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Measuring Impact in Agricultural Risk Mitigation Programmes: Challenges in design and method

Presentation - 3ie Agriculture Risk Mitigation Workshop (Nairobi, Kenya)

On April 19-20, researcher Dr. Michael Carter and Anna Schickele (Senior Policy Associate, J-PAL Global) represented ATAI by participating in a workshop on agricultural risk mitigation hosted by 3ie in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop aimed to synthesize emerging findings in agricultural risk mitigation–an area where ATAI research has generated new insights–and set priorities for research on this topic moving forward.

ATAI has funded over 40 randomized evaluations examining the constraints to technology adoption; nine of these projects focus specifically on insurance, risk-mitigating crops, and other strategies to address the risks faced by smallholder farmers. As a participant in 3ie’s workshop on risk mitigation, ATAI shared results and lessons from existing research and connected with implementing agencies to consider working with our network of researchers to collaborate on new projects.

The ATAI publication “Make It Rain” synthesizes evidence from ten randomized evaluations of weather index insurance schemes and other supportive evidence from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The bulletin argues that although weather index insurance protects farmers against losses from extreme weather and facilitates investment in their farms, randomized evaluations in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa have shown low demand for these products at market prices, suggesting the need for alternative approaches. Dr. Michael Carter presented on challenges of evaluating agricultural risk management technologies.