Developing and testing improved analytical tools for priority setting of livestock research
A quantitative assessment tool, previously developed for the prioritization of livestock research at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), was adapted for use in the phase II proposals of the CGIAR research program (CRP) on Livestock agri-food systems (McCleod 2016). However, some identified weaknesses limit the potential of this tool to contribute to a wider scope of ex-ante impact assessments. These weaknesses include limitations in the selection and calculation of indicators used to assess the potential socioeconomic and environmental outcomes of candidate research options and a weak accounting for appropriate research impact pathways within the prioritization framework. Thus, an activity was proposed to develop a new prioritization framework using improved analytical models and data sets. The aim of this exercise was to enhance the ability of the Livestock CRP to prioritize research investments. The new prioritization framework generated from this exercise contributes data, tools and methods that will guide the evolution of the program’s research portfolio towards improved alignment to universal goals of poverty reduction, food and nutrition security and enhanced management of natural resources. Amongst other outcomes, a better-aligned research portfolio of the Livestock CRP will contribute value through generating research outputs that develop and deploy improved agronomic and animal husbandry practices, contribute to reduced market barriers for target producers, provide improved livelihood opportunities for poorer livestock-keeping households and improve access to healthier diets for nutritionally vulnerable populations. The proposed analytical framework incorporates quantifiable measures of important research impacts, potentially providing more credible estimates for CRP outcome targets.
This report summarizes the motivation, methods and results from this exercise to upgrade the existing framework and tools for livestock research prioritization under the Livestock CRP. The next section presents a review of previous prioritization exercises on agricultural research within the CGIAR and livestock research at ILRI under the Livestock CRP. The concepts, tools and data informing these exercises are also presented. Then, a section follows describing proposed extensions to the existing analytical framework, which first outlines identified gaps. Next, we present the outcomes from developing and testing improved tools within this framework. We present the underlying data and analysis. The final section summarizes the implications of the current exercise and concludes on the way forward.