Fonds - Records of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)

Identity area

Reference code



Records of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)


  • 1970 - 2000 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

145.24 linear feet of textual records; 17 CD-ROM; 273 video recordings

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) formed on May 19, 1971 is an informal organization of countries, international development agencies and private foundations that cooperate in underwriting a network of more than a dozen independent, international agricultural research institutes. The co-sponsors of the Group are the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Development Program, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. The Bank hosts the executive secretariat and provides the chairman of CGIAR. The FAO staffs the secretariat of the Science Council, an independent panel of scientists and research managers who advise the Group on program and scientific matters. The records in this fonds are those of the executive secretariat.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Transferred from CGIAR.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The records in this series reflect the two principal activities of the Consultative Group: funding and evaluating the international institutes. The Group's activity is carried out through regular informal contacts, through consultation at yearly or semi-annual meetings, and through inspection visits to the centers. The records document the debates on whether to fund new institutes or new programs within existing institutes; what is the healthiest relationship between the international institutes and national research and extension programs; and how to manage the related roles of the Council and the Group, the two secretariats, and the four co-sponsors. A substantial amount of correspondence also is created during the sensitive process of selecting Council members and choosing leaders of the institutes.

The records of the meetings give a bird's eye view of the state of international agricultural research on topics ranging from pest control to rice production to the state of post-harvest technologies. Background papers, mission reports, priorities papers, instituted evaluations, minutes, verbatim transcripts, and correspondence range over every subject in agriculture. Of particular interest are the debates on how to support the collection, evaluation and conservation of plant genetic resources, which ultimately led to the establishment of the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources and a central fund to support it. Changing research interests can also be followed, as well as the growing awareness of the role of women in agriculture, the increasing appreciation of the role of the small farmer, and the heightening concern over the fragility of environmental balance.

Of particular importance is the collection of publications and reports from all the institutes that are supported by CGIAR. Through these publications, the regular evaluation reports, the institute work plans and the regular correspondence, the successes and failures of each institute can be charted. The central files contain massivefiles on the institutes, often including such difficult to locate items as minutes of institute meetings. In the early 1990s a CGIAR project put a large body of the publications from the institutes on a set of 17 CD-ROMS; these publications and others are found in the series of institute publications.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Routine records are destroyed in accordance with the General Records Schedules of the World Bank Group. Printouts and work sheets created during the CD-ROM project were destroyed. For meetings where verbatim transcripts and audioand video tapes exist, the tapes are destroyed, except for meetings of special importance, such as the 1994 Ministerial level meeting or the 1995 twenty-fifth anniversary meeting, for which the videotapes are retained.


Accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are subject to the World Bank Policy on Access to Information.

Conditions governing reproduction

Records are subject to the Copyright Policy of the World Bank Group.

Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • Spanish

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Record sets of each center's publications are held by that center.

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

  • See Central Files, 1946-1971 (WB IBRD/IDA ADMCF), for files on the creation of CGIAR.

  • See Records of the Agriculture and Rural Development Sector (WG IBRD/IDA AGR).

  • See the following oral histories: Warren Baum; and Michael Lejeune.

  • See Records of the Consultative Group for Food Production and Investment in Developing Countries (WB IBRD/IDA CGFP).

  • There are four sound recordings related to CGIAR found in Records of the Office of External Relations (WB IBRD/IDA EXT). These sound recordings relate to International Centers Week (Archives item numbers 29I, 31I and 32I) and the International Conference African Livestock Subcommittee (Archives item number 464I) in 1972.

  • For records of CGIAR Chairman Ian Johnson (2000-2006), see: Records of individual staff members -- Ian Johnson files -- CGIAR correspondence files (WB IBRD/IDA STAFF-13-04).

  • See Records of the Sector Policy and Research Vice Presidency (PREVP) and the Sector and Operations Policy Vice Presidency (OSPVP) (WB IBRD/IDA WB_IBRD/IDA_93)

  • See Records of the Environmentally Sustainable Development Vice Presidency (WB IBRD/IDA WB_IBRD/IDA_90).

  • Also see Records of the Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network -- CGIAR meeting and planning records (WB IBRD/IDA WB_IBRD/IDA_92-02).

  • Records of the secretariat of the Science Council of CGIAR are in the archives of the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, and the archives of the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation have records relating to the creation of CGIAR and the early funding of the institutes. The US National Archives has a small quantity of records on the founding of CGIAR in Record Group 286, Records of the Agency for International Development; copies of these records are in the Reference collection on World Bank history (WB IBRD/IDA REF). For current information and a selection of historical documents, see the CGIAR website.

Related descriptions

Publication note

Warren C. Baum with the collaboration of Michael L. Lejeune, Partners against hunger: The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. Washington, DC: Published for CGIAR by the World Bank, 1986.

Publication note

Warren C. Baum with the collaboration of Michael L. Lejeune, Partners against hunger: The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. Washington, DC: Published for CGIAR by the World Bank, 1986.

Notes area

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Internal World Bank Group Archives rules based on ISAD(G).

Disclosure status

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

20 October 2002, 28 March 2012




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