Impact Briefs

Irrigation and water management research in CGIAR: what do we know of the impacts?

2015 ISPC SPIA

 

A significant proportion of CGIAR research investment has been spent on policy and natural resource management (NRM). However, compared with other areas of research e.g., crop germplasm improvement (CGI), there appear to be relatively few impact assessments (IAs) in this domain. To fill this gap, one of the activities of the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA)-coordinated Strengthening Impact Assessment in the CGIAR (SIAC) program targets assessments of these presumably ‘under-evaluated areas’ of CGIAR research, including irrigation and water management, agroforestry and policy and social sciences. This brief summarizes the findings and recommendations of a critical review of IAs of CGIAR irrigation and water management research (full report).
(Series No: 49)

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ISPC, SPIA 2015. Irrigation and Water Management Research in the CGIAR: What do we know of the impacts?. Impact Brief No. 49.

Impact of Bean Research in Rwanda and Uganda

2015 ISPC SPIA

This Impact Brief (No 46) is based on the study that documents the impacts of improved common bean varieties on field-level yields, costs of production, and household farm incomes among smallholders in Rwanda and Uganda. Effects are also examined so that the number of people escaping poverty due to the diffusion of improved varieties can be calculated. The full report will be published shortly on this site along with the SPIA foreword.

(Series No: 46)

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ISPC, SPIA 2015. Impact of Bean Research in Rwanda and Uganda. Impact Brief No. 46.

A chickpea revolution in southern India

2015 SPIA

This SPIA Impact Brief derives from the SPIA commissioned study Short Duration Chickpea Technology: Enabling Legumes Revolution in Andhra Pradesh, India.   

(Series No: )

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ISPC, SPIA 2015. A Chickpea Revolution in Southern India. Impact Brief No. 48.

Improved Maize Varieties and Poverty in Rural Ethiopia

2014 ISPC SPIA

This Impact Brief (No 45) is based on the study that documents the impacts of improved maize varities on household well-being and on overall rural poverty using primary data. In Ethiopia, the last four decades have seen more than 40 improved varieties of maize - including hybrids and OPVs – developed and released by the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) in collaboration with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). The full report will be published shortly on this site along with the SPIA foreword. The journal paper (Agricultural Economics) is available on Wiley Online Library.

(Series No: 45)

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ISPC, SPIA 2014. Improved Maize Varieties and Poverty in Rural Ethiopia. Impact Brief No. 45.

Towards Appraising the Impact of Legume Research

2014 ISPC SPIA

This Impact Brief (No 44) is based on the Legumes Synthesis Report that documents the most important cases of farmers adopting new varieties, and the economic, social and environmental impacts of legume technologies developed by CGIAR in collaboration with national agricultural research system (NARS) partners (see SPIA Project details here). It reviews research results from over 30 adoption surveys conducted in more than 20 developing countries (primarily the Diffusion and Impact of Improved Varieties in Africa i.e DIIVA study data), which provide evidence that farmers are growing improved legume varieties in many regions. This was one in a series of ex post impact assessments of CGIAR research that examined thematic areas which, up to 2010, had not been properly evaluated but for which anecdotal evidence suggested considerable impact.

(Series No: 44)

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ISPC, SPIA 2014. Towards Appraising the Impact of Legume Research. Impact Brief No. 44.

Adoption of Modern Varieties of Food Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa

2014 ISPC, SPIA

In the late 1990s, a global initiative on the impact assessment of crop varietal change estimated that modern varieties (MVs) accounted for about 22% of the growing area of primary food crops across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) (Evenson and Gollin, 2003). This baseline has recently been updated, widened, and deepened in the CGIAR’s project Diffusion and Impact of Improved Crop Varieties in Sub-Saharan Africa (DIIVA), supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Seven CGIAR Centers and more than 200 individuals – mainly crop improvement scientists in national programs – participated in the DIIVA project, which was directed and coordinated by the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) of the CGIAR and administrated through Bioversity International.

(Series No: 42)

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ISPC, SPIA 2014. Adoption of modern varieties of food crops in Sub-Saharan Africa. Impact Brief No. 42.

Does crop improvement reduce agricultural expansion?

