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How to do note: Seeking, free, prior and informed consent in IFAD investment projects

October 2021
This note offers practical guidance for IFAD staff, consultants and in-country partners for seeking FPIC in the design and implementation of IFAD-funded projects and programmes, in compliance with IFAD policies and procedures.

The Biodiversity Advantage: Thriving with nature - biodiversity for sustainable livelihoods and food systems

October 2021
IFAD’s second Biodiversity Advantage report showcases five IFAD projects which highlight the integral importance of biodiversity in agriculture.

Research Series Issue 66: Can perceptions of reduction in physical water availability affect irrigation behaviour? Evidence from Jordan

August 2021
We investigate how perceptions of physical water availability in the past are related to farmers’ current irrigation behaviour.

Research Series Issue 65: Impacts of agricultural value chain development in a mountainous region: Evidence from Nepal

May 2021
This analysis investigates the potential mechanism and the practical significance of the impacts of agricultural value chain development in a geographically challenging rural area of a developing country.

How to do note: Crop selection for diet quality and resilience

March 2021
This How to Do Note is part of a series of five Notes that accompany the NUS Operational Framework.

How to do note: Market needs and emerging opportunities assessment in NUS value chains

March 2021
This How to Do Note is part of a series of five Notes that accompany the NUS Operational Framework.

How to do note: Promote neglected and underutilized species for domestic markets

March 2021
This How to Do Note is part of a series of five Notes that accompany the NUS Operational Framework.

How to do note: Interventions in support of NUS export markets

March 2021
This How to Do Note is part of a series of five Notes that accompany the NUS Operational Framework.

How to do note: Mainstreaming NUS in national policy for nutrition outcomes

March 2021
This How to Do Note is part of a series of five Notes that accompany the NUS Operational Framework.

The small livestock advantage: A sustainable entry point for addressing SDGs in rural areas

January 2021
This report presents selected achievements and lessons learned from the growing portfolio of small livestock investments supported by IFAD.

Research Series Issue 64: How the adoption of drought-tolerant rice varieties impacts households in a non-drought year: Evidence from Nepal

December 2020
Stress-tolerant rice varieties (STRVs) are bred to be high yielding and tolerant to climate shocks such as drought.

Impact Assessment: Strengthening Local Development in the Highlands and High Rainforest Areas Project (PSSA)

September 2020
PSSA aimed to unlock rural development and poverty reduction in Peru by supporting the design and implementation of business plans created by Producer Associations, targeting two of the country’s poorest regions.

Research Series Issue 63: The adoption of improved agricultural technologies - A meta-analysis for Africa

August 2020
In this paper, particular attention is given to the identification and promotion of productivity and resilience enhancing agricultural practices.

The Land Tenure Security Advantage: A catalytic asset for sustainable and inclusive rural transformation

July 2020
The Land Tenure Security Advantage presents an overview of IFAD’s engagement in securing land tenure for the rural poor.

Research Series Issue 62: The spillover effects of seed producer groups on non-member farmers in mid-hill communities of Nepal

June 2020
Rice farmers in the mid-hills region of Nepal are vulnerable to drought, which can drastically reduce yields. Stress-tolerant rice varieties can mitigate this vulnerability, as can having a high seed replacement rate and using best management practices in rice cultivation.

Impact Assessment: Gente de Valor – Rural Communities Development Project in the Poorest Areas of the State of Bahia

May 2020
The Rural Communities Development in the Poorest Areas of the State of Bahia (Project Gente de Valor) was designed to strengthen the capacity of rural communities to thrive in the drought-prone environment of Brazil's north-east region through improved access to water, increased productive capacity, and empowerment of participating communities.

Uganda: Impact Assessment of the Small and Medium Agribusiness Development Fund (SMADF), Baseline Report No. 1: Sesaco Ltd.

May 2020
This is a baseline report for the impact assessment of the Yield Uganda Investment Fund (YUIF), an investment fund that provides targeted financing to small and medium agribusinesses (SMAs) to help them overcome barriers to accessing capital.

Uganda: Impact Assessment of the Small and Medium Agribusiness Development Fund (SMADF), Baseline Report No. 2: Central Coffee Farmers Association (CECOFA)

May 2020
Baseline report for the impact assessment of the Yield Investment Uganda Fund (YUF), an investment fund that provides targeted financing to small and medium agribusinesses (SMAs) to help them overcome barriers to accessing capital.

