A recent paper (Agriculture, nutrition, and health in global development: typology and metrics for integrated interventions and research) in the Annals of New York Academy of Sciences focuses on the challenge of how best to assess impacts of integrated programs on food security, nutrition, and agriculture that also reflect the synergies of this integrated approach. As Masters et al. (2014) state "..but few have been rigorously analyzed, and most remain focused on measuring siloed outcomes within sectors and then aggregating these as if their impact equaled the sum of their parts." The complexity in IA is compounded when one considers that such interventions often operate at different scales.28Aug 2014
The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) has just launched a database of over 2500 impact evaluations. Of particular interest to the CGIAR community are the 249 evaluations tagged 'Agriculture and Rural Development', and an additional 60 'Environment and Disaster Management' and over 1550 'Health Nutrition and Population' IEs.
For instance, read this 3ie/IWMI evaluation of a electricity tariff policy change in West Bengal (India). JV Meenakshi (SPIA member) and co-authors found no impact of this policy change on total number of hours of groundwater pumped by pump-owner farmers, the number of hours of groundwater used for irrigation, or the number of hours of groundwater sold to other farmers. However, seasonally disaggregated results revealed a significant drop in the number of irrigation hours by owners of electric pumps during the summer. More here.
Relatedly, SPIA is commissioning work on CGIAR irrigation and management research to understand the comprehensiveness, strengths and limitations of these assessments under Activity 3.2 of SIAC.10Jun 2014