2012 ISPC, SPIA

One of the four Impact Briefs summarizing final report and four case studies from the SPIA project on Assessing Environmental Impacts (2008-2011). More information on the project here.

(Series No: 40)

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ISPC, SPIA. 2012. Does crop improvement reduce agricultural expansion? Impact Brief No. 40

Ex-post environmental impact assessment: lessons from four CGIAR case studies

2012 ISPC, SPIA

One of the four Impact Briefs summarizing final report and four case studies from the SPIA project on Assessing Environmental Impacts (2008-2011). More information on the project here.

(Series No: 39)

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ISPC, SPIA. 2012. Ex-post environmental impact assessment: lessons from four CGIAR case studies. Impact Brief No. 39

Environmental impacts of agricultural research: concepts and tools to strengthen the evidence base.

2012 ISPC, SPIA

One of the four Impact Briefs summarizing final report and four case studies from the SPIA project on Assessing Environmental Impacts (2008-2011). More information on the project here.

(Series No: 38)

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ISPC, SPIA. 2012. Environmental impacts of agricultural research: concepts and tools to strengthen the evidence base. Impact Brief No. 38

Environmental impacts of agricultural research: an overview

2012 ISPC, SPIA

One of the four Impact Briefs summarizing final report and four case studies from the SPIA project on Assessing Environmental Impacts (2008-2011). More information on the project here.

(Series No: 37)

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ISPC, SPIA. 2012. Environmental impacts of agricultural research: an overview. Impact Brief No. 37

One million hectares of CIP potatoes

2010 ISPC, SPIA

This is a study of the contribution of the International Potato Center (CIP) research on varietal change and potato production, particularly in developing countries. More specifically, the study focuses on adoption of CIP-related varieties in those countries.

Among the study findings:

  • By 2007, breeding programs in 23 surveyed developing countries had released 681 new varieties, 251 of which had their origins in CIP germplasm.
  • In Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, the aggregate area under CIP-related varieties increased by more than 230,000 hectares between 1997 and 2007, equivalent to one third of the worldwide increase.
  • CIP-related varieties are now planted on more than 100,000 hectares in Peru.
  • In Asia, 10% of the potato-growing area was planted with CIP-related varieties by 2007, up from 3.5% in 1997.
(Series No: 36)

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One million hectares of CIP potatoes

ISPC, SPIA. 2010. One million hectares of CIP potatoes. Impact Brief No. 36


Thiele, G. et al. 2008. Varietal change in potatoes in developing countries and the contribution of the International Potato Center: 1972-2007. Lima, CIP. Working Paper No. 6, 46 pp.

Publication cover image thumbnail More trees, more milk, more money

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2010 ISPC, SPIA

The objective of this study is twofold, to demonstrate (1) the effects of fodder shrubs on milk production and their value at the household and regional level and (2) the contribution of research by the World Agroforestry Center towards strengthening the impact of fodder shrubs. The study is a synthesis of previous studies related to dissemination, adoption and impact combined with two new analyses, one quantitatively measuring the impact of the shrubs through econometric analysis and the other a qualitative analysis to better understand constraints on adoption and gender issues related to participation and control of benefits from fodder shrubs.

Among the study findings are that fodder shrubs have been widely adopted in East Africa, by an estimated 205,000 smallholder dairy farmers by 2005. Women were active in plating shrubs, as monitoring found almost half of planters to be women. Several studies have confirmed that shrubs do have an impact on milk production. While feeding trials have found that 1 kilogram of calliandra increases milk production by 0.6-0.8 kilograms, a new survey of farmers’ perceptions in Kenya found the effect to be about half as large after controlling for the effects of breeds, season and other feeds. Whether the effect is the lower or higher estimate, the overall impact of the shrubs in terms of additional net income from milk is high, at US$19.7 million to US$29.6 milion in Kenya alone over the past 15 years.