Research Series Issue 61: The narrative on rural youth and economic opportunities in Africa: facts, myths and gaps

December 2019
This paper reviews the narrative on rural youth and economic opportunities in Africa, using a set of policy documents from various African countries and regional and international organizations.

Research Series Issue 60: Investing in rural youth in the Near East, North Africa, Europe and Central Asia

December 2019
This study reviews the opportunities and challenges facing rural youth in the Near East, North Africa, Europe and Central Asia region.

Research Series Issue 59: The rural youth situation in Latin America and the Caribbean

December 2019
This study offers a general picture of the situation of rural youth in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Research Series Issue 58: Investing in rural youth in the Asia and the Pacific region

December 2019
This study characterizes the structural and rural transformation of the Asia and the Pacific region.

Research Series Issue 57: Unlocking the potential of rural youth: the role of policies and institutions

December 2019
This study presents a framework to analyse the political economy of rural youth policy and institutions’ opportunity space with a quadrant that measures the extent to which rural youth are a priority in policies and institutions versus the extent that governments have to effectively implement rural youth policies.

Research Series Issue 56: The impact of migrants’ remittances and investment on rural youth

December 2019
This study analyses how migrants positively contribute to the sustainable economic development of rural youth in their countries of origin.

Research Series Issue 55: Rural youth: determinants of migration throughout the world

December 2019
This study takes a unique look at the determinants of youth migration across seven different countries using recently collected data.

Research Series Issue 54: Rural youth in the context of fragility and conflict

December 2019
While conflicts are often defined as “development in reverse”, there is a general lack of research focusing specifically on young people living in rural areas.

Research Series Issue 53: Youth access to land, migration and employment opportunities: evidence from sub-Saharan Africa

December 2019
This study examines the intersections between youth access to land, migration decisions and employment opportunities in various African countries.

Research Series Issue 52: Information and communication technologies and rural youth

December 2019
This analysis reviews existing research on the impact of digital initiatives on youth in the education, agriculture, financial and employment sectors.

Research Series Issue 51: Inclusive finance and rural youth

December 2019
This study analyses inclusive finance and rural youth through cutting-age research with new insights and approaches that have emerged over the years in the field.

Research Series Issue 50: Rural transformation and the double burden of malnutrition among rural youth in developing countries

December 2019
In this study, we show that rural transformation processes are associated with improvements in rural youth nutrition – malnutrition and underweight – in nearly all regions, although the pace of change varies considerably across countries.

Research Series Issue 49: Climate and jobs for rural young people

December 2019
Climate change matters for all young people, especially for those whose livelihoods depend on agriculture. This study shows that adaptation to climate change is feasible and options increase as new technologies and management approaches come on-stream.

Research Series Issue 48: Rural youth, today and tomorrow

December 2019
Research on rural youth aspirations suggests that many young people are not averse to agriculture as such, but to agriculture’s current neglected condition

Research Series Issue 47: Landscapes of rural youth opportunity

December 2019
This study is motivated by the consistent portrayal of agriculture and the broader rural economy in Africa as domains of opportunity for rural youth.

Research Series Issue 46: Economic participation of rural youth: what matters?

December 2019
A key lesson is that lack of technical skills does not seem to be the biggest obstacle youth face in entering the labour force. Evidence on agricultural extension programmes suggests that peer-to-peer learning works best.

Research Series Issue 45: Rural youth inclusion, empowerment and participation

December 2019
This exploratory study focuses on participation in decision-making processes and how rural youth could benefit from its findings in development projects and initiatives.

Research Series Issue 44: Gender, rural youth and structural transformation: evidence to inform innovative youth programming

December 2019
This study analyses sex-disaggregated data from various countries to characterize rural youths’ transition to adulthood by gender.

Research Series Issue 43: Youth agrifood system employment in developing countries: a gender-differentiated spatial approach

December 2019
Little is known about the economic activities of rural youth. This study provides empirical evidence on this gap in literature.

Research Series Issue 42: What drives rural youth welfare? The role of spatial, economic, and household factors

December 2019
This study uses the concept of the Rural Opportunity Space from economic geography literature to shed light on these questions.

Research Series Issue 41: The demography of rural youth in developing countries

December 2019
Building on United Nations data, this study analyses how past growth of the youth population was dramatic in Asia and the Pacific, while projections suggest a sharp rise in the youth population of sub-Saharan Africa until 2050.

