       •      Growing accounts receivable, related both to the increase in due quotas from
14              IICA and Member Countries, and from student loans.
15       •      Limited use of debt.
16       •      The increase in accounts payable and accrued expenses.
17       •      The evaluation of the assets and liabilities of the institution suggests the need to
18              evaluate the restrictions that may affect its ability to introduce policies to improve

 1          cash and investment management, taking advantage of the returns that could be
 2          generated if the cash balances could be placed in liquid investment funds,
 3          leading to the generation of significant revenues from interest income. In addition,
 4          it may be necessary for the institution to explore ways in which it can improve the
 5          collection of member quotas and introduce procedures to ensure the recovery of
 6          student loans. Finally, an improved cash flow may allow the institution to reduce
 7          the level of accounts payable and accrued expenses.
10   Cash Flows and Sustainability
12   The evaluation of cash flows is essential to determine: (1) the ability of the institution to
13   cover its operational needs from its primary surplus; (2) the investment needs and
14   sources of funding; and, (3) the use of funds provided. The evaluation of CATIE’s cash
15   flows, revealed the following facts:
17      •   CATIE has high variability in its cash margin (ability to generate surpluses),
18          despite increases in total revenues.
19      •   Significant changes in assets and liabilities has led to an increased dependency
20          on the use of restricted funds and increases in annual budgets.
21      •   The highly variable and insufficient cash flow generation are insufficient to cover
22          the institutions operating and investment needs.
23      •   Release of restricted funds explains the increase in cash holdings.
24      •   It is recommended that CATIE should set a medium term goal of securing more
25          stable sources of income and also institute cost controls to allow it to cover its
26          regular operations needs. Investment needs should be at least partially covered
27          by primary surpluses, preferably increased core contributions. Finally, an
28          evaluation of CATIE’s liquidity needs may lead to a more efficient cash and
29          investment management, which in turn could introduce an additional source of
30          revenue and improve the institution’s ability to generate surpluses.

     YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2002-2006

                                                            2,002          2,003          2,004          2,005          2,006
     Income generated by operations
     (Increase) Decrease in net assets                   (16,889)       282,021         47,993        213,548        155,139
       Depreciation                                      433,753        393,513        385,599        476,373        381,748
        Results from operating activites                 416,864        675,534        433,592        689,921        536,887

     Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
      Accounts receivable                                (78,484)      (836,449)       216,923        463,731         129,306
      Inventories                                        (23,160)        (9,383)       (81,726)       112,361           9,941
      Accounts payable and accrued expenses              187,237        250,014        125,604        277,432      (1,645,024)
      Notes payable                                       97,010        (97,010)
      Deferred income                                     77,453         13,399        (14,042)        23,634         140,010
         Results from changes in operating A/L           260,056       (679,429)       246,759        877,158      (1,365,767)

        Net cash after operating activities              676,920          (3,895)      680,351      1,567,079       (828,880)

     Current investments                                 181,414       (115,000)      (324,258)       296,495         69,924
     Additions to property, furniture and equipment     (232,135)      (258,399)      (373,257)      (365,420)      (352,804)
     Trust funds                                        (150,000)      (150,000)      (150,000)      (150,000)      (200,000)
     Other assets                                       (278,422)        22,871         68,410         67,349        (41,868)
        Results form investment activities              (479,143)      (500,528)      (779,105)      (151,576)      (524,748)

        Net cash after investing activities a            197,777       (504,423)        (98,754)    1,415,503      (1,353,628)

     Long-term debt                                        66,000        (43,716)       (43,714)       (43,715)        63,785
     Temporarily restricted contributions received     11,127,102     11,087,809     10,123,511     15,306,069     14,861,505
     Temporarily restricted funds released            (10,356,903)   (10,397,527)   (10,807,829)   (12,771,853)   (13,912,976)
        Results from financing activities                 836,199        646,566       (728,032)     2,490,501      1,012,314

        Net cash after by financing activities         1,033,976        142,143       (826,786)     3,906,004       (341,314)

     Net Increase in Cash                              1,033,976        142,143       (826,786)     3,906,004       (341,314)
     Cash beginning of year                            3,880,610      4,914,586      5,056,729      4,229,943      8,135,947
     Cash end of year                                  4,914,586      5,056,729      4,229,943      8,135,947      7,794,633

     Total Income                                     16,867,652     16,667,162     16,158,822     18,049,535     18,575,266
 1   Cash Flow (Results Operating Act / Income)             2.5%           4.1%           2.7%           3.8%           2.9%


 3   Financial Sustainability and Areas of Activity:
 5   An activity-based cost methodology combined with break-even analysis was used in this
 6   section to evaluate the Institution’s long-term sustainability. The analysis was conducted
 7   for the major divisions of the institution, classified according to the fund where they are
 8   allocated. The financial analysis was conducted focusing first, on CATIE’s structure of
 9   revenues and, second, on the institution’s financial organizational structure. Special
10   attention is given in this section to: (1) the definition of permanent sources of income and
11   to the magnitude of fixed costs; (2) the ability of the institution to cover its basic activity
12   costs with its permanent sources of revenue; (3) the performance and magnitude of the
13   gaps of different areas of activities and programs; (4) the implicit and explicit subsidies
14   received by activities and programs from internal activities; and, (5) the sources of
15   funding from external sources and programs to maintain operations.

 1   CATIE’s Revenue, Cost and Overhead Structure
 3   Table 7.6 shows that since 2002 CATIE’s core revenues have declined, falling from
 4   about US$ 5 million dollars that year, to less than US$ 4 million in 2006. This reduction
 5   of total revenues is mainly the result of the loss of direct income from training activities
 6   and from specific donations and contributions. The institution has managed however to
 7   reverse a similar trend from the contribution received from its productive activities
 8   (farms) and the management of goods and services. In addition, the institution was able
 9   to find alternative sources of income from projects, as these sources of funds increased
10   its contribution to total revenues from 62% to 72 % in the 2002-2006 period, (increasing
11   from US$ 10.5 in 2002 to US$ 13.5 million in 2006).
     Table 7.6: CATIE´s Structure of Revenues by Program
     (end of the year, thousand US$)

                                                  2,002            2,003        2,004        2,005        2,006

     Basic Activities Fund                    4,999,126         4,412,923    4,160,553    3,998,159    3,850,844
     Productive Activities Funds              1,358,941         1,353,165    1,238,306    1,365,272    1,388,162
     Agreements                               7,680,559         7,920,025    7,643,444    8,660,980    9,001,250
     Funds in Custody                         2,829,026         2,981,049    3,116,519    4,025,124    4,335,011
       Total Funds (U.S. Dollars)            16,867,652        16,667,162   16,158,822   18,049,535   18,575,266

     % Composition
     Basic Activities Fund                        29.6%            26.5%        25.7%        22.2%        20.7%
     Productive Activities Funds                   8.1%             8.1%         7.7%         7.6%         7.5%
     Agreements                                   45.5%            47.5%        47.3%        48.0%        48.5%
     Funds in Custody                             16.8%            17.9%        19.3%        22.3%        23.3%
       Total Funds (U.S. Dollars)                100.0%           100.0%       100.0%       100.0%       100.0%

     % Rates of Change
     Basic Activities Fund                                        -11.7%        -5.7%        -3.9%        -3.7%
     Productive Activities Funds                                   -0.4%        -8.5%        10.3%         1.7%
     Agreements                                                     3.1%        -3.5%        13.3%         3.9%
     Funds in Custody                                               5.4%         4.5%        29.2%         7.7%
       Total Funds (U.S. Dollars)                                  -1.2%        -3.0%        11.7%         2.9%

14   Source: External Audit Report and Preliminary Data 2006
18   And as shown in Table 7.7 CATIE was also been able to reduce is basic activities costs
19   from US$ 5 million in 2002, to about US$ 4.1 million in 2006. This is the result of more
20   effective controls, but also from favourable prices of farm products, leading to an
21   increase in the contribution of these activities to total revenues. A different result is
22   derived from the consolidated analysis of the management of Agreements and Funds in
23   custody. Despite the fact that the institution has successfully engaged in new research
24   and project administration, the contribution of these activities has fallen from more than
25   6% of total income in 2006, to less than 3% and nearly 1% in the same areas in 2006.
26   However, these figures are biased due to the fact that agreements and projects carry an
27   implicit subsidy to the core activities of the institution.