(Series No: 35)

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More trees, more milk, more money

ISPC, SPIA. 2010. More trees, more milk, more money. Impact Brief No. 35

Improved maize benefits millions of Africa's poor

2010 ISPC, SPIA

  • Modern maize varieties represented less than 5% of the maize area in the 1970s but accounted for about 60% in 2005.
  • According to FAO data, yields increased from as low as 0.88 t/ha in 1971 to over 2 t/ha in 2005, with an average growth rate of 2% per year; the area of land sown to maize increased by over 3% annually over the same period.
  • The estimated number of people moved out of poverty through adoption of new maize varieties rose gradually during the 1980s to reach more than one million per year during the past ten years.
  • A total of US$308 million was invested in maize research between 1971 and 2005; international maize research accounted for about 66% (US$204 million) of this investment.
(Series No: 34)

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Improved maize benefits millions of Africa's poor

ISPC, SPIA. 2010. Improved maize benefits millions of Africa's poor. Impact Brief No. 34

Publication cover image thumbnail Community-based fisheries management in Bangladesh

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Series No: 30

2008 CGIAR, SPIA

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Community-based fisheries management in Bangladesh

CGIAR, SPIA. 2008. Community-based fisheries management in Bangladesh. Science Council Brief No. 30

Publication cover image thumbnail Pesticide use in the Philippines: assessing the contribution of IRRI’s research to reduced health costs

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2008 CGIAR, SPIA

In response to growing health concerns, the Philippine government instigated a suite of pesticide regulatory policies and implementing guidelines and launched Integrated Pest Management as a National Program to promote a safer and an ecologically sound approach to pest control. The main aim of this study is to measure the economic benefits of the 1992–96 pesticide policy package. Specifically, the study examines those factors that influenced the government’s decision to change the policies on pesticides and pest control practices and attributes these benefits to the key players, with a focus on relevant International Rice Research Institute’s (IRRI) policy-orientated research.

(Series No: 29)

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Pesticide use in the Philippines: assessing the contribution of IRRI’s research to reduced health costs

CGIAR, SPIA. 2008. Pesticide use in the Philippines: assessing the contribution of IRRI’s research to reduced health costs. Science Council Brief No. 29

Publication cover image thumbnail Changing dairy marketing policy in Kenya: the impact of the smallholder dairy project

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2008 CGIAR, SPIA

Marketing, transporting, processing, and consuming dairy products contribute significantly to the livelihoods of many poor Kenyan households. This study analyzes the impact of recent research supporting policy changes to liberalize informal milk markets. The study found that behavioral changes in dairy sector participants arising from the research evidence-supported policy and regulatory changes led to an average 9% reduction in milk-marketing margins, and a significant increase in the number of licensed small-scale milk vendors. High welfare benefits arising from the policy change, with a net present value of US$230 million, are captured by consumers, producers, and milk vendors.

(Series No: 28)

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Changing dairy marketing policy in Kenya: the impact of the smallholder dairy project

CGIAR, SPIA. 2008. Changing dairy marketing policy in Kenya: the impact of the smallholder dairy project. Science Council Brief No. 28

Publication cover image thumbnail Assessing IFPRI’s impact: the case of the mexican PROGRESA Program

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2008 CGIAR, SPIA

The Mexican PROGRESA/Oportunidades anti-poverty and human resource conditional cash transfer (CCT) program has influenced considerably policies in many countries. The Mexican government engaged the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to undertake the initial evaluation of PROGRESA/Oportunidades. This paper considers:

(1) Was the PROGRESA program design influenced by prior IFPRI research?

(2) Why was IFPRI chosen to undertake the initial impact evaluation of PROGRESA?

(3) How did the IFPRI evaluation of PROGRESA contribute to the program?

(4) Were there spillovers of the IFPRI evaluation of PROGRESA?

It concludes that estimated benefit–cost ratios of IFPRI’s evaluation of PROGESA considerably exceed one.

(Series No: 27)

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Assessing IFPRI’s impact: the case of the mexican PROGRESA Program

CGIAR, SPIA. 2008. Assessing IFPRI’s impact: the case of the mexican PROGRESA Program. Science Council Brief No. 27

Publication cover image thumbnail Changing barley fertilization policy in Syria: the role of collaborative policy-oriented research

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2008 CGIAR, SPIA

In 1984, ICARDA and its Syrian partners initiated farming systems research that led to a change in national fertilizer allocation policy. Evidence is assessed on the policy influence of the fertilizer-response research and on the impact of switching to a more inclusive policy that relaxed the government’s probation of fertilizer allocation to barley. Interviews with key informants make a persuasive case for attribution; estimates from economic surplus models are consistent with a high rate of return on investment in the policy-oriented research. This case study provides a contribution to the limited empirical literature on returns to research under policy distortions.

