The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) was established in 1994 with its main office in Nairobi, Kenya and a second principal campus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The organization is one of the 16 Future Harvest Centres whose research is geared towards food and environmental with the objective of eradicating poverty and improving food security situation while at the same time protecting the natural resource base (Devendra 2009).ILRI is a non-governmental and non-profit research organization, and concentrates its efforts on poverty and livestock.
The organization brings together highly qualified research scientists who work on capacity building to alleviate poverty and also achieve sustainable development for poor livestock keepers and their and their larger communities (ILRI 2000).
ILRI concentrates its work mainly in the developing regions of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The organization's offices are located in East and West Africa, South and Southeast Asia, China and Central America. ILRI discharges its mandate through project activities.
For instance, it has programmes in North Africa and the Middle East. (McPeak 2010).
In terms of job opportunities, ILRI has more than 700 staff drawn from about 40 countries. Being an international organization, about 80 staff members of ILRI are recruited through international competitions and reflect more than 30 disciplines. Nearly 600 staff members are recruited nationally and particularly from Kenya and Ethiopia. As a non-profit t organization, the aim of ILRI revolves around creating and increasing social value for society and not profit maximization.
This in essence constitutes the main goal of the organization. As Lettieri, Borga and Savoldelli (2004), observed, non profit t organizations are under obligation to continuously improve their performance. Since such organizations are characterized by steadily increasing demand for their services, it is necessary for them to follow new managerial paradigms.
ILRI's vision is to have a better world for poor people particularly in developing countries by transforming their agricultural production systems with emphasis on livestock systems. The mission of this organization is to work at the centre of livestock and poverty, to attract high quality science experts and capacity building to channel the efforts in poverty alleviation and sustainable development for the poor communities whose livelihoods depend on livestock.
ILRI does not work in isolation instead it recognizes the importance of partnerships. The organization has established collaborations and alliances with other institutions, national, regional and international, in research on livestock, training and information. ILRI's activities are spread in all tropical developing countries of Africa and Asia. ILRI is a member of the Consultative group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is a global alliance that brings together organizations involved in research activities revolving around sustainabledevelopment with the donors of this work. The CGIAR consortium is involved in food and environmental research with the goal of alleviating poverty and improving food security while protecting the natural resource base.
The current ILRI's organizational structure consists of six units, each headed by a level director staff. The various departmental directors all report to the Director General. Of the six units, three are concerned with the organization's research and related activities: Biosciences, Sustainable Production Systems (SPSP), and Strengthening Partnerships with NARS (SPAN). SPAN is involved with incorporation of networks, provision of training and information services. There are also the Directors for External Relations, whose responsibility is to coordinate the ILRI's fundraising and public awareness activities; Institutional Planning (currently vacant); and Administration, which constitutes finance, human resources management. Information Technology Services and Administration in Nairobi (Kenya) and in Addis (Ethiopia). The offices of the Directors of SPSP and SPAN are situated in Addis Ababa, whereby the former acts as Resident Director for that campus,though his role is of ceremonial than practical. The offices for the Director of Biosciences and all other corporate' level officers are located in Nairobi (Kenya). All directors have a responsibility of managing staff posted at both principal offices and outreach sites as well. (ILRI 2000) ILRI has defined its research activities into 21 projects. Biosciences are composed of ten; SPSP has nine; and SPAN has only one. These are further sub-divided into several sub projects. Each project is managed by a Project Co-coordinator who supervises all the research activities and makes a report to the Programmed Director. These programmes are not consolidated in relation to location; instead consist of project components on both campuses (Nairobi and Addis) in addition to having personnel in Latin America, Asia, and West Africa.
The principal mechanism for co-ordination is the ILRI Institute Management Committee (IMC), chaired by the Director General is the coordinating agent. Its members include all the six directors. However, the Chief Financial Officer and Human Resources Manager may take part in the meetings when matters for which they are directly responsible or most knowledgeable are to be discussed. The IMC meetings are mostly arranged quarterly to provide the Director General with information pertaining planning of programmes, co ordination, and evaluation; other information may involve the allocation of financial and human resources. The director may also be briefed on the Organization's relations with donor and fundraising activities; Board Relations; and CGIAR and TAC interactions. After approval, the minutes for all the meetings are made available through electronic networks/email to all staff members.