     TABLE 7.7: CATIE´s Revenues, Costs and Overhead
     (end of year, thousands of US$)

                                                      2,002           2,003        2,004        2,005         2,006

     Total Revenues
     Basic Activities Fund                         4,999,126     4,412,923     4,160,553    3,998,159     3,850,844
     Productive Activities Funds                   1,358,941     1,353,165     1,238,306    1,365,272     1,388,162
     Agreements                                    7,680,559     7,920,025     7,643,444    8,660,980     9,001,250
     Funds in Custody                              2,829,026     2,981,049     3,116,519    4,025,124     4,335,011
       Total Funds (U.S. Dollars)                 16,867,652    16,667,162    16,158,822   18,049,535    18,575,266

     Total Cost Before Overhead Contribution
     Basic Activities Fund                    5,123,194          4,330,679     4,295,042     3,994,819    4,091,026
     Productive Activities Funds              1,110,580          1,038,869       941,796     1,044,112      932,239
     Agreements                               7,237,693          7,616,079     7,433,430    8,421,943     8,765,647
     Funds in Custody                         2,829,026          2,917,660     3,014,495    3,920,036     4,286,103
       Total Funds (U.S. Dollars)            16,300,493         15,903,287    15,684,763   17,380,910    18,075,014

     Net result prior to overhead contributions
     Basic Activities Fund                          -124,068         82,244     -134,489        3,340      -240,182
     Productive Activities Funds                     248,361        314,296      296,510      321,160       455,923
     Agreements                                      442,866        303,946      210,014      239,037       235,604
     Funds in Custody                                      0         63,389      102,024      105,088        48,908
       Total Funds (U.S. Dollars)                    567,159        763,875      474,059      668,625       500,253

     Surplus/Deficit ratios, Overhead
     Basic Activities Fund                            -2.4%           1.9%        -3.1%          0.1%        -5.9%
     Productive Activities Funds                      22.4%          30.3%        31.5%         30.8%        48.9%
     Agreements                                        6.1%           4.0%         2.8%          2.8%         2.7%
     Funds in Custody                                  0.0%           2.2%         3.4%          2.7%         1.1%
       Surplus % cost                                  3.5%           4.8%         3.0%          3.8%         2.8%

 1   Source: External Audit Reports and Preliminary Data 2006
 5   Financial Stability, Variable Income and Variable Costs:
 8   A general classification of revenues and costs based upon their stability is presented in
 9   Tables 7.8 and 7.9. As can be observed, the institution’s more stable/permanent sources
10   of revenue have declined significantly in recent years, falling from 25% to 20 % of total
11   income between 2002 and 2006. In contrast, during the same period, the fixed costs of
12   the institution increased from 37% to 41%. The resulting and increasing gap between
13   permanent sources of income and fixed costs reveals the vulnerability of CATIE’s
14   finances, and its increasing vulnerability to changes in its main sources of income and
15   cost, which may compromise the institution’s long-term sustainability.

     Table 7.8: CATIE´s Permanent and Variable Revenues
     (end of the year, thousands of US$)

                                                  2,002        2,003        2,004        2,005        2,005
     Basic (Permanent) Income                 4,244,062    3,732,473    3,460,938    3,817,777    3,758,499
     IICA and member countries quotas         1,650,000    1,700,000    1,700,000    1,700,247    1,700,000
     Training activities                        718,886      310,366      273,454      252,467      260,540
     Administrative and logistical support      516,235      368,942      249,178      499,791      409,797
     Management of goods and services           799,249      741,959      661,657      731,607      718,665
     Productive activities                      559,692      611,206      576,649      633,665      669,497
       % total income                           25%          22%          21%          21%          20%

     Variable Income                         12,623,590   12,934,689   12,697,884   14,231,758   14,816,767
     Technical support services                 228,045      206,341      209,043      194,114      175,460
     Funds released from restrictions        10,509,585   10,901,074   10,759,963   12,686,104   13,336,261
     Miscellaneous                               54,220       13,593      184,687       63,128       11,126
     Specific donations and contributions     1,831,740    1,813,681    1,544,191    1,288,412    1,293,921
                                                75%          78%          79%          79%          79%

 1   Source: External Audit Reports and Preliminary Data 2006
     TABLE 7.9: CATIE´s Fixed and Variable Costs
     (end of the year, thousands of US$)

                                                 2,002         2,003       2,004        2,005        2,006

     Fixed Costs                              6,216,120    5,994,987    6,546,659    7,389,003    7,294,658
     Personnel                                3,876,909    4,024,112    3,928,027    4,343,017    4,562,651
     Building maintenance                       530,836      590,853      465,099      593,479       475,097
     General expenses                         1,270,580      931,866    1,520,736    1,903,667    1,758,769
     Investments (in assets)                    537,795      448,156      632,797      548,840       498,140
       % of total costs                           37.1%        36.9%        40.9%        41.7%         39.6%

     Variable Costs                       10,527,239   10,272,635   9,450,142       10,336,032   11,124,481
                                           4,934,248     5,121,597  4,999,306        5,527,476    5,807,011
     Travel and per-diem                     873,509       942,293     939,505       1,104,382    1,156,753
     Communications and printing             792,921       722,960     703,078         685,972      613,298
     Training and scholarships             2,270,831     1,868,607  1,386,634        1,455,518    2,193,897
     Supplies and costs                    1,212,864     1,070,386     922,721       1,140,243    1,009,397
     Overhead costs                          442,866       367,335     312,038         344,125      344,125
     Doubtful accounts                            -        179,457     186,860          78,316           -
     Source: External Audit Reports and Preliminary Data 2006
 4   Personnel form agreements and funds in custidy considered as variable
 7   General Recommendations to Strengthen the Institution’s Financial Condition:
 9   CATIE has experience significant changes in the nature of its revenues and the nature of
10   its cost. The Institution has demonstrated its ability to deal with this and has
11   compensated the decline in its core resources with greater contributions generated from
12   projects. However, CATIE’s finances remain fragile, so in order to enhance the financial
13   condition and ensure viability the institution needs to continue its efforts to:
15   •   Secure permanent sources of income, such as the ones associated with quotas and
16       training activities (new Covenants by Member Countries / take advantage of CAFTA,
17       etc).

 1   •   Increase contributions and donations focusing on long-term sources to fund the core
 2       budget, focusing fund-raising and contributions to increase the Endowment, Finance
 3       permanent Academic Chairs (The Melinda Gates Foundation Women Progress) and
 4       Research Project.
 5   •   Find donors to finance the renovation of the institution’s infrastructure (The Schmidt
 6       Heiny Building)
 7   •   Search for permanent Sponsor’s to maintain and fund CATIE’s Library and
 8       Collections.
 9   •   Establish specific policies to determine overhead and ease restrictions in the
10       temporary management of Funds in Custody and Agreements.
11   •   Maintain cost controls but focus on the effectiveness of budget planning and
12       compliance.
13   •   Introduce Activity Base Costing as policy tools to define manageable gaps,
14       determine internal subsidies, to determine external funding needs.
15   •   Strengthen the role of Finance Advisory of the Board in defining a more specific
16       financial strategy and ensure its implementation.
20   CATIE’s Programs and Sustainability:
22   Although the CATIE should aim for overall sustainability, it has to keep in mind that, for
23   some programs or areas of activity, the institutional value or the magnitudes of its
24   contribution to the countries and communities CATIE services go beyond the financial
25   revenues they generate. For those programs and areas, the Institution has to determine
26   what should be the manageable gaps, the magnitude of subsidies and sources of
27   funding needed to maintain its operation. In order to do so, the understanding of the
28   revenue, cost and net result of its different programs and areas of activity is fundamental.
29   This would allow the Institution to determine a financial strategy that would not only
30   reconcile its core areas of strength with its objectives and mandates, but to identify
31   strategic areas for future development while consider the possible divestments in others.
33   The evaluation in this section used as a reference the existing organizational structure of
34   CATIE, as presented in Figure. 4. The evaluation will then proceed using four building
35   blocks: (1) CATIE’s Core (Governance, Direction, Administrative and Support Services);
36   (2) Education (Graduate Programs, Library and Training); (3) Regional Outreach and
37   Planning; (4) Agriculture and Agroforestry and Natural Reserves and Environment. The
38   emphasis will be placed on the ability of the Institution to cover the basic expenses
39   associated with its Governing Bodies, The Director General, Administration and
40   Finances and Support Offices from its basic sources of income, while at the same time
41   to identify the ability to generate surpluses or funding needs of its Departments and
42   Programs.

                            Figure 4: CATIE´s Organizational Structure


             Administration                                                 Support
             And Finances                     Director                      Offices

                                                              Regional Outreach
                                                                And Planning

                      Agriculture and                      Natural Resources
                       Agroforestry                        And Environment

                       Thematic Interdisciplinary Groups and Projects
 4   Since the institution has been successful in closing financial gaps with the contributions
 5   generated by agreements and projects, this section of the analysis will focus on the
 6   current condition of the Department of Education, the Administration of Goods and
 7   Services, and the performance of the Farms.