(Series No: 26)

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Changing barley fertilization policy in Syria: the role of collaborative policy-oriented research

CGIAR, SPIA. 2008. Changing barley fertilization policy in Syria: the role of collaborative policy-oriented research. Science Council Brief No. 26

Publication cover image thumbnail Policy and practice in the indonesian pulp and paper sector: assessing the impact of CIFOR’s research

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2008 CGIAR, SPIA

Qualitative and quantitative methods are applied to assess the impact of CIFOR’s political economy research on the Indonesian pulp and paper sector. Key-informant interviews triangulated by trend-series tests suggest important influence through advocacy intermediaries and counterfactuals of slower adoption of improvements. Effects on conservation set-asides, overcapacity, and plantation establishment are estimated to avert loss of 76,000–212,000 hectares of natural forest (135,000 under main assumptions). Application of an economic-surplus framework for environmental benefits of forest conservation and avoided implicit wood subsidies finds benefits of US$19 to US$583 million (US$133 million main estimate), compared with US$500,000 of direct research costs.

(Series No: 25)

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Policy and practice in the indonesian pulp and paper sector: assessing the impact of CIFOR’s research

CGIAR, SPIA. 2008. Policy and practice in the indonesian pulp and paper sector: assessing the impact of CIFOR’s research. Science Council Brief No. 25

Publication cover image thumbnail Safeguarding access to plant genetic resources: the role of Bioversity International in establishing in-trust agreements

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2008 CGIAR, SPIA

This study assesses the generation and consequences of the In-Trust Agreements (ITAs) that established the legal status of the CGIAR germplasm as freely available for the benefit of humanity under the auspices of FAO. The analysis looks at the history of the ITAs and focuses on the role of Bioversity International in research and other activities in influencing, facilitating and enabling the ITA negotiations. Results confirm the central role of Bioversity and policy research in the negotiations process. Concepts developed during the ITA negotiations contributed toward subsequent multilateral negotiations that eventually culminated in the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources.

(Series No: 24)

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Safeguarding access to plant genetic resources: the role of Bioversity International in establishing in-trust agreements

CGIAR, SPIA. 2008. Safeguarding access to plant genetic resources: the role of Bioversity International in establishing in-trust agreements. Science Council Brief No. 24

Policy-oriented Research in the CGIAR: assessing the impact

2008 CGIAR, SPIA

Building on an earlier exploratory study, in 2007–08 the CGIAR’s Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) undertook an initiative in collaboration with seven CGIAR centers to augment the evidence of policy-oriented research (POR) impacts within the CGIAR system and to further the development of methodologies in this challenging area of impact assessment. Seven case studies were commissioned. This impact brief describes the major results that emerged from the overall study. <br> 

For the full study see: CGIAR Science Council. 2008. Impact Assessment of Policy-Oriented Research in the CGIAR: evidence and insights from case studies. A study commissioned by the Science Council's Standing Panel on Impact Assessment, CGIAR Science Council Secretariat: Rome, Italy. 99 pp.<br>

Walker ,T., Ryan, J. & Kelley, T. 2010. Impact assessment of policy-oriented international agricultural research: evidence and insights from case studies. World Development 38 (10): 1453–1461.<br>

For the scoping study report see: CGIAR Science Council. 2006. Impact assessment of policy-oriented research in the CGIAR: a scoping study report. A study commissioned by the Science Council's Standing Panel on Impact Assessment, CGIAR Science Council Secretariat: Rome, Italy. 39 pp.


