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These solutions we develop must be problem-driven and based on a rich understanding of the context in which they will be delivered; and they must deliver enduring value.  This requires investments in both qualitative and quantitative approaches to evidence generation and analysis and we have developed a robust infrastructure around monitoring, evaluation and learning to ensure that our understanding of the challenges we aim to tackle are accurate, that our solutions are offering positive impacts, and that we generate regular and precise feedback to continually improve on them and to guide their deployment to sustainable scale.

Impact Assessment and Program Evaluation

Our team’s research for development program in the drylands naturally requires an in-depth understanding of the people that live there and the dynamics that shape their lives. This understanding then informs the innovations that we develop, pilot, and implement, a process that is iterative and requires continued monitoring, evaluation and learning.  We do so using a range of methods including large scale randomized control trials with accompanying longitudinal household surveys, 1-off information treatments with follow-up quizzes, as well as a tool-box filled with well-used qualitative methods.  Many of the survey tools and datasets developed under this agenda are publicly available and linked to in the project sites below.



Focus Areas

Understanding the dynamics between drought and the welfare of pastoral households.

  • Assessing and improving the value of insurance for pastoral households.

  • Innovations for improving the efficiency of the index insurance supply chain.

Main Projects

Team Members & Collaborators

  • Nathaniel Jensen (Scientist - Economist)

  • Andrew Mude (ILRI, now African Development Bank)

  • Nobu Ikegami (ILRI, now Hosei University)

  • Apurba Shee (ILRI, now IFPRI)

  • The entire IBLI-ILRI team

  • Chris Barrett (Cornell University)

  • Michael Carter (University of California-Davis)

  • Russell Toth (University of Sydney)

  • John McPeak (Syracuse University) 

  • Sommarat Chantarat (Australian National University)

  • Pat Clark (USDA)

  • And many others


Feasibility studies and ex-ante assessment

Even as we often turn to technological innovations as key pillars of our efforts to remove some of the limiting constraints to dryland development, we need to be certain that the target community would understand the application and potential benefits of these technologies, and to ensure that we are not missing fundamental contextual obstacles that would limit the acceptance and adoption of the technologies we offer.  We also need to have a sense of the value we believe the intervention would offer and its probable impact pathway. 

As such, whenever introducing a new concept, or scaling a piloted innovation into a new area, we carry out feasibility assessments and ex-ante assessments that range from rigorous quantitative studies to board-based qualitative assessments involving members of the target communities and related stakeholders.  The idea is always to ensure that we pursue the most prudent path to product design and delivery that is endorsed by client and beneficiary groups, that maximises the opportunity for impact and scale, and also offers insights on the best way forward with regards process and product improvement.


Focus Areas

  • Build on and standardise the range of digital IBLI learning and extension tools, allowing for specialised customisation.

  • Mobile based analytical tools aimed and assessing learning and agency performance.

  • Test various models of incentivising learning and information provision.


Main Projects

Team Members & Collaborators

  • Nathan Jensen

  • Duncan Khalai

  • Francesco Fava

  • Diba Galgallo

  • Wako Gobu

  • Rupsha Banerjee

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Assessing Organizational Behavior and Learning

Learning and iteration has been one of the fundamentals of the Index Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI). As much as we have been developing state of the art extension and education materials, monitoring the effects of such tools on agent learning and client understanding is a critical indicator for the process of adoption and scaling of IBLI. Therefore, we aspire to have systems in place which can not only help us track the effect of different extension tools on clients, but evaluate the effectiveness of administering different education tools on the agents. Such practices help institutionalizing of best practices of agent tracking, performance assessments and incentive systems –in turn affecting scaling and sustainability of IBLI.

Focus Areas

  • Efficiency in service delivery and
    informed demand

  • Organizational Development

  • Institutional Best Practices

Main Projects

Team Members & Collaborators

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