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Category: NEWS

ICED news

Emerging Evidence on Why Soil Testing is Key to Improve Yields on Smallholder Farms in Kenya

Soil acidity problem is a significant cause of low and stagnated crop yields in Kenya, particularly for maize, which is the country’s main staple crop. But research demonstrate that few farmers test their soils or make soil management decisions based on knowledge about the condition of their soils.

To help generate evidence to bridge this gap, ICED and Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk and Resilience (MRR) through the USAID’s ALL-IN research grant is funding Tegemeo Institute in Kenya to conduct a research dubbed Soil Testing for Soil Acidity Management on Smallholder Farms in Kenya. The research, whose Principal Investigator is Dr. John Olwande, aims to provide policy-relevant and evidence-based insights on practical ways to encourage farmers to understand and update their knowledge about the condition of their soils and subsequently apply appropriate soil amendments.

The researchers collected soil samples from 657 smallholder farms in 120 villages in 24 wards spread across Bungoma, Kakamega, Trans Nzoia and Uasin Gishu counties. Crop Nutrition Laboratory Services Ltd (Cropnuts), Tegemeo’s partner, conducted the soil analysis and developed the recommendations for soil acidity management and fertilizer application.

Before disseminating the soil analysis results and recommendations to the farmers, Cropnuts trained 53 agricultural officers in each of the study counties. “The purpose of the training was to expose the officers to the technical aspects of the soil analysis and interpretation of soil test results the basis on which the recommendations were made,” says Dr.  Olwande. “The training covered areas like Understanding soil analysis report; Interpretation of soil analysis data; Role of various nutrients in maize production; Negative effects of soil acidity on nutrients availability to maize plants among others,”

The soil test results and recommendations for acidity management and fertilizer application were distributed to the individual farmers whose soils were sampled and the farmers whose soils were not sampled but are part of the research. The researchers and Aagricultural Officers held in-person meetings with farmers across the 120 target villages and delivered and explained to them the results of the soil tests and recommendations. “This feedback session with the farmers was critical. While a few  farmers had had their soil samples taken by some organizations for testing before, none of them had ever received soil test results,” says Dr. Olwande

Emerging evidence from this study points to the importance of soil testing and its critical role in improving farm productivity among smallholder farmers. Importantly, based on these findings, the researchers provided a set of farm-specific and ward-level recommendations for maize production. First, they recommended application of calcitic and dolomitic lime to correct soil acidity. Majority of the farmers have heard about agricultural lime and acknowledge that lime is available in local agrodealer shops, but few of them have applied lime to their farms despite the fact that liming is required on majority of the farms.  

Secondly, the researchers also recommended the types of fertilizers to apply and the application rate, as well as application of organic matter (manure and/or compost). The fertilizers recommended to the farmers were locally available in the agrodealer shops, while some were being sold by county governments under their respective subsidy programmes.

“Through this project, ICED is strengthening locally-led research solutions to local development challenges experienced by critical sectors like agriculture.  We hope that insights from this project will be instrumental in shaping adoption of soil-testing and application of appropriate soil management practices by smallholders for improved yields,” says Dr. David Ameyaw, ICED’s CEO.

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A team from The International Centre for Evaluation Development (ICED) led by the President and CEO, Dr. David Ameyaw is in Ethiopia holding talks with Officials of the Ethiopian Ministry of Planning and Development, other partners and civil society organizations on the progress of the Evidence to Action Conference to be held in Ethiopia this year.

  • Dr. Fitsum Assefa Adela (right) holding talks with Dr. David Ameyaw (second right), Dr. Solomon Zena Walelign and Hon. Tirumar Abate Ayalew (extreme left)

The ICED team, which also has Dr. Solomon Zena Walelign Director of Research, met with the Minister for Planning and Development, Dr. Fitsum Assefa Adela, State Ministers of the Ministry of Planning and Development H.E. Sandokan Debebe and Hon. Tirumar Abate Ayalew, H.E. Professor Beyene Petros, the Director General of the Policy Studies Institute, H.E. Dr. Becker Shale, Director General of the Ethiopian Statistics Services, the President of the Ethiopian Economics Association, Prof. Mengistu Kete and the President of the Ethiopian Evaluation Association, Mr. Seifu Tadesse.

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ICED Newsletter, March 2023

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Improving Productivity of Women Smallholders Through Capacity Building

In Uganda, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risk & Resilience (MRR) in collaboration with International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) through ALL-IN grant are funding the Strengthening Women Smallholders’ Resilience to Agricultural Shocks for Enhanced Income Diversification and Empowerment in Uganda project. Led by researchers from Makerere University, the project is testing a comprehensive approach to supporting women, including interventions that improve on-farm productivity, increase their resilience to shocks and increase their overall empowerment.

