The SPIA Webinar Series, launched in 2021, provides an opportunity for the impact assessment community of practice to jointly reflect on methods and approaches to impact assessment. Webinars will not only focus on completed work, but many of them will be presentations of work in progress. The webinars take place on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, usually around 1.30 pm CET. The topic of each webinar will be announced on this page as well as on Twitter (@cgiarspia). If you are interested in presenting in one of the webinars and receiving feedback on early-stage work, please contact with a brief description of your impact assessment study or idea. 


Webinar #25: Resilience benefits of bundling drought tolerant maize with index insurance in Tanzania and Mozambique

April 17, 11am CEST

Presenters: Jonathan Malacarne (University of Maine) and Paswel Marenya (CIMMYT)

In this webinar, Jonathan Malacarne (University of Maine) will present a recently published paper that explores the resilience and productivity impacts of bundling genetic and financial innovations, looking specifically at a bundle of drought tolerant maize and index insurance in Tanzania and Mozambique.

Paswel Marenya (CIMMYT) will share reflections on how learnings from the paper can inform scaling strategies.


Webinar #24: Experimental Assessment of the Collective Action Impacts of Participatory Rangeland Management in Kenya and Tanzania

February 21, 3-4pm CET

Presenters: Muthoni Ng'ang'a (Wilfrid Laurier University) & Irene Nganga (ILRI)

Discussant: Kelvin Shikuku (ILRI)

Community-level interventions are common in international development practice. Some of these community interventions combine investments in capacity building, leadership and collective action with direct investments in an attempt to improve individual and household outcomes in the community. Ultimately, the success of such interventions hinges on their ability to change local institutions in ways that bring efficiency or equity gains and improve incentives for better long-run resource management and productivity. The question on whether such interventions impact community norms with sufficient persistence as to provide lasting effects on these outcomes remains largely unanswered. This policy-relevant question has significant practical importance since the long-term impact of interventions depend on the formation of norms that would benefit communities, households and individuals. 

At this webinar, Muthoni Ng’ang’a and Irene Nganga present a project that aims to evaluate whether institutional interventions solve a common problem in pastoralist communities and affect the collective action norms of individuals in the community. The project is also designed to assess whether heterogeneity in the willingness to contribute to public goods can be linked to innate or baseline collective action norms of individuals.


Webinar #23: Using mixed-methods research to understand food choices in Tanzania

November 15, 11am-12pm CET

Presenter: Nishmeet Singh, University of Edinburgh

Discussant: Monica Biradavolu

At this webinar, Nishmeet Singh from the University of Edinburgh will present a project using mixed methods to study consumer behavior and food safety perceptions related to food environments within the Fruit and Vegetables for Sustainable Healthy Diets (FRESH) Initiative in Tanzania.


Webinar #22: Experimental studies on encouraging maize varietal turnover in sub-Saharan Africa

October 18, 12.30-2pm CEST

Presenters: Michael Ndegwa and Sarah Kariuki, CIMMYT

Discussant: Emilia Tjernstrom, Monash University

Farmers in SSA are observed to stick with well-known maize varieties they have grown for years even when newer, better adapted, and more promising varieties are available. In this webinar, Michael Ndegwa and Sarah Kariuki will present three randomized controlled trials that test different methods of encouraging farmers to switch to newer varieties.

The first study evaluates alternative ways of encouraging experimentation with new maize varieties through trial pack campaigns to facilitate cluster level social learning and information spillovers from trial hosts to fellow villagers.

The second study tests the role of drawing farmers’ attention to and encouraging experimentation with newer varieties during seed purchase through information and price promotions at the Point-of-Sale (POS).

The third study tests whether economic incentives (margin discounts) can motivate input suppliers to stock and push newer varieties to farmers.


Webinar #21: Remote sensing for impact evaluation of agriculture and natural resource management research

September 20, 2023, 1-2.30pm CEST

Presenter: Johanne Pelletier

The rapid development of remote sensing opens up opportunities for using satellite-based Earth observation (EO) data for analysis that previously relied on ground-based measures. In this webinar, Johanne Pelletier presents recent SPIA guidelines on best practices for using EO data for impact assessment. The guidelines bring in learning from 11 case studies that use EO data for impact assessment and reflect on common challenges and how to address them.


