Cost-effectiveness of community-based gendered advisory services to farmers: Analysis in Mozambique and Tanzania uri icon


  • Rigorous impact evaluations on agricultural interventions have proliferated in research of recent years. Whereas increased care in causal identification in such analyses is beneficial and has improved the quality of research in this field, much of the literature still fails to investigate the costs needed to achieve any benefits identified. Such understanding, however, would be crucial for drawing policy and programmatic conclusions from such research and for informing the allocation of public investments. Cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) subjects both the cost side and the effects side of agricultural and rural interventions to technical scrutiny and unifies both sides in order to compare the relative cost-effectiveness of different modalities of a program, of efforts to reach different target groups, or of efforts to achieve different outcomes. CEAs, while present in the health and education sectors, remain rare in agricultural and rural development research. This study conducts CEAs in a particular type of programmatic work in the sector—namely, interventions that bring a gender lens to community-based advisory services in rural areas. Specifically, we consider two such programs—one in Mozambique in which such advisory services aim to improve sustainable land management (SLM) practices in agricultural production, and the other in Tanzania to advise farmers on their land rights. The former enables the comparison of two modalities in delivering SLM through community leaders: a gender-sensitive modality and a basic modality. We find that the gendered modality is consistently more cost-effective than the basic modality when considering varied outcomes and target groups. However, for any given modality, it is more cost-effective to improve outcomes for men than for women—a finding that also pertains to the Tanzania land advisory services program. The structure of costs in the agricultural extension program further allowed for a simulation of how cost-effectiveness would change if the program were scaled up geographically. The results show that expansion of the basic modality of the SLM program leads to improvements in cost-effectiveness, while the gendered modality displays nonlinear changes in cost-effectiveness along the expansion path, first worsening with initial scale-up and subsequently improving with further expansion

publication date

  • 2017