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  • Livestock-related research in CGIAR: what do we know of the impacts?

    2017 ISPC, SPIA

    Over the past several years, one of the major areas of work for SPIA has been an effort to advance the evidence base and for impact assessments in previously under-evaluated areas of CGIAR research. SPIA’s goal has been to expand impact assessment beyond the narrow domain of crop germplasm improvement where most ex post impact assessments (epIAs) have traditionally concentrated. Accordingly, SPIA has sought to assess the evidence for impact in key areas of CGIAR research effort: irrigation and water management, livestock management, policy-oriented research, natural resource management, agro-forestry, and in-situ conservation of biodiversity. This Brief is based on Jutzi and Rich (2016) review of the impact assessment work on livestock and livestock-related research in the CGIAR.

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    ISPC, SPIA 2017. Livestock-related research in CGIAR: what do we know of the impacts?. Impact Brief No. 51.

    Learning for Adoption: Technology Adoption in Developing Country Agriculture

    2016 de Janvry, A., Macours, K. and Sadoulet, E. (Eds.)

    Policy briefs from the workshop organized by Ferdi and SPIA on June 1 and 2, 2016, in Clermont-Ferrand.

    Productivity growth in agriculture is expected to be the main source of successful structural transformation and industrialization for pre-industrial developingcountries with an un-captured potential in agriculture. Indeed, history tells us that agricultural revolutions have preceded industrial revolutions in most countries withrural populations. Recent experiences with industrialization in countries such as China, India, and Brazil support this proposition. Productivity growth in agriculturerequires the availability of technological innovations for agriculture and adoptionof these innovations by the farm community. In recent years, emphasis has been given to the lag between the presumed availability of promising innovations andtheir adoption. Many factors can be associated with lack of adoption, such as credit constraints, lack of insurance coverage, high transaction costs on markets,or behavioral inadequacies. In addition, as information about new technologiesis a necessary, if not sufficient, condition for adoption, a good understanding of potential information failures that limit farmers adoption of available technologiesis considered key. This puts the focus on the performance of extension services and the transfer of information through social networks, agro-dealers, or farmer’s commercial partners upstream in the value chain.

    Motivated by this observation FERDI (Fondation pour les études et recherchessur le développement international) and SPIA (Standing Panel on Impact Assessment of the CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council) organized a workshop to explore the current knowledge on how farmers learn anddecide on adoption. Presented here is a summary of the main conclusions reached in the workshop and a brief outline of the presentations made. The presentationsare summarized in the eleven policy briefs that follow this introduction.

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    de Janvry, A., Macours, K. and Sadoulet, E. (Eds.) 2016. Learning for Adoption: Technology Adoption in Developing Country Agriculture. Policy briefs from the workshop organized by Ferdi and SPIA, Clermont-Ferrand, June 1-2, 2016.

    BD56, an Early-maturing and Drought-tolerant Variety for Bangladesh: Results from a Pilot Evaluation

    2016 SPIA

    Kyle Emerick (Tufts), Alain de Janvry (UC Berkeley), Elisabeth Sadoulet (UC Berkeley), and Manzoor Dar (IRRI) initiated a pilot evaluation of BD56 starting in the 2015 wet season. BD56 is a recently released rice variety of IRRI that offers both early maturity and drought tolerance. This Brief presents results from the pilot evaluation funded by SPIA. The researchers are currently running a larger experiment in 256 villages in the Rajshahi division of Bangladesh, also funded by SPIA.

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    ISPC, SPIA 2016. BD56, an early-maturing and drought-tolerant variety for Bangladesh: Results from a pilot evaluation. Impact Brief No. 50.

    On the Ground or in the Air? A Methodological Experiment on Crop Residue Cover Measurement in Ethiopia

    2016 Kosmowski, F., Stevenson, J., Campbell, J., Ambel, A.A., and Tsegay, A. H.

    Maintaining permanent coverage of the soil using crop residues is an important and commonly recommended practice in conservation agriculture. Measuring this practice is an essential step in improving knowledge about the adoption and impact of conservation agriculture. Different data collection methods can be implemented to capture the field level crop residue coverage for a given plot, each with its own implications for the survey budget, implementation speed, and respondent and interviewer burden. This study tests six alternative methods of crop residue coverage measurement among the same sample of rural households in Ethiopia. The relative accuracy of these methods is compared against a benchmark, the line-transect method. The alternative methods compared against the benchmark include: (i) interviewee (respondent) estimation; (ii) enumerator estimation visiting the field; (iii) interviewee with visual-aid without visiting the field; (iv) enumerator with visual-aid visiting the field; (v) field picture collected with a drone and analyzed with image-processing methods; and (vi) satellite picture of the field analyzed with remote sensing methods. Results of the methodological experiment show that survey-based methods tend to underestimate field residue cover. When quantitative data on cover are needed, the best estimates are provided by visual-aid protocols. For categorical analysis (such as greater than 30 percent cover or not), visual-aid protocols and remote sensing methods perform equally well. Among survey-based methods, the strongest correlates of measurement errors are total farm size, field size, distance, and slope. The results deliver a ranking of measurement options that can inform survey practitioners and researchers.

    This work is a part of the SIAC (2013-2016) program to develop robust methods to routinely track adoption of CGIAR research outcomes. You can find a bit more information on the collaboration with LSMS-ISA here.

    On the Ground or in the Air? A Methodological Experiment on Crop Residue Cover Measurement in Ethiopia

    Varietal Identification in Household Surveys: Results from an Experiment Using DNA Fingerprinting of Sweet Potato Leaves in Southern Ethiopia

    2016 Kosmowski, F., Aragaw, A., Kilian, A., Ambel, A.A., Ilukor, J., Yigezu, B. and Stevenson, J.

    Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) varieties have important nutritional differences and there is strong interest to identify nutritionally superior varieties for dissemination. In agricultural household surveys, this information is often collected based on the farmer's self-report. However, recent evidence has demonstrated the inherent difficulties in correctly identifying varieties from self-report information. This study examines the accuracy of self-report information on varietal identification from a data capture experiment on sweet potato varieties in southern Ethiopia. Three household-based methods of identifying varietal adoption are tested against the benchmark of DNA fingerprinting: (A) elicitation from farmers with basic questions for the most widely planted variety; (B) farmer elicitation on five sweet potato phenotypic attributes by showing a visual-aid protocol; and (C) enumerator recording observations on five sweet potato phenotypic attributes using a visual-aid protocol and visiting the field. The reference being the DNA fingerprinting, about 30 percent of improved varieties were identified as local or non-improved, and 20 percent of farmers identified a variety as local when it was in fact improved. The variety names given by farmers delivered inconsistent and fuzzy varietal identities. The visual-aid protocols employed in methods B and C were better than method A, but still way below the adoption estimates given by the DNA fingerprinting method. The findings suggest that estimating the adoption of improved varieties with methods based on farmer self-reports is questionable, and point toward a wider use of DNA fingerprinting, likely to become the gold standard for crop varietal identification.