(Series No: 23)

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Policy-oriented Research in the CGIAR: assessing the impact

CGIAR, SPIA. 2008. Policy-oriented Research in the CGIAR: assessing the impact. Science Council Brief No. 23


Impact of agricultural research in South Asia since the Green Revolution

2008 CGIAR, SPIA

Impact Brief on the study that critically reviews and assesses the large body of evidence on the impacts of agricultural research by the CGIAR and its partners in South Asia. The long history of research, the extensive databases available and the vast literature on impacts that exist in this region provided a fertile ground for this study, which aimed to systematically examine and understand the complexities of how research has led to outputs, uptake, outcomes and impacts, and the distributional consequences of these. Implications and lessons are drawn from this synthesis of the literature to address the issues of the gross (positive and negative) and net payoffs from past investments by the CGIAR and partners (the accountability question), as well as to help shape current and future priorities (the institutional learning question). The study also identifies the knowledge gaps and researchable questions that should improve our understanding of opportunities for, and impediments to, agricultural technology enhancement as a strategy for achieving future CGIAR goals, namely poverty alleviation, food security, and environmental sustainability. The full version of the study on which this Brief is based: Hazel, P.B.R. 2008. An assessment of the impact of agricultural research in South Asia since the Green Revolution. Science Council Secretariat, Rome, Italy.

(Series No: 21)

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CGIAR, SPIA. 2008. Impact of agricultural research in South Asia since the Green Revolution. Science Council Brief No. 21

Development and Dissemination of Integrated Aquaculture–Agriculture Technologies in Malawi.

2007 CGIAR, SPIA

Sustainable agricultural intensification is an urgent challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa. One potential solution is to rely on local farmers' knowledge for improved management of diverse on-farm resources and integration among various farm enterprises. In this article, we analyze the farm-level impact of one recent example, namely the integrated aquaculture–agriculture (IAA) technologies that have been developed and disseminated in a participatory manner in Malawi. Based on a 2004 survey of 315 respondents (166 adopters and 149 nonadopters), we test the hypothesis that adoption of IAA is associated with improved farm productivity and more efficient use of resources. Estimating a technical inefficiency function shows that IAA farms were significantly more efficient compared to nonadopters. IAA farms also had higher total factor productivity, higher farm income per hectare, and higher returns to family labor.

(Series No: 11)

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Development and Dissemination of Integrated Aquaculture–Agriculture Technologies in Malawi.

CGIAR, SPIA. Development and Dissemination of Integrated Aquaculture–Agriculture Technologies in Malawi. Science Council Brief No. 11

Costs and benefits of CGIAR–NARS research in Sub-Saharan Africa

2006 CGIAR, SPIA

This is an impact brief based on a SPIA study "CGIAR and NARS partner research in sub-Saharan Africa: evidence of impact to date" published in October 2006.

Over its lifetime, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has invested 40% of its resources on research and capacity strengthening of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). While there are differing impressions of the impact of this investment on the livelihoods, health and prosperity of Africans, there has been no consensus on the issue, nor has a systematic, analytical attempt been made to obtain a clearer picture of the overall impact of the CGIAR in the region. This is a more quantitative assessment of the impact of CGIAR investment in SSA as a follow-up to an earlier desk study of available evidence of such impacts (Gryseels and Groenewold, 2001).  This analysis attempts to identify, assess, and synthesize available evidence on the impact of agricultural research, so as to offer a systematic answer to the question: "Have the investments made by CGIAR–NARS in SSA been justified by documented benefits to date?".

(Series No: 9)

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Costs and benefits of CGIAR–NARS research in Sub-Saharan Africa

CGIAR, SPIA. 2006. Costs and benefits of CGIAR–NARS research in Sub-Saharan Africa. Science Council Brief No. 9

Publication cover image thumbnail The impact of modern rice varieties on livelihoods in Bangladesh

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2006 CGIAR, SPIA

This case study builds on an ongoing large-scale quantitative research project undertaken by BIDS/IRRI since 1987 originally in 64 unions from 57 districts of the country. It adds a qualitative research component to examine the impact of modern rice varieties (MVs) on livelihoods in a structured sample of eight of these villages across a range of favorable and unfavorable contexts. This component was structured using the sustainable livelihoods framework and employed focus groups stratified by poverty ranking and gender.

Results showed that the adoption of MVs had significant positive impacts on crop yields and farm incomes for households with access to land. However, as rice farming accounted for only 20 per cent of total household incomes in 2001, the overall impact on incomes was relatively small. Although the profitability of rice is declining due to falling prices, higher input costs and reduced farm sizes, the crop nevertheless contributes greatly to food security and acts as an entry point to off-farm employment.

