Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Impact of IRRC's four phases evaluated by external panel

The Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC) commissioned an impact assessment and process evaluation of IRRC technologies and best management practices developed from phase 1 to phase 4 of the consortium, spanning 15 years.

An inception meeting held on 25-26 June 2012 at the IRRI Training Center marked the start of the process. The IRRC coordination unit and work groups gave presentations on the technologies developed, adoption rates, yield and income impacts, and identified sociocultural, gender, institutional, environmental, scientific, and policy impacts.

The communication approach of the IRRC was presented to highlight the strategies that have been implemented to promote the best management practices to irrigated rice farmers.

This review aims to determine the achievements attained during the four phases of IRRC and how the outcomes of the research contributed to the rice production issues in the Southeast Asian project countries. There will be an economic assessment focused on targeted countries to estimate the return on investment for the donor and for the coinvestment by IRRI.

The final consultancy report is expected to document evidence of successful outcomes and impacts, as well as pathways that led to these changes. Also expected to be documented is evidence of limited progress or setbacks, how these were addressed, and the lessons learned.

The external panel members are Roderick Rejesus, agricultural economist from North Carolina State University, USA; Adrienne Martin, social anthropologist from the University of Greenwich, UK; and Phrek Gypmantasiri, agronomist from Chiang Mai University, Thailand.

IRRC Coordinator Grant Singleton and sociologist Flor Palis led preparations for this meta-impact assessment. An interim report from the consultants will be available in November 2012. The manuscript will be submitted for possible publication in the special issue of the Food Security journal that will come out in March 2013.

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