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Category: NEWS

ICED news
NEWS

ICED Post-Doctoral Fellow publishes article in the Agrekon Journal

Joseph Clottey (Ph.D), a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) has co-authored an article entitled “Taking stock of gender gaps in crop production technology adoption and technical efficiency in Ghana”.

The article has since been published in the Agrekon, which is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal concentrating on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics vis-a-vis to Southern Africa. It is edited by Professor Johann Kirsten, an economics Professor at Stellenbosch University (South Africa) and a director at the Bureau of Economic Research. Agrekon is the official publication of the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), the professional body of South African Agricultural economists.

We present the key points of the article:

  • Agricultural performance has been proven to have strong linkages with the growth of developing countries. However, the gains from agricultural growth disproportionately trickle down to the poor.
  • Amongst the many ways of reducing this bias against the poor is to reduce gender gaps in agriculture. Over time, however, the validity of stats on gender gaps has been questioned, and the way stakeholders describe gender gaps also affects how they perceive & address them.
  • This study sought to assess the gender gap in farm output due to technology gaps and technical efficiency. It further evaluates whether gender patterns in technology adoption and technical efficiency have changed over time.
  • We apply meta-stochastic frontier analysis to data pooled from 7 cross-sectional population-based surveys that represent about three decades (1987-2017) of the prod history for 12 crops in Ghana to assess dynamics of gender gaps in farm output due to tech gaps & tech efficiency.
  • Results indicate that the responsiveness of output to land, planting material, hired labor, and fertilizer for females is lower than that of males. On the contrary, the responsiveness of output to family labor and pesticide for males is lower than that of females.
  • Over time the gender gap in elasticities for land and planting material has nearly closed; the gap against males for fertilizer has shifted to a gap against females; and for family/hired labor the gap against females has shifted to a gap against males.
  • The results also indicate that females operate at an increasing return to scale of 1.14 while males operate at a decreasing return of 0.93. This suggests that females have more room to increase their scale of production.
  • The dynamics in the level & gender gap in elasticities results in a technology gap of about 25% for female farmers whilst their male counterparts faced a technology gap of 20%, and this gap is robust across different crops and in most regions.
  • Over the past three decades, the gap against females declined from 18% in 1997/98 by about 83% to 3% in 2016/17.
  • The results indicate female farmers are more technically efficient (TE of 76%) compared to their male counterparts (TE of 73%). However, this is not robust across different crops but is persistent in all regions except the Northern region.
  • Tech efficiency gap against males has remained relatively steady over 3 decades and is estimated at 5% in 2016/2017. Meta-frontier technical efficiency measure indicates that both male/female operate at 60% of the potential possible given the overall crop prod tech in Ghana.
  • We highlight that both male and female farmers have room to increase their tech adoption & tech efficiency in crop prod & the 30-year temporal dynamics suggest that females could also lead in the crop prod tech in Ghana, & they should be supported, albeit not at the expense of males.
  • For gender interventions to yield their expected results, they must be targeted at specific crops and specific.

This link provides the full article:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03031853.2022.2150664

Congratulations from the ICED Team to Dr. Joseph Clottey on this remarkable achievement!

NEWS

ICED News- Highlights of 2022

ALL-IN BASELINE DISSEMINATION WORKSHOP

Lessons from Abuja, Nigeria By Seth Kugblenu

NEWS

Workshops in Kenya and Ghana shaping the future of horticulture research in East and West Africa

Each workshop was spaced over a multi-day period in which experts gave presentations on a wide range of issues spanning the horticultural value chain–from low quality inputs, post-harvest loss, and food safety challenges to nutrition, gender equity, and youth empowerment. Participants attended both in-person and online, allowing engagement from people around the globe.

These conferences were unique opportunities for horticultural specialists from throughout East and West Africa to share their diverse perspectives and expertise with one another, and the discussions that resulted will inform priorities for future research, capacity strengthening and sector investment that are designed to target local challenges in horticulture. And the challenges, as well as the opportunities, are significant. As experts discussed in both conferences, smallholder farmers face multiple barriers along the horticultural supply chain. Yet there are also numerous avenues for entrepreneurship—from production to market—that may help overcome some of these obstacles.

