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All 15 Research Centers are independent, non-profit research organizations, innovating on behalf of poor people in developing countries. The Centers are home to more than 8,000 scientists, researchers, technicians, and staff working to create a better future for the world’s poor. Each Center has its own charter, board of trustees, director general, and staff. Center scientists are recruited from around the world.

Our Centers are responsible for hands-on research programs and operations guided by policies and research directions set by the System Management Board.

For four decades the CGIAR Centers, hubs of scientific expertise across the world, worked together informally. As global dynamics shifted in the 21st century, Centers shifted in unison. They undertook a major makeover. They took a big step forward and joined forces in CGIAR so that they could work together more effectively and tackle more complex problems.

The makeover transforms the way our research is done. Part of the makeover is formulating and launching CGIAR Research Programs. Through CGIAR Research Programs, Centers and partners work on integrated research programs, drawing on the expertise of other Centers and a multitude of partners. Centers take the lead or co-lead research where they have comparative advantages, for example in the main scientific areas or a particular ecoregion.