Annual Report 2018-2019 #IRRI@15
Published: 9 Mar 2022
FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
When I was joining IRRI in the first quarter of 2019, I could not have imagined the dynamism and shifts we would experience by the end of 2019. We changed. Simply put. At the milestone of 15 years, we determined that we needed to re- strategise and rethink IRRI, and what we wanted to do and achieve. Africa, our core geographical focus had changed. The management, context and -isms around displacement, our primary thematic focus, had changed. Systems, structures and policies were also changing, and we wanted to ensure that we were strategically placed to make the most of the new opportunities, and proficiently respond to challenges. As aptly put by Dr Chidi Odinkalu, our Board Chair,
Over time, the situation, food security, human security, climate change, governance situation, put into a mix, is likely to mean that the displacement situation and security situations in this part of the world, will need more of IRRI.
So we brought together our Board and staff, and some of our founders, ex-staff, and Pan-African thought leaders, into a retreat in July 2019, where we looked back at the milestones IRRI had achieved in the 15 years of our existence, in order to plan for the next 15 years, and align IRRI’s mission to the regional and international context, including SDGs and Africa’s democratisation. We deliberated on what we could do and should do, not only to reorganise our institution, but also, our work.
With our transformation, we emerged stronger and bolder, capitalising on our strengths in research and capacitation, while pushing the boundaries of our advocacy. December 2019 saw us co-hosting in Kampala, the AU’s annual High Level Dialogue on Democracy and Governance, themed on Refugees, Returnees and IDPs. We brought in a significant constituency of refugees to this policy space, and also co-hosted a civil society pre-forum.
The growth that IRRI has experienced in these two years, developing both our geographic and thematic expertise, makes me convinced that we are well on our way to realising my vision of IRRI as an Ambassador for the “humanness of refugees and displacement, and everything that this entails”, including entrenching dignity, rights and agency for displaced persons. We will dedicate the next two years to further growing IRRI’s capacities, expertise and resilience. Hence why we have titled this special commemorative issue of our annual report:
“Milestones. Emergence. Growth”.
You can download the full 2018-2019 Annual Report here. It provides a vivid account of where we worked and what we worked on in 2018 and 2019, including several interventions across the African Continent and particularly in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa, Central Africa and West Africa. We programmed in or in regard to these 12 countries: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Senegal, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda.
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