 9   The Graduate School
11   The evaluation focuses on the ability of the institution to cover direct and indirect costs in
12   the provision of Educational and Training Programs. The analysis proceeded with the
13   allocation of direct sources of revenue and expense to the Graduate School and Short-
14   term Training Programs. It also considers the real cost of providing services, by
15   including both the direct and indirect (project sponsored) cost of faculty.
17   The actual tuition cost for the Master’s Program ascends to approximately US$ 16,000.
18   This does not include the costs for lodging, food, and other basic student needs. Prior to
19   2001, most Tuition costs were covered by full scholarships. However, a significant
20   change was introduced in 2001, as funding of students moved from full tuition coverage
21   for students, to a mix of partial scholarships and student loans.
23   Loans are granted with funds from a Trust of the Fundatrópicos Foundation, but loan
24   recoveries do not become part of CATIE’s unrestricted revenues, as they are transferred
25   back to the trust and converted in either additional loans or scholarships. As a result,
26   CATIE’s revenues from academic and training programs fell dramatically.
28   Expenses associated with the Graduate School include: (1) direct charges associated
29   with the Academic Direction and administration of the Graduate School and Programs;

 1   (2) the costs of support services provided by the Library and the Biometrics Laboratory;
 2   (3) the direct faculty costs of the Natural Resources and Environment and of the
 3   Agriculture and Agroforestry Departments; and, (4) the hidden cost of project-sponsored
 4   Faculty time.
 6   Table 7.10 that presents the cost structure of direct cost associated to the Graduate
 7   School. As can be observed, the direct costs of graduate education programs surpass
 8   US$ 1 million. Most of these costs are associated with the Academic Direction and
 9   administration of the Graduate School and the support services provided by the Library
10   and the Biometrics Laboratory, which account for 63% of the Graduate School costs.
11   Direct faculty expenses amount to 25 % of total expenses, while 11 % of the costs are
12   actually subsidized by the project sponsored faculty time.
     Table 7.10: CATIE´s 2006 Graduate and Training Programs
     Expenses associated with Master´s and Ph.D. Programs

                                             Direction ,   Library and                                Sponsored
                                           Administration Biometry Lab   NRE Faculty    AAF Faculty    Faculty      Total
     Direct Expenses
     Personnel Salaries                          217,733       166,174        178,669        94,619       126,194    783,390
     Travel and PerDiem                           20,890         1,218              0             0             0     22,108
     Communications                               14,450        45,159              0             0             0     59,609
     Maintenance                                   7,966         2,185              0             0             0     10,151
     General Expenses                             26,505        25,154              0             0             0     51,660
     Training and Scholarships                       230             0              0             0             0        230
     Investments                                   3,007           143              0             0             0      3,150
     Supplies and Costs                           11,597             0              0             0             0     11,597

      Overhead                                    84,645        61,282              0             0             0     145,928
                   Total Direct Expenses         387,023       301,316        178,669        94,619       126,194   1,087,822
                 % distribution                   35.6%         27.7%          16.4%          8.7%         11.6%

15   Source: Preliminary 2006 Balance and Income Statement
19   On the other hand, the current revenues of Graduate School and Training Programs
20   include direct Tuition and other fees and the net income generated by short-term
21   seminars. As indicated before, direct revenues from Tuition and Fees have decline
22   significantly, as the inter-temporal loss of direct income can be established similar to the
23   amount of loans granted, which in 2006 amounted to approximately US $170,000. In
24   addition, although CATIE provides services equivalent to US$ 384,000 in scholarships
25   granted, faculty and other services, funded from agreements. However, as can be
26   observed in Table 7.11, once the cost of administration of the Training Department is
27   added, it is clear that these services at provided below its real costs.

               Table 7.11: CATIE´s Short-term Seminars and Training Programs
              (end of year, thousand of dollars)
              Direct Income                                          Budget    Efective
               Training sponsored by Funds in Custody               323,391    358,983
               Short-term seminar direct income                      25,000     25,000
                        Total Direct Income                         348,391    383,983

              Total Expenses
              Personnel Salaries                                    66,992       64,814
              Travel and PerDiem                                         0        9,074
               Communications                                            0        7,057
               Maintenance                                               0        3,858
               General Expenses                                          0       39,648
               Training and Scholarships                                 0      244,105
               Investments                                               0       21,667
               Supplies and Costs                                        0        2,500
               Overhead                                            281,988          923
                  Total Seminar and Training Programs             348,980      393,647

              Net Direct Balance Short-Term Training                  -589       -9,664
 1            Source: Preliminary Financial Reports 2006
 5   Table 7.12 presents the net financial position of the Graduate School and Training
 6   Programs. The data is evaluated from two different perspectives. First the analysis is
 7   conducted from an accounting perspective, where the direct cost of faculty and the fixed
 8   costs of running the Biometrics Laboratory and the Library are imputed to the
 9   Department of Education. And second, it is recognized that some of the services of the
10   Library and the Biometrics Laboratory are rendered to the personnel and associates that
11   participate in the Agreements and the management of Funds in Custody (approximately
12   56 % of total personnel expenditures). In addition, some of the needs of the Graduate
13   School and Training Seminars are furnished by personnel and faculty from these
14   programs, in a “project-sponsored” implicit cost.
16   Table 7.12. shows that even if all the net revenues of the Administration of Goods and
17   Services can be linked and attributed to support services for these activities, the
18   Department of Education runs an estimated deficit that ranges from US 358.000 to
19   US$ 401.000 when using the adjusted or the accounting perspective. Part of the deficit
20   is the result of the loss of scholarships previously generated by agreements, while some
21   of it is the result of the deferral of income that can be attributed to the use of student
22   loans. Nevertheless, it is clear that CATIE, as other Academic Institutions provide and
23   explicit and significant subsidy to graduate education and training in the region, the value
24   of which can not be measure if only the direct revenues and impact is measured at the
25   level of the institution’s income.

            Table 7.12: CATIE´s 2006 Graduate and Training Programs
            (budgeted and Current revenues and expenses)
                                                               Accounting Adjusted

            Graduate School Revenues
             Total Tuition Charges                                 345,534         345,534
               - Loans Granted                                     170,865         170,865
             Net Tuition Master´s Program                          174,669         174,669
              Exams                                                  8,100           8,100
             Fees                                                      744             744
             Tuition Doctoral Program´s                             52,027          52,027
             Total Direct Income Graduate Programs                 235,539         235,539

             Net Contribution of Training Programs                   -9,664          -9,664
             Net Income Graduate and Training Programs              225,875         225,875

            Graduate School Costs
             Direction and Administration                           387,023        387,023
             Library and Biometrics Laboratory                      301,316        132,579
             Direct Faculty NRE                                     178,669         178,669
             Direct Faculty AAF                                      94,619          94,619
             Project Sponsored Faculty                                              126,194
                                                                    961,628         919,085

             Net Result Graduate and Training Programs             -735,753        -693,210

             Net result Administration G&S                          334,734         334,734

             Net Implicit Result Graduate Programs                  -401,019        -358,476
            Source: Preliminary Financial Reports 2006
 1          Adjusted: project sponsored cost of faculty, use of Library and Biometrics Lab
 4   In order to improve the institution´s finances and to reduce the gap generated by
 5   Academic Programs, CATIE should consider continue its efforts to:
 7           Fund some of the Faculty position with endowed Chairs.
 8           Focus on finding more sources of funds for full scholarships.
 9           Define what would be a target/ manageable gap in department of education to be
10            financed by the Core Budget.
11           Try to increase in the enrolment of the program to reduce the gap of the
12            Graduate School.
13           Define a higher contribution target from short-term seminars and other training
14            activities.

 2   Student Loans:
 4   As previously indicated, loans are granted with funds from a Trust of the Fundatropicos
 5   Foundation. Students receive up to 50 % of Tuition and Fees costs as loans, with a one
 6   year grace period and interest 7%. The grace period and long duration generate a
 7   short-term cash flow problem for the institution. In addition, there is a loss of value in the
 8   loan portfolio due to relatively high delinquency rates, as for 3006, loan recoveries for
 9   2006 reflected an 11.7 % delinquency rate, as can be observed in Table 7.13.
11   In order to ensure the integrity and growth of the Fund, CATIE has introduced an explicit
12   financial charge (interest rate) to cover for the administration of the loans to cover
13   additional expenses that may derive from direct efforts to collect loans, and for the
14   potential losses that derive from unrecoverable loans. In addition to these measures,
15   the institution could explore the possibility to:
17         Transfer the administration of student loans to a financial institution, while
18          maintaining a small overhead as contribution to the Graduate School.
19         Find Financial Institutions which will be willing to directly finance student loans,
20          so that the funds from the Tropics Foundation could be distributed in scholarships
21          to a large number of potential students.
22         Reduce the short-term impact of long-term student loans, reduce the percentage
23          of tuition that is covered by loans.
             CATIE´s 2006 Graduate and Training Programs
            Table 7.13: CATIE´s Student Loan Portfolio 2006
             Cash flows associated with Student Loans 2006
                                                                     Budget       Effective
             Loan Recoveries                                          100,000        88,252

             New Loans Granted                                        100,000       170,865

             Net Balance                                                   0        -82,613

             Delinquency rate                                                        11.7%
27   Administration of Goods and Services and Productive Activities:
29   CATIE also undertakes the operation and maintenance of goods and services within the
30   institution’s premises. As can be observed in Table 7.14, these activities related to
31   transportation, lodging, reproduction and other services contribute significantly to the
32   institution’s finances. However, during 2006 the budgeted surplus was not attained as
33   the institution proceeded to increase its investments in the premises. The results are
34   similar in terms of the productive activities, as investment in inputs and improvements of
35   the farms will require in the future for additional maintenance and renovation
36   expenditures. This indicates that as long as these activities are productive:
38         The institution has to be very conservative when anticipating the contribution of
39          these activities to its revenues;

1         The institution should consider the possibility of outsourcing these services and
2          lease the farms, in exchange for a specific net contribution, as this has been
3          unsuccessfully attempted in the past.
                  Table 7.14: CATIE´s Administration of Goods and Services
                  (end of year, thousands of US$)
                                                         Budget      Effective
                  Direct Income
                  Telephone services                           0          -180
                  Transport services                     156,000      168,825
                  Lodging                                464,496      515,381
                  Printing and photocopies                 3,000         4,405
                  Laundry                                 22,000        30,234
                                                         645,496      718,844

                  Transport services                         56,906         129,489
                  Loadging                                  135,426         230,250
                  Printing anfd photocopies                       0           3,000
                  Laundry                                    12,566          21,196
                  Utilities                                       0             175
                                                            204,898         384,110