Recently, a total of 640 participants (320 women and 320 spouses) In Isingiro and Alebtong districts benefited from a training on business skill, Gender Transformative Approaches (GTA) and Gender Responsive Climate Smart Agriculture (GRCSA) collaboratively delivered by Makerere University, District Agricultural Officers and Community Development Officers. The project has three treatment arms and one control group in each district. There is a group receiving both the revolving fund and training, another receiving training only, third group is receiving revolving fund only and the last category is a control group which does not receive anything. The revolving fund was received by a total of 320 women (160 in each of the districts that is Alebtong and Isingiro respectively).

With support from ALL-IN, the project is providing revolving funds to selected women savings groups to boost their small-scale enterprises. These series of trainings are designed to create awareness about the gender roles, equip beneficiaries with business skills to improve their existing business or motivate them in opening up business. The training is also meant to strengthen capacity of the group structures to manage the revolving fund as intended by the project so that all the group members eventually receive the funds.

In order to increase the success rate of the revolving fund it is important to have the support of husbands at household level. Therefore, the men were invited so that they can be sensitized on the revolving fund and their role in supporting their spouses to increase or diversity household income sources,” says the Principal Investigator, Dr. Florence Muhanguzi, Makerere University.

“This project is providing insights and evidence that will help eliminate barriers to women economic empowerment,” says Dr. David Ameyaw, ICED President and CEO.

ALL-IN is funding twelve research projects in five African countries (Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Ethiopia, Ghana and Nigeria) led by twelve Principal Investigators across nine Universities.

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ICED President and CEO nominated as Chair of the Advisory Committee of IDH

The President and CEO of the International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) Dr. David Sarfo Ameyaw has been nominated as the Chair of the Advisory Committee of IDH Corporate Portfolio Evaluation.

Dr. Ameyaw brings to the position over 25 years of experience in leadership and practical experience in Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning. He has served as the Head of Strategy, Monitoring and Evaluation at The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) based in Nairobi, Kenya. He has also served as the Senior Director for Monitoring and Evaluation at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Washington DC, as well as the Director for Monitoring and Evaluation and Acting Director / Food Security Specialist for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Headquarters in Silver Springs, Maryland, US. He is a Board Member of the Agriculture Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI), and a member of the Board of Directors of Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Assets and Market Access that operates in support of the United States Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Food Security.

IDH convenes, co-creates, and co-finances inclusive and sustainable market-driven solutions that create value for people and planet. To catalyze change at scale, IDH empowers people within businesses, the global financial sector, and governments.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, IDH has around 380 employees globally, operating in 20 landscapes and 12 commodities and sourcing regions with over 1000 public and private partners. In 14 years of operation, IDH has catalyzed over 390 M in private sector investment and support for new business models that create better jobs, better incomes, a better environment, and gender equity for all.

Congratulations from the ICED Team, we are proud of your remarkable achievement!

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Evidence and Gap Map of Infrastructure’s Impact on Nutritious Diet, Women’s Economic Empowerment and Gender Equality In Low-and Middle-Income Countries

The Evidence and Gap Map (EGM) is a systematic visual presentation which gathers the largest assemblage of evidence on interventions and outcomes. This EGM shows evidence of the impact of physical infrastructures on nutritious diet, women’s economic empowerment and gender equality of low-income consumers. The study population considered for this EGM are Low- and middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. 

Physical infrastructure such as roads, electricity and marketplace foster women’s economic empowerment and gender equality; and mitigates adverse effects of seasonality on availability and affordability of nutritious food, and ensures low-income consumers including vulnerable groups (e.g., women and girls) have access to nutritious foods all year round. Hence, investments in physical infrastructure can be a pathway to meeting various SDGs. However, to guide such investments, few studies have comprehensively explored the evidence and gap on the impact of various types of infrastructure on gender and nutrition outcomes, particularly nutritious diets (ND), women’s economic empowerment (WEE), and gender equality (GE).

To address this gap, the International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) developed this evidence and gap map (EGM) which is a platform of an interactive visual presentation of available relevant evidence and gaps on infrastructure’s impact on nutritious diets, women economic empowerment and gender equality. Findings of this EGM have academic and evidence-based policy implications for decision-makers in allocating scarce resources to under-researched (invested) thematic and geographical areas. The findings will inform evidence-based decision-making products (EBDMPs) such as policy briefs, evidence portal, and systematic reviews and meta-analysis of primary studies. The gaps identified in the map will inform the need to commission primary studies.  

