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Using investments wisely

Ex Ante Impact Assessment - Ex ante impact assessment of returns on investments in the fisheries and aquaculture sector in developing countries
Project leader
Charles Crissman
1 Oct 2010
31 Mar 2012

Fish trader - Lake Chilwa, Malawi. Photo credit Charles Crissman
Investors in WorldFish’s work—reducing poverty and hunger by improving fisheries and aquaculture are concerned and interested that their available resources are targeted to the projects that are likely to have the greatest positive impact. They need information that will guide their choice among interventions according to their anticipated impact on poverty reduction.
Enter the ex ante, or ‘beforehand’ assessments of the probable impacts of policies, programmes and projects. Based on these assessments decision makers have better evidence to predict how different socio-economic groups, women and men, might be affected and hence can decide which interventions can be expected to be successful. The ex ante assessment is also a tool that can be used to help with the design of an intervention so that it may be focussed more appropriately to achieve its goals.

In this project WorldFish researchers are designing guidelines for ex ante assessments especially targeted to fisheries and aquaculture. By providing a framework to systematically critique a proposed intervention, guideline users can objectively evaluate whether a proposed intervention can or cannot provide a cost effective, relevant and sustainable vehicle for meeting rural development objectives. The researchers are also piloting a low data requirement modelling approach for impact assessment useful for aquaculture. The model compares new and existing production systems, projects adoption and expected environmental, economic or health impacts.

The guidelines and models will be tested in three countries, two in Africa (Ghana and Malawi) and one in Asia (Bangladesh). Although the methodology will be developed in the context of “fisheries and aquaculture investment options in developing countries”, it is also possible that the model will be suitable for use in other sectors.
With improved techniques to measure impacts, the rural poor will benefit from better-targeted interventions from the investments made by governments and international donors.