                  Financial result                          440,598         334,734

5                 Source: Preliminary Financial Report 2006
7                              Productive Activities of the Farms
    Table 7.15: CATIE´s Productive Activites 2006
    (in US$ dollars)
                                                                   Budget          Effective
    Operating Income
    Coffee                                                        171,051               95,647
    Sugar Cane                                                    232,785              275,845
    Forestry                                                      100,971               69,951
    Livestock and Dairy                                           186,517              227,911
    Organic Coffee                                                      0                    0
      Total Operating Income                                      691,324              669,354

    Operating Expenses
    Coffee                                                         60,013              123,790
    Sugar Cane                                                     78,860              192,393
    Forestry                                                       46,058               59,528
    Livestock and Dairy                                            62,647              172,418
    Organic Coffee                                                      0                    0
      Total Operating Expenses                                    247,578              548,129

    Operating reserve                                             430,212                    0
     Contribution                                                  13,534              121,225

8   Source: constructed by the author based upon 2006 preliminary financial results.

 1   Organization and Administration:
 3   CATIE has undergone significant organizational changes in recent years. These
 4   changes were not only the institutional response to a changing environment and
 5   member countries needs, but also a way to face the decline in its traditional sources of
 6   funding. The decline in contributions and specific donations led first to the consolidation
 7   of the Director General and Deputy Director General’s offices. In addition, CATIE has
 8   transitioned from a “vertical” organization, with a high degree of centralization of strategic
 9   and administrative powers and responsibilities at the Director General’s Office, to a more
10   participative, “horizontal” organization with the delegation of funding, budgeting and
11   administrative and decision making responsibilities to the Thematic Groups.
13   The transition towards a more horizontal and participative organization and delegation of
14   responsibilities may have favoured the consolidation of the Director and Deputy
15   Director’s offices. However, the current challenges faced by the organization may require
16   strengthening some of the centralised functions under the Director General’s office. In
17   particular, CATIE needs a greater central capacity to deal with fund raising and relations
18   with the public, government partners and donors.
20   The delegation of fund raising for projects to the thematic groups should be maintained,
21   as it has proved highly successful and is fundamental to ensure the institutions
22   sustainability. Nevertheless, as departments and thematic groups have undertaken
23   these responsibilities, they appear to have become more independent, posing a potential
24   risk of fragmentation of the organization and isolation within the institution. The fragile
25   condition of the organization tied to this increasing fragmentation could lead to CATIE
26   engaging in projects that are not aligned with its mandate, strategy and long-term
27   objectives.
29   In addition the delegation of administrative functions to departments and thematic
30   groups has introduced additional managerial demands that burden professional staff and
31   lead to higher operational costs. In particular, these responsibilities have led to the
32   introduction of Administrative Officers located in and accountable to each department.
33   These intermediate staff may cause duplication, inefficiencies and excessive controls.
34   CATIE should rather be seeking economies of scale and reducing costs.
36   Finally, CATIE is in the process of introducing a new managerial system. This will
37   generate uniform reports for consolidated activities, as well as reports by product,
38   department and country. In addition, it will facilitate the monitoring of activities through
39   progress reports, their linkages to the specific goals of the strategic plan, and the
40   implication for the annual operating plan. This initiative is an excellent complement to the
41   eventual consolidation of administrative tasks.
43   The Panel recommends CATIE and its member governments and donors to:
45   •   Strengthen the central capacity to deal with the public, donors and governments.
46   •   Maintain the delegation of budgeting and funds-raising to the two departments and
47       thematic groups whilst improving central oversight to ensure that the activities
48       undertaken are consistent with the mandate, strategy and long-term goals of the
49       organization.

 1   •   Administrative functions should be centralized, as economies of scale, efficiency and
 2       coordination will lower fixed costs. The management of technical and academic
 3       matters should still be the responsibility of department heads and thematic groups.
 4       CATIE should continue funding part of these activities with its core budget.

 7   Human Resources Management
 9   CATIE’s personnel can be classified in two different categories, depending on the
10   services they provide or tasks they undertake. The first category is composed of
11   academic personnel.Within this category CATIE has international professional personnel
12   (IPP), national professional personnel (NPP), and associates. While the first two types
13   of employees can teach in graduate programs, conduct research and provide technical
14   and management services to projects, associates participate mainly in the latter activities.
15   The second category is composed by administrative personnel (PAs) who provide
16   support services to the institution, and, by operations personnel (POs), who are directly
17   related to the productive activities of the farms.
19   Budget distribution and sources of funds
21   As can be observed in Table 12 of the Annex, during 2006 about 57 % of the institution’s
22   income goes to cover total personnel expenses. Out of this, 72 % is related to direct
23   wage expenses, while the remaining 28 % is associated with social charges and other
24   contributions, mainly of Costa Rican employees. Expenses associated with academic,
25   research and project staff consumes about 67% of total direct wage expenses. Forty
26   three percent of these expenses are covered from the core budget and administration of
27   goods and services of the institution, while the rest of funds are generated by projects.
28   As indicated in a previous section, academic activities are in deficit and receive an
29   internal subsidy equivalent to 18 % of total cost from the funds generated by projects.
31   In contrast the administrative and operative costs represent 33% of total direct personnel
32   expenses. Out of this, 55% are related to the core activities and the administration of
33   goods and services of the institution, while this imputed or directly related to agreements
34   and project management. Given that some duplication appears to exist in terms of
35   monitoring, accounting and management responsibilities and tasks, potential savings
36   could be generated if the institution consolidates some of the administrative functions.

     TABLE 12
     Personnel Expenses by Category 2006
     (us dollars)
                                                                                  F1             F2         F3           F6           F8
                                                                                 Core        Agreements    Other     Management     Funds in
                                             #        Bugdet       % / total    Budget                               Goods & Serv   Custody

     Direct Salary expenses
     Academic / Research                                  48.6%                     65.4%         77.3%      0.0%          11.0%        66.4%
     International                          21         1,725,245       23.1%       653,466       827,304        0               0      244,475
     Associate                              23           328,400        4.4%        67,158       193,172        0               0       68,070
     National                               103        2,984,250       39.9%     1,150,575     1,211,154        0          40,951      581,570

     Administration / Operations                          23.5%                     34.6%         22.7%    100.0%          89.0%        33.6%
     Administrative                         253        2,098,753       28.1%       892,667       623,284     5,634        193,329      383,839
     Operations                             73           336,123        4.5%        96,583        31,923         0        138,406       69,211
     Total Direct Expense                   473        7,472,771      100.0%     2,860,449     2,886,837     5,634        372,686    1,347,165

      Other indirect and contributions                 2,896,891

     Total Personnel Expenses                         10,369,662
     Total Income                                     18,159,106
      % Direct Exp / Total Income                         41.2%
      % Personnel Exp / Total Income                      57.1%

     Budget Distribution / Total Budget                                             38.3%         38.6%      0.1%           5.0%        18.0%

     Distribution / Origin of Funds                                     From      Core    Agreements       Other         AGS        Custody
     Academic/Research                                                100.0%        37.1%      44.3%          0.0%          0.8%        17.7%
     Administration/Operations                                        100.0%        40.6%      26.9%          0.2%         13.6%        18.6%

 1   Source: Built by author based upon information provided by the Human Resources Department of CATIE

 5   Compensation and Job Stability
 7   The institution attempts to maintain competitive compensation and incentives scheme to
 8   attract and maintain world class staff. The salary of new and current staff is negotiated
 9   following a set of criteria and categories that are part of the internal policies, regimes and
10   codes of the institution, which gives significant value to the background, training,
11   experience and potential contribution of the individual to the organization. However, the
12   terms of association with the institution and the level of salary may vary ex-post,
13   depending not only on the availability of funds in the institution, but also on the academic,
14   research and project management performance of the individual. Such a regime may
15   lead to a high degree of uncertainty and perceived job instability, which may compromise
16   the ability of the institution to retain key personnel.
18   In addition, there are some differences in compensation and benefits between
19   international and national professional staff. Although international staff do not
20   necessarily receive higher direct income, they are eligible for expatriate allowances and
21   tax exceptions on imports, rent and purchases that significantly add to their total
22   package. They also participate in a retirement fund, which they receive at the time of
23   termination of their contracts, and in a Medical and Life Insurance Plan.
25   In contrast, equally qualified national personnel are subject to rent and sales taxes,
26   which reduces their direct income, and, are not eligible for additional allowances.
27   However, they receive the indirect benefits associated with their participation in the
28   national Social Security System and Permanent Retirement Plan and a Complementary
29   regime, which represent a contribution in social charges that add up to 43 % of CATIE’s