Webinar #20: Maternal and child nutritional health: evaluating the impacts of gender-differentiated interventions in Central Uganda

May 17, 2023, 1.30-2.30pm CEST

Presenters: Hardi Ahmed (University of Alicante), Teresa Molina (University of Alicante) Millan and Emily Ouma (ILRI)

This impact assessment team formed at the SPIA matchmaking in Nairobi 2022. At the webinar they will present progress made on their study.

Abstract: Malnutrition is pervasive in Uganda, with about 30% of children experiencing stunted growth. This has been linked to a lack of knowledge on the relevance of good nutrition as well as social norms limiting the availability of certain foods for vulnerable members. These challenges are most prevalent in the consumption of ASFs. In this study, we implement gender-differentiated interventions aimed at improving nutritional outcomes of children and mothers. First, we provide information on nutrition knowledge for women (T0). Then, we implement a similar information campaign, but for men (T1). This is relevant given that men control most of the household resources. Lastly, we implement an intervention that goes beyond the provision of knowledge and seeks to change behaviors regarding ASF consumption (T2). This project will test impacts of T1 and T2 relative to the baseline treatment through a clustered randomized controlled trial.


Webinar #19: Equitable and inclusive methods to promote plant health innovations - Experimental design for encouraging the adoption of Aflasafe among small-scale farmers in Nigeria

March 15, 2023, 1.30-2.30pm CET

Presenters: Tesfamichael Wossen, Yanyan Liu, Nozomi Kawarazuka, Jeremy DN. Miguel and Tanguy Bernard

In this webinar, Tesfamichael Wossen, Yanyan Liu, Nozomi Kawarazuka, Jeremy DN. Miguel and Tanguy Bernard will present an experimental study of encouraging adoption of Aflasafe among small-scale farmers in Nigeria. The project was brought to the SPIA Matchmaking event in Nairobi 2022 by the Plant Health initiative and a project team was formed with researchers from University of Bordeaux. At the webinar, the team will share their progress on the project and some reflections on the matchmaking process.


Webinar #18: Pricing and Allocative Efficiency of A New Agricultural Technology 

January 25, 2023, 1.30-3pm CET

Presenter: Mai Mahmoud, Tufts University

Discussant: Carly Trachtman, IFPRI

Mai Mahmoud presents a study on blast tolerant wheat in Bangladesh. The study examines the allocative efficiency of agricultural input subsidies. Using a two-stage experiment, Mai randomizes the price subsidy for a new seed variety in stage one. Subsidy amounts range from full to zero subsidies. In stage two, she randomizes free distribution across the self-selected sample of non-buyers from stage one. This design allows her to compare realized returns across the entire population with the returns among the sample choosing not to buy in stage one. She finds that the stage two free distribution increases adoption by an amount almost equal to the effect from stage one. Thus, higher prices screen out farmers who are willing to plant the new seed. In addition, she finds no evidence that choosing not to buy in stage one is associated with having lower returns from adoption. The results suggest that prices do not have a selective ability in the context of agricultural inputs. 


Webinar #17: Designing an impact assessment of market intelligence for more equitable and impactful genetic innovation

November 9, 2022, 1.30pm CET

Presenter: Berber Kramer

Decisions on how to invest scarce resources in CGIAR-NARES genetic innovation systems have been predominantly supply-driven and therefore potentially out-of-sync with the demands of smallholders, consumers and agro-industry. The Market Intelligence initiative aims to maximize CGIAR and partners’ returns on investment in breeding, seed systems and other Initiatives based on reliable and timely market intelligence that enables stronger demand orientation and strengthens co-ownership and co-implementation by CGIAR and partners. In this talk, Berber Kramer presents the design of the impact assessment for this initiative, their experiences with SPIA matchmaking efforts, and how this matchmaking process contributed to the impact assessment design.



