The Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) is a sub-group of the ISPC. SPIA’s mandate is to provide CGIAR members with timely, objective and credible information on the impacts at the system level of past CGIAR investments and outputs in terms of the CGIAR SLOs, to provide support to and complement the Centers in their ex post impact assessment activities, and to provide feedback to CGIAR priority setting and create synergies by developing links to ex ante assessment and overall planning, monitoring and evaluation functions in the CGIAR. SPIA currently manages a large program called Strengthening Impact Assessment in the CGIAR (SIAC) which encapsulates these objectives as well as capacity building and development of a community of practice in impact assessment. 

For more information on CGIAR Impact Assessment, visit the website (managed by SPIA) at


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Is Rice Improvement Still Making a Difference?
20 October 2015

SPIA, through a competitive process in 2011, funded three impact assessments (IAs) to broaden and deepen the evidence base regarding the impact of agricultural research on the overarching goals of the CGIAR. One of these three studies, a collaboration between IRRI and University of Missouri-Columbia, that aimed to try and assess the contribution of recent modern varieties and traits (of rice) to yield with a new level of rigor has just been published. The IA uses time series-cross sectional data on varietal adoption, input use, and outputs, along with innovative econometric methods for three country contexts (Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines), and applies econometric estimates in welfare modeling to explore how benefits generated have been distributed and with what consequences. One of the main findings is that over (2005) PPP$25 billion of benefits are generated over the period in the three focal countries by the diffusion of post 1989 MVs, of which PPP$9 billion are attributable to IRRI genetic contributions, with similar distributional implications to the total effect of newer MVs (results subject to a set of main modeling assumptions). Approximately 45% of benefits are captured by those under the PPP$2.0 per day poverty line, while the aggregate impact on health from reduced caloric insufficiency due to post 1989 MVs is nearly 1.5 million Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). More about the background to this SPIA project as well as the publication (PDF) is available here

SIAC Midterm Review, February 2015
23 March 2015

Strengthening Impact Assessment in the CGIAR (SIAC) is a 4-year program of work funded by BMGF and CGIAR core resources. This mid-term review meeting, held in February 2015, aimed to (1) give an account of SIAC activities (assess progress-to-date, provide comprehensive, integrated overview of SIAC); (2) solicit advice and feedback on SIAC, taking constraints and new opportunities into account; (3) solicit advice on plans for a final review in late 2016, and (4) identify areas of focus for a potential second phase (from 2017). More details here.

Experimental Evaluations Call
9 January 2015

SIAC's Project Steering Committee (PSC) approved the funding of 3 proposals under the April 2014 experimental evaluations call. 21 expressions of interest (EOIs) were received in June 2014, and 8 proponents were invited to submit full proposals by September. More details on the project page. Full proposals will be shared shortly.


This report synthesizes the findings and recommendations of a critical review of impact assessemnts (IAs) of CGIAR irrigation and water management research. Critical reviews such as this one are intended to be the first step in encouraging new IAs of the under-evaluated topic in question, as well as provide inputs on improving the quality of IAs.

This Impact Brief is based on the study that documents the impacts of improved common bean varieties on field-level yields, costs of production, and household farm incomes among smallholders in Rwanda and Uganda. Effects are also examined so that the number of people escaping poverty due to the diffusion of improved varieties can be calculated.

This Impact Brief is based on the study that documents the impacts of improved maize varieties on household well-being and on overall rural poverty using primary data. In Ethiopia, the last four decades have seen more than 40 improved varieties of maize - including hybrids and OPVs – developed and released by EIAR in collaboration with CIMMYT.

This brief summarizes the findings of the analysis of CGIAR legume research outputs, adoption data on legumes in SSA and South Asia, and impacts on CGIAR SLOs as well as gender impacts. Individual ex post impact assessments as well as adoption data from the DIIVA study formed the basis for the Legumes Synthesis Report.

Key results on adoption from the wide-ranging Synthesis Report titled Measuring the Effectiveness of Crop Improvement Research in Sub-Saharan Africa from the Perspectives of Varietal Output, Adoption, and Change: 20 Crops, 30 Countries, and 1,150 Cultivars in Farmers’ Fields are presented in this Impact Brief.

The DIIVA report covers 20 crops and 30 countries in SSA. The project was organized around three distinct activities: documenting key performance indicators of crop genetic improvement, collecting nationally repre­sentative survey data on varietal adoption, and assessing the impact of varietal change. This synthesis paper reports on progress in the first two areas.

This brief is based on the paper by Stevenson, J., et al. (2011) Agricultural technology, global land use and deforestation: a review and new estimates of the impact of crop research. In: CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council. 2011. Measuring the environmental impacts of agricultural research: Theory and applications to CGIAR research.

This brief is based on the paper by Jeff Bennett (2011) Advancing ex-post impact assessment of environmental impacts of CGIAR research: conceptual issues, applications and the way forward. In: CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (2011). Measuring the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Research: Theory and Applications to CGIAR Research.

This brief is based on the paper by Mitch Renkow (2011) Assessing the environmental impacts of CGIAR research: toward an analytical framework. In: CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (2011). Measuring the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Research: Theory and Applications to CGIAR Research.

This brief is based on the paper by Byerlee, D., Maredia, M., Shankar, B., Kelley, T. and Stevenson, J. (2011). Foreword. In: CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council. Measuring the Environmental Impact of Agricultural Research: Theory and Applications to CGIAR Research.

This report examines at the challenges and opportunities for measuring environmental impacts from agricultural research; summarizes experience from four recent case-studies led by CGIAR Centers; and presents new estimates of the impact of the Green Revolution on long-run global land-cover change.

This paper analyzes the challenges faced by the CGIAR in evaluating the impact of agricultural technologies and suggests avenues for improving the methodology used in impact analyses. The focus is on technologies such as crop varieties, whose adoption is described easily as a binary choice rather than best practice or policy.



The fourteenth meeting of the ISPC was held from 14-16 September 2016 at ICRISAT Headquarters, Patancheru, India.

The thirteenth meeting of the ISPC was held from 25-27 May 2016 at CIP Headquarters, Lima, Peru.


This ISPC commented study examines two distinct partnership domains: Multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) in Agricultural Research for Development and Global MSPs approaches. It develops a framework of Partnership and Innovation Modes to assist the CGIAR in embedding its work within the wider archi­tecture of partnership, platforms, and networks that will be required to tackle global scale challenges.

This document presents the ISPC’s 2017 Work Plan and Budget.