 1   personnel expenses. As these contributions do not generate immediate direct benefits to
 2   the employee, CATIE has awarded bonuses to cover tax payments and provided on-
 3   campus lodging to some of its staff, as a way to retain key personnel, or to reward
 4   exceptional contributions to the organization. This practice could be perceived as
 5   subjective or leading to inequality, which undermines the spirit of personnel or the sense
 6   of belonging to the institution.
 8   Workloads and incentives
10   CATIE’s professionals engage in different activities. While some are more associated
11   with the Graduate Programs, some are more directly related to research and project
12   management. Although workloads are clearly assigned to each individual, the sources
13   of funds to cover their salaries are not guaranteed, nor clearly identified. As indicated in
14   a previous section, most of the financing of direct personnel expenses come from
15   agreements and projects. However, the institution’s needs require some bias or
16   compromise with academic activities. The effort associated with teaching duties; with
17   relatively secured funding appear less demanding than the ones associated with the
18   search for funds and administration of agreements and projects. A sense of inadequate
19   compensation or time allocation appears to be generating conflicts within the institution.
21   In order to resolve this issue, CATIE should consider the need to properly account for
22   the time and effort required in the different activities performed by its personnel (teaching,
23   research, administration, project management, etc). This could be achieved if the
24   institution defines specific equivalents to different tasks. One course of teaching could be
25   used as a reference unit, assigning 0.75 for administrative and support services, 1.25 for
26   the time allocated towards the identification of potential projects, development of
27   proposals and success in securing funds. A maximum workload should be defined for
28   any individual. CATIE should introduce variable salary contracts, where it would
29   purchase time or units from the individuals, depending on its needs or availability of
30   funds. Such schemes maintain the incentive for individuals to search for projects that
31   may generate demand for its services, but in addition, it can release some time for
32   individuals that they can allocate to direct private consulting activities.
34   Teaching and administrative services, being essential for CATIE to accomplish its
35   mandate, should be funded with the institutions unrestricted sources of funds. Project
36   development and management has become and will continue to be the institution’s main
37   source of funds. Thus, the success in securing this type of funding, and responsibilities
38   associated with its successful management should be rewarded. So in addition to
39   allocating the adequate amount of time, a bonus (higher rate) could be associated with
40   this activity.
42   CATIE should conduct a revision on the policies, processes procedures related to
43   harmonize the regime and properly balance competitive uniform compensation, job
44   stability, balanced workloads, and incentives. In order to do so, the institution should:
45   • Attempt to reduce the gap in compensation and incentives of the contractual regimes
46       of international and national professional staff, specifically with the generalization of
47       tax bonuses to national staff.
48   • Introduce a time-accounting system for each type of activity, and use this to balance
49       workloads and ease the burden and tension of professional staff.
50   • Consider the introduction of incentives for those who are successful at raising funds
51       for and implementing projects.

 1   •   Match sources of funds with type of activities undertakes: funds from the Core
 2       budget should be directed toward academic, research and administration, while
 3       project funds should be allocated to research, consulting and project management.
 5   Gender issues:
 7   CATIE has revised and improved its policies on gender issues since the last evaluation.
 8   CATIE’s R&D activities now address gender issues well and some excellent examples of
 9   field activities favouring rural women’s groups were observed. However CATIE has not
10   gone far enough in implementing its own internal gender policies and the number of
11   women in senior management positions is still too low.

16   In the five years that have elapsed since the last external review CATIE has confronted
17   significant challenges, most notably the rapid decline in core financial support to the
18   institution. The evaluation panel considers that CATIE has come through this period well.
19   Inevitably it has lost some of its ability to “set its own agenda” and has been forced to be
20   opportunistic and to respond to donor needs. However it has retained its cadre of highly
21   motivated and excellent personnel has maintained all key functions and has taken
22   valuable initiatives in engaging with a number of emerging regional R&D needs. The
23   Graduate school has flourished. CATIE has emerged from this period of five years
24   strengthened and the panel commends senior management for its performance during
25   this period.
27   The combination of research, higher education, links to farmers and policy makers and
28   the combination of cutting edge science and grass-roots realism make CATIE unique in
29   the developing world. CATIE has retained and enhanced these strengths since the last
30   evaluation. CATIE is alone in combining the capacities, networks and facilities that are
31   desperately needed in the region to address the inter-linked problems of enabling
32   innovation and growth in the rural sector whilst conserving the natural resource base
33   upon which the livelihoods of the rural poor depend. The need for CATIE is greater than
34   it has ever been – if CATIE did not exist then the region would have to create it. Even
35   taking into account some weaknesses and gaps in CATIE’s portfolio of activities, CATIE
36   remains the best investment bar none for those wishing to support the broad sustainable
37   rural development needs of the region. However, CATIE needs to be stronger in
38   communicating its undoubted strengths to its constituents in the region and in external
39   funding organizations.
41   A number of strategic issues with which CATIE has been struggling in recent years still
42   require attention:
44      CATIE has a great story to tell. It is an invaluable asset in Tropical America
45       providing important and unique services. CATIE has survived and thrived,
46       making valuable contributions because it has been consistently responsive to
47       constantly evolving regional needs. However, and despite some important progress
48       in recent years, its financial base continues to be vulnerable. Long term financial well
49       being is the single most important issue facing CATIE. All other issues – the quality

 1       and impact of technical, educational and scientific programs - are inseparable from
 2       that of financing. Not facing the financial reality of the Center squarely and
 3       aggressively would be irresponsible.
 4      The fundraising priorities are:
 5             -Increased annual giving, especially for scholarships, renovation of facilities and
 6             other recurring costs and one-time improvements,
 7            -The development of new permanent sources of revenue, especially endowments.
 8             The current model of endowed chairs is the most desirable, but other options
 9             have to be pursued including the development of new endowments located
10             outside of Costa Rica (or in Costa Rica but oriented to specific countries) to
11             finance in perpetuity outreach and educational activities.
12      The current communications and friend and fund raising activities, although
13       improved and strengthened in recent years, are fragmented and under dimensioned.
14       They may be inappropriately focused. They do not effectively transmit to either
15       internal or external stakeholders what CATIE’s contributions are and will be.
16      The Institutional Mission and Vision are correct in a technical sense but come
17       over as mild, non-specific, uninspiring and conceptually limited; they understate
18       CATIE’s current and anticipated activities, and they do not describe well its character.
19       Therefore, the communications and friend and fund raising activities do not meet the
20       institution’s needs and until they do, program quality and impact will be suboptimum.
21       CATIE needs to project a coherent and convincing Compelling Case that would allow
22       it to move forward having integrated concerns on four fronts: program quality,
23       program relevance, external and financial health. These factors cannot be treated
24       separately. The “compelling case” must define and communicate internally and
25       externally what CATIE is and what it does.
26             - The Institutional Mission and Vision must be revised to better align them with
27             CATIE’s current and anticipated activities and character. They must
28             communicate to external audiences what are and what could be CATIE’s unique
29             and indispensable contributions to the region and the world.
30             - Communications have to reflect a persuasive version of CATIE’s strategic
31             orientation and impact, not simply the details of individual programs.
32             - Part of CATIE’s Compelling Case that is implicit in everything that it does, but
33             doesn’t figure prominently in its public declarations is that it is the most important
34             multicultural, multilingual focus in Mesoamerica connecting the “developed
35             world’s” scientific (and potentially its educational) capacities and concerns and
36             Mesoamerican needs and institutions in a productive and conducive setting. This
37             should be the primary selling point of CATIE, the description wherein it sets itself
38             apart from all other actors in the region.
39             - CATIE has led in the region in efforts to improve rural competitiveness and
40             innovation whilst conserving the natural resource base upon which sustainable
41             livelihoods of the rural population depend. CATIE is, and should market itself as
42             The Preeminent Regional Institution Working on Environmental and development.
43             This seems to be an emerging theme that is of utmost importance to donors,
44             governments, societies and scientists. It should be an essential part of CATIE’s
45             Compelling Case.
46      The existing Governance structure in which the Ministers of Agriculture of Member
47       Countries govern the Center reflects a past reality; it is not optimum for either CATIE
48       or the region. CATIE is no longer simply a Center for Tropical Agriculture. The
49       Ministers of Agriculture are essential and legitimate members of the Board, but high
50       ranking representatives of other key constituencies should be included. The private

 1       sector is increasingly important in the region and should contribute to CATIE’s
 2       governance.
 3              - It may be possible to modify the governance system of the Center and make
 4              adjustments so that CATIE’s multiple constituencies and the breadth of its
 5              programs are appropriately represented. The changes must be accomplished
 6              based on a thorough understanding of legal and political realities.
 7      Gene banks and laboratories. The present establishment of gene banks and
 8       laboratories are valuable resources. In the case of the cacao and coffee gene banks
 9       CATIE’s holdings are an extremely valuable global resource. But much of this
10       infrastructure at CATIE was built up when regional priorities were different and the
11       range of other R&D suppliers was more limited. CATIE must aggressively seek
12       resources to maintain those genetic resource collections and laboratories that are
13       still essential to the achievement of its mission but must not be afraid to seek
14       alternative solutions for those that are no longer required. This might include
15       transferring parts of the Germplasm collection to other institutions better able to
16       assure their conservation.
17      CATIE’s Graduate School is the best in the region in its field. But others are
18       beginning to challenge CATIE’s pre-eminence. To remain the leader in this rapidly
19       evolving field CATIE must further expand its academic links to global centers of
20       excellence, find the resources to hire and retain top scientists and teachers and
21       further refine its focus on the type of “integrative science” that has become CATIE’s
22       calling card.
23      Geographic focus. CATIE now has an impressive set of activities outside Meso-
24       America, but CATIE must be cautious in spreading itself too thinly. CATIE must
25       retain a sharp focus on the issues and needs of Meso-America but set this into a
26       broader vision of rural trends in South America and beyond. The ability to recruit
27       graduate students from across the world enriches CATIE but there should be caution
28       in further spreading on-the-ground operational activities.
29      Action research and inter-disciplinarity. CATIE has been an innovator in linking
30       research and development on the ground in farmers’ fields with policy debates and
31       inter-governmental processes. But this has occurred opportunistically and intuitively
32       and CATIE sometimes does not appear to understand just how good it is at this. Not
33       all concerned personnel are equally good at operating in this action research mode
34       and not all are up to speed on conceptual developments in this area elsewhere in the
35       world. CATIE should further strengthen its capacities in this area and should
36       document and communicate them more effectively. This holistic approach to
37       conservation and development problems should be more explicit in all that CATIE
38       does and says.
39      Interdisciplinary R&D. CATIE has a good track record in getting different scientific
40       disciplines to work together. However most senior scientists have a biophysical
41       background. CATIE has not only to have more social scientists but it has to deploy
42       them in leadership and decision making positions. At present most of the social
43       science is brought in to support the work that has been designed by biophysical
44       scientists.
45      Partnerships. Past reviews have been consistent in urging CATIE to engage in
46       more and more partnerships both within the region and beyond. The present panel
47       endorses the need for strategic alliances and partnerships to bring to CATIE
48       strengths that it cannot itself possess. But we also urge some caution. CATIE should
49       enter into partnerships when it is clear that added value will come from the
50       relationship. The joint PhD programmes with industrialized country universities are

