Impact pathways

Revision in the Theory of Change

GLDC’s five flagship programs will contribute to the CGIAR Strategy and Results Framework through two distinct impact pathways. 1. Integrative solutions (L) 2. Scaling and sustaining (R)

In the first pathway (‘integrative solutions’, left-hand side of the impact pathway diagram), research will lead to household level outcomes by developing integrated technological, institutional and policy solutions with key partners. Inter and transdisciplinary research will connect component solutions; notably improved varieties and hybrids (FP4, FP5), seed delivery systems (FP4), inclusive agribusiness models (FP2), modern agronomic practices (FP3), and policy platforms (FP1). Research evidence will help unlock opportunities through consideration of crop, livestock, tree, household, farm, value chain and institutional contributions and their interdependency.

The underlying rationale is that, if trait discovery and variety development (FP4, FP5) respond to current and future needs of farmers and consumers (FP1, FP3), and if business and value chain innovation (FP2) create market incentives, farmers will adopt GLDC technologies. Feedback loops between the different FPs accelerate solution development, and participation of targeted stakeholders guarantees solutions based on end-user demands. Across FP1, FP2 and FP4, experiments achieve robust ‘proof of concept’ strategies.

Along the second impact pathway (‘scaling and sustaining’, right-hand side of the impact pathway diagram), GLDC will use insights from strategic niche management theories, to implement five mechanisms for working with ‘change agents’ to address agri-food system-barriers and secure sustainable outcomes.

  1. GLDC informs the work of policy-makers, development NGOs and private sector actors by documenting realized and high-probability impacts from intervention scenarios.
  2. Linkages, partnerships, platforms and relationships across stakeholder groupings will contribute to improved governance arrangements and system capacities. This includes collaboration with multi-lateral organizations, such as the African Union and the Committee of World Food Security (CFS), lobbying and advocacy and engaging in institutional reforms.
  3. Capacity development leads to outcomes that can be repeated and strengthened, contributing to more responsive agri-food systems.
  4. Researchers develop general principles on how to strengthen the capacity of agri-food systems, e.g. through the development of inclusive investment mechanisms which can be applied to other contexts.
  5. Agri-food system change happens through replication of successful initiatives developed under the different FPs (e.g. through market signal crowding in further business and farmer investments). Transformation will take place through incubated initiatives that gradually start changing institutions and discovering new markets.

Consideration of gender and youth as catalysts of change throughout all FP activities contributes to impact acceleration, on one hand due to the prominent role of women in GLDC cultivation and otherwise through engagement of future pioneers paving the way toward more sustainable GLDC farming and agri-food systems.

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