Impact Assessment Meetings and Events

Click here for SPIA's regular biannual meetings (agenda, SPIA Activities Update, minutes etc)

Innovations in impact assessment of agricultural research: Theory and practice. Pre-conference workshop at the International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE) meetings

Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, Saturday 18th August 2012

A very productive and stimulating day, and it was a case of "standing room only". Thanks to all who came, particularly the speakers. We're now going through the process of compiling papers for consideration for a special issue of Food Policy.



























New approaches to assessing the impact of agricultural research on poverty and undernutrition: A brainstorming workshop on ex-post impact assessment

IFPRI, Washington DC, 3rd and 4th December 2010


The work of the CGIAR Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) over the next few years will concentrate on deepening the assessments of impact of CGIAR research to go beyond economic impact measurements to examine issues arguably closest to the heart of CGIAR goals – especially impact indicators relating to poverty and hunger. Rarely have these been measured in explicit or rigorous ways that clearly establish a causal connection with CGIAR research outputs. Some studies have been undertaken (e.g. the collection by Adato and Meinzen-Dick, 2007) but few of these were conducted at a macro-level sufficient to provide comprehensive estimates of poverty related impacts from CGIAR research investments. SPIA with the support of USAID will allocate some limited resources to this activity in 2011-12.

To jumpstart this initiative, SPIA and IFPRI jointly organised a one and half day brainstorming workshop with the following objectives.

  1. Evaluate promising new methods and data sources for more comprehensively and more credibly documenting ex-post impacts of CG research on poverty and hunger
    • Methods for causal identification: experimental and non-experimental approaches
    • Integration across scales: combining micro-level and macro-level methods
    • Measurement under real-world constraints: identifying useful (feasible) indicators of poverty and hunger (income poverty, nutrition, gender equality, risk/vulnerability, empowerment, etc.)
  2. Suggest feasible ways forward for SPIA in 2011-2012 aiming to broaden or deepen evidence of impact ex post of the CG on specific poverty-related indicators, with indicative workplan and budget.

Workshop report (pdf)

Agenda and list of participants (pdf)

Background paper by de Janvry, Dustan and Sadoulet (pdf) "Recent Advances in Impact Analysis Methods for Ex-post Impact Assessments of Agricultural Technology: Options for the CGIAR"

Background note by SPIA (pdf) "A brief history of poverty impact assessment of agricultural research"

A 2-page summary (or click here for the full-length version) of 26 ideas for possible poverty case-studies, submitted to SPIA by the CGIAR centres


Bob Herdt: Thoughts on assessing the impact of improved agricultural technology on poverty (pdf, click here)

Alain de Janvry: Overview and evaluation of methods used in ex-post impact assessments of agricultural technology (pdf, click here)

Elisabeth Sadoulet: Randomized control trials and other methods of “pseudo-randomization” (pdf, click here)

John Hoddinott: Evaluating the impact of new agricultural technologies with panel data (pdf, click here)

Will Martin: Promoting global agricultural growth and poverty reduction (2010-2050) (pdf, click here)

Clemens Breisinger: Progress on CGE modeling and role in CGIAR impact assessment (pdf, click here)

Joaqium Bento de Souza Ferreira Filho: Technological progress in Brazilian agriculture - poverty and income distribution effects (pdf, click here)


European Evaluation Society Conference

Prague, 6th - 8th October 2010

Conference website:

Featuring a panel discussion "Impact assessment versus impact evaluation: Comparing and contrasting impact assessment in the agriculture sector with impact evaluation" chaired by SPIA member Ross Conner (UC Irving) with presentations from centre scientists Roberto La Rovere (CIMMYT), Elisabetta Gotor (Bioversity) and Aden Aw-Hassan (ICARDA). Discussant for the session was High Waddington (from the International Initiative on Impact Evaluation - 3IE.

Increasing the rigor of ex-post impact assessment of agricultural research: A discussion on estimating treatment effects

University of California at Berkeley, 2nd October 2010

Part of the "Agriculture for Development Revisited conference":

This discussion on increasing the rigor of ex-post impact assessment focused on the step from research outputs to outcomes, and specifically on the estimates of the effect size associated with adoption of technologies. The motivation for this discussion also partly stemmed from the desire to expand the comprehensiveness and methodological options in the latter step that traces outcomes to impacts.

With the increased call for measuring and evaluating impacts that give a broader, accurate, rigorous and multi-dimensional perspective on how investments in research are contributing towards developmental goals, there is a need for alternative methods, new concepts and meaningful measurements of the ‘project worth.’ The goals, methods and measures used in traditional epIAs need to make room for methods and approaches that are better able to address a more direct evaluation question—what are the effects on poverty, hunger and resource degradation as a result of the adoption of research outputs generated by agricultural research for development?

The discussion was based on this draft of a paper by Alain de Janvry, Andrew Dustan and Elisabeth Sadoulet, comissioned by SPIA. A write-up of the discussion is available here.


Defining and refining good practice in ex-post impact assessment: CGIAR Impact Assessment Focal Point Meeting

Embrapa, Brasilia, 10th – 11th November 2008

Proceedings available here: Proceedings of IAFPM 2008 (PDF)


Advancing impact assessment of international agricultural research: CGIAR Impact Assessment Focal Point Meeting

World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, 5th – 7th October 2006

Proceedings available here: Proceedings IAFPM 2006 (PDF)


Why has impact assessment research not made more of a difference? San Jose, Costa Rica, 4th - 7th February 2002

Proceedings of a meeting organised by the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) and the Economics Programme at CIMMYT available here