We therefore welcome you to explore our Pre-final EGM, which consist of about 368 studies drawn from low- and middle-income countries across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Explore how to navigate and use the map in the “About the map” feature of the map. We will like to open this map for consultation and your invaluable feedback. Your feedback will inform our final map. Please send any questions, request and comments to us on or

Click the link to view full map: :

A team of experts led by Dr. David Ameyaw created the map. Thanks to the team: Dr. Gloria A. Odei Obeng-Amoako, Prof. Takyiwaa Manuh, Dr. Pacem Kotchofa, Ms.Clarice Panyin Nyan, Mr. Edward Kusi Asafo-Agyei, Dr. Charles Yaw Okyere, Dr. Solomon Zena Walelign, Dr. Joseph Clottey and Dr. Sheila Agyeman Oppong.

We acknowledge the technical support of Dr (s). Howard White, Ashrita Saran and Suchi Malhotra of the Campbell Collaboration. This project was made possible due to the funding support we received from Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation (BMGF).

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Four Faculty and Staff Honored for Global Engagement at UC Davis and Around the World

Four faculty and staff members from UC Davis are being recognized for their outstanding global engagement work with two key awards: the Chancellor’s Awards for International Engagement and the Excellence in Teaching of Study Abroad Awards. These awards recognize the outstanding work of UC Davis faculty and staff in international education, research and service. 

“I am proud of the dedication our faculty and staff have towards advancing our global programs, relationships and engagement. They are making our university and world a more compassionate, connected and impactful place,” said Chancellor Gary S. May. “It is wonderful to be able to recognize and celebrate their achievements and service.”

By Ali Loge

Source :

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  • Graduate Research Assistant completes M.Phil thesis using a subset of data collected from ALL-IN project baseline survey 

As part of the requirement to provide capacity building/strenthening for individuals on the ALL-IN Project, Samuel Kwabena Chaa Kyire, a graduate research assistant, has completed his M.Phil thesis using a subset of the data collected during the baseline survey of the ALL-IN Project dubbed, Bundling Small Scale Irrigation and Drought Index Insurance to Manage Small-Scale Farmers’ Income Risk and Expanding Their Access to Agricultural Credit”.  

This research project is being undertaken by the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) Ghana, under the auspices of the International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) and funded by Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Markets, Risks and Resilience (MRR), University of California, Davies. 

The candidate, whose thesis is entitled “Perceived risk, risk management and credit access among irrigated rice farmers in the Upper East region, Ghana” has successfully defended his thesis, did the corrections based on comments from the Internal and External Examiners and submitted the final version of the thesis to the School of Graduate Studies, UENR and is awaiting graduation on the 31st March, 2023 to be awarded an M.Phil. in Agribusiness Management.  

Samuel Kwabena Chaa Kyire’s final thesis defense presentation at UENR

In an interview, Professor John K. M. Kuwornu, the Principal Investigator on the ALL-IN Research Project at UENR disclosed, “Samuel Kwabena Chaa Kyire has been associated with the project; he is  hardworking and has the potential to attain higher laurels in academia. I pledge to mentor him to pursue his PhD.” 

“Apart from the academics”, Samuel intimated, “I have gained much knowledge and experience which will help in my career. I want to express my profound gratitude to Feed the Future Innovation Lab and ICED for making the funds available for the project. Also, my appreciation goes to Prof. John K. M. Kuwornu, the Lead of the ALL-IN Project at UENR and the entire team for their continuous support. I am looking forward to future opportunities  in graduate research so that I will be able to undertake a PhD Program and improve my career and capacity in the field of Agribusiness Management.” 

The abstract of the thesis is presented as follows: 


This study explored risk perception, management, and credit access among irrigated rice farmers. A multistage sampling approach was employed to sample 477 farmers from the Tono and Vea irrigation schemes in the Upper East region of Ghana. The perception index, multivariate probit regression and structural equation modelling were used to analyse farmers’ perception of agricultural risks, determinants of adopting risk management instruments and the moderating role of extension frequency between risk management and access to credit, respectively. The estimated perception index was 0.43, indicating that rice farmers positively perceive agricultural risks. Further, education, gender, farmer group membership, access to extension agents and research centres, total landholding, rice farm size, risk perceptions and perceived environmental changes such as drought, rainfall and declining soil fertility are the significant determinants of adopting risk management strategies. Moreover, the number of extension contact significantly moderates the relationship between risk management instruments (off-farm work and bonding) and the amount of credit borrowed by farmers. It is recommended that extension agents (Ministry of Food and Agriculture) and researchers (Savannah Agricultural Research Institute) need to enhance their services with frequent demonstrations and training to facilitate farmers’ adoption of risk management instruments. Financial service providers should also consider offering in-kind credit to farmers to stop using cash loans meant for farming for off-farm activities. Further, this study re-affirms Protection Motivation Theory as a critical driver of adopting risk management instruments. 

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