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Modeling Impact in Bangladesh

Modeling Impact in Bangladesh - Assessing the impacts of international agricultural research on poverty and under nutrition
Project leader
Charles Crissman
10 Oct 2011
10 Mar 2013
Modelling impact in BangladeshIn Bangladesh, significant progress has been made in recent years, in alleviating poverty and under nutrition; however, food insecurity and chronic poverty are evident in many communities. Agricultural technologies can have a significant impact on the quantity and quality of food that farmer’s produce, which directly effects their income and nutrition. This project is designed to estimate the impact of promoting integrated aquaculture-agriculture (IAA) technologies in Bangladesh, on household nutrition and poverty reduction.

Reducing poverty through agricultural research innovations

Research to improve agricultural productivity can help to reduce poverty in a number of ways. It can do so directly, by raising the incomes of poor farming households who adopt technological innovations.  Adoption of new technologies by poor and non-poor farmers can also help reduce poverty indirectly by lowering food prices for consumers, increasing employment and wages in agriculture, and by stimulating other sectors of the economy. The net effect of these outcomes on various groups and contexts is complex and in need of further study.
A number of research innovations have been developed over the last 10 years, which can help illuminate the complex relationships between technology, poverty and nutrition; these include new impact assessment models. The CGIAR Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) is supporting this project as part of a wider effort to broaden and deepen the evidence base on the impact of agricultural research on poverty and under nutrition. In the short term, this will better inform CGIAR donors of the poverty impacts of aquaculture-agriculture technologies. In the long term, it is hoped that this awareness will feed back into decisions regarding the allocation of funding to agricultural research in developing countries.
The Modeling Impact in Bangladesh project was initiated in October 2011, and will present its findings in March 2013. Building on the work of previous research initiatives, the project uses a novel approach to impact assessment, the Tradeoff Analysis Model for Multi-Dimensional Impact Assessment (TOA-MD). This model is designed to simulate the impact on poverty and nutrition of farmers adopting new production technologies across Bangladesh. Ultimately, the project aims to assess whether IAA technologies introduced by the Development of Sustainable Aquaculture Project (DSAP) are economically viable enough to justify the investments made by farmers, taking into account economic, environmental and social impacts of the technology.

Several research and dissemination projects have promoted IAA in Bangladesh, and previous surveys have shown broad adoption among project participants, with significant economic and nutrition benefits. This project will complement research conducted under the DSAP impact study – which included ‘with-without’ and ‘before-after’ surveys. The original participant and non-participant households will be surveyed (a remarkable number of whom are still in their original location), using the same survey instruments applied under the DSAP study. Data will be collected by hired enumerators and analysed by an experienced member of the original project team. The analysis will use data from control and treatment groups to simulate adoption and impacts on poverty and nutrition in the target population, and will test various hypotheses.