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6. Recommendations

  1. Need for concerted studies – Because of the complexity of impact evaluation, there is a need to combine studies using different perspectives in order to increase the scope and rigor of results. If studies are coordinated (e.g. by targeting the same population or time period), cross-verification of data sources can be enhanced.
  2. Improve study design – Novel study design is needed (i) to improve measurement of the sustainability of immediate impacts; and (ii) to link disciplines (e.g. economic and social assessment) while taking into account the need for true replication.
  3. Emphasize developmental impacts – Because of the trigger function of the IPM Farmer Field School (i.e. triggering empowerment and collective action), future impact studies, in particular those looking at long-term effects, should give increased emphasis to developmental impacts through participatory approaches and qualitative methods.
  4. Broaden institutional basis of the FFS – Because of its multiple impacts, the IPM Farmer Field School should be given a broader basis, for example by involving sectors of education, environmental protection, and public health.