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CESRA’s Steering Committee
The CESRA’s Steering Committee is the highest governance body of the center. It is chaired by the ASP Chair and composed by the Director of CESRA, the Directors of the DSIT and the DSRD departments, the GSP Secretariat, the ASP vice-Chair, the ASP Secretariat and the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAORAP). Additionally, the Steering Committee is composed by a representative of theIntergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils from the Asian region, and by two CESRA members per each sub-regionidentified in the Status of the World’s Soil Resources report 2025 (Southeast Asia, EastAsia and South Asia). The national focal points to the GSP can be involved in the selection of the CESRA members to join the Steering Committee in case more than one candidate per country expresses an interest to the position or in case more than one center per country registered in CESRA. In case there are not sub-regional candidates for the position, this is marked as vacant.
National focal points to the GSP in Asia are welcome to join the CESRA’s Steering Committee meetings. Still, they are kept informed on CESRA’s activities by the ASP Chair, the ASP vice-Chair, the ASP secretariat, the GSP Secretariat and FAORAP.

The Steering Committee is tasked to:

  • Review and agree on the annual work plan of CESRA as well as its financials;
  • Identify annual priority activities building on the inputs received from national soil institutions,
    the ASP secretariat, the GSP Secretariat, FAORAP and the DSIT and DSRD departments;
  • Maintain relationships with international agencies and UN organizations as well as with donorsand external parties to CESRA;
  • Advise the Director of CESRA and the Directors of DSIT and DSRD departments any time it isneeded;
  • Select the members of the CESRA’s Technical Committee; and
  • Perform any other functions as and when considered necessary to achieve the objectives of CESRA.
    The mandate of the members of the Steering Committee follows that of their official role in the ASP, except for the GSP Secretariat and FAO RAP.Following the decision made by ASP member countries at the Fourth ASP meeting in May 2018, the Steering Committee will meet at least once per year. In case of need, unscheduled meetings are taking place by web-conference or, when possible, in person at CESRA’s Headquarter in Bangkok, Thailand or at CESRA’s implementing study sites outside Thailand.
    The Steering Committee makes its decision following the majority rule and with the support and advice of external advisors, including international organizations as needed.

CESRA’s Director
In order to facilitate the communication and interactions with the hosting country of the center, the Director position of CESRA is held by the Land Development Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand.

The Director is tasked to:

  • Supervise the overall activities of CESRA and as such initiate, advise, coordinate, facilitate, implement, monitor and evaluate CESRA’s programmes, projects and activities;
  • Inform and coordinate activities with soil institutions, institutes, departments, universities, agencies, etc. member to CESRA;
  • Mobilize financial resources and keep the relations with CESRA’s financial support partners and the Thai government;
  • Officially represent CESRA at meetings and public events; and
  • Inform third interested parties on CESRA and CESRA’s activities. The Director counts on the support and advice of the Directors of the DSIT and DSRD departments, and
    on that of the CESRA’s Steering Committee.

Director of Department The Directors of the DSIT and the DSRD departments are responsible for:

  • Developing the short and long-term work plan of their departments;
  • Ensuring the implementation of activities in their department;
  • Coordinating interdepartmental actions; and
  • Assisting CESRA’s Director in mobilizing financial resources. A working group composed by CESRA members’ representatives supports the Directors in their role. In
    this regard, all research centers and institutes that register in CESRA are invited to complete a survey describing their work and the contribution that they can provide to CESRA, including the nomination of experts to serve in the DSIT and DSRD working groups. The DSIT and DSRD Directors report to CESRA’s Director and, if required, to the Steering Committee.

DSIT and DSRD technical working groups The technical working groups of the DSIT and DSRD departments operate under the leadership of their
Directors and are tasked to:

  • Write project proposals, technical documents and other material as needed;
  • Advice the DSIT and DSRD Directors;
  • Plan activities and develop the work plan of the DSIT and DSRD departments; and
  • Support the DSIT and DSRD Directors in assessing and monitoring the implementation of their
    departments’ work plans.
    As reported in figure 1, the work of the working groups undergoes the review of the CESRA’s Technical
    Committee and the clearance of the CESRA Director before publication or release.

Figure 1. Standard operating practice for clearance

CESRA’s Technical Committee

CESRA’s Technical Committee is composed by a maximum of nine top experts on soil in the region tasked to:

  • Review CESRA’s proposals and concept notes;
  • Review technical documents, reports and training material prior to their publication on the CESRA’s website to ensure their technical quality;
  • Technically support the implementation of projects as needed noting that travel to experimental fields and study areas within and outside Thailand might be required;
  • Assess the scientific relevance of countries’ best practices on soil before their inclusion in the Asian’s best practices on soil database;
  • Advice and support CESRA on any technical matter as needed.

The members of the Technical Committee are selected by the CESRA’s Steering Committee through a competitive process every three years. Interested candidates are asked to submit their expression of interest and Curriculum Vitae using the prescribed template to the CESRA Secretariat following the instructions in call. Members are selected based on their technical qualification and the time that they can dedicate to the position. On average, the work of the members of the Technical Committee is estimated to be around 2 to 4 hours per week. Overall, experts with different backgrounds on soil to cover the largest number of topics as possible should compose the Technical Committee.

The member of the Technical Committee are also selected keeping into consideration gender and geographic balance criteria. In this regard, CESRA cares of avoiding the Technical Committee to be composed by a majority of experts from the same country or sub-region.

In order to boost collaboration and synergy of action on project formulation and implementation, three out of the nine seats in the CESRA’s Technical Committee are reserved to international organizations and research institutions with projects in the region like the Research Institute for Development (IRD), French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

In case a member resigns or is not able to perform in the position anymore, the CESRA’s Steering Committee will work on its replacement.

The CESRA’s Secretariat supports the CESRA’s Steering Committee in establishing the CESRA’s Technical Committee by organizing the call for experts, pre-screening the Curriculum Vitae of the candidates and by informing candidates on the outcomes of their application.

The work of the members of the CESRA’s Technical Committee is volunteer. However, they can receive some ad-hoc financial support from CESRA if financial resources are available and in case they engage in activities requiring travelling to experimental fields and study areas.

CESRA’s Secretariat

The CESRA’s Secretariat is hosted at the Department of Administration and Collaboration (DAC). It is tasked to:

  • Coordinate the delivery of official communications to CESRA’s members, including the preparation and dissemination of the CESRA’s newsletter;
  • Prepare communication material tailored to different stakeholders on CESRA’s work and achievements;
  • Prepare and launch awareness campaigns and organize events on CESRA’s work and achievements;
  • Manage the registration of new CESRA’s members;
  • Keep the CESRA’s website updated;
  • Administratively and logistically organize CESRA’s meetings and events, including those of the Steering Committee;
  • Administratively support the work of DSRD, DSIT, the Steering Committee and the Technical Committee; and
  • Provide administrative support as needed.