IFAD10 Impact Assessment: An Overview

December 2019
To hold itself accountable on progress made in achieving this goal and these three strategic objectives, IFAD has adopted a unique approach to reporting impact at the corporate level, building on rigorous project-level evaluations. This report provides the results of these efforts to assess the corporate impact of IFAD investments for the Tenth Replenishment of IFAD’s Resources (IFAD10) period of 2016-2018.

The Latin America and Caribbean Advantage: Family farming – a critical success factor for resilient food security and nutrition

December 2019
Development projects that integrate investments in rural indigenous people, youth and women with measures to adapt to climate change are more likely to be successful in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a new report launched today by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The West and Central Africa Advantage: Fighting fragility for smallholder resilience

November 2019
A new report from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) shows that by working with women, men, young people and indigenous peoples as change agents we are best placed to beat back the impact of climate change on rural communities in West and Central Africa (WCA).

The Fisheries and Aquaculture Advantage: Fostering food security and nutrition, increasing

November 2019
This report presents selected achievements and lessons from the growing portfolio of fisheries and aquaculture investments supported by IFAD.

How to do note: Mainstreaming nutrition into COSOPs and investment projects

October 2019
This How-to-do Note is a practical step by step operational guidance on mainstreaming nutrition in IFAD-supported country strategies and investment projects for use by IFAD staff, consultants and partners.

Research Series Issue 40: Local-economy impacts of cash crop promotion

October 2019
This is the first study to quantify the general equilibrium impacts of introducing a new cash crop into a poor isolated economy, including impacts on environmentally sensitive fishing activities.

The Food Loss Reduction Advantage: Building sustainable food systems

September 2019
Around one third of the food globally produced is estimated to be lost or wasted along the supply chain. These losses affect disproportionally developing countries.

Research Series Issue 39: Smallholder farming, growth linkages, structural transformation and poverty reduction

September 2019
There are different views around the future of smallholder agriculture and its potential to contribute to the needed transformations of agriculture and rural economies.

Impact assessment: The Coastal Community Development (CCDP)

August 2019
The Coastal Community Development Project (CCDP), implemented between 2013 and 2017, was designed to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable economic growth in 12 coastal districts of Indonesia.

Research Series Issue 38: Meta-evidence review on the impacts of investments in agricultural and rural development on Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2

June 2019
Agriculture and rural development research will play a critical role in meeting the ambitious targets under SDGs 1 and 2.

Research Series Issue 37: Determinants of cofinancing in IFAD-funded projects - A call to rethink development interventions

May 2019
This study is an analysis of what drives cofinancing in IFAD-supported programmes/projects, covering 20 years of data from 559 projects in 109 countries.

Impact assessment: PAPAFPA and PAPAC

April 2019
The Participatory Smallholder Agriculture and Artisanal Fisheries Development Programme (PAPAFPA) and the Smallholder Commercial Agriculture Project (PAPAC) are complementary projects designed to improve the livelihoods of smallholders in Sao Tomé and Príncipe. PAPAFPA, which has now closed, created farmers’ cooperatives to improve the development of organic cacao, coffee, and pepper value chains through increased commercialization in domestic and niche export markets.

Research Series Issue 36: Who works in agriculture?

April 2019
This analysis examines the dynamics of youth employment in agriculture and the agri-food system in Tanzania and Malawi.

Impact assessment: Coastal Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (CCRIP)

April 2019
Farmers in southwestern Bangladesh, an area prone to natural disasters, are sometimes unable to reach community markets in the monsoon season.

Impact assessment: Plan VIDA-PEEP to Eradicate Extreme Poverty – Phase I

March 2019
From 2011 to 2016, the Plan VIDA project in Bolivia was implemented to address extreme poverty in rural areas by increasing the incomes and assets of rural people in the departments of Potosí and Cochabamba of the Plurinational State of Bolivia

Research Series Issue 35: Climate change mitigation potential of agricultural practices supported by IFAD investments An ex ante analysis

March 2019
This study estimates the mitigation potential of agricultural practices supported by IFAD’s current investments in order to provide guidance for the design of future investments.

Research Series Issue 34: Farm size and productivity - Lessons from recent literature

January 2019
This paper considers the relationship between farm size and productivity patterns across countries and within countries.