    This work is a part of the SIAC (2013-2016) program to develop robust methods to routinely track adoption of CGIAR research outcomes. You can find a bit more information on the collaboration with LSMS-ISA here.

    Varietal Identification in Household Surveys: Results from an Experiment Using DNA Fingerprinting of Sweet Potato Leaves in Southern Ethiopia

    Kosmowski, Frederic; Aragaw, Abiyot; Kilian, Andrzej; Ambel, Alemayehu A.; Ilukor, John; Yigezu, Biratu; Stevenson, James. 2016. Varietal identification in household surveys : results from an experiment using DNA fingerprinting of sweet potato leaves in southern Ethiopia. Policy Research working paper; no. WPS 7812. Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/225101473169649006/Varietal-identification-in-household-surveys-results-from-an-experiment-using-DNA-fingerprinting-of-sweet-potato-leaves-in-southern-Ethiopia

    An Evaluation of CGIAR Centers’ Impact Assessment Work on Livestock-Related Research (1990 – 2014)

    2016 Jutzi, S.C., and Rich, K.M.

    Over the past several years, one of the major areas of work for SPIA has been an effort to advance the evidence base and for impact assessments in previously under-evaluated areas of CGIAR research. SPIA’s goal has been to expand impact assessment beyond the narrow domain of crop germplasm improvement where most ex post impact assessments (epIAs) have traditionally concentrated. Accordingly, SPIA has sought to assess the evidence for impact in key areas of CGIAR research effort: irrigation and water management, livestock management, policy-oriented research, natural resource management, agro-forestry, and in-situ conservation of biodiversity. This review of the impact assessment work on livestock and livestock-related research in the CGIAR is the second scoping study commissioned by SPIA to assess the impact evidence across these under-evaluated areas within the CGIAR portfolio.

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    Jutzi, S.C., and Rich, K.M. 2016. An evaluation of CGIAR Centers’ impact assessment work on livestock-related research (1990-2014). Rome, Italy, Standing Panel on Impact Assessment(SPIA), CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC). 69 pp.

    Crop Improvement, Adoption and Impact of Improved Varieties in Food Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa

    2015 Edited by Walker, T.S., and Alwang, J.

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    Is Rice Improvement Still Making a Difference? Assessing the Economic, Poverty, and Food Security Impacts of Rice Varieties Released from 1989 to 2009 in Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines

    2015 Raitzer, D.A., Sparks, A.H., Huelgas, Z., Maligalig, R., Balangue, Z., Launio, C., Daradjat, A., and Ahmed, H.U.

    This is one of the three proposals funded through a competitive call for proposals to evaluate the links between agricultural research and poverty in 2011. More background on the SPIA project (Social impacts: poverty and hunger) can be found here

    The productivity impact of the initial diffusion of modern varieties (MVs) of rice across Asia during the 1960s through the 1980s, as part of the “Green Revolution”, is one of the most documented successes of international development assistance in agriculture. However, much less is known about whether continued efforts to further improve rice varieties are making similar contributions to on farm productivity. This study assesses the degree to which post 1989 MVs of rice have led to increased agricultural productivity, economic surplus, welfare for the poor, food security and environmental benefits in Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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    Raitzer, D.A., Sparks, A.H., Huelgas, Z., Maligalig, R., Balangue, Z., Launio, C., Daradjat, A., and Ahmed, H.U. 2015. Is Rice Improvement Still Making a Difference? Assessing the Economic, Poverty and Food Security Impacts of Rice Varieties Released from 1989 to 2009 in Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines. A report submitted to the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA), CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC). 128 pp.

    Ex post impacts of improved maize varieties on poverty in rural Ethiopia

    2015 Zeng, D., Alwang, J., Norton, G. W., Shiferaw, B., Jaleta, M. and Yirga, C.

    This Agricultural Economics journal article 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). An Impact Brief (#45) based on the report/study submitted to SPIA is also available. The full report will be published shortly on this site along with the SPIA foreword.

    Ex post impacts of improved maize varieties on poverty in rural Ethiopia

    Zeng, D., Alwang, J., Norton, G. W., Shiferaw, B., Jaleta, M. and Yirga, C. (2015), Ex post impacts of improved maize varieties on poverty in rural Ethiopia. Agricultural Economics. doi: 10.1111/agec.12178

    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).

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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.

    An Evaluation of CGIAR Centers’ Impact Assessment Work on Irrigation and Water Management Research

    2015 Douglas J Merrey

    A significant proportion of CGIAR research investment has been spent on policy and natural resource management (NRM). However, compared to other areas of research e.g., crop germplasm improvement (CGI), there appears 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 report synthesizes the findings and recommendations of a critical review of IAs of CGIAR irrigation and water management research. Critical reviews such as this one are intended to be the first step in encouraging new IAs of the under-evaluated topic in question, as well as provide inputs on improving the quality of IAs.

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    Merrey, D.J. 2015. An Evaluation of CGIAR Centers’ Impact Assessment Work on Irrigation and Water Management Research. Rome, Italy, Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA), CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC). 83 pp.

    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.   

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

    Simulation-based Ex Ante Assessment of Sustainable Agricultural Technologies: An Application to Integrated Aquaculture-Agriculture in Bangladesh.

    2015 Antle, J.M., Murshed-E-Jahan, K., Crissman, C.C., and Valdivia, R.O.

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    Antle, J.M., Murshed-E-Jahan, K., Crissman, C.C., and Valdivia, R.O. 2015. Simulation based Ex Ante Assessment of Sustainable Agricultural Technologies: An Application to Integrated Aquaculture-Agriculture in Bangladesh. A report submitted to the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA), CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC). 57 pp.

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    Towards Appraising the Impact of Legume Research: A Synthesis of Evidence

    2014 Douglas Pachico

    This Legumes Synthesis Report 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. 

    There is ample evidence of widespread adoption of improved bean varieties in Sub-Saharan Africa, chickpea varieties in southern India and cowpea varieties in West Africa, as well as small-scale adoption of improved chickpea varieties in the Horn of Africa.

    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. You can read the key findings in the Impact Brief (#44).

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    Pachico, D. 2014. Towards appraising the impact of legume research: A synthesis of evidence. Rome, Italy,Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA), CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC).39 pp.

