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Agriculture in Africa: Translating Evidence from RCTs into Policy to Benefit Smallholders


The past decade has witnessed a dramatic increase in the use of randomized trials in agricultural program evaluations, particularly in East Africa. However, the “last mile” of transforming the results into evidence-based policy remains in order to achieve widespread impact. How can researchers effectively communicate results to policymakers?

This half-day event will convene East African researchers, US researchers, and East African policy influencers to discuss the policy lessons emerging from this body of rigorous research, and how to translate them into action. It will feature research presentations from the Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI), case studies from AGRA policy fellows, and facilitate cross-learning opportunities for participants about challenges and best practices for research dissemination.

This workshop has three primary objectives:

  1. Increase participants’ understanding of recent, rigorous evaluations in agriculture in East Africa, and the resulting cumulative policy lessons
  2. Increase participants’ capacity to communicate the results of rigorous studies to non-academics and/or policymakers, and to affect (agricultural) policy change
  3. Facilitate networking and cross-learning among a community of East African scholars and policy influencers

ATAI is a collaboration between CEGA, J-PAL, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and DFID. 

Date and Time

Jul 9, 2015 8:00am — 1:00pm


Africa Population and Health Research Center

Manga Close, Off Kirawa Road
P.O. Box 10787-00100,
Nairobi, Kenya


8:00-8:30      Registration and Breakfast

8:30-8:40      Welcome Remarks David S. Ameyaw, AGRA Director of Strategy Monitoring & Evaluation        

8:40-8:50      Opening Remarks Agnes Kalibata, President of AGRA                                            

8:50-9:00      Introduction to ATAI Ellie Turner, Program Manager of ATAI, CEGA

9:00-9:30      Short-Term Storage Loans & Price Arbitrage Ted Miguel, Faculty Director, CEGA

9:30-10:00    Barriers to Fertilizer Use Jon Robinson, UC Santa Cruz

10:00-10:30  Collateralized Lending for Rainwater Harvesting Tanks Joost de Laat, World Bank        

10:30-10:45  Tea Break

10:45-12:00  AGRA Case Studies: Translating Research into Policy

                                   Seed and Fertilizer Policy in Ghana, Daniel Boateng-Ohemeg

                                   Seed and Agriculture Subsidies in Tanzania, Gungu M. Mibavu

                                   Micro Reform for African Agribusiness Burkina Faso

12:00-12:35  Panel Discussion: Bridging the Gap Between Policy and Research

                                   David Ameyaw, AGRA

                                   Colin Christiensen, One Acre Fund

                                   Gungu M. Mibavu, AGRA Tanzania

                                   Karwithia Mutunga, KENFAP

                                   Michael Kremer, Harvard University

12:35-12:45  Closing Remarks

12:45-2:00    Lunch 


Edward Miguel (UC Berkeley), Jonathan Robinson (UC Santa Cruz)




UK Department for International Development

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation