Accurate, reliable, and internationally comparable quantitative information on investments, human capacity, and the institutional structure of agricultural R&D is fundamental to understanding the contribution of research to agricultural growth in low- and middle-income countries. Providing such data is the mission of IFPRI’s Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) program. Through its large network of national, regional, and international partners, ASTI collects and analyzes data from government, higher education, nonprofit, and (where possible) private-sector agencies involved in agricultural R&D. The program conducts ongoing analysis of these datasets; disseminates the results of this analysis to promote advocacy and support policymaking; and builds national and regional capacity for data collection and analysis.
ASTI fulfills a unique role in supplying the necessary information to promote an understanding of the status and direction of national agricultural research systems in low- and middle-income countries. Such information constitutes a powerful resource for national and regional research managers, policymakers, donor organizations, and other stakeholders. ASTI’s key indicators provide both a diagnostic tool for assessing the allocation and use of existing resources and an advocacy tool for increasing resources and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of resource use.