Terms of Reference

(last updated June 29, 2017)

Steering Committee Names

Full Name: CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture Steering Committee

Short name: BIG DATA SC


The purpose of the Steering Committee (SC) is to provide oversight and direction to the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture, ensuring that it meets the objectives laid out in the Platform proposal in an efficient and effective manner.


The Steering Committee will be made up of 7 members plus the Platform Leader as observer, consisting of:

Permanent Members Rotating Members (2 year term)
CIAT Representative 1 CRP Representative
IFPRI Representative 1 Center Representative
Partner Representative #1
Partner Representative #2
Partner Representative #3


Term and Appointment

Permanent members to the Steering Committee shall be appointed by the Director General (DG) of the institution they represent.

The two rotating members from within CGIAR shall be nominated by the DGs and Science leaders’ group, their term running from the first of January until the thirty-first of December of the following year.

The three rotating members from partner organizations shall be chosen at the annual conference and serve until the annual conference that which will take place two years after their selection. However, initial appointments to these positions shall be made by July 2017 to allow the SC to begin its work as soon as possible.  To ensure some continuity and build gradual turnover, some members may be extended for 1 additional year.

Interim appointments for positions may be made in the event of an individual being unable to fulfil their responsibilities, or separating from the organization which they represent. Interim representatives may fill these places as determined by the Steering Committee.

All rotating positions should be chosen in order to balance critical knowledge and experience in various fields such as Informatics, legal and intellectual assets, data management, data analytics and others, and to ensure that the diverse perspectives of the Platform’s partners are well represented.

Travel expenses for SC members to attend the face-to-face meeting will be covered by the Platform if required. No honorarium will be provided.

Roles and Responsibilities


Members of the Steering Committee shall be responsible for participating in four quarterly meetings per year, one of which will take place in-person during the annual conference, while the others may be conducted remotely. They shall be responsible for general programmatic decisions and for the consideration of how effectively the platform is meeting its outcome and impact goals. It shall be their responsibility to receive bi-annual reports on the state of the platform from the Platform Leader, and to review the annual report. They will guarantee the independence of the Platform’s programmatic directions, and will be collectively accountable to the CIAT Board.


Once established, the Steering Committee will assign a Chair who will coordinate and oversee the steering committee’s activities, reporting to the CIAT Board on an annual basis. They shall liaise with the Directors-Generals of both CIAT and IFPRI as necessary in order to maintain the efficacious functioning of the Platform.

When there are programmatic conflicts that cannot be resolved at the level of the issue, they will be referred to the Chair for resolution. Additionally, the chair will ensure that an annual 360 performance review on the Platform Leader is carried out.

The chair should be selected from the partner representatives.


Observers may attend the SC meetings to update their constituencies on relevant Platform progress and alert them to any emerging opportunities, however, they may not vote. The Platform Leader shall attend quarterly meetings as an observer, removing themselves when necessary to allow for a candid discussion of their performance.


  1. To set overall Platform priorities and validate strategies presented by the Platform Leader
  2. To consider POWB as submitted by the Platform Leader 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 consider an annual report as submitted by the Program Director.
  5. The SC Chair will report annually to the CIAT Board of Trustees and liaise with the Director General as needed.



These terms of reference shall be valid for a period of two years following their approval by the CIAT board. Following this time, the workings of the SC shall be reviewed to ensure that they are fulfilling their role. 

CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture Steering Committee Composition – From Platform launch to 2018

Permanent Members Current Representative Rotating Members (2 year term)  
CIAT Representative Andy Jarvis CRP Representative TBC
IFPRI Representative Jawoo Koo Center Representative TBC
Partner Representative #1 TBC
Partner Representative #2 TBC
Partner Representative #3 TBC


For more information contact Bigdata (at) cgiar.org

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