ICED CEO/President Dr. David Ameyaw in his opening statement remarked, “We are thrilled to convene sessions like these, which seek to build knowledge and evidence to address the on-ground challenges and identify opportunities for exploration in East Africa. This platform, over the course of the next 3 days would enable us work together, as various actors within the horticulture value chain to make systemic, sustainable improvements in the sector.”

NEWS

East Africa Regional Horticulture Report

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture together with its Consortium and partner institutions, organized regional workshops to identify opportunities and challenges in the horticultural sector. The workshops were a culmination of surveys, focus groups, desk-reviews, and of course an in-person, multi-day workshop with local experts in horticulture, gender equity, youth engagement, and nutrition, and from both public and private institutions.

To learn more about workshop held in East Africa please visit this workshop blog. The Regional Workshop was hosted by Regional Hub Manager host organization, the International Center for Evaluation and Development.

The findings in this East Africa Regional Horticulture Report will guide the design and implementation of locally led, globally supported programs that will produce systemic, sustainable, and inclusive improvements in the horticulture sector. Furthermore, the report itself is a tremendous resource for understanding the horticulture sector in the East Africa region.

NEWS

Regional workshop to boost growth in horticulture sector

The International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) – an African-led international development research and innovation think tank, together with the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s at UC Davis held a three-day regional horticulture workshop in Nairobi between 25th and 27th May.

Themed “Assessing on-the-ground challenges and opportunities for innovative ideas and technologies that constrain/contribute to practical and academic horticultural pursuits,” the timely workshop brings together local horticulture experts, academia, private sector, the Lab consortium, and other relevant stakeholders with the intention to identify on-the-ground challenges and opportunities within the region.

The consultative workshop would also explore avenues for addressing these challenges through research or capacity building activities. 

“We are thrilled to convene sessions like these, which seek to build knowledge and evidence to address food security issues in the continent and to work together to bridge the gaps within the horticulture value chain,” said Dr. David Ameyaw, ICED President, and CEO.

This workshop is set to provide a series of sessions that promote learning, information sharing, build networks and partnerships, with the overall objective of identifying effective strategies and interventions for ensuring systemic, sustainable, and inclusive improvements in the horticulture sector. 

“Considering the limitations of research, we are hoping that this workshop will allow expects within the region to help us sort through all possible directions within the region and the areas of focus when it comes to rolling out projects” said Erin McGuire, the Associate Director, Feed the Future Horticulture Innovation Lab.

Over the next five years, the Lab will concentrate its efforts on West and East Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central America with an aim to implement a locally led, globally supported program to further the its objectives.

The Horticulture Innovation Lab at UC Davis advances fruit and vegetable innovations, empowers smallholder farmers to earn more income, while better nourishing their communities. By improving smallholder farmers’ abilities to grow and sell high-value crops, the Lab helps the world’s poorest people break out of a persistent cycle of poverty and improve livelihoods — through higher profits and diversified, nutrient-rich diets.

The newly awarded Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture at UC Davis will follow a locally-led, globally supported model for program development and implementation.

Currently, ICED is implementing the Feed the Future Advancing Local leadership, Integration and Network (ALL-IN) research grant, a Sub-Award from the UC Davis Market, Risk and Resilience Innovation Lab, (BASIS). This program has awarded 12 research grants to 8 African Institutions in 6 countries.  

This East Africa Regional Workshop was made possible by the generous support of the American people through USAID. 

The contents are the responsibility of ICED and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Horticulture and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

NEWS

Use of agile data to improve agricultural production in Africa

Agriculture in Africa has a massive social and economic footprint. More than 60 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is smallholder farmers, and about 23 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP comes from agriculture. The continent is indeed home to 25 percent of the world’s fertile land, but its 431 million people still live in extreme poverty.

According to McKinsey & Company, Africa has the potential to triple the value of its annual agricultural output, from US$ 280 billion today to around US$ 880 billion by 2030.

To unlock this potential, experts posit that it is important for development partners and governments to adopt data-driven policies to address bottlenecks to agricultural productivity like inadequate market, minimal capital, climate change, outdated technology, pests, and diseases.

Agile Data Approaches and Innovations in Monitoring (ADAIM) is a new research project funded by Bill & Melinda Gates and implemented by the International Center for Evaluation and Development (ICED), Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), and GDI. The project seeks to develop and test agile monitoring systems – blending technology and rigorous metrics – that make quick, low-cost, evidence-based decisions possible for agriculture development program investments.