    Measuring the Effectiveness of Crop Improvement Research in Sub-Saharan Africa from the Perspectives of Varietal Output, Adoption, and Change: 20 Crops, 30 Countries, and 1150 Cultivars in Farmers’ Fields

    2014 Tom Walker, Arega Alene, Jupiter Ndjeunga, Ricardo Labarta, Yigezu Yigezu, Aliou Diagne, Robert Andrade, Rachel Muthoni Andriatsitohaina, Hugo De Groote, Kai Mausch, Chilot Yirga, Franklin Simtowe, Enid Katungi, Wellington Jogo, Moti Jaleta and Sushil Pan

    A synthesis report on the results of a CGIAR project: Diffusion and Impact of Improved Varieties in Africa (DIIVA) Project – the first major study to focus on the diffusion of improved crop varieties in SSA. Supported by the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), seven CGIAR Centers and their partners carried out adoption research and impact assessments as part of DIIVA, which was directed and coordinated by CGIAR Independent Science & Partnership Council’s (ISPC) Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) and administrated through Bioversity International.This work has been driven by thre e complementary activities that respond to three project objectives: (1) documenting the key performance indicators of crop genetic improvement; (2) collecting nationally representative survey data on varietal adoption; and (3) assessing the impact of varietal change. This synthesis paper reports on progress in the first two areas: documenting the performance of crop improvement in SSA and validating estimates from expert panels with results from nationally representative surveys on the diffusion of MVs. For more information on DIIVA: please refer the project page

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    Walker, T., Alene, A., Ndjeunga, J., Labarta, R., Yigezu, Y., Diagne, A., Andrade, R., Muthoni Andriatsitohaina, R., De Groote, H., Mausch, K., Yirga, C., Simtowe, F., Katungi, E., Jogo, W., Jaleta, M. & Pandey, S. 2014. Measuring the Effectiveness of Crop Improvement Research in Sub-Saharan Africa from the Perspectives of Varietal Output, Adoption, and Change: 20 Crops, 30 Countries, and 1150 Cultivars in Farmers’ Fields. Report of the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA), CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) Secretariat: Rome, Italy.

    Impact assessment of agricultural research, institutional innovation, and technology adoption: Introduction to the special section

    2014 Maredia, M.K., Shankar, B., Kelley, T.G., & Stevenson, J.R.

    This article introduces a special section on impact assessment of agricultural research, institutional innovation and technology adoption. It is based on papers presented at a pre-conference workshop held at the International Conference of Agricultural Economists at Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil in August 2012. It briefly reviews the history of impact assessment of agricultural research and discusses the contributions made by each of the papers included in this section towards advancing the theory and practice of assessing the outcomes and impacts of agricultural research for development.

    Impact assessment of agricultural research, institutional innovation, and technology adoption: Introduction to the special section

    Maredia, M.K., Shankar, B., Kelley, T.G., & Stevenson, J.R. 2014. Impact assessment of agricultural research, institutional innovation, and technology adoption: Introduction to the special section. Food Policy (44): 214 - 217

    Case-studies on the impact of germplasm collection, conservation, characterization and evaluation (GCCCE) in the CGIAR

    2013 Robinson, J. & Srinivasan, C.S.

    Although many studies over the years have sought to document the impacts of agricultural research, there remain critical gaps in the extent to which different components of the CGIAR portfolio have been studied. One area of CGIAR research and related activities that many recognize as being under - assessed is ‘germplasm collection, conservation, characterization and evaluation’ (GCCCE). This is a large area of CGIAR activity: in 2008 - 2010, approximately 12% of the CGIAR research spending was devoted to this activity. Although cumulative numbers are difficult to calculate, it has been estimated – based on data compiled and reported in earlier CGIAR Financial Reports – that in the years from 1970 to 2010, a total of about US $800 million (in 2002 dollars) has been spent on GCCCE related activities. In spite of this sizeable investment, there have been few studies that have attempted to assess the impact of these GCCCE activities or to quantify the benefits derived. The aim of this study commissioned by SPIA was to measure and value - to the extent possible - the impacts related to GCCCE related activities by the CGIAR. As past efforts in this sort of assessment have been limited in scope, scale, data and methods, one of the initial objectives of this study was to propose a conceptual framework and set of methods that might be applied in future efforts to estimate these types of impacts. The perspective taken with respect to valuation was derived from the concept of total economic value, which embraces multiple sources of value, although not all of which equally amenable to measurement.

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    Robinson, J. & Srinivasan, C.S. 2013. Case-studies on the impact of germplasm collection, conservation, characterization and evaluation (GCCCE) in the CGIAR

    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.

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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.

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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: 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.

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

    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.

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

    Measuring the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Research: Theory and Applications to CGIAR Research

    2011 CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council

    Final report from the SPIA project on Assessing Environmental Impacts (2008-2011). More information on the project here.

    Measuring the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Research: Theory and Applications to CGIAR Research

    CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council. 2011. Measuring the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Research: Theory and Applications to CGIAR Research. Independent Science and Partnership Council Secretariat: Rome, Italy.

    Recent advances in impact analysis methods for ex-post impact assessments of agricultural technology: options for the CGIAR

    2011 De Janvry, A., Dustan, A. & Sadoulet, E.

    This paper was commissioned by SPIA in 2010 and appraises a range of recent methodological innovations that are now available to practitioners when carrying out analysis of the impact of agricultural research. It argues for greater focus on methods that provide rigorous casual reference.

    Recent advances in impact analysis methods for ex-post impact assessments of agricultural technology: options for the CGIAR

    De Janvry, A., Dustan, A. & Sadoulet, E. 2011. Recent advances in impact analysis methods for ex-post impact assessments of agricultural technology: options for the CGIAR. Rome, ISPC. 40 pp.

    Impact Assessment of Policy-Oriented International Agricultural Research: Evidence and Insights from Case Studies

    2010 Walker ,T., Ryan, J. & Kelley, T.

    Assessing the impact of policy-oriented research is fraught with methodological difficulties ranging from attributing influence on policy change to constructing an appropriate counterfactual. The six case studies in this special section address these challenges in the context of international agricultural research. Methodological and analytical lessons are drawn about the uptake and influence of policy-oriented research on policy change and about the conduct of cost–benefit analysis for such research. The authors of the studies effectively used a key-informant approach to document uptake and influence for policy reforms that were believed to have incorporated well-defined outputs from policy research.

    Impact Assessment of Policy-Oriented International Agricultural Research: Evidence and Insights from Case Studies

    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

    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.

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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 More trees, more milk, more money

    Publication cover image thumbnail

    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.

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    More trees, more milk, more money

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

    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.

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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 The impact of Bioversity International’s African Leafy Vegetables Programme in Kenya

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    2010 Gotor E., C. Irungu.