 1       excellent examples that bring great added value. Links with regional centers of
 2       excellence such as INCAE also have the potential to enhance CATIE’s impact
 3       potential in the region. However, entering into partnerships with weak regional
 4       institutions could be a drain on CATIE’s core resources that is not affordable at
 5       present.
 6      Language and culture. A large part of CATIE’s strength comes from the ownership
 7       and affection felt by many regional stakeholders. The predominance of Spanish as
 8       the main language used on the campus enhances the regional attractiveness of
 9       CATIE. But science is mainly conducted in and communicated in English and many
10       of CATIE’s graduates will have to compete in a world where the ability to work
11       effectively in English is essential. Spanish should definitely remain the “official
12       working language” of CATIE. But all staff and students must be motivated to greatly
13       increase their ability to communicate, read and publish in English.
14      Organization of thematic programmes. The basic organization of CATIE’s R&D
15       capacity in to two departments and 10 thematic groups is sound. However the
16       thematic groups organized around agro-ecological systems (Pastures, Coffee and
17       Cacao, Forests etc) were felt by the panel to better reflect CATIE’s compelling case.
18       They naturally link resource conservation with increased productivity and innovation.
19       They feed easily into policy discourses and allow value chains to be studied and
20       influenced. They enhance interdisciplinary research and “internalize” environmental
21       issues. The panel recommends that agro-ecological systems should continue to
22       provide the primary organizing framework for R&D at CATIE. The present social
23       science capacity in SEBSA should either be given the resources and leadership
24       needed to develop its own research agenda or its scientists should be redeployed
25       into agro-ecological teams. Agro-ecology concepts and capacity should be
26       mainstreamed throughout the production system TGs.
27      Natural resource governance and indigenous populations. These are two linked
28       areas that are central to CATIE’s mission and comparative advantage but that are
29       not visible in CATIE’s present R&D agenda. Many of the poor resource dependent
30       peoples in the region belong to indigenous groups that suffer from lack of assured
31       rights to land and resources or live in remote areas where agricultural and natural
32       resource based opportunities are limited. R&D on natural resource management and
33       governance to address the needs of this relatively marginalized sector of regional
34       society could yield valuable impacts and should be attractive to a number of potential
35       donors.
36      Centers. Many R&D institutions and universities now favor the establishment of
37       semi-independent Centers located on their campuses, enriching their intellectual life
38       and enhancing their ability to have impact on the achievement of their mission.
39       CECOECO, as its name implies, fits this definition. CECOECO is an exciting
40       innovation at CATIE and is something of a hybrid between the mainstream TGs and
41       other possible organizational models. CATIE might give more thought to the potential
42       of hosting “Centers” that have a higher degree of financial autonomy, are time limited
43       and more oriented to meet specific needs and opportunities.
44      Endowed chairs. CATIE has embarked upon an impressive range of resource
45       mobilization initiatives both within the region and through the TROPICS
46       FOUNDATION. All of these are valuable and merit further investment. However the
47       most credible initiative and the one that is most likely to enhance CATIE’s reputation
48       and impact potential in the short to medium term is that of seeking endowed chairs.
49       The funds required are not so great as to defy belief and donors can identify
50       immediately with the product of their donation. More endowed chairs will probably

1       provide the shortest route to improved science and teaching quality and through that
2       to greater impacts on achieving CATIE’s mission.
3      Gender issues. CATIE has put excellent gender policies in place both in relation to
4       its research and development activities and in terms of its internal human resource
5       management. However the number of women in senior management positions is still
6       low and the evaluation panel hopes that this imbalance will be corrected in the future.

 1   ANNEX

 2   Annex 1: Terms of reference for the evaluation panel
 6   1.1. Background
 8   CATIE has undergone various external evaluations and has received several external
 9   consulting missions during the 2001-2006 period, among which are the following:
10   Analysis of Reorganization Plan for Increased Financial Sustainability, Report to Norad
11   (A.Skaaland, NCG, April 2001), Independent External Evaluation (Lundgren et al., May
12   2001),), Report on Aspects Related to Development and Implementation of a
13   Reorganization Plan for Increased Financial Sustainability, Report to Norad (A.Skaaland,
14   NCG, June 2001), Continued core support to CATIE: Desk Appraisal (Mordt and Borel,
15   March 2003), Follow-up Review to CATIE’s Medium Term Plan (Borel and Iversen, April
16   2005).
18   Previous to that period, many other evaluations were conducted. Within the 1990-2000
19   decade the most important ones were the following: USAID-1990; External Evaluation-
20   1990; Netherlands-1991; Nordics-1993; RENARM-1994; External Evaluation-1996;
21   Sida/Monitoring Missions-1996, 1997,1998; and Sida/Norad-1999, 2000.
23   The 2001 Independent External Evaluation commended CATIE for the significant
24   achievements it made over a period of five years. The Panel ‘was not only impressed by
25   the performance of highly motivated and gifted scientists but also by well functioning
26   research teams’. In relation to education the Panel recommended more flexibility in the
27   design of student’s programs, and more cooperation around M.Sc. programs with
28   national institutions whose specialties complement CATIE’s programs. Consolidation of
29   outreach and its interactions with headquarters was also given high priority. The Panel
30   also commended CATIE for initial efforts to introduce a more participatory management
31   system and recommended to adopt an organizational structure which is simpler, clearer
32   to understand and more efficient. However, it also stressed concern for the decline of
33   donor’s contributions to the core budget, decline in cash held and strained liquidity
34   situation.
36   All of these reports and recommendations were taken into account when CATIE
37   formulated its 2003-2012 Strategic Plan to set forth the agenda for a new decade of
38   research, academic and outreach activities, bearing in mind that the final goal is the
39   improved well-being of society and, in particular, of rural families. Other crucial
40   documents related to the new Strategic Plan are: the Medium Term Plans 2003-2005
41   and 2006-2009; the Gender Plan; the Financial Plan 2006-2009, and two key CATIE
42   position papers: ‘Approach to Rural Poverty Reduction in Tropical America’, and ‘Donor
43   harmonization and support to national development agendas’.
45   It is interesting to note that the final version of the 2006-2009 Medium Term Plan took
46   into consideration the comments given by Dr. Rolain Borel, as a result of a desk
47   appraisal of this document, done under a contract by Sida.

 1   In terms of reporting, CATIE has presented Bi-Annual reports 2001-2002 and 2003-2004
 2   to the IABA (Inter-American Board of Agriculture) to fulfill its contractual obligations
 3   derived from the Costa Rican Law 8028, of October 2000. It has also prepared and
 4   presented Annual Reports to its Board of Directors. The 2004 and 2005 reports have
 5   also been presented to Sida and MFA-Norway to fulfill part of the reporting requirements
 6   related to the untied core support agreements with these two donors. These annual
 7   reports now include an evaluation by indicators and a discussion of how to re-orientate
 8   these evaluations (and implicitly the emphasis of some of the activities) permitting a
 9   more dynamic adjustment of CATIE’s programme.
11   These documents constitute the basis to evaluate the advances, results and impacts
12   that CATIE has made during the 2001-2006 period to accomplish its Mission, which is:
13   "To contribute to rural poverty reduction by promoting competitive and sustainable
14   agriculture and natural resource management through higher education, research and
15   technical cooperation¨.
17   1.2. Justification and procedure
19   CATIE's Board of Directors, in its XXIX Ordinary Meeting, held in CATIE on October,
20   2005, defined the necessity to execute an Independent External Evaluation of the 2001-
21   2006 period. This evaluation, normally performed every five years, provides crucial
22   information to the Board, Council of Ministers and to interested stakeholders to follow up
23   on the Center's Programs and Management vis a vis its strategic position in the Latin
24   American and Caribbean region.
26   This decision took into account that the present Director General will finish his mandate
27   on February 29th, 2008 and hence there is a need to evaluate the Center's performance
28   in the light of the changes made to the institution's management structure since the last
29   External Evaluation, which analyzed the period 1996-2000. For that reason, the Board
30   resolved to ask the Director General to prepare the administrative procedures and to
31   propose a team of high quality professionals for a new external evaluation. This team
32   should consist of representatives from the International/Regional Community, of both
33   sexes, including specialists to cover the four main activities of CATIE: Education,
34   Research, Outreach and Administration/Finances.
36   CATIE's Board will select four professionals from the eight proposed by the Director
37   General to integrate the Independent Evaluating Team (IET). The IET should be hired
38   during the second semester of 2006, and the evaluation should be conducted during the
39   first quarter of 2007.
44   2.1. General
46   To carry out an independent external evaluation of CATIE's achievements regarding
47   higher education, training, research, outreach, the management and strategic planning
48   associated with CATIE's above mentioned functions, and the Center's relationship with
49   collaborating and donor agencies for the period 2001 to 2006, and to recommend
50   actions for the future.