“Agile data is being used to make decisions that improve lives and livelihoods of individuals.,” says Dr. David Ameyaw, ICED CEO. “ In research, when we can collect data in a timely, cost-effective, and context-specific manner, we can use it to make decisions at all levels from the grass root to the highest level of decision making,” adds David.

Population growth, climate change, and bio-energy crops are worldwide trends that are increasing the importance of using data to improve agriculture. Data democratization becomes a path to inclusive policy decisions that improve agricultural productivity.

 “Data is the new currency; it’s a vital part of our world, but not everyone can access it or use it. Agile data is a transformative approach for people to understand sustainability and to have that be actionable,” says Daniele Giovannucci, speaking at a recent workshop held in Nairobi.

“At the Foundation, we are happy to invest in projects like these that are designed to find scientific solutions to the pressing challenges of our time,” says Richard Gladwell of Monitoring, Learning, and Evaluation at Bill and Melinda Gates.

ADAIM partners will pilot test an Agile Data gathering, processing, and analysis to understand drivers of adoption.

NEWS

USAID Funds Research on Soil Management

USAID Funds Research on Soil Management to Boost Smallholder Farmer Yields

August 29, 2021—High soil acidity contributes to low and stagnant agricultural productivity. This is particularly true for maize, which is the country’s main staple crop.

The Feed the Future Advancing Local Leadership, Innovation and Networks (ALL-IN) program, supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has launched a new project led by the Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy & Development at Egerton University in Nairobi, Kenya to build evidence on practical ways to encourage farmers to update their knowledge about the condition of their soils and encourage them to apply appropriate soil management practices. Few small-scale farmers test their soils to make soil management decisions.

“The project will support efforts by the government, development agencies, and private sector investors in promoting and facilitating proper soil management among farmers for sustainable agricultural productivity growth,” said lead principal investigator Dr. John Olwande, a research fellow at Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy & Development, Egerton University.

This project takes place in villages across four counties that are among the most important for maize production areas in Kenya: Bungoma, Kakamega, Trans Nzoia, and Uasin Gishu. These counties are among those in which the government conducted soil tests in 2014 and found that the soils were highly acidic.

“Agriculture is critical across Sub-Saharan Africa considering the challenge of feeding and employing a rapidly growing population in the coming years,” said Dr. David Sarfo Ameyaw, president and CEO of the International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) and co-director of Feed the Future ALL-IN. “This project is a game-changer in terms of improving food security in Kenya.”

The results from this project will provide guidance on promoting effective soil management for sustainable agricultural productivity growth in Kenya and across Sub-Saharan Africa. By addressing widespread soil acidity, this project aligns with Feed the Future and USAID’s efforts in Kenya to expand economic opportunities for smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs to build the resilience of households, communities, and markets to shocks and stresses – including climate change – and diversify agricultural production.

“This project from Tegemeo Institute is testing ways to relax the constraints that limit smallholder farmers’ adoption of lime and other soil management practices that can fundamentally improve their maize yields,” said Dr. Michael Carter, Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk and Resilience. “The evidence from this project could even benefit smallholder farmers across the continent who face the same challenge of soil acidity.”

Feed the Future ALL-IN was established by USAID as a partnership between International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED), with offices in Nairobi, Kenya and Accra, Ghana, and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk & Resilience (MRR) based at the University of California, Davis. Feed the Future ALL-IN funds researchers at African institutions to lead large-scale international research collaborations, leveraging their local knowledge, skills, and ideas to build actionable evidence for promoting resilience and inclusive agricultural growth.

Read the project summary here :Click Here

This project is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of Feed the Future ALL-IN and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Media contact:

  • Dr. John Olwande, jolwande@tegemeo.org, Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, Egerton University
  • Dr. David Sarfo Ameyaw, dameyaw@iced-eval.org ICED President and CEO , ICED
NEWS

New USAID-funded Initiative

New USAID-funded Initiative Jumpstarts Africa-based Research Leadership

A new USAID-funded initiative seeks to jumpstart Africa-based leadership in rigorous development research and policy evaluation.

On May 12, 2020, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk & Resilience at UC Davis and the Kenya-based International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) launched the five-year $6 million Advancing Local Leadership, Innovation and Networks (ALL-IN) initiative to mobilize and support research leadership in Africa to define and implement projects that build local solutions to major development challenges.