Webinar #16: Agricultural Development and Environmental Quality in India 

September 21, 2022, 1.30pm CET

Presenter: Marina Ngoma

Marina Ngoma presents the results of a project evaluating the impact of a large-scale agricultural program on agricultural production and environmental quality. Starting in 2007, India launched the National Food Security Mission (NFSM), a nationwide program that supports demonstrations of improved seed varieties, distribution of subsidized seeds, and minor infrastructure projects, such as irrigation facilities. Using regression discontinuity methods, researchers investigate whether the government agricultural investment had impacts on staple food production and environmental quality.


Webinar #15: Academic matchmaking for impact assessment in One CGIAR initiatives – the experience of Excellence in Agronomy

June 15, 2022, 1.30pm CET

Presenters: Aminou Arouna (AfricaRice) and Theresa Ampadu-Boakye (IITA)

This webinar focused on Academic matchmaking for impact assessment in the One CGIAR. SPIA introduced an upcoming matchmaking event, where initiatives will be given the opportunity to present their impact assessment ideas to academic expertise and identify opportunities for collaboration.

The webinar then featured a presentation by Aminou Arouna and Theresa Ampadu-Boakye, shared the experience of academic matchmaking in the Excellence in Agronomy (EiA) initiative. The MELIA plan of EiA includes a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) to assess gender transformation approaches and incentives on the uptake of selected agronomic solutions. To conduct this activity, EiA is developing a matchmaking with University of Tufts which has demonstrated experience in conducting RCTs. In addition, a matchmaking has started with Wageningen University and Research (WUR) for a qualitative survey in EiA. The presentation aimed to share experiences from how these matchmakings have taken shape so far.

Webinar #14: Environmental and long-term impacts of Index Based Livestock Insurance

May 18, 2022, 2-3.30pm CET

Presenters: Chris Barrett, Steven Wilcox and Nathaniel Jensen

Droughts are a main cause of livestock mortality and poverty among pastoralists in the Horn of Africa. Index based livestock insurance (IBLI) was developed to protect pastoral households from the impacts of drought by making payouts based on satellite readings of the rangelands. IBLI has been available to pastoralists in Kenya and Ethiopia for more than ten years and has insured over USD 70 million in livestock value during this time. The first component of this study draws on administrative data from insurance firms and interviews with key actors to examine the supply and demand side drivers of diffusion of IBLI in the region. The second component of the study uses longitudinal household survey data to test for the persistence of impacts that were documented among IBLI’s clients early in the program. 

The third portion of this talk explores IBLI's potential environmental impacts. Might IBLI encourage overstocking or changed grazing behaviors that harm the rangeland systems on which pastoralists rely, ultimately undermining the product's effectiveness in reducing livestock mortality risk? Or does IBLI reduce precautionary savings in-kind, thereby reducing overstocking and improving rangeland health? The study presented combines administrative roll-out data with remotely sensed rangeland quality measures.

Watch the recordings here:


Webinar #13: Giving insurers eyes on the ground: Impact evaluations of picture-based insurance and next steps

April 20, 2022, 1.30pm CET.

Presenter: Berber Kramer, IFPRI

Providing picture-based insurance (PBI) bundled with advisories has the potential of reducing barriers to technology adoption and disincentivizing opportunistic behavior.

In the April session of the SPIA webinar series, Berber Kramer presented learnings from the design and implementation of an impact evaluation of PBI and how this work has informed the design of an ongoing RCT study looking at the effect of image-based remote advisories on knowledge, technology adoption and farming outcomes.


Webinar #12: You reap what (you think) you sow? Misperception in varietal identification and farmers' behavioral adjustment

March 23, 2022, 1.30pm CET.

Presenter: Paola Mallia, Paris School of Economics

Adoption of improved seed varieties has the potential to lead to substantial productivity increases in agriculture. However, only 36 percent of the farmers that grow an improved maize variety report doing so in Ethiopia. Paola Mallia presents a paper that provides the first causal evidence of the impact of misperception in improved maize varieties on farmers’ production decisions, productivity and profitability.


