On December 7, ATAI convened researchers and funding organizations to discuss learning, evaluation, and measurement for agricultural development and transformation. The event “Evidence for agricultural development and transformation: A renewed agenda for impact research” brought together ATAI researchers and staff from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK’s Department for International Development, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and several USAID bureaus.
The day started with framing remarks by ATAI Board Officer Tavneet Suri (MIT Sloan) who provided an introduction to the initiative, highlighted ATAI’s emerging insights, and walked through a framework that mapped the seven constraints to adoption that guide the initiative’s research agenda to the process of agricultural transformation.
Two evidence panels followed that showcased recent work by ATAI researchers. Shawn Cole (Harvard) and Michael Kremer (Harvard) overviewed their work on mobile extension and how it informed the launch of Precision Agriculture for Development. Alain de Janvry (UC Berkeley) shared his recent work on reforms in Senegalese onion markets. Lauren Falcao Bergquist (University of Chicago) shared her work with One Acre Fund in Kenya on maize collateralized storage loans and a study in Uganda that aims to deepen markets.
The day concluded with a pair of roundtables. Donors shared their funding priorities and key questions around agricultural transformation. Following, the group discussed strategies for how ATAI can better support donors efforts to evaluate and learn.