"ASB has created the world's pre-eminent system for use-driven, comparative scientific investigation of human-environment interactions at the forest margin across the pan tropic domain"
During 2005, ASB underwent a comprehensive External Review and Impact Assessment. A central question addressed by the Review was "What is the value added by the ASB Systemwide Programme, over and above other local, national and regional activities?"
- ASB provides an efficient and effective way to produce international public goods that could not otherwise be generated by any of the ASB partners acting alone.
- ASB has created the only global network devoted entirely to research on the tropical forest margins. This unique network is a true global public good. Its work is focused on12 benchmark sitesin 6 different countries, on creating multidisciplinary research teams involving the world's top scientists, and on building close relationships with research and development partners working on different aspects of tropical deforestation.
- ASB's work to generate new knowledge, its contributions to shaping policies and practices, and its capacity building activities all lead to the production of global public goods. Specifically, ASB's investments in capacity building are extremely well received by its partners. One indicator: more than 50,000 downloads of ASB's lecture notes**.
- ASB's impact comes from a sustained commitment to 'crossing boundaries' regardless of scale (global, regional, national, local). ASB has had its major impacts where staff and partners are committed to activities that link iNRM (integrated natural resource management) science with policy formulation, development initiatives by governments and civil society organisations, and decision making by farmers and other natural resource managers.Two key examples are the Negotiation Support Initiative in Indonesia and the Sustainable Tree Crops Program.
- ASB's goal is "of great importance for the world, (and is) well aligned with the Millennium Development Goals for the reduction of poverty and hunger (MDG 1) and ensuring environmental sustainability (MDG 7)." Moreover, The panel concluded that the partnership "...continues to be highly relevant to the CGIAR's goals and is pursuing work that fits well with the CGIAR's new research priorities, notably Priority 4a, 'Integrated land, water and forest management at landscape level'." The 2004 CGIAR review of system-wide programmes ranked ASB in the top category of highest potential impact.
- Clear communication strategies are central to achieving wider impact, and"...excellent opportunities for high returns on future dissemination investments."ASB is working on a new communications strategy, which will assess the needs of different groups of users and develop and implement enhanced communications to reach wider audiences.
*William Clark (Harvard University), Chair of the 2005 ASB External Review and Impact Assessment.
** Data from mid 2005