Webinar #11: Using Rigorous Impact Evaluations to Understand How Gender Shapes the Effectiveness of CGIAR Innovations

February 16, 2022, 1.30pm CET.

Gender plays an important role in shaping the effectiveness of many socio-technical innovations in agriculture. Dan Gilligan discusses how rigorous impact evaluations can be used to examine the role of gender in research on CGIAR innovations. He draws on examples from the literature and presents results from IFPRI research on the role of gender in the HarvestPlus program to promote orange sweet potato in Uganda. The presentation features ideas on using rigorous impact evaluation designs to answer various research questions in gender research.

Kyle Murphy and Brindha Gopalakrishnan talk about the recent ATAI request for proposals on agricultural transformation and gender and answer questions from CGIAR researchers on ATAI research priorities, eligibility for ATAI funding, and matchmaking with the ATAI network.


Dan Gilligan, IFPRI

Kyle Murphy, J-PAL/ATAI

Brindha Gopalakrishnan, J-PAL/ATAI

Download slides from Dan Gilligan's presentation here (including list of papers mentioned).


Webinar #10: Got (Clean) Milk? Organization, Incentives, and Collective Action in Indian Dairy Cooperatives

The tenth webinar in the series took place on January 19, 2022, at 3pm CET.

Manaswini Rao presented a randomized evaluation of the effect of incentives for clean milk production among dairy cooperatives in rural India.


Manaswini Rao, University of California San Diego


Webinar #9: Adoption, Diffusion and Impacts of Sustainable Agricultural Intensification in Maize-based Smallholder Farming Systems of Zambia

The ninth webinar in the series took place on November 24, 2021.

Hambulo Ngoma presented ongoing work that assesses adoption, diffusion and impacts of sustainable intensification practices in a project in Zambia.


Hambulo Ngoma, CIMMYT




Webinar #8: Harvesting the Rain: The Adoption of Environmental Technologies in the Sahel

The eighth webinar in the series will take place on October 20, 2021, at 1.30-3.00pm CET.

Jenny Aker will present her study of the adoption of demi-lunes, a rainwater harvesting technology, in Niger. The study uses a cluster randomized control trial to test the importance of three types of barriers to adoption of the technology: constraints to information, credit, and labor respectively. The focus of this presentation will be on the use of remote sensing data, on measurement challenges and on methodological learnings.


Jenny Aker, Tufts University



Webinar #7: Reflection on Methods and Metrics Needed to Support Impact Assessment Plans in One CGIAR

The seventh webinar in the series took place on September 15, 2021, at 2.00-3.30pm CET.

Since April 2021, a series of activities have taken place as part of SPIA’s offer to provide advice to One CGIAR Initiative Design Teams (IDT) in the development of their impact assessment plans. These activities have included a webinar to frame the methods and metrics that SPIA would propose to different initiatives, virtual meetings with several IDTs to discuss their draft plans, developing guidance to support the preparation of impact assessment plans in initiatives, and other meetings with IA researchers and Global Science Directors to discuss SPIA strategies to implement its advice.

The seventh session of the SPIA webinar series provided an opportunity for the broad impact assessment community of practice in the CGIAR to participate in a discussion of this process and to identify additional strategies that could improve the advice on methods and metrics for impact assessment in One CGIAR.

Meeting notes are available here.


Additional resources:


Webinar #6: Designing CGIAR impact assessment studies on solar irrigation and livestock vaccines

The sixth webinar of this series took place on June 16, 2021, at 2.00-3.30pm CET.

Yashodha (IWMI) presented the design of an impact evaluation of the SKY (Suryashakti Kisan Yojana) program in Gujarat, India. The program supports the generation of solar electricity by farmers for their own consumption (irrigation) as well for selling back to the grid and generating additional incomes. Guanghong Xu (UCSC/ILRI) presented a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effect of a demand aggregation intervention (in which farmers are encouraged to vaccinate together) cross-cut with a “checkoff system” intervention (in which a percentage of milk sales is set aside at milk cooperatives to be allocated for vaccine purchase) on the adoption of ECF vaccine in 80 dairy cooperatives in Kenya.


