Eastern and Southern Africa Office (ESAO)

Eastern and Southern Africa have experienced rapid economic and agricultural growth over the last 10 to 15 years. Despite moderate declines in poverty and hunger, the regions are still home to some of the largest numbers of vulnerable populations, particularly in the Horn of Africa. IFPRI is working to ensure that this recent growth is both sustained and inclusive of the poor and vulnerable.

IFPRI has had a long history of engagement in Africa, and today it invests about 50 percent of its programmatic budget in work on the continent. To better meet research needs and achieve greater impact on the ground, IFPRI launched country project offices, as well as the Eastern and Southern Africa Office (ESAO) and the West and Central Africa Office (WCAO).

ESAO, headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, helps to strengthen IFPRI’s position as a major contributor to food policy research, capacity strengthening, and policy dialogue within the region. The office supports the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and actively works with the African Union Commission; regional bodies such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the Southern African Development Community; and individual countries to provide evidence-based solutions to shape agricultural policies, investments, and programs.

ESAO covers the following countries: Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
ESAO is engaged in various research initiatives including the following:

Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System

ESAO facilitates the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) in providing policy-relevant analysis, data, and tools to support CAADP implementation. ReSAKSS tracks progress on more than 30 core CAADP indicators, including CAADP agricultural growth and spending targets. Each year, it publishes Africawide, subregional, and country-level Annual Trends and Outlook Reports (ATOR) that provide in-depth analysis of a featured topic and assess CAADP progress and outcomes. The Africawide ATOR serves as the official CAADP monitoring and evaluation report.

ESAO and ReSAKSS collaborate with in-country partners to organize training workshops on analytical tools and methodologies. ReSAKSS also provides technical and capacity support for the establishment of country-level Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support Systems. Recently, ReSAKSS has been supporting countries in setting up comprehensive, inclusive, and robust agriculture joint sector reviews as a means of promoting mutual accountability.

Impact Evaluation and Analysis of Civil Society Organizations in Ethiopia

ESAO is leading research to evaluate the impact of a number of MFS II projects in Ethiopia funded by the Dutch government. The funding is for development interventions geared at strengthening civil society in selected developing countries, including Ethiopia, as the basis for reducing poverty. In partnership with three Dutch universities—the University of Groningen, Wageningen University, and the University of Amsterdam—the evaluation assesses the impact of (1) selected projects on their beneficiary populations, (2) the Dutch MSF organization on the capacity of selected Ethiopian partners and (3) selected Ethiopian partner organizations on the civil society organizations with whom they have collaborated. Specifically the research has involved analyzing the impact of 13 projects on achievement of Millennium Development Goals; the impact of 9 projects on developing the capacity of Ethiopian MFS II partner organizations; and the impact of 9 projects on strengthening the capacity of civil societies in Ethiopia.