Selecting sites to prove the concept of IAR4D in the Lake KivuPilot Learning Site uri icon


  • Selecting sites is an essential step in enabling the assessment of the impact of IntegratedAgricultural Research for Development (IAR4D) in the Lake Kivu Pilot Learning Site. This paperreports on the process of identifying distinct administrative territories (sites) in which to establishinnovation platforms and to monitor similar communities that are experiencing alternativeagricultural research for development interventions. We show how the research design for the Sub-Saharan Africa Challenge Programme (SSACP) has been modified to take into account the keyconditioning factors of the LKPLS without relinquishing robustness. A key change is the explicitincorporation of accessibility to multiple markets. Candidate sites were stratified according to thenational political context, followed by good and poor accessibility to markets and finally accordingto security considerations and agro-ecology. Randomisation was carried out at all levels, althoughthe need for paired counterfactual sites required the diagnosis of conditioning factors at the sitelevel. Potential sites were characterised in terms of existing or recent agricultural researchinitiatives, as well as local factors that would have a direct effect on the success of interventionsseeking to improve productivity, ameliorate the degradation of natural resources and enhanceincomes through better links to markets. Fourteen sites were selected during the initial phase, and afurther ten sites were added one year afterwards due to the need for more innovation platforms totest IAR4D. The site selection was successful in pairing action and counterfactual sites in terms ofthe baseline socioeconomic conditions of farming households. The unavoidable proximity of actionand counterfactual sites, however, allows the possibility of spill-over effects and could reduce themeasurable impact of IAR4D

publication date

  • 2013