CGIAR System-wide Information Network on Genetic Resources
(SINGER) - PROJECT LEADER
The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is a
broadly-based consortium of 41 public and private sector donors supportinga
network of 17 international agricultural research centres located around the
world, mainly in developing countries. The Centres of the CGIAR maintain,
trust for the world community, large collections of genetic resources of
major food and forage crops. In total more than 500,000 accessions are held
in 11 different genebanks within the CGIAR system.
Recognizing the benefits of a more coherent operation, CGIAR, at its
mid-term meeting in May 1994, decided to launch the System-wide Genetic
Resources Programme (SGRP) with the aim of increasing its efficiency,
effectiveness, governance and transparency. IPGRI was named as lead Center
for SGRP and will work in close collaboration with the Inter-Centre Working
Group on Genetic Resources.
As part of the SGRP, the CGIAR plans to develop a system-wide information
system in order to enhance information management among the Centres and
thereby facilitate access to genetic materials and the information on them
those outside the CGIAR. This will contribute to the transparency of the
CGIAR's trusteeship of the resources held in its genebanks.
Currently, records on the CGIAR collections are maintained separately by
Centre concerned. It is envisaged that the new information system will take
the form of a network in which the databases of the various Centres are
linked, and with one or more Centres acting as nodes to provide
electronic access. It is intended that the network, which will build upon
the systems currently in place at the Centres, will become operational
the next 18 months to 2 years. All relevant Centres will be fully involved
the design and implementation of the network.
In establishing the network, the following steps are foreseen:
(1) Defining users needs: requests for germplasm and information
enquiries about the genetic resources held by the CGIAR come from
a wide audience. The information requirements of this audience will
be determined through extensive interaction with various target groups.
(2) Assessment of current information systems within the Centres and
elsewhere: an understanding of the present status and future needs of
the information systems of the individual CGIAR Centres will be
achieved through visits to the Centres concerned and through
extensive electronic and other communications. Other information
networks will be evaluated for possible linkage with and implications
(3) Agreement on network design specifications: based on (1) and (2),
specifications for the overall design of the network will be drawn up
and agreed to through a participatory process involving all Centres.
(4) Development of design options: based on the previous steps, a set of
design options will be drawn up bearing in mind users' requirements,
present and future needs of the individual CGIAR Centres and links
with global information systems such as Internet.
(5) Selection and design of network model: detailed network design will
be undertaken following agreement by all participating Centres as to
the preferred design option.
(6) Upgrading Centres' information handling systems and databases:
where necessary, Centres will upgrade their software and hardware in
order to fully participate in the information network. Participating
Centres will begin data entry and validation according to the agreed
system (data fields, descriptors etc.).
(7) Network implementation and maintenance: once the components of
the network are in place, there will be a period of testing involving
users within and outside the CGIAR, and adjustment prior to full
implementation. Once operational, the network will require on-going
maintenance and will be subject to periodic review.
IPGRI is looking for a suitably qualified person to lead the development of
the CGIAR's System-wide Information Network on Genetic Resources (SINGER).
The person appointed will report to IPGRI's Deputy Director General
(Programme) and will work closely with the Executive Secretary of the
System-wide Genetic Resources Programme (SGRP), the Inter-center Working
Group on Genetic Resources (ICWG-GR), and with relevant specialists in IPGRI
and elsewhere. Specialized short-term consultants may also be employed to
assist as needed in the project.
Duration and Location: The Project Leader's initial appointment will be for
an 18 month period, with a possible extension to 2 years if required.
will be based at IPGRI's headquarters in Rome, Italy, but will be required
Requirements: PhD (or equivalent) in genetic resources/plant breeding or
information/computer science, with extensive experience in both areas.
Demonstrated ability in project management, good communication skills with
fluency in English, and an ability to work internationally in a
environment are also required. A good understanding of international issues
concerning genetic resources would be an advantage.
Compensation Package: IPGRI offers an internationally competitive package,
including pension, life insurance, comprehensive health insurance,
educational assistance, cost of living and housing allowances.
Applications: Send detailed CV and application letter to Dr Masa Iwanaga,
Deputy Director General (Programme), IPGRI, Via delle Sette Chiese 142,
00145 Rome, Italy. Tel: (39-6) 51892200; Fax: (39-6) 5750309; Email:
IPGRI@CGNET.COM or M.IWANAGA@CGNET.COM. The deadline for applications is 30
IPGRI is an Equal Opportunity Employer and strives for staff diversity in
gender and nationality.