An inception workshop was held on March 10, 2016 at IFPRI for four studies funded under SIAC activity 3.3 (under-evaluated areas of CGIAR research): (1) alternate wetting and drying, Philippines; (2) agroforestry, Kenya; (3) brachiaria grass, Colombia; and (4) forest co-management, Guinea (more information on the project page and the events page). The methodological challenge underlying all these studies is that the interventions (under assessment) have been ‘out there’ for a while or have been adopted at a large-scale. As is the norm with SPIA inception workshops, this was structured to provide detailed feedback on each of the studies, and also convey to the proponents the kind of information SPIA is looking for (thematically). Without going into the details of each study, below are some of the more interesting issues/suggestions that came up and is relevant to IAs of such research areas.
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).5May 2015