SPIA activities that concern application of best practices for collection and updating of diffusion data. Most of these activities are an attempt to fulfil Objective 2 of SIAC.
Objective 1 and 2 of the Diffusion and Impacts of Improved Varieties in Africa (DIIVA) project aims to (1) describe investments in and uptake of crop genetic improvement in priority country-by-commodity combinations in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA); and (2) verify and gain a deeper understanding about the adoption and diffusion of new varieties in a nationally representative setting of selected priority countries and food crops in SSA. Varietal release and adoption data on 152 priority CCCs representing 20 crops and 30 countries, collected in collaboration with 8 CGIAR Centers and their partner organizations, as well scientific strength of breeding program is now available.
SPIA is trying to support the CGIAR in collecting data at a nationally representative scale that can be used to assess adoption and impact of CGIAR innovations. To this end, SPIA is partnering with the World Bank Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS) – Integrated Surveys of Agriculture (ISA) in some of the eight LSMS-ISA Sub-Saharan Africa countries to develop, test and facilitate the introduction of new questions and data collection protocols between 2014 and 2016.
This activity under SIAC Objective 2 will attempt to develop a database of outcomes of CGIAR research that bear on policies, institutions, and investment strategies plausibly linked to Center/CRP outputs. Centers/CRPs will be asked to put forward their own lists of these outcomes and identify how the outcome, i.e. the policy or management change, could be verified (not the attribution). SPIA is also in dialogue with IFPRI and the Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) CRP to co-sponsor a PORIA workshop in 2014.
The DIIVA and TRIVSA projects have been useful testing grounds for processes required to generate expert judgment data on varietal adoption in as transparent and systematic a manner as possible. Survey-based estimates of farm-level adoption are preferable to expert opinion but are expensive to generate (unless it is added to an existing panel like LSMS-ISA). However, for the majority of CCCs a process of periodic expert assessment is foreseen with Centers playing a leading role in ensuring the data is updated periodically and expanded to include new CCCs.
MSU is leading the effort to document the diffusion of adoption of improved varieties of major CGIAR mandated crops in South, Southeast and East Asia using expert elicitation method and existing datasets. As part of validation, MSU will audit the expert elicitation process and also conduct (or commission) nationally representative adoption surveys for selected crop-by country combinations (CCCs). Through the January 2014 inception workshop with 7 Centers, NARs partners and consultants a list of 135 CCCs have been identified, and data collection and validation will continue through 2015.
Unlike seeds which physically embody the technological change within them, most natural resource management (NRM) research outputs are disembodied and thus adoption is not often discreet posing several changes to ascertain levels of adoption. Nevertheless, some practices can be observed remotely or through simple but carefully-timed surveys, and others will remain harder to observe or require detailed farmer surveys.
Similar to the MSU-led effort to collect crop varietal release and adoption data in S/SE and East Asia, SPIA will lead the effort to develop a database on adoption of specific NRM related innovations, by country, derived from or informed by CGIAR research. In March 2016, a number of adoption studies that involve collection of new data (household surveys, focus group discussions), analysis of existing secondary data (national ag. statistics or LSMS-ISA), and/or analysis of remote sensing imagery on agroforestry, conservation agriculture, microdosing, and integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) were funded.
Legumes are an under-evaluated crop group, and yet it is suggested that legume improvement could have impacts on gender equity, nutrition, and sustainable soil management. SPIA worked with scientists at ICARDA, ICRISAT, CIAT, and IITA as well as looked into potential partnerships with external agencies, research centers, and consultants to document the most important cases of adoption and impact of legume technologies.