    One of the objectives of Bioversity International is to promote income and food security by ensuring that agricultural biodiversity is conserved, characterized and used to improve productivity. The African Leafy Vegetables (ALVs) programme was initiated and implemented to meet this objective. Since the programme was concluded almost five years ago, no impact evaluation has been carried out. Thus the purpose of this study is twofold: to evaluate the role played by Bioversity and its partners in the programme, and to assess the impact of the ALVs programme on the livelihoods of farmers in Kisii, Tharaka, Kilifi and peri-urban Nairobi. The study utilized both secondary and primary data. Primary data was generated between June and July 2007, using 211 randomly selected households stratified into participant and control households. Information from the survey was complemented by focus group discussions. To assess the role of Bioversity and its partners, all the partners, both directly and indirectly related to the project, were identified and interviewed. Bioversity was found to have ably acted as catalyst, facilitator and coordinator of the programme. Results further showed that production, consumption and marketing of ALVs had increased since 1997, women still dominated most of the ALVs activities, and those households that marketed ALVs were relatively well off than those that did not.

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    Impact Assessment Discussion Paper No.1

    The impact of integrated aquaculture-agriculture on small-scale farms in southern Malawi.

    2010 Dey, M. M., F. J. Paraguas, P. Kambewa and D. E. Pemsl.

    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.

    The impact of integrated aquaculture-agriculture on small-scale farms in southern Malawi.

    Agricultural Economics 41(1): 67-79

    Publication cover image thumbnail The impacts of CGIAR research: a review of recent evidence.

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    2010 Renkow, M. & Byerlee, D.

    We review evidence on the impacts of CGIAR research published since 2000 in order to provide insights into how successful the CGIAR Centers have been in pursuing the System’s core missions. Our review suggests that the CGIAR research contributions in crop genetic improvement, pest management, natural resources management, and policy research have, in the aggregate, yielded strongly positive impacts relative to investment, and appear likely to continue doing so.

    Crop genetic improvement stands out as having had the most profound documented positive impacts. Substantial evidence exists that other research areas within the CGIAR have had large beneficial impacts although often locally and nationally rather than internationally. However, the “right-time, right-place” nature of successful policy research and the relatively limited geographic scale of much natural resource management research often limits the overall scale of impacts of these programmatic thrusts vis-à-vis genetic improvement research.

    We conclude that given the evidence available, the CGIAR’s portfolio of research allocations has become overly skewed toward natural resource management and policy research over time. Hence, restoring somewhat the share of resources allocated to crop genetic improvement is warranted. In addition, the CGIAR needs to prioritize impact assessment of resource management and policy research to deepen its understanding of the social and environmental impacts of its work.

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    Renkow, M. & Byerlee, D. 2010. The impacts of CGIAR research: a review of recent evidence. Food Policy 35: 391–402.

    Assessing impacts of maize research through a livelihoods lens: findings and lessons from the hill regions of Mexico and Nepal

    2009 La Rovere, R., Mathema, S., Dixon, J., Aquino Mercado, P., Gurung, K.

    A livelihood approach to impact assessment (IA), by integrating livelihood and economic analyses, permits a more comprehensive assessment than does conventional IA. CIMMYT recently completed two studies on the impacts of maize research in the hill regions of Mexico and Nepal to assess the impacts of this research, examine changes in farmers' livelihoods that resulted from the research projects and learn how such investments can have more impact in the future. This paper compares and contrasts the methodologies and results of the two studies, arriving at the key lessons on the impacts of research and of the international public goods generated, and on what was learned so as to better target and enhance maize research to improve the livelihoods of farmers in the future.

    Assessing impacts of maize research through a livelihoods lens: findings and lessons from the hill regions of Mexico and Nepal

    Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, volume 27, number 3, September 2009. 26 pp.

    Assessing the impact of late blight resistant varieties on smallholders’ potato production in the Peruvian Andes.

    2009 Salazar, Lina, Paul Winters, Luis Maldonado, Guy Hareau, and Graham Thiele

    In this study, we examine whether the adoption of late blight resistant cultivars has an effect on yields and fungicide use. We will focus on the Amarilis variety which is considered more resistant to late blight than other varieties adopted by the farmers in the sample. Using data from three main potato producer states in the Peruvian Andes, significant positive effects on yields and negative effects on fungicide use are found. Specifically, the damage abatement approach provides evidence that Amarilis adoption enhances output maximization mainly through the control of late blight. At the discount rate of 10%, the probable net present value (NPV) of the net benefits accruing to farmers through the adoption of Amarilis amounts to almost 9 million dollars.

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    Working Paper 2009-5. International Potato Center (CIP), Lima, Peru. 29 p. ISBN: ISSN 0256-8748

    Publication cover image thumbnail Benefits of adopting improved forages in smallholder farms in Central America: An ex post analysis.

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    2009 Holmann F, Argel P, Perez E.

    The area planted to improved pastures increased in all countries, ranging from 12% in Guatemala to 105% in Nicaragua. Except for Guatemala (where the animal inventory decreased almost 11% due to Hurricane Stan), all countries expanded their herds (between 34% and 41%) in practically all animal categories, not only adult cows. On-farm milk production during the dry season increased 9% in Guatemala, 47% in Honduras and Nicaragua, and 71% in Costa Rica. Milk production during the rainy season remained practically invariable in Guatemala, but increased 48% in Honduras, 19% in Nicaragua, and 53% in Costa Rica. On the other hand, these increases in milk production were also favored by the rise in milk prices in all countries, ranging from 7% in Nicaragua to 36% in Costa Rica during the dry season and from 4% in Nicaragua to 36% in Costa Rica during the rainy season. Beef production accordingly increased 15% in Nicaragua, 46% in Honduras, and 74% in Costa Rica. similar to the trend observed in milk production, beef production did not increase in Guatemala because producers had to sell animals to recover from the losses caused by Hurricane Stan. Likewise, at the end of the project, producers in all countries received higher prices as compared with those obtained at the beginning of the project. The price of beef paid to the producer increased 9% in Guatemala, 4% in Honduras, 5% in Nicaragua, and 11% in Costa Rica. Because of these significant increases in annual milk and meat production, major increases were also observed in the annual net income of farms, reaching 32% in Guatemala, 288% in Honduras, 177% in Nicaragua, and 238% in Costa Rica. These extraordinary increases in net income can be attributed to three factors: (1) the higher milk price in 2007 as compared with that of 2003; (2) higher production due to the better diet; and (3) increased production due to the higher stocking rate allowed because of the adoption of and increase in area sown to improved forages. The increase in the net income of these producers has triggered an increase in the economic returns to family labor, as compared with the commercial value of a day’s wages. Therefore, the returns to family labor in Guatemala went from 3.1 times the value of the minimum wage in 2003 to 6.0 times that value in 2007, representing a 97% increase. In Honduras, the returns to family labor went from 2.9 times the minimum wage in 2003 to 9.8 times that value in 2007, representing a 238% increase. Similarly, in Nicaragua these returns represented a 104% increase and in Costa Rica a 200% increase.