IFAD Results Series Issue 3

December 2018
This issue presents and analyses experiences from the following IFAD-funded projects and programmes...

Impact assessment: Agricultural Sector Development Programme–Livestock (ASDP-L) and Agriculture Service Support Programme (ASSP)

December 2018
Despite decades of research and development of technologies and innovations which improve farming practices and productivity, small farmers in Tanzania continue to use technologies and practices which do not favour high yields and economic returns.

Research Series Issue 33 - The impact of the adoption of CGIAR's improved varieties on poverty and welfare outcomes: A systematic review

December 2018
This paper examines the impact of agricultural research on poverty and welfare by conducting a systematic review of experimental and quasi-experimental impact evaluations of improved varieties disseminated by CGIAR between 2007 and 2015.

Impact assessment: Irrigated Rice Production Enhancement Project

December 2018
The Irrigated Rice Production Enhancement Project (IRPEP) was implemented between 2010 and 2015 to improve the rice productivity and livelihoods of smallholder farmers who cultivate on Communal Irrigation Schemes in three regions (Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Northern Mindanao) of the Philippines.

Impact assessment: Rural Development Support Programme in Guéra

December 2018
The Rural Development Support Programme in Guéra (PADER-G) was implemented to improve the food security and livelihoods of farmers living in remote areas of Guéra, a drought-prone and conflict-ridden region of Chad.

Impact assessment: Guangxi Integrated Agricultural Development Project

December 2018
The Guangxi Integrated Agricultural Development Project (GIADP) was implemented in 623 Administrative Villages in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China to increase income of smallholder farmers by developing community infrastructures

Impact assessment: High-Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas

December 2018
The High-Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas (HVAP) integrated farmers living in the remote hill and mountain areas of Mid-Western Nepal into the local economy of goats and high-valued crops such as apples and Sichuan pepper (timur).

Impact assessment: Project for Rural Income through Exports in Rwanda

December 2018
The Project for Rural Income through Exports in Rwanda, known by its acronym PRICE, aims to increase returns to farmers through the development of export-driven value chains for coffee, tea, sericulture and horticulture.

Impact Assessment: Livestock and Pasture Development Project

December 2018
In Khatlon Oblast, the poorest region of Tajikistan, decades of overgrazing has degraded pastoral land leading to low milk and meat production, food insecurity and malnutrition in rural areas.

Impact Assessment: Community-based Forestry Development Project in Southern States (DECOFOS)

December 2018
Deforestation and unsustainable management practices have had a significant impact on the livelihoods of poor rural communities in the forest areas of Campeche, Chiapas and Oaxaca states in Mexico.

Impact assessment: Agricultural Value Chains Support Project (PAFA)

December 2018
The Agricultural Value Chains Support Project (PAFA) aimed to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Senegal’s Groundnut Basin.

Impact assessment: Participatory Small-Scale Irrigation Development Programme

December 2018
Rural people in the Ethiopian highlands depend mainly on rain-fed subsistence farming for their livelihoods.

Research Series Issue 32 - Developing country-wide farming system typologies: An analysis of Ethiopian smallholders’ income and food security

November 2018
This paper aims to better understand the context in which smallholder farms operate.

The Youth Advantage: Engaging young people in green growth

November 2018
In 2030, young people will make up around 15 per cent of the world’s population, and rural youth about 6 per cent. Some regions are even expected to see a “youth bulge” or a significantly higher proportion of young people.

Research Series Issue 31 - Impact of modern irrigation on household production and welfare outcomes

October 2018
Investments in irrigation systems have been shown to substantially improve farmers’ productivity, and thus alleviate poverty. This study provides an example of such an investment: the Participatory Small-Scale Irrigation Development Programme.

Nutrition-sensitive value chains: A guide for project design – Volume I

October 2018
The Nutrition-sensitive value chains: A guide for project design has been produced to fill a key knowledge gap in the emerging field of value chains for nutrition by providing guidance on how to design nutrition-sensitive value chain (NSVC) projects, with a particular focus on smallholder producers.

Research Series Issue 30 - Nutrition-sensitive value chains from a smallholder perspective: A framework for project design

October 2018
This paper addresses an important gap regarding the systematic knowledge and evidence on how value chains can contribute to nutrition, while remaining financially viable and inclusive of smallholder farmers.

