Research & Extension

Impact assessment of agricultural research - An FAO e-mail conference

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is one of nine partners participating in a project on the Impact of Research on EU Agriculture (IMPRESA), funded by the European Union (EU) Seventh Framework Programme. The kick-off meeting for this 38-month project took place at FAO Headquarters in January 2014. In IMPRESA, FAO is leading work package 1 (on Concept Development and Learning), which has as one of its main aims the establishment of a common framework to update concepts and methodologies for impact assessment of agricultural research. As part of the work package's activities, FAO hosted this moderated e-mail conference entitled “Approaches and methodologies in ex post impact assessment of agricultural research: Experiences, lessons learned and perspectives” from 5 May to 1 June 2014.

This e-mail conference made it possible for participants from around the world to share and discuss their experiences, lessons learned and perspectives regarding impact assessment of agricultural research (note, the term 'agricultural research' encompasses research in the crop, livestock, forestry, fishery and aquaculture sectors).

The background document to the conference was published on 30 April and can be downloaded HERE.

About 620 people subscribed themselves to the 4-week conference and 59 people of them (i.e. 10%) posted at least one message. Of these 109 messages, 30% came from people living in Africa; 29% from Europe; 15% from Asia; 13% from Latin America and the Caribbean; 7% from North America and 6% from Oceania. A total of 63 messages (i.e. 58%) were posted by people living in developing countries.

The messages came from people living in 38 different countries. The greatest number came from people living in Uruguay, Switzerland, the United States of America, Australia, Ghana, India, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, the Netherlands, Kenya and Nigeria (all with four messages or more).

 A total of 25% of the messages came from people working in universities; 23% from national research centres; 22% from independent consultants; 14% from people working in the international agricultural research system (mostly CGIAR centres); 7% from people working in inter-governmental organizations (mostly FAO); 5% from non-governmental organizations and 5% from people working in Government ministries or Government bodies.

All of the messages posted so far are available on the web, at and, in chronological order, The message archives are searchable, with a 'free text' search button on the right hand side of the webpage.

All the messages are also available in single PDF document from HERE (630 KB).

After the conference, a summary document will be published, providing an easily readable synthesis of the main discussion points and conclusions. 

For more information, please contact

Download:  impactmsgs.pdf