(Series No: 8)

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The impact of modern rice varieties on livelihoods in Bangladesh

CGIAR, SPIA. 2006. The impact of modern rice varieties on livelihoods in Bangladesh. Science Council Brief No. 8


Hossain, M., Lewis, D., Bose, M.L. & Chowdhury, A. 2003. Rice research, technological progress, and impacts on the poor: the Bangladesh case (Summary report). Washington, D.C, IFPRI. EPTD Discussion Paper No. 110. 65 pp.

Publication cover image thumbnail Impacts of International Wheat Breeding in the Developing World

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2006 CGIAR, SPIA

A CIMMYT survey of 43 countries showed that between 1988 and 2002, public national research organizations and private companies in the developing world released nearly 1,700 new wheat varieties, of which about 75 percent have some CIMMYT ancestry. Using 2002 adoption data, the additional annual production attributable to CIMMYT wheat breeding research is valued at US$0.5 to $3.9 billion, depending on the assumptions used. Whatever assumptions are used, the sum is equivalent to many times CIMMYT's annual investment in wheat breeding research.

(Series No: 7)

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Impacts of International Wheat Breeding in the Developing World

CGIAR, SPIA. 2006. Impacts of International Wheat Breeding in the Developing World. Science Council Brief No. 7

Publication cover image thumbnail Improved Tilapia Benefits Asia

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2006 CGIAR, SPIA

In 1987, the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM, now the WorldFish Center) and a number of research agencies launched a collaborative project called Genetic Improvement of Farmed Tilapia, or GIFT. The objective of the GIFT project was to raise fish productivity amongst low-income fishers in order to increase protein consumption in poor populations in developing countries. This brief documents the achievements of the project, including, among others, the systematic collection of improved germplasm, the development of a selected breeding approach, the creation of a genetically diverse base population and adoption of improved tilapia on a wide scale. The development and dissemination of GIFT has proved a worthwhile investment with an internal rate of return (IRR) of more than 70 per cent.

(Series No: 6)

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CGIAR, SPIA. 2006. Improved Tilapia Benefits Asia. Science Council Brief No. 6

Publication cover image thumbnail Spillover Increases Returns to Sorghum Genetic Enhancement

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2006 CGIAR, SPIA

ICRISAT, in collaboration with national program partners in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, assessed the spillover potential of sorghum varieties and hybrids across eight Sorghum Research Domains. The study demonstrated that cultivars originating from collaborative national and international research can prove highly transferable across different environments. The spillover of finished products, however, tended to be negatively correlated with national research capability: the stronger the national program, the lower the potential for the direct release of varieties and hybrids.

(Series No: 4)

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Spillover Increases Returns to Sorghum Genetic Enhancement

CGIAR, SPIA. 2006. Spillover Increases Returns to Sorghum Genetic Enhancement. Science Council Brief No. 4

Publication cover image thumbnail Impacts of a ‘Food for education’ program in Bangladesh

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2006 CGIAR, SPIA

A Food for Education (FFE) program, which rewarded poorer families in Bangladesh with food in return for regular attendance of their children at school, led to a 20 to 30 per cent increase in school participation rates. Seven years after the start of the program, more than one-quarter of all primary schools or 13 per cent of all primary school students (more than 2 million) were covered by the scheme. The return to IFPRI's involvement in the FFE program, which included IFPRI's positive evaluation of the programs early expansion, was conservatively estimated at 64 to 96 per cent.

(Series No: 3)

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Impacts of a ‘Food for education’ program in Bangladesh

CGIAR, SPIA. 2006. Impacts of a ‘Food for education’ program in Bangladesh. Science Council Brief No. 3

Publication cover image thumbnail Policy-oriented Research in the CGIAR

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2006 CGIAR, SPIA

Policy-oriented Research (POR) is research that aims to influence the decisions made by governments or other institutions that are embodied in laws, regulations, or activities that affect people’s lives and livelihoods. POR has recently accounted for an increasing share of research expenditures in the CGIAR, rising from 9 percent in 1995 to about 18 percent currently. Yet it is a theme where evidence of impacts is scant.

