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Research Series Issue 4 - The effects of smallholder agricultural involvement on household food consumption and dietary diversity: Evidence from Malawi

May 2016
This paper investigates how household agricultural involvement affects food consumption and dietary diversity in rural Malawi. It analyses the relationship between on-farm income shares and the caloric consumption levels and shares across food groups. It finds that while food consumption and dietary diversity increase with agricultural involvement, the quality of diets does not improve. It highlights the importance of income diversification to dietary diversity and the need for investments in nutrition-sensitive agricultural value chains, nutrition education and crop diversification programmes.

Research Series Issue 3 - Fostering inclusive outcomes in African agriculture: improving agricultural productivity and expanding agribusiness opportunities

April 2016
This paper looks at the role of agriculture in fostering inclusive and sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa. It discusses how improving agricultural productivity, smallholder access to markets and expanding agribusiness opportunities can accelerate transformation, investment and industrialization. The paper presents key investment and policy elements to be considered and points to the centrality of smallholders for the rural transformation process to be inclusive.

Research Series Issue 2 - Migration and Transformative Pathways

March 2016
This paper analyses the role of migration in promoting rural livelihoods and discusses how migration interacts with transformative economic processes. Focusing on migration out of rural areas, it examines the impacts of migration on rural livelihoods and challenges the perspective that sees rural outmigration as a failure of rural development.

Insights from Participatory Impact Evaluations in Ghana and Vietnam

February 2016
This paper by Adinda Van Hemelrijck and Irene Guijt explores how impact evaluation can live up to standards broader than statistical rigour in ways that address challenges of complexity and enable stakeholders to engage meaningfully. A Participatory Impact Assessment and Learning. Approach (PIALA) was piloted to assess and debate the impacts on rural poverty of two government programmes in Vietnam and Ghana funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Methodological Reflections following the second PIALA Pilot in Ghana

January 2016
IFAD has to report to its Members States on the total number of rural people lifted out of poverty1. The government programmes it funds, however, are implemented in complex ways and environments that challenge mainstream evaluation practice. The challenge for IFAD and its co- implementing and co-funding partners, moreover, is not just to rigorously assess impact but also to understand the processes generating impact in order to realize its ambitious targets (IFAD, 2011). Albeit a strong emphasis on quantitative measurement, there is a need for impact evaluation that fosters learning and responsibility.

Research Series Issue 1 - Agricultural and rural development reconsidered

January 2016
This paper is a guide to current debates about agricultural development. It analyses the changes in development approaches and thinking in recent decades and explores today's critical issues in agricultural and rural development policy. With the main focus on Africa, the paper also includes insights from Asia and Latin America.

Changing lives through IFAD water investments: a gender perspective

December 2015
The following study was designed by IFAD in order to contribute to the knowledge about the relationship between gender, water investment and time saving. It is also intended to contribute to gender mainstreaming in IFAD’s water projects. The focus of the study is to see how much time women and men gain when they have improved access to sources of water and to establish what individuals, particularly women, do with the time they save by not having to walk long distances in search of water. The study further aims to discover to what extent the projects/investments contribute to reducing drudgery and to achieving equitable workloads between men and women. The survey targeted ongoing projects from the five regions in which IFAD operates that were either in their second phase or a mature stage of operation. In each project, one community was covered and 24 households were targeted. The survey successfully covered seven communities and 140 households and was mainly conducted through project officers facilitated by country programme managers or country programme officers.

Executive summary, final report on the participatory impact evaluation of the Root & Tuber Improvement & Marketing Programme in Ghana

November 2015
This document presents the findings from the impact evaluation of the Root & Tuber Improvement and Marketing Program (RTIMP) in Ghana. The program was executed by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Government of Ghana (GoG) from 2007 until end of 2014, and co-financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for a total amount of US$ 18.83 million.

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