    Benefits of adopting improved forages in smallholder farms in Central America: An ex post analysis.

    Livestock Research for Rural Development. Vol. 21, No. 2. pp. 1-10

    Publication cover image thumbnail Economic gains of improving soil fertility and water holding capacity with clay application: the impact of soil remediation research in northeast Thailand.

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    2009 Saleth, Rathinasamy Maria; Inocencio, A.; Noble, Andrew, D.; Ruaysoongnern, S.

    Declining productivity of agricultural soils in Northeast Thailand is a challenge facing land managers and farmers. A program was initiated in 2002 to investigate the potential role of incorporating clay-based materials into degraded soils as a means of enhancing productivity. This research report attempts to provide an ex-post assessment of the field level impact and economic viability of this approach, using the empirically derived estimates of the average income impacts that the application of bentonite or clay technology has generated among farm communities in Northeast Thailand. From an exclusive IWMI perspective, the impact evaluation suggests that the program has a net present value (NPV) of US$0.41 million with a benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of 2.44 for the sample, and a NPV of US$21 million with a BCR of 75 for the region.

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    International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Research Report 130, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

    Publication cover image thumbnail Economic impacts of soil fertility management research in West Africa.

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    2009 Akinola, A.A., A.D. Alene, R. Adeyemo, D. Sanogo, and A.S. Olanrewaju

    This paper assesses the potential economic impacts of balanced nutrient management systems technology options: BNMS-manure, which combines inorganic fertilizer and organic manure, and BNMS-rotation, which is maize-soybean rotation, in maize-based systems in the northern Guinea savanna areas of Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Benin. The economic surplus analysis suggested that BNMS-manure research and extension could achieve returns ranging from 17 to 25% and a maximum adoption of 24 to 48%, for the conservative and base scenario respectively; and that BNMS-rotation research and extension could achieve returns ranging from 35 to 43% and a maximum adoption of 20 to 40%, for the conservative and base scenario respectively. Our results were consistent with earlier economic analyses which showed that BNMS-rotation was more productive, profitable and acceptable to farmers than BNMS-manure. It may be difficult to achieve large-scale adoption of BNMS-manure because the increases in yields are smaller and markets for manure are missing.

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    African Journal of Agricultural & Resource Economics 3(2): 159–175.

    Impact of crop improvement and management: winter-sown chickpea in Syria.

    2009 Mazid, A., K. Amegbeo, K. Shideed and R.S. Malhotra

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    International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Aleppo, Syria. 52 pp. ISBN: 92-9127-203-8.

    Publication cover image thumbnail Impacts of CIMMYT’s formal training activities linked to long-term trials in the field of Conservation Agriculture: 1996-2006.

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    2009 Svitakova, J., Kosina, P., La Rovere, R.

    Conservation agriculture (CA) combines the principles of a) reduced tillage systems that feature minimal soil disturbance; b) retention of adequate levels of crop residues and cover on the soil surface, to protect the soil from water/wind erosion, water run-off and evaporation, improve water productivity and enhance soil properties; and c) economically viable, diversifi ed crop rotations to help mitigate weed, disease, and pest problems. These principles are applicable to a wide range of crop production systems under low-yielding, dry rainfed and high-yielding irrigated conditions. CIMMYT has offered courses on CA for many years that link a multidisciplinary approach to sustainable crop management with the experience of agronomists leading projects in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. This report summarizes the strengths, weaknesses, outcomes, and impacts of the CIMMYT CA course titled “Bed planting and zero till conservation agriculture technologies for irrigated and rainfed wheat and maize production systems.” During the 10-year span covered by this study, the course was held 16 times under the leadership of CIMMYT agronomist Dr. Ken Sayre. Information presented in this study was gathered from two surveys; one designed for past course participants (scientists attending four-to-fi ve-week training courses in CIMMYT facilities in Mexico). The other survey was prepared for their immediate research leaders and supervisors in the area of agronomy/conservation agriculture.

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    28 p. CIMMYT, Mexico: D.F.

    Publication cover image thumbnail Impacts of the CFC-FAO-ICRISAT Livelihood improvement project in Asia: Region 1 – India.

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    2009 Parthasarathy Rao P, Ravinder Reddy Ch, Ashok S Alur, Belum VS Reddy and CLL Gowda

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    International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics. Patancheru- 502324, Andhra Pradesh, India: 128 pp.

    Publication cover image thumbnail Leaving the Plow Behind: Zero-tillage rice-wheat cultivation in the Indo-Gangetic Plains.

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    2009 Erenstein, O.

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    In: David J. Spielman and Rajul Pandya-Lorch (eds.) Millions Fed: Proven successes in agricultural development. pp 65-70. Washington DC: IFPRI

    Publication cover image thumbnail Linking small holders to the New Agricultural Economy: An evaluation of the Plataformas Program in Ecuador.

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    2009 Cavatassi, Romina, Mario Gonzalez, Paul Winters, Jorge Andrade-Piedra, Patricio Espinoza and Graham Thiele

    This paper analyzes the impact of participation in multi-stakeholder platforms (Plataformas) aimed at linking smallholder potato farmers to the market in the mountain region of Ecuador. It describes and evaluates the Plataformas’ program to determine whether it has been successful in linking farmers to higher-value markets and the effects that such connections have brought, particularly with regard to farmers’ welfare and to the environment. The analysis is run comparing a set of different and carefully constructed control groups to beneficiaries and using various specifications. Results are strongly consistent across the different specifications and are sound across the counterfactuals, suggesting impacts are adequately identified. Findings suggest that the program was successful in improving the welfare of beneficiaries, while potential negative environmental impacts, particularly with relation to agrobiodiversity and use of agrochemicals seem not to be a concern. Mechanisms through which impacts have been achieved are analyzed. Little spillover effects are found.

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    ESA Working Paper Nº 09-06. FAO, Agricultural Development Economics Division. Rome, Italy.

    Publication cover image thumbnail Promoting a Versatile but yet Minor Crop: Soybean in the Farming Systems of Kenya.

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    2009 Chianu J N, Ohiokpehai O, Vanlauwe B, Adesina A, De Groote H, and Sanginga N.