The Science Council’s study of POR was conducted at the request of several members of the CGIAR. This is a collection of seven case studies, selected from a competitive call of 14 submissions. Five of the seven case studies were able to measure the economic impacts of the policy changes associates with the POR and the returns on the POR investments themselves, although none was able to translate these impacts into quantified effects of poverty reduction or food security. In this respect, these impact assessments are not so different from most others undertaken in the CGIAR.

Adding together the estimates economic impacts of POR from the five relevant case studies gives us a cumulative NPV of about US$ 750 million. If we add this amount to the US$200 million in benefits estimated for three cases cited in the scoping study report, we arrive at a current estimate of US$950 million as NPV of documented benefits from POR in the CGIAR system. These benefits stand in comparison with US$800 million of cumulative investment in POR in the CGIAR up to 2004, a figure which has probably surpassed US$900 million in 2008. However, if donors are to be convinced that the CGIAR’s increasing emphasis on POR over the past 20 years is justified, further PORIA studies are needed to provide a more comprehensive estimate of the benefits of POR across the entire CGIAR system.

(Series No: 18)

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Policy-oriented Research in the CGIAR

CGIAR, SPIA. 2006. Policy-Oriented Research in the CGIAR. Science Council Brief No. 18

Publication cover image thumbnail Fertilizer Trees: rejuvenating soils in Southern Africa

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Series No: 16

2006 CGIAR, SPIA

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Fertilizer Trees: rejuvenating soils in Southern Africa

CGIAR, SPIA. 2006. Fertilizer Trees: rejuvenating soils in Southern Africa. Science Council Brief No. 16

Publication cover image thumbnail Participation works: evidence from Thailand and Vietnam

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2006 CGIAR, SPIA

CIAT, together with NARS, worked with farmers to identify, test and adjust promising natural resource conservation and productivity enhancement cassava technologies. The impact study of the project conducted in 2003 in Vietnam and Thailand shows that the IRR for the project was 41.2%. Various scenario analyses revealed that the rate of return of the R&D investment was indeed a safe bet considering that the most conservative scenarios still yielded an IRR of 20%.

(Series No: 15)

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Participation works: evidence from Thailand and Vietnam

CGIAR, SPIA. 2006. Participation works: evidence from Thailand and Vietnam. Science Council Brief No. 15

Publication cover image thumbnail Tracing the outcomes of research on irrigation management transfer

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Series No: 14

2006 CGIAR, SPIA

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Tracing the outcomes of research on irrigation management transfer

CGIAR, SPIA. 2006. Tracing the outcomes of research on irrigation management transfer. Science Council Brief No. 14

Publication cover image thumbnail When zero means plenty: the impact of zero-tillage in India

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2006 CGIAR, SPIA

The most widely adopted resource-conserving technology in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP), particularly in India, is Zero-tillage (ZT). CIMMYT's role with regard to ZT in India was to make the diffusion process faster and more efficient. CIMMYT facilitated technology introduction by helping with the design experiments for technology testing and local adaptation. Using conservative benefit estimates the program yielded a net present value (NPV) of US$94 million; equivalent to a benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of 39 and an IRR of 57%. The economic surplus primarily benefited consumers, at 65%, compared to producers, at 35%.

Also see the publication Natural Resources Management Research Impacts: Evidence from the CGIAR (SPIA 2003) for the CIMMYT case study – Assessing the Impact of Zero Tillage in India’s Rice-wheat Systems.

(Series No: 13)

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When zero means plenty: the impact of zero-tillage in India

CGIAR, SPIA. 2006. When zero means plenty: the impact of zero-tillage in India. Science Council Brief No. 13


CGIAR, SPIA. 2006. Natural resources management research impacts: evidence from the CGIAR. Rome, Science Council Secretariat. 64 pp.

Publication cover image thumbnail Fighting Land Degradation in the Drylands: NRM Technologies for Crop–Livestock Farming

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Series No: 12

2006 CGIAR, SPIA

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Fighting Land Degradation in the Drylands: NRM Technologies for Crop–Livestock Farming

CGIAR, SPIA. 2006. Fighting Land Degradation in the Drylands: NRM Technologies for Crop–Livestock Farming. Science Council Brief No. 12