Impact assessment of the IFPRI agricultural science and technology indicators (ASTI) project

Well-funded and well-staffed agricultural research systems with efficient allocation of research resources are important for improving agricultural productivity and for meeting other agricultural development goals. Assessing research system funding adequacy and staffing, as compared to alternative investments, and allocating research resources within systems require data on agricultural research investments. The Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) initiative at IFPRI is the most comprehensive source of agricultural research statistics for low- and middle-income countries. Since 2001, building on an earlier International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR) effort, ASTI has developed a network of institutional collaborators at national and regional levels who assist in implementing surveys to collect agricultural research investment data in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. ASTI compiles, processes, and publicizes the data at national, regional, and global levels. It has published a broad set of country briefs, notes, and regional synthesis reports that have been cited in national and international policy documents.

The primary outputs from ASTI are the country data sets, which are now published on the website, Data are published for 32 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, 15 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, 5 countries in South Asia, 7 countries in East and Southeast Asia, 5 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and 1 country in the Pacific. The ASTI website’s Data Tool aids in accessing the data. The website’s readers can click on a world map to find for individual countries’ data on five types of research expenditure variables (in US$ and PPPs), five types of research staff variables, and five research share variables. Readers can then plot variables against each other in a graph or export and download data in Excel files. Data can also be uploaded using a survey form available in three languages. Since 2004, ASTI has produced 91 country-level publications: 50 country briefs, notes, and reports and 16 fact sheets on gender-disaggregated capacity indicators for Sub-Saharan Africa; 13 briefs and reports for the Asia-Pacific region, 5 for the Middle East and North Africa, and 7 for Latin America and the Caribbean. ASTI researchers themselves have conducted relatively few in-depth analyses using the data, but they have teamed with other researchers on papers and presentations and other researchers have made significant use of ASTI data…

Norton, George W.
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International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
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