    Crop promotion is critical for market creation and rural growth in Africa. How to achieve this for crops, other than major staples (e.g., maize) and traditional export crops (e.g., tea), remains a problem since most African countries tend to focus policy attention to major staples and traditional export crops. Using a three-tier-approach, developed based on successful soybean promotion strategies in Nigeria and Zimbabwe, this study assesses the effect of market development at household-level, communitylevel, and linking farmers’ groups to industrial processors on sustainable soybean promotion in Kenya. Results show an increase in farmers’ confidence to produce, process, and consume more soybeans than before. Trained farmers’ groups are also developing new soybean products for cash income, a process that has proved to be very profitable. Net returns have been increased from four to 14 times for some products. Selected farmers’ groups are supplying large-scale processors with soybean grains, substituting some imports.

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    Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa. Volume 10, No. 4. pp. 324-344.

    Publication cover image thumbnail The economic and poverty impacts of maize research in West and Central Africa

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    2009 Alenea, A. D. et al.

    This article assembles the results of three multicountry surveys on variety performance and adoption patterns to measure the impacts of maize research in West and Central Africa from 1981 to 2005, and uses cost data since 1971 to compute social rates of return on public investments in maize research in the region. Adoption of modern varieties increased from less than 5% of the maize area in the 1970s to about 60% in 2005, yielding an aggregate rate of return on research and development (R&D) investment of 43%. The estimated number of people moved out of poverty through adoption of new maize varieties rose gradually in the 1980s to more than one million people per year since the mid 1990s. Over half of these impacts can be attributed to international maize research at IITA and CIMMYT. The article concludes with a discussion of strategic options to enhance the impacts of maize research in the region.

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    The economic and poverty impacts of maize research in West and Central Africa

    Alenea, A. D. et al. 2009. The economic and poverty impacts of maize research in West and Central Africa. Agricultural Economics 40: 535–550


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

    Publication cover image thumbnail The economic and poverty impacts of maize research in West and Central Africa.

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    2009 Arega D. Alene, Abebe Menkir, S. O. Ajala, B. Badu-Apraku, A. S. Olanrewaju, V. M. Manyong, Abdou Ndiaye

    This article assembles the results of three multicountry surveys on variety performance and adoption patterns to measure the impacts of maize research in West and Central Africa from 1981 to 2005, and uses cost data since 1971 to compute social rates of return on public investments in maize research in the region. Adoption of modern varieties increased from less than 5% of the maize area in the 1970s to about 60% in 2005, yielding an aggregate rate of return on research and development (R&D) investment of 43%. The estimated number of people moved out of poverty through adoption of new maize varieties rose gradually in the 1980s to more than one million people per year since the mid 1990s. Over half of these impacts can be attributed to international maize research at IITA and CIMMYT. The article concludes with a discussion of strategic options to enhance the impacts of maize research in the region.

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    Agricultural Economics 40 (2009) 535–550

    Publication cover image thumbnail The impact of a nutrition and health programme on the socio-economic status and food access of households in Suba District, Kenya.

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    2009 King’olla B, Ohiokpehai O, Mbithe D.

    Poor nutrition and ill health affect the productivity, livelihoods and food access of a household.This study investigated the impact of a nutrition and health programme on the socioeconomic status andfood access of households in Suba district, Kenya.Methodology and results: Action research design was utilized that involved comparison of the baseline andimpact evaluation results after a three-year intervention period. A sample size of 291 randomly selectedhouseholds from a community whose main economic activity is fishing was used. Data collectioninstruments included a structured questionnaire, focus group discussion guide and an observationchecklist. Data was analyzed using SPSS computer package version 16. A P-value of <0.05 wasconsidered significant. Over a three-year period, household size increased from 4.8 to 5.5. Education levelsimproved insignificantly (P>0.05) while income levels improved with monthly maternal income improvingfrom a minimum of Ksh. 100 to 300 (1.5 to 4.0 US dollars). About 89.6 and 3.4% of households obtainedfood from own produce and purchase combined with assistance, respectively. About 51.2, 3 and 64%reported to consider their households food secure when there was clear moonlight as the fishermen in theirhouseholds were assured of a good fish catch, at the end of the month when households had some cashincome, and if they harvested between 2 to 5 bags of maize (each 90kg), per season, respectively. Morethan a third (32.6%) of the respondents were involved in small business while 50.9 and 16.5% wereinvolved in actual fishing and farming, respectively. Only 6.2% of the respondents had access to creditfacilities. After 3 years, food consumption patterns did not change significantly from the baseline. Sanitationand morbidity patterns did not improve significantly at the households albeit with nutrition and healtheducation, with 27.5 and 30.9% not having latrines and refuse disposal bins/pits, respectively. Thehouseholds bathed, washed and drew drinking water from the same point in Lake Victoria.Conclusion and potential application of findings: Nutrition and health programmes have potential to improvethe socioeconomic status and household food access depending on content coverage of the programmes.

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    Journal of Applied Biosciences. Vol. 21. pp. 1226-1236.

    Publication cover image thumbnail The impact of agricultural research on productivity and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.

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    2009 Alene, A.D. and O. Coulibaly.

    While it is widely recognized that agricultural research is a key driver of broad-based technological change in agriculture that benefits the poor in many different ways, little is known about its aggregate impacts on productivity growth and poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Using a polynomial distributed lag structure for agricultural research within a simultaneous system of equations framework, this paper first demonstrates that agricultural research contributes significantly to productivity growth in SSA. Productivity growth is again shown to raise per capita incomes, with income increases finally having significant poverty-reducing effects. With an aggregate rate of return of 55%, the payoffs to agricultural research are also impressive. Agricultural research currently reduces the number of poor by 2.3 million or 0.8% annually. While the actual impacts are not large enough to more than offset the poverty-increasing effects of population growth and environmental degradation, the potential impacts of agricultural research are far greater. Apart from low research investments, SSA faces several constraints outside the research system that hinder realization of potential research benefits. The results show that doubling research investments in SSA would reduce poverty by 9% annually. However, this would not be realized without more efficient extension, credit, and input supply systems.

    The impact of agricultural research on productivity and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Food Policy, Volume 34, Issue 2, Pages 198-209

    Publication cover image thumbnail The Impact of Fodder Shrubs on Milk Production and Income among Smallholder Dairy Farmers in East Africa and the Role of Research Undertaken by the World Agroforestry Centre.

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    2009 Place, F., Roothaert, R., Maina, L., Franzel, S., Sinja, J., and J. Wanjiku.

    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 Centre toward 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 planting 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 $29.6 million in Kenya alone over the past 15 years.

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    Occasional Paper 12, World Agroforestry Centre, Nairobi, Kenya.

    Livestock-related research in CGIAR: what do we know of the impacts?

