Knowledge for Development

Measuring the impact of agricultural research

This new dossier on the CTA S&T knowledge for development website (K4D) includes a series of three lead articles by Johannes Roseboom, Innovation Policy Consultant, The Netherlands. The articles provide a novel perspective on investing in agricultural innovation and responds to the increasing demand for public agricultural research and extension agencies to; measure and document the impact of their activities, define clear performance indicators and monitor the outcomes and improve the relevance of research results. Links to several documentary and on-line resources are also included in the dossier. Compiled and edited by CABI & CTA . Published by CTA. Editor-in-chief, J. Francis, CTA.

Investing in Agricultural Innovation: A Market Economy Perspective (Part 1)

by Johannes Roseboom, Innovation Policy Consultancy, The Netherlands
In the first lead article, Roseboom explores how the adoption of a market economy perspective is affecting/ redefining the role of government in agricultural innovation. He focuses on two key questions that policymakers investing in agricultural innovation are struggling with in a market economy, namely: (i) what should be the role of government and how much should be invested in agricultural research, extension and other innovation stimulating measures and; what is the optimal level of public and private investment? According to Roseboom, in an ‘ideal’ market economy, the business enterprise sector takes care of its own innovation activities and the government only plays an enabling and stimulating role by: (i) supporting education and basic research; (ii) creating the right incentives for the private sector to invest in innovation e.g. IPR and anti-trust policies and regulations; and (iii) coordinating the country’s innovation capacity strategically. He suggests that market failure should be eliminated or at least reduced and the responsibility for agricultural innovation handed over to the economic actors in agriculture but notes that this process does not happen overnight. 11/01/2012
Read more...

The optimal level of investment in agricultural innovation (Part 2)

by Johannes Roseboom, Innovation Policy Consultancy, The Netherlands
Roseboom notes that although benchmarking is the most common way of evaluating the level of government investment in agricultural innovation, it is a rather poor tool because it lacks the theoretical underpinning and tends to reinforce the status quo. For example, many economists have argued that there is serious underinvestment in agricultural innovation based on ex post rate of return studies of agricultural research and extension projects. He suggests that using a three step approach based on a standard cost-benefit analysis technique to calculate the expected rate or return (ERR), provides the theoretical answer for establishing the optimal level of investment in agricultural innovation. However, such a rational economic approach is not common practice for investing in agricultural innovation projects either in developing or developed countries. The size of the optimal investment in agricultural innovation and as such the overall productivity depends on the country’s level of economic development, its agricultural innovation capacity and various structural factors such as the level of technological capacity and risk and uncertainty. 11/01/2012
Read more...

Optimizing Public and Private Investments in Agricultural Innovations: Policy Implications (Part 3)

by Johannes Roseboom, Innovation Policy Consultancy, The Netherlands
In the final lead article, Roseboom explores the policy implications of the various options for optimizing public and private sector investments in agricultural innovation. In a market economy, the responsibility for agricultural innovation lies principally with the private sector and the public role is very limited. It is only when markets fail that the government should step in; either by trying to resolve the failure or by assuming responsibility for certain agricultural innovation activities. He opines that it is important to understand the cause and depth of the market failure in terms of horizontal and vertical spill over losses to be able to resolve or moderate it. These losses seriously undermine the expected profitability of private investment in agricultural innovation in general and hence have a negative impact on the economically optimal volume of investments. He recommends differentiated support strategies and developments in public management namely; performance-based budgeting, competitive funding schemes and greater involvement of the ultimate beneficiaries for ensuring that available public resources are invested in the most promising agricultural innovation opportunities. 11/01/2012
Read more...
This site details the work emerging from collaboration between the ACIAR and the Centre for International Economics (CIE) to develop a set of guidelines for ACIAR impact assessment studies. The aim is to enhance the comparability between the studies and consistency of their results. It provides links to impact assessment publications, the impact of multilaterial R&D, methodology, outcomes of impact assessments and returns on investment. 11/01/2012
Read more...
The difficulties of impact assessment are considered. It is concluded that methodological pluralism is needed, including use of Randomized Control Trials as one option in a portfolio of methods and not always as the superior approach. Each case is different. Hence, each case needs to be carefully diagnosed (through case studies, descriptive statistics) to understand in particular who has adopted and why non-adoption occurs. 11/01/2012
Read more...

E-mail Newsletter

 English  Français

» Download latest

Members