ALRE Working Paper


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ALRE Working Paper 6: Rice: APRA’s Contribution to Informing and Influencing Policy Debates Around Rice in East Africa
May 30, 2022 / ALRE Working Paper Publications

Written by: Joe Taylor and Melanie Connor

Rice production across Africa varies in many aspects due to socio-political, climatic, and environmental differences in the region. The research and outreach activities of the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) programme aimed to generate policy-relevant insights on more inclusive pathways to agricultural commercialisation, particularly in East Africa, where in-depth mixed methods research was conducted by partners. This Working Paper explores these efforts to identify their impact and any lessons learned for improvement in future programmes.

ALRE Working Paper 5: Accompanied Learning: Reflections on How ALRE Enhanced APRA’s Relevance and Effectiveness
May 30, 2022 / ALRE Working Paper Publications

Written by: Louise Clark

This case study explores the claim that the Accompanied Learning for Relevance and Effectiveness (ALRE) approach contributed to stronger relevance and effectiveness of the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) research programme. This report outlines the accompanied learning function of the ALRE team and how this ‘critical friend’ role supported APRA research teams in defining and reviewing their impact pathways, identifying and refining emerging evidence ‘nuggets’, and considering how to frame these insights to gain traction with specific policy debates and discourse.

ALRE Working Paper 4: COVID-19: APRA’s Contribution to Understanding the Effects in Rural Africa
May 5, 2022 / ALRE Working Paper Publications

Written by: Martin Whiteside

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 initiated a remarkable pivot within APRA in which a new COVID focussed research programme was rapidly designed, approved and launched. The first APRA COVID-19 blogs appeared in April 2020, a comprehensive synthesis of existing learning on epidemics was published in May, and the first of three rounds of an eight-country, 800-farmer multi-phase survey, was completed in July. Over a period of two years 33 publications, 77 blogs, extensive social media, numerous in-country seminars and one international e-Dialogue were used to communicate the findings. The publications were downloaded over 10,000 times and the blogs over 16,000 times with coverage in national newspapers in most of the focus countries. This Working Paper explores these efforts to identify their impact and any lessons to be learned for improvement in future programmes.

ALRE Working Paper 3: African Media Coverage: APRA’s Contribution to Understanding of Agricultural Change
May 5, 2022 / ALRE Working Paper Publications

Written by: Martin Whiteside

The Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) programme made significant efforts to engage with the local/national media as a way of disseminating research findings and consequent policy implications. This was assisted by early planning as part of the Participatory Impact Pathways Analysis process and excellent support from the Information, Communication and Engagement team throughout the programme. Overall, this engagement was very successful with significant coverage of APRA’s research activities and some headline results across countries. This Working Paper reflects on APRA’s engagement with the media, its effectiveness and lessons learnt from media engagement over the programme’s duration.

ALRE Working Paper 2: Publishing Evidence: APRA’s Contribution to Knowledge on the Pathways to Inclusive Agricultural Commercialisation in Africa
April 25, 2022 / ALRE Working Paper Publications

Written by: Martin Whiteside

Overall, it is considered that the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) programme has contributed a significant body of additional, rigorous, trusted and accessible published knowledge on the effect of agrarian change on women, youth and poorer households, which is both available and being accessed. In relation to performance indicators, APRA has massively overachieved its publications and download numbers. It has exceeded its stakeholder-assessed quality benchmark and looks set to meet its peer-reviewed publication target. This Working Paper explores APRA’s contribution to published knowledge, the significance of this contribution, its accessibility and the lessons to be learned from the programme’s experiences.

ALRE Working Paper 1: From Field Research to Policy Change – Lessons from FAC and APRA
August 2, 2021 / ALRE Working Paper Publications

Written by: Martin Whiteside

The Institute of Development Studies has led consortia of UK and African organisations in two large programmes of agricultural policy research: the original Future Agricultures Consortium programme, running from 2005 to 2014, and the successive Agricultural Policy Research in Africa programme, from 2016 to 2022. These programmes involved African field research teams, linked to African Universities, and conducting policy-relevant research into key issues relative to the future of agriculture in Africa and inclusive agricultural commercialisation (APRA). A component of both programmes was to use the evidence collected to influence the policy environment in favour of productive, sustainable, and inclusive agriculture. This paper explores what has been learnt in these two programmes about using field research evidence to improve agricultural policy.