 1   2.2. Specific
 3   Taking into account CATIE's Mission, its institutional framework, the recommendations
 4   of previous evaluations of the Center, along with the necessary documentation and the
 5   interviews with CATIE's staff and stakeholders, the IET will develop an evaluation of the
 6   Institution's management, research, academic and outreach programs with regards to
 7   the following (not necessarily in order of importance):
 9   a) Implementation of major recommendations from previous external evaluations
10      presented to CATIE’s Board of Directors, and an explanation of those not
11      implemented, and their current relevance.
12   b) Implementation of major goals presented in CATIE’s planning documents and an
13      explanation of those not fully implemented, and their current validity.
14   c) Actions taken to overcome the shortcomings identified in previous evaluations and
15      processes and procedures in place to prevent their recurrence.
16   d) CATIE’s activities and efforts to contribute to poverty alleviation and gender and
17      equity issues in the region.
18   e) CATIE’s activities and efforts to contribute to the sustainable use of natural
19      resources, food security, competitiveness, rural development and environmental
20      conservation.
21   f) Steps taken to maintain or improve the quality and relevance of CATIE's Graduate
22      studies and Training program.
23   g) Strategies and achievements with respect to strengthening cooperation and
24      partnerships within and outside the Latin American region, with public and private
25      institutions.
26   h) Progress in CATIE's institutional development in the administrative, financial,
27      outreach, educational and scientific areas.
28   i) Identification of the strengths, opportunities, weakness and threats at CATIE,
29      including the governance structure.
30   j) Relevance of CATIE’s Strategic Plan and progress made to date in achieving the
31      goals envisioned in the plan.
32   k) Impacts of outreach on institutional strengthening and technology transfer.
33   l) Impacts and relevance of CATIE’s research in meeting the demands in member
34      countries.
35   m) CATIE's contribution to human resources development and capacity building.
36   n) CATIE's organizational/institutional framework and management systems and
37      recommendations for any necessary adjustments for enhancing institutional
38      efficiency and effectiveness.
39   o) Progress made in fundraising and strengthening CATIE’s foundations
40      (Fundatrópicos and The Tropics Foundation) and endowment funds.
41   p) CATIE’s internal and external communication strategies and ways to improve them.
42   q) Continuing relevance of CATIE’s mandate and Mission.
43   r) Any other areas of concern.
45   Note: This evaluation should utilize the previous evaluations and key external reports of
46   CATIE, including the Analysis of Reorganization Plan for Increased Financial
47   Sustainability, Report to Norad (NCG, April 2001), Independent External Evaluation
48   (Lundgren et al., May 2001), Report on Aspects Related to Development and
49   Implementation of a Reorganization Plan for Increased Financial Sustainability, Report to
50   Norad (NCG, June 2001), Continued core support to CATIE: Desk Appraisal (Mordt and
51   Borel, 2003), Follow-up Review to CATIE’s Medium Term Plan (Borel and Iversen, April

 1   2005), Annual Report 2005, Mid-Term Review and Appraisal of Projects in the
 2   Norwegian Programme for Sustainable use of Natural Resources in Central America
 3   (Skaaland et al., June 2006), Report from the VII Scientific Week 2006, Annual Audits.
 6   The evaluation should also look to the future:
 8   a) Evaluate the continued validity of current thematic areas and identify potential
 9      thematic areas / opportunities for the institution, taking into account regional needs
10      and demands and CATIE’s comparative advantages.
11   b) Identify ways to strengthen and better position CATIE as an internationally known
12      Center in its areas of expertise.
13   c) Recommend strategies to improve CATIE's institutional administrative effectiveness
14      and efficiency.
15   d) Indicate potential ways to improve and strengthen CATIE's financial situation and
16      independence, including strategies to strengthen the Center's Foundations and
17      endowment funds and to diversify the portfolio of donor institutions.
20   3. PRODUCTS
22   The main product of the evaluation will be a detailed report containing:
24      -   the analysis, discussion and recommendations regarding CATIE's outreach,
25          educational and scientific Programs and the linkage between those, as well as
26          the administrative and financial management of these areas,
27      -   recommendations to improve and/or to introduce possible changes in CATIE’s
28          scope and priorities based on future scenarios as well as existing state of the art
29          of research, education and outreach in the Region and elsewhere.
34   Four international consultants, of both sexes, that represent the International Regional
35   Community and the Donors and the Strategic Partners should integrate the IET. CATIE's
36   Board of Directors will designate the leader of the IET from among the four professionals
37   that will be selected in accordance to their international experience, academic degrees,
38   and relations with donors, cooperators and country members. The IET will consist of a
39   team leader with broad experience in evaluating institutional management and three to
40   five specialists, with at least one in each of the following areas.
42      1. Educational Specialist: A Ph.D.-level international consultant with a minimum of
43         15 years of experience in analysis, teaching, planning, evaluation, monitoring and
44         direction of education at the postgraduate level. Work experience from around
45         the world in well-known graduate educational centers, offering similar topics to
46         those offered by CATIE, will be a requirement.
48      2. Research Specialist: A Ph.D.-level international consultant with a minimum of 15
49         years of experience in research programs in agriculture/natural resources in
50         international centers around the world. Work experience in technology generation
51         and transfer in developing countries as well as research will be a requirement.

 1          The candidate should have excellent relations with donors, cooperators and
 2          institutions in CATIE's member countries.
 4      3. Outreach Specialist: A Ph.D.-level international consultant with a minimum of 15
 5         years of experience in programs and projects related to rural development,
 6         dissemination of technical and scientific information (preferably including virtual
 7         education, modular and distance training). Experience in technology generation
 8         and transfer in developing countries and working with NGO's in developing
 9         countries will also be a requirement. The candidate should have excellent
10         relations with donors, cooperators and institutions in CATIE's member countries.
12      4. Administrative/Financial Specialist: International consultant with a minimum of 15
13         years of experience in financial matters and administration of international
14         research and training centers around the world. Good knowledge in accounting
15         systems and administrative procedures will be required. The candidate should
16         have excellent relations with donors, cooperators and institutions in CATIE's
17         member countries.
19   Additional expertise in policy, development, fund raising, technology assessments, and
20   the international cooperation arena would be desirable.
25   The consulting work should be developed over a one-month period, starting on January
26   15th, 2007.
31   The Independent External Evaluation will be developed between January and February
32   2007, during a period of four (04) weeks, and should cover the following phases:
34        Phase 1: One week traveling to the countries and specific sites, to be determined
35        by the IET, to become familiar with the institutional activities developed by the
36        National Technical Offices (NTO) and CATIE's on-going Projects. Visits to member
37        countries should also include interviews with CATIE Board members, Governing
38        Council of Ministers and other key decision makers who have collaborated with
39        CATIE residing in those countries.
41        Phase 2: Two weeks working at CATIE, Turrialba, to gather and analyze existing
42        information, interview staff members, the Management Team, and technicians of
43        the institution's different Programs and Areas. Board members residing in Europe
44        should be contacted by evaluators residing in Europe before their arrival at CATIE.
46        Phase 3: One (1) week to write, edit, present and discuss a Draft Report.
48   A general presentation of the Draft Report to the technical and administrative community
49   of CATIE, previous to its final submission to the Board, will be required.

 1   The Final Report will be submitted by the Chairman of the IET to the Board not later than
 2   March 1st. The Chairman will present the findings to the Board during the first Board
 3   meeting of the year on the week of April 16th to 19th, 2007.
 6   7. REPORTS
 8   The IET will present the following three documents during the consulting period:
10     a) Work Plan: This document should include the methodology to be developed for the
11        evaluation, specific TOR for each Expert of the Mission Team, information needed,
12        interviews, expected travel, additional logistic support, time frame, etc. To be
13        presented before the beginning of the mission. This needs to be agreed in
14        advance to ensure that everyone needed for possible meetings is available during
15        the evaluation period.
17     b) Draft report: This document should contain the limitations and constraints
18        encountered, additional logistic support needed, preliminary FODA results,
19        adjusted time frame, etc. To be presented to the CATIE community by February
20        15th jointly with the Debriefing
22     c) Final Report: This document should contain the final results of the evaluation
23        process, as established in the objectives. An important aspect of this document will
24        be the recommendations that will aid CATIE's authorities to make the necessary
25        adjustments and to take actions to improve institutional efficiency and quality. To
26        be delivered on March 1st.
31   The IET will work mainly at CATIE Headquarters in Turrialba, Costa Rica; however, team
32   members will travel to member countries, where CATIE has National Technical Offices
33   and projects under execution. CATIE will provide an office for the IET, including a phone
34   and secretarial support.
39   CATIE will provide, with no limitations, all the necessary information from the different
40   Programs and Areas to be used in the evaluation. The Center will also cover all costs
41   involved for the IET's work in Turrialba and travel expenses to member countries, such
42   as airfare, per diem for meals, lodging and miscellaneous expenses, local transportation
43   and logistical support.
45   Furthermore, CATIE will allow, without any restriction, that its staff and technicians
46   provide all information required by the IET. This includes consenting to interviews with
47   the Team to discuss specialized topics related to the evaluation procedure.

