Abt Associates Leads Panel on Pull Mechanisms at #AAEAATL19

July 17, 2019

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From July 21 to 23, agricultural and economic experts will convene in Atlanta, Georgia for the 2019 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Annual Meeting. Participants at #AAEAATL19 will discuss food supply chain dynamics, market policy, public health, zoonotic disease, and financing mechanisms. As part of the conference’s organized symposia, Abt Associates, the independent External Evaluator for AgResults, leads a panel from 1-2:30 p.m. EST on July 23 that explores the strengths and limitations of Pay-for-Results approaches to encouraging more private sector engagement markets that will improve smallholder farmer welfare.

Titled “Pull Mechanisms and Prize Contests in the Field: Impacts of AgResults and Other Innovation Incentives,” the panel brings together food security and policy experts to discuss how Pay-for-Results (PfR) competitions can engage the private sector to solve critical challenges in agriculture and market systems. The panel comprises:

Dr. Tulika Narayan, Research Director at Abt Associates who leads the independent evaluation of AgResults’ prize competitions, will facilitate the discussion, drawing from Abt’s learning to explain how and where incentives can work most effectively. First, Dr. Narayan will present the story of AgResults and describe how private sector players in Asia and Africa have engaged with its prize competitions. She will highlight the initiative’s impact, drawing on early lessons learned and external evaluations to date.

Following this, Dr. William Masters will report on applications of prize contests to improving child nutrition in India. Professor Brian Wright will round out the session by discussing his 1983 AER article on invention incentives, which continues to be the most widely cited paper in this field.

As External Evaluator, Abt Associates uses rigorous quantitative and qualitative methods to assess the effectiveness of AgResults’ prize competitions — called “Challenge Projects” — to achieve their objectives. Its framework involves using a set of research questions to examine to what extent the individual Challenge Projects produce desired private sector behaviors and social outcomes. The AAEA session provides an opportunity to discuss experiences and expertise using pull mechanisms and share best practices with the broader food security and food policy community.

Follow the action online and join the conversation using the #AAEATL19 hashtag on Twitter.

Funded by USAID (US), DFID (UK), DFAT (Australia), Global Affairs Canada, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, AgResults has designed and implemented prize competitions since 2013 focused on spurring fundamental change in market relationships between the private sector and smallholder farmers.

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