Case study

category: strategy
ICARDA – Fit for Purpose
"We aim to end poverty and enhance food and water security through the sustainable management of natural resources in the face of climate change."


Challenged by constrained resources, a volatile funding environment, an expensive decentralised organisational structure and a shift in donor priorities, ICARDA required strategic guidance to review its mandate, value proposition and operating model in this ever-evolving landscape.


In response to this, SRI conducted a mixed-method stakeholder consultation process with key and non-traditional partners, seeking recommendations to refine ICARDA’s research priorities, comparative advantage, and opportunities to strengthen and broaden potential partnerships in bringing about developmental impact at scale.  To address the dire financial situation, SRI introduced and facilitated a process to build an effective resource mobilisation strategy, which highlighted areas such as effective private sector engagement, co-financing mechanisms at the country or regional level and targeted messages by donor preferences. To ensure that ICARDA was well-positioned to deliver on its new strategic vision, SRI supported both the development of a strategic results framework and the organisational structure design process to align and optimise performance and delivery, while preparing the senior management team to implement a wider change process.


Impact / results

Following the Board of Trustees approval of the 2017-2026 Strategy and revised Organisational Structure, ICARDA can now measure the strategy’s impact and argue its relevance to the external world as an organisation that is truly fit-for-purpose. Having redefined its relationship with key stakeholders at the Country level, ICARDA can now much more effectively target funding sources and take innovations to scale in order to ensure thriving and resilient communities in the non-tropical dry areas of the developing world.