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Research Series Issue 20 - Transformation and Diversification of the Rural Economy in Asia
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
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
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?
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: Project to Support Development in the Menabe and Melaky Regions
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.
Impact Assessment: Smallholder Dairy Commercialization Programme (SDCP)
The Smallholder Dairy Commercialization Programme (SDCP) aimed to foster market-driven development of the informal dairy sector in Kenya.
Research Series Issue 17 - Population age structure and sex composition in sub-Saharan Africa: A rural-urban perspective
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.