Since October 2009, IFPRI governance researchers have been evaluating the effectiveness, inclusiveness, and benefits of farm-based organizations in Ghana. The team collected data from 500 such organizations, using focus group discussions, gaming, oral surveys, and digital questionnaires. The resulting analysis—recently made public—is the basis for a paper that the governance team will present at the 2011 International Association for the Study of the Commons Conference in Hyderabad, India.
In addition, as the Democratic Republic of the Congo began to implement its reform plan for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Animal Husbandry, a team of IFPRI governance researchers mapped the agricultural policymaking process to identify challenges and areas for capacity building.
Effective governance makes those in authority accountable and those in poverty heard. Agricultural development and food security depend on strong governance to provide efficient and regular delivery of public services to the poor in rural areas, but limited resources, gender inequity, and lack of incentives often impede progress. This year, the IFPRI governance team hosted leading researchers from around the world to discuss current research on decentralization and local public services.
A research team from IFPRI, jointly with the World Bank, also produced Gender and Governance in Rural Services: Insights from India, Ghana, and Ethiopia. This book presents research results and recommendations on ways to improve agricultural and rural service delivery and to provide more equitable access to these services for women and men. It provides empirical evidence on how different accountability mechanisms for two public services—agricultural advisory services and drinking water provision—actually work in practice. The team consulted with policymakers who specialize in agricultural extension, water supply, and decentralization in Ethiopia, Ghana, and India. The team also completed an empirical cross-country study on governance and foreign aid effectiveness and conducted research on agricultural institutions and policy processes in Ghana and Malawi.