Ethiopia Strategy Support Program


Research Vision

To undertake policy research that provides information to help guide decisions by policy makers through:

  • Learning from past decisions – ex post policy and program impact assessment
  • Predicting possible impacts of future actions – ex ante impact assessment
  • Considering alternative means of achieving objectives – policy instrument design

2006 Action Research Activities

The National Advisory Committee, in its meeting with the program head in late November 2005, has established the following action research activities for 2006.

Smallholders to Markets: The Role and Impact of Rural Telephony and ICT

While there is concern over a growing digital divide across and within countries, it remains ambiguous whether and how information and communication technologies (ICT) can accelerate development in the very poor communities. An enormous expansion of ICT is envisaged in Ethiopia over the next five years. The proposed research seeks to take advantage of this expansion as a laboratory for conducting detailed analysis of both the diffusion process and the impact of ICT on rural activities. The project would thus incorporate experimental methods to evaluate specific factors influencing ICT adoption and their impact. In collaboration with national partners, this would involve designing pilot schemes for rural tele-centers for Internet use, provision of training to rural users, vouchers for free access to Internet use. Detailed data would be collected across randomized pilot experiments to determine factors the rate of adoption as well as the impact on market behavior.

Research methods:

  • Pilot experimental design of rural tele-centers
  • Longitudinal data collection on pilot sites
  • Quantitative analysis of household behavior

Time frame: The time-frame envisaged is from January 2006 to June 2007 (18 months)
Team: Dr. Dawit Alemu, Dr. Maximo Torero
Partner institutions: Ministry of Capacity Building, MoARD

Bridging from Safety Nets to Food Security, Market Development, and Rural Growth

The Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) initiated earlier this year has made two major innovations to traditional food aid programs: (1) conditional transfers based on public works to the chronically food deficit, rather than as emergency aid, and (2) transfers in cash for the majority of total transfers. The rationale for these changes was to protect and enhance households’ assets and to strengthen the development of local food markets through cash transfers. This significant restructuring of Ethiopian food aid provides a useful context for examining how transfers can be used most effectively as both a safety net as well as a source of rural growth.

The proposed research seeks to address the above question from five angles:

  1. The potential for graduation from the PSNP
  2. The effect of safety net transfers on local food prices and market development
  3. The effect of transfers on food security, consumption and asset holdings for beneficiary households
  4. Community level participation and engagement in the selection of public works projects and the efficiency of investment allocations
  5. Potential for safety nets to foster economic growth through health and education linkages (experimental design)

Research methods:

  • Quantitative analysis based on ESSP 2005 commercialization survey
  • Selected sub-sample case studies
  • Pilot site experimental design of health and education linkages

Time frame: The time-frame envisaged is from January 2006 to June 2007 (18 months)
Team: Dr. Tassew Woldehanna (AAU); Dr. Alemayehu Seyoum; Dr. Dan Gilligan, Dr. Shahidur Rashid, Dr. Tanguy Bernard, Dr. Alain de Janvry, Dr. Elisabeth Sadoulet
Partner institutions: Food Security Bureau (MoARD); CSA

Ethiopian Commodity Exchange Development

Improving markets has multiple dimensions and can be undertaken in a number of ways. In addition to the development of value chains presently emphasized in Ethiopia, there is also considerable scope for improving coordination and marketing efficiency in the trade of bulky and storable commodities such as oilseeds, coffee, cereals, pulses, and other products. A better organized domestic market is desirable both as a platform for international trade as well as to ensure better prices and transparency for smallholder farmers and consumers domestically. An integrated market development in which an Ethiopian Commodity Exchange is developed within the framework of core component institutions such as warehouse receipts, market information, grades and standards, regulations, and contract enforcement, is presently under discussion. Careful analysis is required on sequencing, institutional design, linkages, strategic alliances with other exchanges, as well as projections of market volume, adoption of the new system, and the overarching policy framework.

Research Methods:
* Institutional and legal analysis using actor and market level data collection
* Transaction cost simulation analysis
* Impact projections using commodity specific analysis of market channels, volumes, actors

Time frame: The time-frame envisaged is from January 2006 to December 2006 (12 months)
Team: Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, Dr. Dawit Alemu, Ian Goggin, Roy Boyd, Ethiopis Tafara
Partner institutions: MoARD, EDRI

Innovation Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Ethiopia

Agricultural research is an important means of enhancing agricultural productivity and strengthening sectoral and economy-wide growth. The impact of research is enhanced by a society’s capacity to make innovative use of the knowledge and technology that result from agricultural research. Innovation, in turn, has a critical impact on rural incomes, livelihood strategies, and poverty. The role of agricultural research in Ethiopia is increasingly complemented by several important trends: research and extension initiatives by regional governments; growing private investment in high-value components of the agricultural sector (e.g., livestock and horticulture); inflows of new knowledge and capital from emigrated communities and return migration; increasing participation of collective action-based groups (e.g., cooperatives and farmers organizations) in agricultural value chains; and NGO efforts to develop human and social capital and disseminate appropriate technologies.

In the context of this increasing complexity in the Ethiopian innovation system, the proposed research aims to:

  • Analyze the roles of diverse actors and the dynamics of their interactions in the system;
  • Study the links between innovation and institutional change in the system; and
  • Analyze the organizational, institutional, and policy options that can strengthen the potential of pro-poor innovation.

Research methods:

  • social network and transaction cost analysis using household data
  • case studies of innovation processes in specific value chains

Time frame: The time-frame envisaged is from January 2006 to December 2006 (12 months)
Team: EARO researcher, Dr. David Spielman
Partner institutions: EARO, regional research organizations

Does Ethiopia Need a Commodity Exchange? An Integrated Approach to Market Development622.71 KB