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PD/A CRSP Tenth Work Plan Introduction

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INTRODUCTION

The Tenth Work Plan of the Pond Dynamics/Aquaculture CRSP describes activities to be conducted by the CRSP from 1 July 2001 through 30 April 2003 under United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Grant No. LAG-G-00-96-90015-00. Previous activities under this grant are described in the Eighth Work Plan, which covered the period from 1 August 1996 to 31 July 1998, and in the Ninth Work Plan, which covered the period from 1 August 1998 to 31 July 2001.

The goal of the current grant is to provide a basis for improving the sustainability of aquaculture production systems. Under the grant framework, research in production systems is organized into three research areas—Production Optimization, Environmental Effects, and Social and Economic Aspects—which are further subdivided into specific research themes. Descriptions of the research themes can be found in the Tenth Work Plan Request for Proposals (PDF). The theme table illustrates the distribution of Tenth Work Plan investigations among the three research areas, and further among research themes.

Work under the Tenth Work Plan will be implemented at sites in Mexico, Honduras, Peru, Kenya, the Philippines, and Thailand. As for companion site and regional outreach, Tenth Work Plan projects also involve collaboration with researchers and institutions in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Brazil, South Africa, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, and Vietnam. The site table illustrates the distribution of Tenth Work Plan investigations among these host countries.

Development of the Work Plan

The CRSPs current grant was originally proposed as a five-year program, spanning from 1 August 1996 through 31 July 2001. After the award of a two-year extension by USAID, the grant completion date is now 31 July 2003. The program was successful in demonstrating to USAID the value of extending the period of the current grant term by two years to allow the planned objectives of the research portfolio to be fully met; the Tenth Work Plan is the means to achieve that end. Because of a series of annual budget cuts, the program had by necessity addressed grant objectives selectively in the Ninth Work Plan—and had the program come to completion as originally planned, numerous objectives set out in the grant proposal would have remained unaddressed.

In developing the Tenth Work Plan, the Management Entity (ME) at Oregon State University issued a restricted Request for Proposals (RFP) in February 2001 with an April deadline for proposal submission. The RFP solicited proposals for regional and cross-cutting research and in research areas that were underrepresented in the Eighth and Ninth Work Plans, with the intent to fill gaps in the body of research carried out under the current grant. (For interested readers, follow this link to the RFP—Tenth Work Plan Request for Proposals (PDF).)

The proposals submitted in response to the RFP were reviewed by experts outside of the program and by CRSP researchers. The Work Plan and Budget Subcommittee of the Technical Committee then evaluated the reviews and made recommendations to the ME. Proposals were selected for funding based on their technical merit, gaps in the current CRSP research portfolio, and geographic regions. Tenth Work Plan funding decisions were announced in July 2001.

A Note on Organization

In the Tenth Work Plan document, investigations are organized by research theme and research area, following the grant framework. This is a departure from the regional vs. cross-cutting research structure used for the Eighth and Ninth Work Plans. Settling on an organizational structure for those work plan collections was straightforward because projects—whether funded to carry out one or five investigations—were easily categorized as either one or the other.

Under the Tenth Work Plan every investigation was required to have a specific host country counterpart and component. To that extent every investigation could reasonably be considered "regional," so the distinction between regional and cross-cutting research projects lost relevance. In addition, a single project might well have received funding to carry out more than one investigation, with each conceivably involving a different host country, so the logic of retaining the grouping of investigations by project disappeared.

Representing the complexity and variety of collaborative relationships among and between the CRSPs participating US and host country researchers and institutions in a regional structure would realistically have necessitated a color-coded, foot-noted, cross-referenced three-dimensional spatial model with detailed instructions and accompanying legend. While such an undertaking would likely have been an intensely satisfying intellectual challenge, using instead the research framework as an organizing principle stood out as the winner in terms of simplicity, clarity, and sheer doability.

Work Plan Reporting

The PD/A CRSP Program Management Office (PMO) at Oregon State University is responsible for, among other things, annual reporting on research progress and accomplishments to USAID. Program investigators in turn have reporting obligations, chief among them being submission of annual reports of technical progress. Progress on the investigations collected here will appear in the PD/A CRSP Twentieth and Twenty-first Annual Technical Reports.

Projects' adherence to work plan schedules and methods and fulfillment of work plan objectives is also tracked to assure continuing accountability for program awards. These types of changes are collected and published in work plan addenda as needed.

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