AU-IBAR is a specialized technical office of the African Union Commission (AUC). It is headed by the Director who reports directly to the AUC through the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA).
The Director provides strategic leadership for the programming and has day-to-day programme and management responsibility. The Director also maintains direct communications with technical and funding partners for programming purposes.
Activities of AU-IBAR are implemented through programmes and projects, the coordinators of which report to the Heads of Units who in turn report to the Director. The Human Resources and Administration Section is headed by an officer who also reports to the Director.
As an agency of the AUC, AU-IBAR is governed through the organs of the Commission. However, recognizing the need for technical oversight and ownership by clients of AU-IBAR as a specialized agency, there is provision for a governance mechanism.
The Heads of State Summit held in Maputo in 2003 suggested the establishment of a Steering Committee to provide technical and governance oversight to AU-IBAR composed of:
- A representative of the Human Resources Science and Technology Department of the African Union (AU)
- A representative of the Department for Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA)
- A representative of the Science, Technology and Research Commission (STRC)
- Representatives of the RECs
- The Director of AU-IBAR (as Secretary to the Steering Committee)
- Representatives of donor organizations (as observers)
- An independent expert with private sector animal production and health background
- Other members to be determined to ensure necessary skills on the Committee.
The Committee Chair is elected from the membership to serve for two years.
AU-IBAR strives to apply the following best practices:
- Clearer distinction between the roles of AU-IBAR management and the Steering Committee;
- Clear accountability by the Steering Committee for the work of AU-IBAR;
- Commitment to good working relationships between the Steering Committee and the AU-IBAR management;
- Focused and proactive recruitment of Steering Committee members to ensure that it meets the specific skills and experiences required for its functions;
- Focus by the Committee on distinct governance issues, rather than mirroring the AU-IBAR management structure;
- Provision of induction training and support for new Committee members.
In addition to the Steering Committee, a 'Client Group' consisting of the directors of animal resources in Member States that meets every two years, is used as a mechanism for strategic program reviews and planning. The agenda includes structured, systematically documented sessions focusing on strategic issues for AU-IBAR. Every three years, African Ministers responsible for animal resources meet to approve AU-IBAR's programmes.