Independent Steering Committee

Terms of Reference

The Independent Steering Committee (ISC) of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is established to ensure independence of the programmatic directions of CCAFS. The ISC is accountable to, and appointed by, the CIAT Board of Trustees as the CGIAR Lead Center of CCAFS.

The ISC has a Chair appointed by the CIAT Board, seven members, and three ex officio members (one from the CIAT Board, representing CIAT on behalf of the CGIAR, one representing Future Earth and the Program Director). Ex officio members do not have voting rights. The ISC appoints one of its members as Vice-Chair.

The membership consists of internationally recognised scientists in the field of climate change and food security, as well as technical expertise drawn from civil society, development agencies and/or the private sector with a strong record of ensuring outcomes and impacts. Membership should be balanced in terms of disciplinary mix, gender and geographic diversity. The nomination process for ISC members will seek input from the ISC Chair and the ex officio members representing CGIAR and Future Earth, who will consult their constituencies.

Members are appointed for three years with possible reappointment for an additional period of up to three years to ensure a staggered rotation of members.  

Click to view the current ISC members.


In order to ensure the independence of the programmatic directions, the responsibilities of the ISC are:

  1. To set overall programmatic priorities.
  2. To consider annual business plans as submitted by the Program Director and provide advice to the CIAT Board of Trustees
  3. To review proposed annual budget allocation and provide advice to the CIAT Board of Trustees.
  4. To approve the activity plan and budget of each Program Participant. The Chair and Program Director will consider changes to the annual activity plans; and consult with the ISC members if needed.
  5. To recommend to the Lead Center, if required, a modification of a Program Participant Grant.
  6. To recommend termination of a Program Participant Agreement (PPA) if the Program Participant is in breach of its responsibilities.
  7. To develop a mechanism to ensure that the emerging results from ex ante analyses are leading to strategic allocation of resources.
  8. To consider an annual report as submitted by the Program Director.
  9. The ISC Chair will report annually to the CIAT Board of Trustees and liaise with the Director General as needed.
  10. CGIAR and Future Earth ex officio members will regularly update their constituencies on CCAFS progress, and alert them to any emerging opportunities or threats that are of significance.

Conflict of Interest Policy

The ISC approved an ISC conflict of interest policy at its meeting in Rome, Italy on 10 October 2013. Click to view


The ISC generally meets twice a year, one of the meetings being virtual, in May and October.

Past meetings and minutes

The Independent Steering Committee replaced the Independent Science Panel which operated until December 2016. Click to view meeting minutes.

Note: The Independent Science Panel replaced the CCAFS Steering Committee which operated until July 2011. Click to view meeting minutes.