“With the growing capacity in African universities and other institutions it’s time for more of our local partners to take the lead,” said Michael Carter, director of the MRR Innovation Lab. “We anticipate that doing so will enhance the relevance and long-term impacts of the research.”

Partnership to Build Local Research Leadership

Feed the Future Innovation Labs are built on partnerships between researchers at U.S. universities and researchers at host-country universities and institutions. Historically, these partnerships have been led, both in program administration and the ideas that drive the research, from the U.S.

ALL-IN shifts this leadership role to researchers in Africa who will define priorities and work with U.S. university research partners to supplement their own skills, talents, and ideas. In the same way that the MRR Innovation Lab and others select and administer U.S.-led projects, ALL-IN projects will be selected and administered by the ICED management team.

“The ALL-IN partnership will place ICED in the position to promote an indigenous, culturally sensitive research program,” said David Ameyaw, founder, president, and CEO of ICED. “Our projects will be led by researchers who understand the context and culture on this continent and who are closely related to policymakers and understand the intricacies of policy.”

Generating Evidence and Policy Impact

“ICED is an institution that shares our commitment to serious, rigorous evaluations,” said Carter. “It’s the perfect conduit to turn the typical US-led research model on its head.”

Since it was established in 2017, ICED has been incredibly successful at drawing attention to the critical importance of evidence across Africa. At the 2019 Evidence to Action conference, Republic of Ghana Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia joined as headline speaker. At the conference in 2018, Kenya National Treasury & Planning Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich announced that Kenya would establish an independent entity within the Government of Kenya and funded at roughly KSH 6 billion (about USD 60 million) dedicated to monitoring and evaluation.

Ameyaw, who previously held senior posts at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), established ICED with core support from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Assets and Market Access, the predecessor to the MRR Innovation Lab, and has partnered with a number of range of emerging African and international organizations on its work. These include the Government of Kenya, the Government of Ghana, the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) and the University of Ghana, the Campbell Collaboration, the Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, and the Agriculture Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI) at UC Berkeley.

The MRR Innovation Lab and ICED anticipate releasing the first ALL-IN call for proposals led by Africa-based researchers in late summer 2020 with projects to be funded in early 2021.

“Where the whole world’s attention is on Africa, there is no opportunity for Africa to fail on development policies,” said Ameyaw. “The whole world’s attention is drawn to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Africa Agenda 2063, there is a need for Africa development policy based on sound evidence.”

NEWS

African Research gets a Boost from a Five-Year Grant

African Research gets a Boost from a Five-Year Grant

The International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) has secured a five-year research grant from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk and Resilience (MRR Innovation Lab)

ICED will lead the implementation of MRR Innovation Lab’s Advancing Local Leadership, Innovation and Networks (ALL-IN) in Africa.

The research will develop and test financial and market innovations that take the most promising agricultural tools for families in developing economies from the lab to the field.

ALL IN is designed to address capacity gaps among many research institutions in managing large and complex awards (particularly the unique complexities of managing the United States Agency for International Development awards).

“With the growing capacity in African universities and other institutions it is time for more of our local partners to take the lead,” said Michael Carter, director of the MRR Innovation Lab. “We anticipate that doing so will enhance the relevance and long-term impacts of the research.”

Over the years, Feed the Future Innovation Labs have been built on partnerships between researchers at U.S. universities and researchers at host-country universities and institutions. Historically, these partnerships have been led, in both program administration and the ideas that drive the research, from the U.S. ALL IN will seek to shift this leadership role to researchers in Africa.

ICED President and CEO, Dr. David Sarfo Ameyaw remarked: “The partnership will place ICED in the position to promote an indigenous, culturally sensitive research program. Our projects will be led by researchers who understand the context and culture on this continent and who are closely related to policymakers and understand the intricacies of policy.” Under ALL IN, nearly $6 million will be made available for African-led research activities in the focus areas of research.

Ameyaw added: “Where the whole world’s attention is on Africa, there is no opportunity for Africa to fail on development policies. The whole world’s attention is drawn to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Africa Agenda 2063, there is a need to anchor Africa development policy on sound evidence.”

ICED currently has Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with research institutions in Africa such as USIU-Africa in Nairobi, The University of Nairobi, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania, Makerere University, and The Campbell Collaboration.