    2017 ISPC, SPIA

    Over the past several years, one of the major areas of work for SPIA has been an effort to advance the evidence base and for impact assessments in previously under-evaluated areas of CGIAR research. SPIA’s goal has been to expand impact assessment beyond the narrow domain of crop germplasm improvement where most ex post impact assessments (epIAs) have traditionally concentrated. Accordingly, SPIA has sought to assess the evidence for impact in key areas of CGIAR research effort: irrigation and water management, livestock management, policy-oriented research, natural resource management, agro-forestry, and in-situ conservation of biodiversity. This Brief is based on Jutzi and Rich (2016) review of the impact assessment work on livestock and livestock-related research in the CGIAR.

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    ISPC, SPIA 2017. Livestock-related research in CGIAR: what do we know of the impacts?. Impact Brief No. 51.

    BD56, an Early-maturing and Drought-tolerant Variety for Bangladesh: Results from a Pilot Evaluation

    2016 SPIA

    Kyle Emerick (Tufts), Alain de Janvry (UC Berkeley), Elisabeth Sadoulet (UC Berkeley), and Manzoor Dar (IRRI) initiated a pilot evaluation of BD56 starting in the 2015 wet season. BD56 is a recently released rice variety of IRRI that offers both early maturity and drought tolerance. This Brief presents results from the pilot evaluation funded by SPIA. The researchers are currently running a larger experiment in 256 villages in the Rajshahi division of Bangladesh, also funded by SPIA.

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    ISPC, SPIA 2016. BD56, an early-maturing and drought-tolerant variety for Bangladesh: Results from a pilot evaluation. Impact Brief No. 50.

    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).

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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.

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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.   

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

    Publication cover image thumbnail

    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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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?".

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

    Publication cover image thumbnail

    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%.

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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

    Publication cover image thumbnail

    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.

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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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    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

    Towards Appraising the Impact of Legume Research: A Synthesis of Evidence

    2014 Douglas Pachico

    This Legumes Synthesis Report 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. 

    There is ample evidence of widespread adoption of improved bean varieties in Sub-Saharan Africa, chickpea varieties in southern India and cowpea varieties in West Africa, as well as small-scale adoption of improved chickpea varieties in the Horn of Africa.

    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. You can read the key findings in the Impact Brief (#44).

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    Pachico, D. 2014. Towards appraising the impact of legume research: A synthesis of evidence. Rome, Italy,Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA), CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC).39 pp.

    Measuring the Effectiveness of Crop Improvement Research in Sub-Saharan Africa from the Perspectives of Varietal Output, Adoption, and Change: 20 Crops, 30 Countries, and 1150 Cultivars in Farmers’ Fields

    2014 Tom Walker, Arega Alene, Jupiter Ndjeunga, Ricardo Labarta, Yigezu Yigezu, Aliou Diagne, Robert Andrade, Rachel Muthoni Andriatsitohaina, Hugo De Groote, Kai Mausch, Chilot Yirga, Franklin Simtowe, Enid Katungi, Wellington Jogo, Moti Jaleta and Sushil Pan

    A synthesis report on the results of a CGIAR project: Diffusion and Impact of Improved Varieties in Africa (DIIVA) Project – the first major study to focus on the diffusion of improved crop varieties in SSA. Supported by the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), seven CGIAR Centers and their partners carried out adoption research and impact assessments as part of DIIVA, which was directed and coordinated by CGIAR Independent Science & Partnership Council’s (ISPC) Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) and administrated through Bioversity International.This work has been driven by thre e complementary activities that respond to three project objectives: (1) documenting the key performance indicators of crop genetic improvement; (2) collecting nationally representative survey data on varietal adoption; and (3) assessing the impact of varietal change. This synthesis paper reports on progress in the first two areas: documenting the performance of crop improvement in SSA and validating estimates from expert panels with results from nationally representative surveys on the diffusion of MVs. For more information on DIIVA: please refer the project page

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    Walker, T., Alene, A., Ndjeunga, J., Labarta, R., Yigezu, Y., Diagne, A., Andrade, R., Muthoni Andriatsitohaina, R., De Groote, H., Mausch, K., Yirga, C., Simtowe, F., Katungi, E., Jogo, W., Jaleta, M. & Pandey, S. 2014. Measuring the Effectiveness of Crop Improvement Research in Sub-Saharan Africa from the Perspectives of Varietal Output, Adoption, and Change: 20 Crops, 30 Countries, and 1150 Cultivars in Farmers’ Fields. Report of the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA), CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) Secretariat: Rome, Italy.

    Measuring the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Research: Theory and Applications to CGIAR Research

    2011 CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council

    Final report from the SPIA project on Assessing Environmental Impacts (2008-2011). More information on the project here.

    Measuring the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Research: Theory and Applications to CGIAR Research

    CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council. 2011. Measuring the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Research: Theory and Applications to CGIAR Research. Independent Science and Partnership Council Secretariat: Rome, Italy.

    Publication cover image thumbnail The impacts of CGIAR research: a review of recent evidence.

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    2010 Renkow, M. & Byerlee, D.

    We review evidence on the impacts of CGIAR research published since 2000 in order to provide insights into how successful the CGIAR Centers have been in pursuing the System’s core missions. Our review suggests that the CGIAR research contributions in crop genetic improvement, pest management, natural resources management, and policy research have, in the aggregate, yielded strongly positive impacts relative to investment, and appear likely to continue doing so.

    Crop genetic improvement stands out as having had the most profound documented positive impacts. Substantial evidence exists that other research areas within the CGIAR have had large beneficial impacts although often locally and nationally rather than internationally. However, the “right-time, right-place” nature of successful policy research and the relatively limited geographic scale of much natural resource management research often limits the overall scale of impacts of these programmatic thrusts vis-à-vis genetic improvement research.

    We conclude that given the evidence available, the CGIAR’s portfolio of research allocations has become overly skewed toward natural resource management and policy research over time. Hence, restoring somewhat the share of resources allocated to crop genetic improvement is warranted. In addition, the CGIAR needs to prioritize impact assessment of resource management and policy research to deepen its understanding of the social and environmental impacts of its work.

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    Renkow, M. & Byerlee, D. 2010. The impacts of CGIAR research: a review of recent evidence. Food Policy 35: 391–402.

    An Assessment of the Impact of Agricultural Research in South Asia since the Green Revolution

    2008 Hazel, P.B.R.

    This study 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. Impact Brief No. 21 for this study is titled "Impact of agricultural research in South Asia since the Green Revolution" and is available on the site.

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    An Assessment of the Impact of Agricultural Research in South Asia since the Green Revolution

    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

    Publication cover image thumbnail Benefit–cost meta-analysis of investment in the International Agricultural Research Centers of the CGIAR

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    2008 Raitzer, D.A. & Kelley, T.G.

