Source: © 2008 Mikkel Ostergaard/Panos

Annual Report 2011

While growth is an important driver for improving food security and incomes of the poor, it is not sufficient. Certain groups may not be able to benefit directly from these activities—for example, households with small or nonexistent land endowments and individuals suffering from illnesses and disabilities. In addition, many of the world’s poorest households face great risks related to weather, price variability, and health—among others—every day. When these shocks hit, households may cut back on consumption, reduce investments in education, or sell productive assets. Even the potential of an uninsured shock has welfare costs if it discourages the adoption of more productive technologies. The goal of IFPRI’s work on poverty, nutrition, and social protection, therefore, is to eliminate the detrimental effects of risk on poverty and nutrition and to ensure that household incomes and asset bases grow.

Key Research and Outcomes from 2011

  • In its first year of operation, IFPRI’s Bangladesh Policy Research and Strategy Support Program evaluated the policies in the country’s agriculture, food security, and nutrition investment plan. Researchers also evaluated the pros and cons of Bangladesh’s largest safety-net program, and the Government of Bangladesh used the results as a basis to revamp the US$150 million-per-year program. Upon the Ministry of Agriculture’s request for faster policy analysis, the IFPRI team also began to develop the Agriculture Policy Support Unit—a “situation room” that provides policymakers with information in real time.

  • In 2011, an ongoing IFPRI evaluation of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme demonstrated that the program was protecting the food security and assets of households affected by repeated droughts.