Research Series Issue 29 - Empowering through collective action

October 2018
This paper explores the conditions for collective action to generate inclusion when agriculture transforms.

Research Series Issue 28 - Understanding the dynamics of adoption decisions and their poverty impacts. The case of improved maize seeds in Uganda

August 2018
This study estimates the impact of agricultural research, specifically improved maize seeds varieties, on agricultural productivity and welfare in Uganda using a three-wave panel survey.

Effective rural development: IFAD’s evidence-based approach to managing for results

July 2018
This report reflects IFAD’s ongoing efforts to generate evidence to inform decision-making at the corporate and project level.

Research Series Issue 27 - Asia’s rural-urban disparity in the context of growing inequality

July 2018
This paper uses the available cross-country data to analyse the causes for the increase in the disparity between rural and urban areas in Asia.

The IFAD-GEF Advantage II: Linking smallholders and global environmental benefits

June 2018
In 2014, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) released a report celebrating achievements through its partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Since then, the world has been responding to critical environmental and climate challenges.

The Business Advantage: Mobilizing private sector-led climate actions in agriculture

June 2018
With private contributions becoming increasingly pivotal to global climate finance, it is evident that scaling up and channeling private capital is crucial in meeting the goal of achieving the Paris Agreement and limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.

Toolkit: Engaging with pastoralists – a holistic development approach

June 2018
Pastoralism is a way of life based on territorial mobility, adopted in response to the challenges faced by human communities living in harsh or difficult environments.

Research Series Issue 26 - Exploration of a methodology for assessing the impact of policy engagement. What impact and how to assess it?

June 2018
Policy engagement is a difficult activity to accurately monitor and evaluate, particularly when development agencies are interested in attributing impact to their efforts.

Toolkit: Access to finance for renewable energy technologies

May 2018
The toolkit focuses on end-user finance for renewable energy technologies for rural households, smallholder farmers, and rural micro, small and medium enterprises.

Research Series Issue 25 - Structural transformation and poverty in Malawi. Decomposing the effects of occupational and spatial mobility

May 2018
This paper aims to identify the main drivers of poverty reduction in Malawi. Using an augmented poverty decomposition methodology, it explores in what way the different farm and non-farm economic activities contribute to poverty reduction and income growth.

Research Series Issue 24 - Influence of nutrition-sensitive interventions on dietary profiles of smallholder farming households in East and Southern Africa

May 2018
This paper aims to explore the influence of nutrition-sensitive interventions on dietary profiles of the beneficiaries of IFAD-funded projects.

Research Series Issue 23 - The Effect of the Sectoral Composition of Economic Growth on Rural and Urban Poverty

April 2018
This paper analyses the channels through which growth reduces poverty by evaluating the relationship between the sectoral composition of economic growth and the rural-urban composition of poverty.

Research Series Issue 22 - Poverty reduction during the rural-urban transformation

April 2018
This paper analyses the relation between urbanization and poverty reduction, by exploring the role of secondary towns, mega cities and rural non-agricultural sector in relation to poverty reduction.

Toolkit: Supporting smallholder seed systems

March 2018
Agriculture begins with seed. Without seed, there can be no crops and no food production. When harvests fail or seed stocks are lost, seed insecurity ensues, which can reduce food security and livelihoods.

Research Series Issue 21 - Does relative deprivation induce migration? Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa

March 2018
This paper challenges the traditional view that portrays income maximization as the main driver of migration and tests whether relative deprivation and social inequality lead to migration in sub-Saharan Africa. Examining data from the Living Standards Measurements Study – Integrated Surveys in Agriculture (LSMS-ISA) from Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria and Uganda, the paper finds that a household’s migration decision is based not only on its well-being status, but also on the position of the household relative to the wealth distribution in the local community. Results indicate that relative deprivation of wealth was positively associated with migration, implying a need to renew the discussion of relative deprivation and social inequality as a cause of migration in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Water Advantage: Seeking sustainable solutions for water stress

March 2018
Among ecosystems services, freshwater is one of the most fundamental for life. For smallholders, water means the difference between a decent life and poverty, hunger and malnutrition.

