The Steering Committee appointed Abt Associates to serve as the External Impact Evaluator for the AgResults pilots. Abt’s role is to determine on a scientific basis if the AgResults pilots’ pull mechanisms achieve their objectives. As evaluators, we use a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods to assess whether the pilots produce private sector behaviors and social outcomes different from, and better than, what would have happened in the absence of the pull mechanism. Where possible, we also assess pilot outcomes in comparison to push mechanisms, which provide up front funding for specific paths to achieve the development goals. The evaluation also assesses the cost-effectiveness of the pull mechanism pilots and sustainability of the results once the pilot incentives are removed.
The Abt team pre-tests the Nigeria Aflasafe™ pilot baseline questionnaire with farmers.
Abt’s evaluators for the Kenya On-Farm Storage pilot visit participants who use PICS bags to store grain.
A women’s group in Zambia completes a participatory research activity called scored causal diagrams.
One of the strategic objectives of AgResults is to understand how pull mechanisms perform in reality. Through its evaluation work, Abt is contributing to the knowledge base and literature on best practices in designing and implementing pull mechanisms for both technology development and technology adoption in a developing country context. Specifically, it is answering seven evaluation questions:
1. What has been the impact of the AgResults project/pilot on private sector involvement in the development and uptake of agricultural innovations?
2. What has been the impact of the AgResults project/pilot on smallholders’ uptake of innovative technologies?
3. What has been the impact of the AgResults project/pilot on smallholders’ incomes?
4. What has been the impact of the AgResults project/pilot on poor consumers’ demand for derivative food products?
5. What evidence exists that the AgResults pilots are scalable and that their effects will be sustainable in the medium to long term?
6. What is the evidence on the scale of any effect on private sector investment and uptake, and on the cost-effectiveness of AgResults as an approach?
7. What lessons can be learned about best practices in the design and implementation of agricultural pull mechanisms?