Informing the design of development strategies and investment plans around the world


Development agencies, governments, and donors use PIM’s economy-wide modeling and related research and tools to design their development strategy documents and investment plans. Below are examples from 2018.


PIM-supported research implemented through the IFPRI’s Bangladesh Policy Research and Strategy Support Program was extensively used by USAID in the formulation of its five-year Global Food Security Strategy Country Plan for Bangladesh issued in 2018. The Plan cites evidence generated by the IFPRI team on poverty, nutrition, and women’s empowerment in support of the decision to continue to focus the US programming on the original Feed the Future Zone of Influence, made up of 20 districts in the southwest coastal region of the country. The thematic components of the country program were also informed by this research. For example, the component on agricultural productivity and diversity is justified in part by evidence showing that investing in agriculture is one of the best pro-poor investment options. Similarly, USAID’s continued support for safety nets draws upon research in partnership with the World Food Programme demonstrating that cash transfers combined with high-quality nutrition counseling significantly reduce stunting.


In China, climate change, water scarcity, land degradation and other environmental stresses, as well as external factors related to trade policies increasingly constrain the potential of agriculture to satisfactorily respond to the rising demand for food. Public expenditures are one of the Government’s key tools to shape a conducive policy environment for agricultural production growth. In 2013, IFPRI’s China Strategy Support Program team undertook a study to analyze the effectiveness of China's public expenditures in the agricultural sector. One of the tools used in the study was the Statistics on Public Expenditures for Economic Development (SPEED) database, which has benefited from continued investment from PIM. The study report, submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture and to the Asian Development Bank, pointed to a low level of agricultural expenditures and inadequate spending on agricultural research and development and agricultural infrastructure in rural areas. The returns to subsidies were low, suggesting that these should be reduced. Two additional reports containing policy recommendations were submitted to the government and to the Asian Development Bank in 2016-2017. Agricultural public expenditure policies in China are currently undergoing changes that are consistent with the team’s recommendations. China's new Rural Revitalization Strategy (in Chinese) emphasizes both public and private investment to support agricultural and rural development. In line with the research recommendations, the government continued to increase investments to promote agricultural and rural development, including those in R&D, infrastructure, and rural education. Furthermore, policy reforms included the removal of stockpile policies for corn, oilseeds and cotton, the reduction in the floor price of rice and wheat, and no further increase in input subsidies.


PIM value chain studies informed the World Bank's Ethiopia Economic Update, which examines Ethiopia's recent economic developments, outlook, and growth strategy, and the Cereal Market Performance in Ethiopia report, which aims to guide project operations for the Government of Ethiopia and the World Bank.

USAID used PIM research on growth and transformation, value chains, and youth employment to set the context and frame development opportunities and challenges in the Global Food Security Strategy: Ethiopia Country Plan for 2018-2023, which serves as an overarching framework for the agency’s food security and nutrition programming in the country.

The research products cited in these reports are dated 2012 to 2018, and most are the result of work conducted through the IFPRI’s Ethiopia Strategy Support Program, a collaborative program undertaken by the International Food Policy Research Institute and the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (Note: EDRI has recently changed its name to the Policy Studies Institute) with support from PIM to improve the policy making process in Ethiopia. This program also contributed analysis on agricultural transformation in Ethiopia for the Appendix on Ethiopia in the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)'s Africa Agriculture Status Report 2018, which serves as a handbook for governments and their partners to help transform agriculture in Africa.

Malawi and Rwanda

National Agricultural Investment Plans (NAIPs) are country-wide strategic tools which outline and prioritize the investments needed to achieve national development targets on poverty, food security and nutrition, job creation, and other indicators over a defined time frame. Designed to implement national agricultural policies, NAIPs are developed and managed by governments in partnership with national stakeholders from the private sector and civil society. NAIPs have been given more prominence in the context of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) - a continent-wide agenda to transform Africa’s agriculture and stimulate sustainable growth, including a commitment by each country to increase public resources for agriculture to at least ten percent of government spending. PIM-supported research by IFPRI using economy-wide modeling approaches contributed to the development of two NAIPs launched in 2018: Prioritised and Coordinated Agricultural Transformation Plan for Malawi: FY 2017/18-2022/23; and Rwanda’s Strategic Plan for Agriculture Transformation 2018-24.

In the Malawi case, researchers used the Rural Investment and Policy Analysis model developed by IFPRI and IFAD with support from PIM to help identify priorities (especially for value chains development) in the NAIP. The Rwandan investment plan incorporated results of the analysis of the evolution in employment patterns in the country's agricultural sector due to structural transformation and population growth, performed by IFPRI at the request of the Government of Rwanda.


IFPRI’s Pakistan Strategy Support Program, a country-led policy analysis and capacity strengthening program funded by USAID, has engaged with several government agencies to support policy reforms related to food and agriculture since 2011. As a result of this long-term engagement and of IFPRI’s reputation for high-quality research on policy issues, in 2016-2018 the Pakistan Strategy Support Program team was consulted by the Punjab Agriculture Department and by the Pakistan Ministry of Food Security and Research to help develop food security policies at the provincial and national levels.

At that time, the Punjab agricultural sector was experiencing negative growth, which, combined with a steep decline in prices of certain commodities, created discontent among farmers. To overcome the crisis, the Provincial and Federal leaderships decided to reform the province's agricultural sector. The Secretary of the Punjab Agriculture Department brought the IFPRI Pakistan team and the consulting firm Innovative Development Solutions together to assist his staff and other stakeholders in formulating a new policy that would foster public and private investments in agriculture. Based in part on commissioned background papers and other IFPRI publications (see e.g. here and here), the provincial government led a process of consultations with many stakeholders and formulated the Punjab Agricultural Policy, which was passed by the provincial Cabinet in June 2018. Subsequently, the policy was also approved by the newly elected provincial administration. In a similar approach, the national government approached several stakeholders including IFPRI for inputs into the new Pakistan National Food Security Policy, which was approved by the Cabinet in March 2018. It calls for increased attention to agricultural research and development and to the provision of advisory services to farmers – a component of the policy that benefited from significant inputs from the IFPRI team.

This work was undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) under Flagship 2: Economywide Factors Affecting Agricultural Growth and Rural Transformation.

This story is part of the PIM 2018 Outcomes collection. For more information about our work in 2018, see PIM Achievements in 2018: Highlights and Annual report 2018: CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM).