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ATAI Summit on Advancing Food Security: Lessons from Randomized Controlled Trials

2017 East Africa Evidence Summit: ATAI Hosts in Addis Ababa

Photo Credit: Synergos Institute via Flickr

On Tuesday, July 18th, ATAI convened a policy event, entitled “Advancing Food Security: Lessons from Randomized Controlled Trials” at the Raddison Blu Hotel in Addis Ababa. The event was part of the 2017 East African Evidence Summit and featured results from recent ATAI evaluations, focusing on financial products and services in contexts of volatility, and improved inputs and information services. This event was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation along with UK aid from the British people.

The full agenda can be found here, and outlined below with presentation materials.

The event opened with a keynote address from Khalid Bomba, Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency

Khalid Bomba, CEO of the Ethiopia Agricultural Transformation Agency, gives the keynote address

ATAI staff member Leah Bridle introduced the ATAI program and provided background for the event with an overview of ATAI evidence synthesis, “Emerging Insights,” on credit and savings and information to support smallholder farmers.


The morning panel featured:


The afternoon panel featured:

  • Hugo De Groote, Principal Scientist and Agricultural Economist with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), presented a project update from their ATAI-funded study “The Nutritional Impacts of Quality Protein Maize in Ethiopia”
  • Tim Njagi, Research Fellow at Tegemeo Institute presented results from their ATAI-funded study “Evaluating the Socio-economic Impacts of Western Seed’s Hybrid Maize program”, specifically related to Maize Technology Bundles and Food Security in Kenya.
  • Carolina Corral, Country Director of Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD) in Kenya, presenting on their work stemming out of ATAI evaluations in India and Kenya.



The event closed with a policy-focused panel “Looking Forward, Priorities for Agricultural Policy and Research in East Africa,” featuring

  • Laketch Mikael, Senior Director, Environmentally Sustainable & Inclusive Growth, Agricultural Transformation Agency, Ethiopia;
  • Anthony Mveyange, Agriculture and Rural Development Economist at the World Bank and former EASST Fellow; and
  • Hugo DeGroote, Principal Scientist and Agricultural Economist with International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Kenya;
  • moderated by ATAI Senior Program Manager Andrew Westbury.

For more than six years, the Center for Effective Global Action at the University of California has sought to support the development of East Africa’s impact evaluation community by offering fellowships to study at UC-Berkeley, networking opportunities, and research funding. Over the years, these efforts, implemented as part of our East Africa Social Science Translation Collaborative, have helped create a diverse network of regional researchers, committed to scientific evaluation of development programs across the region. Our annual East African Evidence Summit brings this network together with regional policymakers to support partnership development and sharing of research results. This year, the Summit focused on smallholder agriculture, convening leading donors, government officials, and researchers for presentations and discussion.

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Download the agenda