Impact assessment: IFPRI 2020 Conference on building resilience on food and nutrition security

Robert L. Paarlberg
independent impact assessment report

IFPRI’s 2020 conference in May 2014 did generate a wide variety of short-term impacts, some larger than others, felt both at the level of individual conference participants and within the organizations that sent them to Addis, and last but not least within the organizing institutions. Most of these impacts took the form of accelerated learning and increased coordination across organizations, for project development and program advancement. Many of these impacts were expected to be durable rather than just temporary. By intent, the 2020 conference in Addis was designed to produce impacts large in number and variety, but not immediately visible to outsiders. The conference agenda was not focused on one issue, or even on a single grouping of issues. There was no push on the agenda toward a single goal. More than 140 speakers shared information and views regarding the resilience-building activities they were already engaged in, and multiple simultaneous parallel sessions and side-events provided a broad menu of choices for attendees to find one another, compare notes, and make plans, but the 2020 Conference did not immediately lead to any single headline-grabbing change.