The Independent Science for Development Council (ISDC) is a standing panel of impartial, world-class scientific experts providing rigorous, independent strategic advice to the CGIAR System Council and other stakeholders. The ISDC contributes to the strategic and portfolio planning and positioning of CGIAR.

ISDC produces foresight work that informs CGIAR’s longer-term research strategy. Horizon scanning complements long-term foresight work. Horizon scanning supplies analysis on how emerging trends and developments can be taken into account in CGIAR’s work – examples of this work include expert input and multi-stakeholder dialogue to inform the CGIAR three-year business planning processes.

Emerging from the foresight and horizon scanning efforts, ISDC supplies System Council with advice on its priority setting exercises. System Council also seeks ISDC’s guidance for periodic proposal assessment processes – depending on the modality the System selects for proposing work, the assessment form may range from document review to expert input on co-development opportunities.

Per its mandate, ISDC also assumes other functions, in consultation with System Council, that relate to the strategic direction of CGIAR and the value of its research agenda. For instance, the ISDC Chair advises the System Reference Group on the One CGIAR change process.  

The ISDC provides its advice within the broader context of CGIAR’s Strategy and Results Framework and business planning cycle. Its work and the functions laid out above are guided by terms of reference approved by the System Council.