    While the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has been long considered a driving force behind the successes of the “Green Revolution”, no prior study has attempted to develop an aggregate estimate of the value of the CGIAR System’s impacts. However, economic ex post impact assessments have been conducted for some of the most outstanding individual innovations of the System. This study aggregates benefit estimates from specific technologies, and sets such against total investments in the CGIAR centers, so as to derive estimates for five different aggregate benefit–cost scenarios. Impact assessment has been pursued in a largely decentralized manner by individual research centers, and, as a result, methods and approaches differ among studies. Consequently, a critical review process was necessary for determining the reliability of individual impact estimates. A framework including two overarching principles for evaluating study reliability – (1) transparency and (2) demonstration of causality, as well as accordant criteria and indicators, was developed to assess individual estimates of economic impact before inclusion in scenarios of aggregate benefits. Against an aggregate investment of 7120 million 1990 US dollars, resultant benefit–cost ratios for research to date range from 1.9 to 17.3, depending on scenario. However, the true value of benefits arising from the CGIAR is probably in excess of even the upper bounds of these results, as only a small subset of System impacts have been quantified.

    Benefit–cost meta-analysis of investment in the International Agricultural Research Centers of the CGIAR

    Raitzer, D.A. & Kelley, T.G. 2008. Benefit–cost meta-analysis of investment in the International Agricultural Research Centers of the CGIAR. Agricultural Systems 96 (1–3): 108-123

    Publication cover image thumbnail Agricultural research, livelihoods, and poverty: studies of economic and social impacts in six countries

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    2007 Adato, M. & Meinzen-Dick, R.S.

    Book published John Hopkins University Press on behalf of IFPRI and commissioned by SPIA:

    http://www.ifpri.org/publication/agricultural-research-livelihoods-and-poverty

     

    CONTRIBUTORS: Michelle Adato, Javier Becerril, Suraiya Begum, Mauricio R. Bellon, Manik L. Bose, Michael Bourdillon, Connie Chan-Kang, Alamgir Chowdhury, Shenggen Fan, Lawrence Haddad, Kelly Hallman, Peter Hazell, Paul Hebinck, John Hoddinott, Mahabub Hossain, Bill Kinsey, K. Krishnaiah, David Lewis, John Marondo, Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Dubravka Mindek, Netsayi Mudege, Mary Omosa, Trudy Owens, Frank Place, and Keming Qian.

    Agricultural research, livelihoods, and poverty: studies of economic and social impacts in six countries

    Adato, M. & Meinzen-Dick, R.S. 2007. Agricultural research, livelihoods, and poverty: studies of economic and social impacts in six countries. Baltimore, MD (USA), Johns Hopkins Univ. Press. 388 pp.

    Impact Assessment of Policy-Oriented Research in the CGIAR: A Scoping Study Report

    2006 CGIAR Science Council

    In response to many requests from donors to the Consultative Group on InternationalAgricultural Research (CGIAR), the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) of the Science Council initiated this study to document the impact of growing investment bythe CGIAR System in policy-oriented research (POR). The reference to ‘policy’ in this studydoes not define the sector or discipline of­research; rather, this classification is basedon the intended primary pathway to impact. The research involved can be in the social, biological, or physical sciences, as long as it was undertaken primarily to influence policyas a means of generating ultimate impact.

    The study first involved a review of the literature on the role of research information inagricultural policy processes and the formulation of specific policies. This was followed byan analysis of the POR portfolio in the CGIAR, using a taxonomy devised to distinguishamong the various types of POR and theirlogical pathways to impact. Trends in the investment made by the CGIAR in POR were compiled using both a narrow and a more inclusive definition. A catalog of ex post impact assessment (epIA) studies was developedand their methods and results reviewed tosee to what extent CGIAR investments hadbeen justified by the documented evidence of policy outcomes, influences, responses, and resulting impacts on the poor, the foodinsecure, and the environment. Some lessons were drawn regarding emerging best practices in epIA of POR and a number of options arrayed for possible future studies.

     

    Download report

    Impact Assessment of Policy-Oriented Research in the CGIAR: A Scoping Study Report

    CGIAR Science Council. 2006. Impact Assessment of Policy-Oriented Research in the CGIAR: A Scoping Study Report. Science Council Secretariat: Rome, Italy

    Publication cover image thumbnail Natural resources management research impacts: evidence from the CGIAR

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    2006 CGIAR, SPIA

    Download Impact Brief

    Natural resources management research impacts: evidence from the CGIAR

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

    Publication cover image thumbnail Research benefits heavily outweigh costs

    Publication cover image thumbnail

    2005 CGIAR, SPIA.

    While the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has been long considered a driving force behind the successes of the “Green Revolution”, no prior study has attempted to develop an aggregate estimate of the value of the CGIAR System’s impacts. However, economic ex post impact assessments have been conducted for some of the most outstanding individual innovations of the System. This study aggregates benefit estimates from specific technologies, and sets such against total investments in the CGIAR centers, so as to derive estimates for five different aggregate benefit–cost scenarios. Impact assessment has been pursued in a largely decentralized manner by individual research centers, and, as a result, methods and approaches differ among studies. Consequently, a critical review process was necessary for determining the reliability of individual impact estimates. A framework including two overarching principles for evaluating study reliability – (1) transparency and (2) demonstration of causality, as well as accordant criteria and indicators, was developed to assess individual estimates of economic impact before inclusion in scenarios of aggregate benefits. Against an aggregate investment of 7120 million 1990 US dollars, resultant benefit–cost ratios for research to date range from 1.9 to 17.3, depending on scenario. However, the true value of benefits arising from the CGIAR is probably in excess of even the upper bounds of these results, as only a small subset of System impacts have been quantified.

    Download Impact Brief

    Research benefits heavily outweigh costs

    CGIAR, SPIA. 2005. Research benefits heavily outweigh costs. Science Council Brief No. 1

    Publication cover image thumbnail Crop variety improvement and its effect on productivity: the impact of international agricultural research

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    2003 Evenson, R.E. & Gollin, D.

    This book represents the most comprehensive effort to date to document adoption and impacts of genetic improvement in the mandate crops of the CGIAR. CABI International, the publisher, has kindly given permission for us to post the full text of this book as a PDF. Please note that this is intended only for personal use and should not be posted to any other website.

    Also see Diffusion and Impact of Improved Varieties in Africa (DIIVA) page, an initiative that aims to update these studies and related publication here .

    Crop variety improvement and its effect on productivity: the impact of international agricultural research

    Evenson, R.E. & Gollin, D. 2003. Crop variety improvement and its effect on productivity: the impact of international agricultural research. Wallingford (UK), Cabi publishing. 522 pp.

    Publication cover image thumbnail Milestones in impact assessment research in the CGIAR

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    2001 Pingali, P.L.

    Download Impact Brief

    Pingali, P.L. 2001. Milestones in impact assessment research in the CGIAR, 1970-1999. Mexico, CYMMIT. 37 pp.

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