How to do note: Design of gender transformative smallholder agriculture adaptation programmes

January 2018
This How to Do Note (HTDN) is intended to provide guidance on how to design smallholder agriculture adaptation programmes that consider the differential impacts of climate change on women, men and youth smallholder farmers. This includes recognizing that programme interventions – from design to staffing to capacity development of beneficiaries and local organizations – need to consider how gender will affect sustainability and impact. The experiences, social positions and differing access to resources of marginalized populations are fundamental considerations in the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of gender transformative smallholder agriculture adaptation programmes.

Research Series Issue 20 - Transformation and Diversification of the Rural Economy in Asia

January 2018
This paper examines the transformation and diversification of the rural economy in Asia, focusing on the role and importance of the rural non-farm economy and employment in economic transformation and related diversification of employment and income opportunities for rural communities.

Research Series Issue 19 - Measuring Women's Empowerment in Agriculture: A Streamlined Approach

December 2017
The Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) can be a useful tool to measure the empowerment, agency and inclusion of women in the agriculture sector. However, computing the WEAI in its current form involves large data requirements, resulting in lengthy surveys with several questions on various dimensions and indicators within each dimension. This paper proposes a reduced version of the WEAI, or the R-WEAI, and examines two possible approaches to reduce the data requirements while ensuring comparability to the full WEAI.

The Marine Advantage: Empowering coastal communities, safeguarding marine ecosystems

November 2017
Agriculture and fisheries, the backbone of food security and nutrition for coastal communities and globally, are under threat.

Research Series Issue 18 - Do agricultural support and cash transfer programmes improve nutritional status?

November 2017
Cash transfer and agricultural support programmes are both used to improve nutrition outcomes in developing countries. This paper examines previous reviews of the impact of these programmes and compares the evidence between the two. The paper finds that, although there are about the same number of programmes of each type, many more papers have been written about the cash transfer programmes than the agricultural programmes. While evidence suggests that both programme types improved the quality of food consumption, the paper concludes that both types show weak evidence of improvements in anthropometric outcomes.

Impact Assessment: Smallholder Dairy Commercialization Programme (SDCP)

October 2017
The Smallholder Dairy Commercialization Programme (SDCP) aimed to foster market-driven development of the informal dairy sector in Kenya.

Impact assessment: Project to Support Development in the Menabe and Melaky Regions

October 2017
In Madagascar, the Project to Support Development in the Menabe and Melaky Regions (AD2M) aimed to improve the livelihoods of poor farmers by strengthening their tenure security and access to well-functioning irrigation systems.

Research Series Issue 17 - Population age structure and sex composition in sub-Saharan Africa: A rural-urban perspective

October 2017
This study describes the shifting age and sex patterns of populations across rural and urban sectors in sub‑Saharan Africa from 1980 to 2015. It examines the relationship between the slowdown in urbanization and rural and urban age structure gaps, sex composition and dependency ratios. Findings show that rural-urban migration of young adults plays a key role in explaining dependency ratios and sex compositional gaps in rural and urban areas. Results also highlight the value of taking into account local age and sex structures to better prepare for the demographic dividend and other consequences of demographic shifts in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Nutrition Advantage: Harnessing nutrition co-benefits of climate-resilient agriculture

September 2017
Climate change and malnutrition are among the greatest problems in the twentyfirst century; they are “wicked problems”, difficult to describe, with multiple causes, and no single solution.

IFAD Results Series Issue 2

August 2017
This issue presents and analyses experiences from the following IFAD-funded projects and programmes: Ethiopia: Pastoral Community Development Project; Nepal: Leasehold Forestry and Livestock Programme; Palestine: Participatory Natural Resource Management Programme; Peru: Project for Strengthening Assets, Markets and Rural Development in the Northern Highlands (Sierra Norte); Sierra Leone: Rehabilitation and Community-based Poverty Reduction Project

Research Series Issue 16 - Getting the most out of impact evaluation for learning, reporting and influence

July 2017
This paper describes the Participatory Impact Assessment and Learning Approach (PIALA) which was developed and piloted by IFAD. The approach aims to produce rigorous qualitative and quantitative evidence that can be used not only to identify and assess the impacts of development projects, but also to promote learning and improved understanding of the associated processes and pathways of socio-economic change. Illustrated with cases from Viet Nam and Ghana, the paper assesses the value of the approach for collaborative learning and reporting for IFAD’s country programming and global policy engagement, as well as for the wider development community.

