2018 Highlights


by PIM

Sound policies, robust institutions, and well-functioning markets complement new discoveries of agricultural science to create dynamic and resilient food systems. The CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM), one of CGIAR's four cross-cutting Global Integrating Programs, brings together numerous partners from around the world to provide action-oriented research support for policies that help poor farmers, both men and women, improve their lives; produce nutritious foods, and protect the soil, water, and biodiversity in rural landscapes.

Here are a few highlights from our work in 2018:

PIM's pre-conference workshop "Rural Transformation in the 21st Century: The Challenges of Low-Income, Late-Transforming Countries" held as part of the 30th International Conference of Agricultural Economists (ICAE) brought together about 120 colleagues from CGIAR and external research organizations. We said goodbye and big thank you to Dr. Karen Brooks, PIM Director since 2012, who retired in July. Dr. Frank Place was selected the next PIM director effective August 1, 2018. In this interview, we spoke with Frank about his first impressions, plans, and priorities in this new role. PIM held nine webinars in 2018, with topics including social protection, women's empowerment, food loss and waste, innovative smallholder insurance, mechanization, value chains, issues of land and farm size in Africa, forest concessions in Guatemala, and how aspirations and trust are linked with poverty reduction.
PIM Flagship 2 collaborators Thomas Jayne and Jordan Chamberlin teamed with Rui Benfica of IFAD as guest editors of the special issue of the Journal of Development Studies on Economic Transformation in Africa. This issue contains nine articles presenting fresh evidence on the region’s unfolding economic transformations, six of them co-authored by members of the PIM research team. For the third year, PIM in collaboration with Cornell University and other partners provided competitive grants for bright, early career African researchers under the Structural Transformation of African Agriculture and Rural Spaces (STAARS) fellowship.


The CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research housed within PIM and serving all CGIAR centers and programs awarded grants on Feminization of Agriculture and held its second Annual Scientific Conference in Addis Ababa.
PIM’s Flagship on Inclusive and Efficient Value Chains hosted a workshop on Integrating Value Chain Research across CGIAR. The goal of the meeting, held jointly with our partner Wageningen University and Research, was to catalyze the development of a CGIAR Value Chains community of practice. In our video series "Why is social protection important for agriculture and resilience?", five PIM colleagues share their thoughts and experience from the field. 


The PIM-supported report "Options for keeping the food system within environmental limits" (Nature, vol. 562, pages 519–525 (2018)) became one of the most tracked articles of a similar age in all journals.
A landmark study in Bangladesh conducted by researchers at IFPRI and Cornell University with PIM support shows that direct cash transfers coupled with behavior change communication can reduce intimate partner violence against women by 26 percent. The Policy Seminar "The Future of the Commons" co-organized by IFPRI, the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC), and PIM to mark the first World Commons Week, provided perspectives on past, present, and future challenges and opportunities. Colleagues from various CGIAR centers working under PIM's Flagship 5  "Governance of Natural Resources" had a great presence at the annual World Bank's Land and Poverty Conference in March, with 14 presentations, 2 master classes, and 4 posters.
The new book "The economics of teff: Exploring Ethiopia’s biggest cash crop" examines key aspects of teff production, marketing, and consumption, with a focus on opportunities for and challenges to further growth. We released six two-page PIM Flagship Notes, representing each of the PIM research areas ('flagships') and giving a quick overview of our research agenda and recent achievements. An exciting paper resulting from a collaboration between the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small-Scale Irrigation and two CGIAR programs, PIM and WLE, explores whether men and women benefit equally from technology adoption. (Spoiler: they don't!)

Congratulations to PIM colleagues for awards received in 2018:

Dr. Xinshen Diao, co-leader of PIM’s Flagship 2: Economywide Factors Affecting Agricultural Growth and Rural Transformation, won the 2018 Outstanding Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics. Xinshen has also received the University of Minnesota’s 2018 Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals. Both awards recognize her outstanding achievements and scholarly work.

Flagship 2 co-leader Prof. Thomas Jayne was was honored as a Fellow of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA). AAEA recognizes a small group of professionals each year who have made outstanding continuous contributions to the profession. They are named AAEA Fellows and recognized at the Annual Meeting. This is AAEA's most prestigious honor.

Dr. David Laborde, leader of PIM's Cluster 3.1: The Policy Environment for Value Chains under Flagship 3, received the  Alan A. Powell Award during the annual Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) meeting held in Cartagena, Colombia on June 13-15, 2018. The award is presented each year to one of the GTAP members in recognition of outstanding service.

Dr. Berber Kramer (Flagship 3) won the Scaling-up Award for her project “Seeing is believing using smartphone camera data” at the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture Convention, in Nairobi, Kenya. The project, which won the 2017 CGIAR Inspire Challenge, is a collaboration between IFPRI and the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI). Berber also received the T.W. Shultz Prize for Best Contributed Paper for her paper, co-authored with Francisco Ceballos, on climate smart insurance in India during the 30thInternational Conference for Agricultural Economists.

Dr. Hiroyuki Takeshima (Flagship 2) received the Nils Westermarck Prize for Best Poster for his poster on mechanization in Nigeria during the 30thInternational Conference for Agricultural Economists.