Assessing Capacity Building Impacts

NAIP and IFPRI Brainstorming Session
Stakeholders discussing the impacts of NAIP capacity building programs. Source: IFPRI

Developing an individual’s technical and management skills benefits more than just research output; it can positively affect future research programs, the individual’s personal growth, and the capacity of the organization they work for while having positive spillover effects on other team members. Yet despite promising outcomes from capacity strengthening programs, studies quantifying the impacts of such programs remain few. In order to identify cost and benefit indicators of capacity strengthening programs, and to work towards the goal of monitoring and tracking these benefits, a one day brain storming session, Methodologies to Assess Impact of Capacity Building Program under NAIP,was organized by the National Agriculture Innovation Program (NAIP) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) on 21 February, 2013 in New Delhi, India.

In the past decade the Indian Council Agriculture Research (ICAR) and the State Agriculture Universities (SAU), have invested in scaling up and improving researchers’ capacity through NAIP.  More than 350 researchers have obtained additional skills through overseas collaboration and visits. Now, to develop methodologies, indicators and measurement approaches that can assess the impact of capacity building, the brainstorming session was held and attended by researchers who have led or participated in ICAR and SAU NAIP trainings. Suresh Babu, Senior Researcher, IFPRI, explained how the analytical framework of capacity strengthening in agriculture and policy research can impact process.  P.K. Joshi, Director for South Asia, IFPRI, mentioned that the one year project will trace the inputs and investments in NAIP’s capacity strengthening to identify and categorize outputs by the type of research skills developed, the quality and quantity of research products, and improved productivity. The project will also identify and document technological innovations, collaborative research, and new networks that were developed as a result of researchers’ increased capacity after training.

Assessing Impact of Capacity Building under the National Agriculture Innovation Program (NAIP)

Assessing Capacity Building Impact project
Source: IFPRI
 The capacity development activities of a researcher not only contribute to research outputs but can also have an indirect effect on future research outputs and the capacities of other colleagues who collaborate with them. Further, the skills developed through capacity building activities increase the productivity of research investments made through India Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR) and State Agriculture Universities (SAUs). While considerable evidence exists on the impact of the technological innovations from agricultural research programs, rigorous evaluations of the impact of capacity development programs on the research outputs and productivity of researchers remain at their incipient stage The major objective of this evaluation study is to document the impact of the capacity strengthening activities under the National Agriculture Innovation Program (NAIP) on the national agricultural research system. The specific objectives of the evaluation include: Trace the inputs and investments in capacity strengthening through NAIP in the form of various activities

  • Identify and document various outputs in the form of thematic and research skills developed through the NAIP capacity building approaches
  • Document the benefits of the capacity strengthening activities in the form of improved productivity of the researchers in terms of both quantity and quality of their outputs
  • Identify and develop specific examples of the contributions of the capacity created on the technological innovation
  • Identify conditions for success of various mode of capacity strengthening programs for different categories of researchers
  • Document the evidence of development of collaborative research programs and networks as a result of the capacity development programs.

The evaluation study will use the following methods for assessing the impact of the capacity development  approaches on agricultural research:

  • documentation of lessons learned based on participants’ personal experience and observation;
  • a more formal assessment using qualitative analysis based on pre-set output, outcome, or impact criteria; and
  •  impact assessment using quantitative analysis  using a formal questionnaires to both the beneficiaries and their counterfactuals

Time line: 2012 - March 2014

Geographical Area: India

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