 3     The Work Plan and Draft Report of the evaluation will be submitted in Microsoft Word
 4     and Excel (Windows).
 6     The final report will be submitted in five copies, and on electronic format, in Microsoft
 7     Word and Excel (Windows).
 9     All documents and reports produced by the IET will be in English.

12     Annex 2: Profiles of the members of the panel
14             Jeffrey Sayer – Panel Leader - Conservation scientist and previously DG of the
15     Center for International Forestry Research. At present a Senior Associate of WWF –
16     International and Science Adviser to IUCN. Research interests in integrated approaches
17     to natural resource management, landscape and ecosystem approaches and the
18     organisation of science and practice to better achieve action research on large
19     landscape mosaics. United Kingdom.
20             Richard Hannan – Plant genetic resources and horticulture specialist previously
21     Research Leader with the USDA. United States.
22             Keith Andrews – Education and training specialist, previously Director General
23     of he Zamorano Agricultural College in Honduras and now IICA representative in El
24     Salvador. United States.
25            Luisa Castillo – Systems ecologist with research specialisation in eco-toxicology,
26     at present Vice Dean of the National University in Costa Rica.
27             Arnoldo Camacho – Management specialist at present on the faculty of INCAE
28     in San José. Costa Rica.
29             Ian Christoplos – Specialist in agricultural/natural resources extension and
30     outreach and in poverty analysis. Independent consultant. Sweden.

32     Annex 3: Persons and organisations consulted by the panel
       Date        Person Contacted              Title                     Organization/Programme
     17/01/07 Estela Cleotilde Aleman, Representanta                       CATIE, Managua,
              Alejandro ?                                                  Nicaragua
     17/01/07 Torleif Kveim            Consejero                           Norwegian Embassy,
                                                                           Managua, Nicaragua
     17/01/07 Felipe Rios                   Asisor                         Norwegian Embassy,
                                                                           Managua, Nicaragua
     17/01/07 Luis Osorio                   VP Junta Directiva             MAGFOR, Managua,
     17/01/07 Arturo Grigbsby V.            Director                       NITLAPAN, Managua,
     17/01/07 Telemaco Talavera             Rector                         UNA, Managua, Nicaragua
     17/01/07 Jeffery Haggar                Program Director               CATIE, Managua,
     18/01/07 Muhammad Ibrahim              Program Director               CATIE, GAMMA

18/01/07 Muhammad Ibrahim,            GAMMA team
         Andreas Nieuwenhuyse,
         Amikar Aguilar Carrillo
18/01/07 big crowd. Ian?                                      MuyMuy
19/01/07 Hans Kammerbauer, Isidro     Program Director        CATIE, FOCUENCAS II
         Salinas Marcenaro
19/01/07 Jeffery Haggar               Program Director
22/01/07 Elias de Melo
22/01/07 Andreas Ebert
22/01/07 Maria Elena Aguilar
22/01/07 Andreas Ebert
22/01/07 Tamara Benjimen sp?
22/01/07 Jose Gobbi
22/01/07 John Beer
22/01/07 Andreas Ebert
23/01/07 Alexis asquez                Director General           INTA-MAG CR
23/01/07 Rolain Borel and Ronnie de                              Univ. For Peace, Ciudad
         Camino                                                  Colon
23/01/07 Masaki Osawa                Advisor                     JICA
23/01/07 Joel Saenz                                              UNA
         Orlando                     Director                    UNA
24/01/07 Oscar Sanchez               Coordinator of Payment FONAFIFO-CR
                                     for Env. Serv.
24/01/07   Floria Bertsch                                        UCR
24/01/07   Maribel Jimenez                                       FUNDECOOPERACION
24/01/07   James French, Assefaw li                              IICA – CR
           Tewolde, Mariano Olazabal
           Balcazar, Enrique Alarcon
25/01/07   Edgar Viquez                                          CATIE, UTA
25/01/07   Eduardo Somarriba
25/01/07   John Beer, Ree Scheck,                                Tropics Foundation
           HollyBeth Anderson, Clair
26/01/07   Bryan       Finegan   and
           Thematic Group
26/01/07   Pedro Ferreira            Director General            CATIE
29/01/07   William Vasquez
29/01/07   Francisco Jimeniz
30/01/07   Francisco Alpizar
30/01/07   Lab Tour
31/01/07   ?                                                     Library
31/01/07   Ree Scheck, HollyBeth CATIE             representive, Tropics Foundation
           Anderson                  Executive Director
12/01/07   Alberto Salas             IUCN Biodiversity and
                                     sustainable use
                                     coordinator. San José
1/02/07    Isabelle Gutierrez        Rural Sociologist,
                                     CATIE Grad School
1/01/07    Rocio Cordoba             Water Management Unit

                                       Coordinator, IUCN, San
    12/01/07 Pascal Girot              Regional Program
                                       Coordinator, IUCN, Meso-
    12/01/07 Jackeline Siles Calvo     Social Equity
                                       specialist,IUCN, San José
             Fernando Miyares          Deputy Director of Land
             Siekavizza                use, Peten,, Guatemala
             Sergio Chacon Cubero      Budget officer, CATIE
    23/01/07 Rolain Borel              Head, Dept of
                                       Enviironment, Security
                                       and Peace, University of
                                       Peace, San José
    23/01/07 Carlos Manuel Rodriguez   Regional Vice President,
                                       Conservation Int. Latin
    23/01/07 Alexis Vasquez            Executive Director,
                                       National Institute for
                                       Inovation and Tech
                                       Transfer in Agrculture.
    23/01/07 Ronnie de Camino          Prof. Dept of
                                       Environment, Peace and
                                       Security, University of
                                       Peace, San José
    23/01/07 Alan Bojanic Helbingen    FAO, Resident
                                       Representative, Costa
                                       Rica, San José
              Abiola Adeyemi           International Affairs
                                       Specialist, USDA,
    24/01/07 Norbert Walter            Director, GTZ, Costa Rica,
                                       San José
    24/01/07 Masaki Osawa              Project formulaton
                                       advisor, JICA, San José
              Michelle Libby Tewis     Director, conservation
                                       Partnerships, The Nature
                                       Conservancy, San José
    23/01/07 Irene Suarez Pérez        Manager of National
                                       Strategies, The Nature
                                       Conservancy, San José
              Lucio Pedroni            Leader of Global change
                                       ThematicGroup, Catie
              José Joachim Campos      Deputy DG, CATIE
              Brian Finnegan           Leader of Forests,
                                       Biodiversity and Protected
                                       Areas TG, CATIE

1   Annex 4: Acronyms
    Acronym            Meaning, English
    ANACAFE            Asociación Nacional de la Industria del Café
    CAFENICA           Cafenica es una asociación representativa de las organizaciones de los
                       pequeños productores de café de Nicaragua
    CATIE              Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza
    CCAD               Comisión Centroamericana de Ambiente y Desarrollo´/ Central American
                       Commission for Environment and Development
    CECOCAFEN          Cooperativas Cafetaleras del Norte
    CECOECO            CATIE center for enterprise development
    CGIAR              Consultive Group on International Agricultural Research
    CIAT               International Center for Tropical Agriculture
    CIDA               Canadian Intenational Development Agency
    CIFOR              Center for International Forestry Research
    CIPAV              Centro para la Investigación en Sistemas Sostenibles de Producción
    CIRAD              Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement
    CONAP              Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas, Guatemala
    COPAL              Cocoa Producers Alliance
    CRS                Catholic Relief Services
    DNRE               Department of Natural Resources, CATIE, Costa Rica
    FAO                Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    FOCUENCAS          Innovación, Aprendizaje y Comunicación para la Cogestión Adaptativa de
    FONAFIFO           Fondo Nacional de Financiamiento Forestal, Costa Rica
    FINAES             Fondo de la Iniciativa para las Américas
    FONTAGRO           Regional Fund for Agricultural Technology
    FUNDECOOPERACION   Fundecooperación para el Desarrollo Sostenible
    GCDT               Global Crop Diversity Trust
    GTZ                (Deutsche) Gesellschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit
    ICAFE              Instituto Costarricense del Café
    ICTA               Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnolog{ia Agrícolas, Guatemala
    IICA               Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura / The Inter-
                       American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture
    INAB               Instituto Nacional de Bosques, Guatemala
    INIA               Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agraria (Spain)
    INISEFOR           Instituto de Investigaciones y Servicios Forestales, UNA, CR
    INTA               Instituto Nacional de Innovación y Transferencia en Tecnología Agropecuaria,
    IPM                Integrated Pest Management
    ITPGRFA            The International Seed Treaty
    MDG1               Millenium Development Goal 1
    MICH               CATIE watershed thematic group
    MURF               CATIE genetic resources thematic group

    NORAD       Norwegian Agency for International Development
    PAES        Programa Ambiental de El Salvador
    PROMECAFE   Programa Cooperativo de Café (IICA)
    REMERFI     Red Mesoamericana de Recursos Fitogenéticos
    SIDA        Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
    TG          Thematic Group
    UCR         Universidad de Costa Rica
    UICN        Unión Mundial para la Naturaleza
    UNA         Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica
    UNCBD       United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity
    UNCCD       United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
    UNFCC       United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    USDA        US Department of Agriculture


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