Research Series Issue 15 - Remittances, growth and poverty reduction in Asia

July 2017
Remittances have increased in low-income and lower- middle-income countries in recent years, playing an important role as a stable source of finance at the macro-level, and in poverty reduction at the micro-level. Drawing on a critical review of the literature and econometric analyses based on cross-country panel data, this study examines the relationships among remittances, growth and poverty reduction in Asia and the Pacific and highlights policy implications to be considered by governments and policy-makers.

Research Series Issue 14 - Disbursement performance of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

June 2017
This paper investigates the trends and the influencing factors of IFAD’s project disbursement performance over the past 20 years. Based on data from 577 projects in 111 countries, the study finds that disbursement of funds are often delayed and time-consuming. Using econometric analysis, the study assesses the internal and external factors affecting the amount and timeliness of disbursements, and provides important lessons on how international financial institutions such as IFAD can better monitor and manage this important aspect of their development effectiveness.

Toolkit: Poverty targeting, gender equality and empowerment

June 2017
This toolkit explains how to identify and address the diverse needs, constraints and opportunities of poor rural people through IFAD-supported projects and policy engagement.

Research Series Issue 13 - Graduation models for rural financial inclusion

May 2017
Graduation out of chronic poverty has recently been receiving considerable attention by the global development community for its potential synergies with social protection, microfinance and livelihoods development approaches to poverty reduction. This paper examines the evidence regarding the effectiveness of graduation strategies in reducing extreme poverty, with a focus on rural households, and proposes a new analytical framework to support future work on graduation as a learning and adaptation process in development practice.

Research Series Issue 12 - An evidence-based assessment of IFAD’s end-of-project reporting

May 2017
Project Completion Reports (PCRs) are a critical tool for development organizations, both for accountability purposes, and as a means of learning from project experience to inform the design of future operations. This paper analyses a sample of PCRs from IFAD to assess the extent to which evidence is used to determine a project's effectiveness in bringing about development. The report finds that most claims on results are not supported by evidence, and discusses implications for the objective measurement of development effectiveness.

Research Series Issue 11 - Food safety, trade, standards and the integration of smallholders into value chains

March 2017
This paper analyses how food safety challenges and requirements affect smallholder farmers' access to markets. High food safety standards in destination countries force governments of developing countries to make strategic choices about establishing domestic standards and upgrading the infrastructure and knowledge base of smallholder farmers. The paper suggests mechanisms that can be used to respond to these challenges, to enable smallholder inclusion in different markets.

IFAD Results Series Issue 1

March 2017
This issue presents and analyses experiences from the following IFAD-funded projects and programmes: Brazil: Sustainable Development Project for Agrarian Reform; Settlements in the Semi-arid North-east (Dom Hélder Câmara Project); China: South Gansu Poverty Reduction Programme; Ghana: Rural Enterprises Programme; Morocco: Rural Development Project in the Mountain Zones of Al-Haouz Province; Uganda: Vegetable Oil Development Project.

Research Series Issue 10 - Inclusive finance and inclusive rural transformation

January 2017
This paper provides an overview of concepts, issues and research on the relationship between financial inclusion and inclusive rural transformation. It demonstrates how changing demand for financial services, innovations in rural finance, and different investment strategies affect the interplay of supply and demand.

Research Series Issue 9 - Social protection and inclusive rural transformation

January 2017
This paper analyses how different types of social protection interventions affect rural livelihoods. It examines how these interventions can help rural transformation by increasing productivity and asks how they can influence inclusiveness. Using country-level evidence, it suggests that the effectiveness of social protection depends upon specific contexts and combinations of interventions, and asks what this means for building policy.

Research Series Issue 8 - Fostering inclusive rural transformation in fragile states and situations

January 2017
This paper seeks to answer three main questions: (i) What are fragile states and situations and how do they relate to issues of inclusive structural and rural transformation? (ii) In three selected case studies of diverse fragile situations (in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Haiti and the Republic of the Sudan – drawing on IFAD financed programme and country experience), what have been the key elements of structural and rural transformation and to what extent has rural transformation been inclusive? (iii) In these cases, how does fragility affect the inclusiveness of rural transformation? Which policies and approaches can successfully promote inclusive rural transformation in fragile situations?

Toolkit: Designing and implementing conservation agriculture of IFAD investments in sub-Saharan Africa

December 2016
Conservation agriculture (CA) in sub-Saharan Africa has multiple, but often very specific, niches for investment that need to be understood to support its inclusion and implementation in projects.

