This report to AGM ’04 includes, in addition to the usual progress report on SPIA activities and outputs since the last AGM, a draft strategy and operational plan (Section 2) that has been developed over the past year as SPIA’s role in the new Science Council (SC) has been focused in consultation with the SC. The draft strategy also reflects upon SPIA’s past work with the Centres to improve the relevance, effectiveness and quality of impact assessment in the CGIAR. In so doing, the strategy outlines how collaborative work has helped to address some challenges, and identifies other new opportunities that have emerged. The SPIA portfolio of current and planned activities, i.e., its operational plan, follows from the strategy exercise as a means to address each of the identified key challenges. This report was discussed at the CGIAR Business Meeting at AGM 2004.