Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Why this program?
  2. What are the general objectives of the program?
  3. How will this be accomplished?
  4. What are the specific objectives of the program?
  5. Who will be the beneficiaries/target group?
  6. How long will the project last?
  7. Will there be other parallel activities taking place throughout the program?
  8. What are the expectations?
  9. How will the focus countries be selected?
  10. How will the research agenda be shaped?
  11. How will the governance of the program be managed?

1. Why this program?
The program’s rationale rests on the fact that overcoming rural poverty requires effective policy and institutional responses to the economic and environmental challenges confronting the rural poor, which include increasing commodity prices, global market integration, climate change, and environmental degradation. Adequate research and knowledge management capacity is essential for finding these solutions. Policy research institutions such as the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) have the capacity to identify and promote innovative, research-based policy solutions for poverty reduction. Equally important is to ensure that these solutions are grounded in the realities of poor people’s lives and to invest adequate resources in implementing and adapting these solutions to different contexts. International organizations such as the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have the capacity to design and finance development projects through which developing countries can implement such solutions on various scales.
The partnership program focuses on two key challenges, namely how poor rural communities can access and benefit from opportunities offered by markets for 1) high-value commodities and 2) climate change mitigation.

2.    What are the general objectives of the program?
The overall objective of the program is to enable the rural poor, particularly women, to have better access and capacity to take advantage of new market opportunities, especially markets for high-value commodities and climate change mitigation and other environmental services.

3.    How will this be accomplished?
This will be achieved through applied policy research and knowledge management and sharing among IFAD, IFPRI, and selected countries, combined with investment, impact evaluation, and scaling up based on the results of the program.

4.    What are the specific objectives of the program?

  • Strengthen the capacity of partners in participating countries to analyze and address policy issues;
  • Identify, test, and evaluate innovative policy, institutional, and program options to improve access to new markets for high-value commodities and climate change mitigation; and
  • Disseminate the identified options for improving market access so that they become incorporated into national policies and investment programs.

5.    Who will be the beneficiaries/target group?
The partnership program countries will be selected through a consultative process with IFAD and the 16 country partners from all regions that have expressed an interest in the program. The results will be scaled up to other interested country programs through the program’s knowledge-sharing and capacity-building activities.

The ultimate beneficiaries are the rural poor facing challenges in market access that require policy solutions. Rural producers’ organizations, national policymakers, and their advisors will benefit from capacity-building and participatory research activities. All groups will benefit from the identification of evidence-based innovative policy and institutional solutions and coherent pro-poor strategies that combine better environmental and production-related policies.

6.    How long will the project last?
Three years.

7.     Will there be other parallel activities taking place throughout the program?
Yes. Activities will be undertaken in the following areas in collaboration with participating IFAD and IFPRI country programs:

  • Access to Markets for High-Value Commodities
  • Access to the Market for Climate Change Mitigation
  • Program support functions, such as capacity building, knowledge management, and development of innovation networks
  • Communications

8.    What are the expectations?

  • In-country policy advisory networks for translating policy research outputs into action-oriented programs;
  • Strengthened capacity of program management teams in the participating countries in identifying key policy issues, analyzing solutions, and translating policy options into program interventions;
  • A set of policy and institutional interventions for contract farming and other institutional mechanisms for increasing smallholder participation in modern value chains and climate change mitigation tested and evaluated;
  • An online inventory of institutional and policy innovations made available to country programs and their stakeholders;
  • A knowledge management system for communication and information sharing among policy researchers and policy/development practitioners;
  • A toolbox of manuals on: recommendation domain methodology; governance and impact assessment methods; best practices and policy requirements to improve access to markets; and a toolkit for household and value chain household surveys.

9.     How will the focus countries be selected?
The program will focus on four countries whose selection will be based on various criteria aimed at maximizing the likeliness of success, including: relevance of the thematic focus to the country’s context, prior work and organizational presence of IFAD and IFPRI in the country, presence of a supportive policy environment, and ownership and engagement of CPMTs. Country programs will participate on a voluntary basis and be selected in a transparent way. Country programs are expected to provide a financial contribution that needs to be planned for early on, and consideration should be given to using country grants to help finance such participation.

10.     How will the research agenda be shaped?
Once the countries are selected, a round of consultations will take place to shape the research agenda and identify project sites where research activities need to be conducted. The agreements reached in each participating country will later be consolidated under an umbrella memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the program and the concerned CPMTs. During the program implementation period, other research institutions with ongoing field programs in the participating countries may be brought into the program, in particular member institutions from the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), such as the Center for International Forestry Research and the World Agroforestry Centre.

11.    How will the governance of the program be managed?
Since the program builds on a partnership between IFAD and IFPRI, its governance will involve a joint steering committee co-chaired by one member of the senior management of each organization. Its membership will include two persons from each organization to be designated by their respective management.

IFAD and IFPRI will appoint, respectively, a program focal point and a program coordinator who will attend steering committee meetings as observers and collaborate closely to develop a joint annual progress report, to be submitted to the steering committee as part of the annual program and budget process.

Additionally, two program progress review meetings will be held, one of which in conjunction with the annual steering committee meeting. These meetings will serve to oversee progress of the IFAD-IFPRI program and related partnership issues.


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