Toolkit: Engaging with farmers’ organizations for more effective smallholder development

December 2016
Smallholder farmers use different strategies to improve their market presence and to capture more value added in the agricultural sector. These strategies include the creation of cooperatives and other farmers’ organizations (FOs).

Research Series Issue 7 - Measuring IFAD's Impact

December 2016
This paper examines the impact of IFAD-supported projects so as to learn lessons for future projects. It analyses the different methods used by IFAD to measure a project's impact, finds that IFAD is improving the well-being of rural people, and recommends that impact assessments be built into future projects from their inception.

The Biodiversity Advantage: Global benefits from smallholder actions

November 2016
Biodiversity is about more than plants, animals, and micro-organisms and their ecosystems – the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, 1992) recognizes that it is also very much about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment. Biodiversity is also essential for the maintenance of ecosystem-based services, such as the provision of water and food for human, animal and plant life. When we make an effort to conserve biodiversity, we are helping to maintain critical global biological resources to meet our needs today as well as those of future generations. Biodiversity conservation is therefore central to achieving recent global commitments for sustainable development under “Agenda 2030”, adopted by the United Nations in 2015. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) recognizes that losing biodiversity means losing opportunities for coping with future challenges, such as those posed by climate change and food insecurity.

The Economic Advantage: Assessing the value of climate-change actions in agriculture

November 2016
This report is aimed at readers who seek to build economic evidence in support of the inclusion of actions on agriculture in climate change plans and programmes, particularly at the national level under the umbrella of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to the December 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to restrict a rise in global temperatures and manage risks. Agriculture is a sector especially sensitive to climate change. It also accounts for significant emissions and is, therefore, a priority for both adaptation and mitigation plans and actions at global, national and local levels.

The Drylands Advantage: Protecting the environment, empowering people

November 2016
Present in each continent and covering over 40 per cent of the earth, drylands generally refer to arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, and are home to more than 2 billion people.

Research Series Issue 6 - Why food and nutrition security matters for inclusive structural and rural transformation

September 2016
This paper challenges current thinking on the connection between rural transformation and food security & nutrition. It advocates that improving rural and structural transformation has a positive cyclical effect upon communities by improving food availability, access, supplies and utilization which in turn improves the health and education of communities. Using evidence from across the developing world, the paper creates a policy agenda to maximise potential for smallholder farming to transform local economies.

Toolkit: Formalising community-based microfinance institutions

September 2016
Microfinance institutions (MFI) take various forms these days, among them: projects, credit union or village banking networks, savings and credit cooperatives and mutual institutions, associations, capital companies, etc.

Research Series Issue 5 - Rural-urban linkages and food systems in sub-Saharan Africa

July 2016
This paper examines the role of rural-urban linkages in fostering inclusive and sustainable food systems and how these contribute to rural transformation and, more broadly, to sustainable and inclusive development. Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, the paper analyses the interdependencies between rural and urban areas and points to the key roles played by rural-based populations and producers, particularly smallholders, in promoting inclusive, mutually beneficial and sustainable urbanization.

The Adaptation Advantage: the economic benefits of preparing small-scale farmers for climate change

June 2016
It is now beyond a reasonable doubt that the earth’s changing climate is a result of human actions. The expanding total volume of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere is precipitating higher global surface temperatures and sea level rise. The effects of human-induced climate change threaten the very existence of numerous species across the planet, including our own.

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.

Toolkit: Reducing rural women’s domestic workload through labour-saving technologies and practices

April 2016
Labour-saving technologies and practices promote inclusive development by reducing the domestic workload and freeing up time to perform productive tasks, to participate in decision-making processes and development opportunities, and to enjoy more leisure time.

The Traditional Knowledge Advantage: Indigenous peoples’ knowledge in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies

April 2016
Higher temperatures, wildlife extinction, rising sea levels, droughts, floods, heat-related diseases and economic losses are among the consequences of climate change. Climate change disproportionally affects the poorest and most marginalized communities living in vulnerable regions, among them indigenous peoples, whose livelihoods depend on natural resources.

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.

Toolkit: Digital financial services for smallholder households

March 2016
Recent advances in technology and telecommunications have the potential to make financial services more accessible and affordable for smallholder households in rural areas. With digital platforms such as mobile phones, smallholders can now use financial services without having to visit a bank branch.

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