  • Yashodha, IWMI
  • Guanghong Xu, University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC)/ILRI



Webinar #5: Spatial Methods for Evaluating CGIAR Innovations

The fifth webinar of this series took place on May 19, 2021, at 2-3:30 pm CET. 

This webinar featured a joint presentation by Joel Ferguson from the University of California, Berkeley, and Andrea Gardeazabal Monsalve from CIMMYT. The presentation Spatial Methods for Evaluating CGIAR Innovations covered lessons learned during the design and implementation of a study that looked at the relationship between agricultural extension and the reduction of air pollution and infant mortality in Mexico.


  • Joel Ferguson, Agricultural and Resource Economics PhD Student, University of California, Berkeley
  • Andrea Gardeazabal Monsalve, Monitor, Evaluation and Learning Manager - ICT, CIMMYT



Webinar #4: Data Collection for Impact Assessment Studies: Phone-Based Agriculture Extension in Nepal and a Scaling Initiative on Climate-Smart Agriculture in Colombia

The fourth webinar of this series took place on April 21, 2021, at 2-3:30 pm CET.

This webinar featured two case studies from Nepal and Colombia. Muzna Alvi (IFPRI) presented methodological and implementation challenges encountered when using data collected through phone surveys to evaluate phone-based agriculture extension in Nepal. In the context of COVID-19 lockdowns, her project evaluates remotely delivered extension solutions related to fall army worm and integrated pest management. Lina Ibarra (Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT) presented an early-stage project looking at integrating indicators useful for impact assessment in the M&E system of a scaling initiative on climate-smart agriculture for climate change adaptation and sustainability in Colombia.


  • Muzna Alvi, Research Fellow, Environment and Production Technology Division, IFPRI
  • Lina Ibarra, Impact Assessment Economist, Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT



Webinar #3: Designing Remote Sensing Techniques for Evaluating Impact of Stress-Tolerant Rice Varieties

The third webinar of this series took place on March 17, 2021, at 2 pm CET.

In this webinar, Jeff Michler (University of Arizona) together with Val Pede and Renaud Mathieu (IRRI) will deliver a presentation on Designing Remote Sensing Techniques for Evaluating Impact of Stress-tolerant Rice Varieties. The study team focused on highlighting lessons learned during the design of the impact evaluation, the challenges they have faced, and their experience in bringing new methodological developments and implementing this study.


  • Jeff Michler, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Arizona
  • Val Pede, Senior Agricultural Economist, IRRI
  • Renaud Mathieu, Head, Geospatial Science and Modelling Cluster, IRRI



Webinar #2:  Designing Rigorous Impact Assessments of CGIAR Research

The second session of our monthly webinar series took place on February 17th at 1 pm CET. Participants learnt how to prepare and design rigorous and relevant impact assessments with CGIAR researchers. In this webinar, presenters shared their ideas on how to assess the impact of two CGIAR innovations that have reached the initial scaling phase.

Kelvin Shikuku presented a potential impact assessment of genetically improved tilapia. Tesfamicheal Wossen discussed the preparation for an impact assessment of Aflasafe in Africa.


  • Kelvin Shikuku, Innovation and Scaling Scientist, WorldFish
  • Tesfamicheal Wossen, Economist-Impact Assessment, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)



Webinar #1: Lessons for Evaluating the Medium & Longer Term Impacts of CGIAR Informed Innovations That Have Gone To Scale: The Promise of Commons Experience in India

The first webinar of this series took place on January 20th at 1 pm CET. Presenters shared their experience in designing a robust impact evaluation of long-term, large-scale impacts of an institutional innovation in India to strengthen community management of natural resources. The webinar focused on lessons learned during the proposal preparation, the challenges faced, and how the study team overcame them to complete a fundable proposal.


  • Karl Hughes, Impact Evaluation Specialist, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
  • Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • Pratiti Priyadarshini, Senior Programme Manager, Foundation for Ecological Security (FES)
  • Tor Vågen, Senior Scientist, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)




Interested in presenting in one of our future webinars? Reach out to Mina Karasalo ( with a brief description of your ongoing impact assessment study or idea.