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Scaling Up the Purchase for Progress (P4P) Model of Pro-Smallholder Market Development in Africa

Scaling Up the Purchase for Progress (P4P) Model of Pro-Smallholder Market Development in Africa

Many of Africa’s food and agricultural value chains are characterized by large numbers of spatially dispersed smallholders lacking on-farm storage capacity, trading in small quantities of bulky and relatively low value products, in spatially thin input markets under high risk. This leads to significant market coordination failures that the private sector has little incentive to fix through contract farming or other interlinked contract arrangements.

To intensify production, farmers need access to a package of purchased inputs (improved seeds, fertilizer, labour), extension, fixed and working capital, and market outlets. If one element of the set is missing, then investments in all the others will be lost or significantly reduced. Similarly, potential service suppliers face uncertain demand for their services unless farmers are assured of access to other complementary services. In well-developed value chains, a range of actors including large agribusiness players, step in and integrate the value chain. But in poorly developed value chains, neither of these options may happen.

The African Economic Research Consortium’s (AERC), in collaboration with the United Nation World Food Programme (WFP), hosted a conference on the theme: Scaling Up the Purchase for Progress (P4P) Model of Pro-Smallholder Market Development in Africa. The conference provided participants with a forum to reflect on opportunities and challenges for scaling up smallholders. It also sought to identify and build consensus around medium-term priorities for policy action and research. This two-day high level policy conference attracted participants largely drawn from national governments as well as relevant representatives from national and international agencies which invest in pro-smallholder market development initiatives. The conference concluded with a Communiqué, which will be shared widely.

Purchase for Progress (P4P)

Working closely with national governments and other key stakeholders in 15 countries across Africa, WFP piloted the P4P initiative aiming to address the market development challenges. The P4P approach rests on four components: (1) consistent demand for quality food (where quality relates mainly to food safety, but can also include nutrition considerations); (2) targeted capacity strengthening of smallholders, typically through farmer organizations; (3) coordination and linkage support for providers of key supply chain services; and (4) an enabling policy and institutional environment. To enhance performance, these components should be backed by a comprehensive monitoring and learning system. The components of the P4P model signal the three key actors: buyers of food, farmer organizations, and value chain service providers, including modern commodity aggregation platforms, such as warehouse receipt systems and commodity exchanges.

Government Ownership and Adaptation

Government ownership is critical to the P4P approach. Implementation plans under the P4P pilot were, therefore, developed to align with national agricultural development policies and food and nutrition security strategies of governments. Government ministries and agencies were key partners throughout. Over the course of the pilot, there were a total of 114 partnerships with government agencies. Some of these were institutionalized as government-implemented P4P-type programmes that were further integrated into national rural development strategies and food reserve systems.

Government support to P4P included a wide range of activities, from participation in (and often chairing) P4P coordination mechanisms, to development of smallholder-friendly policies and regulations, to direct support to farmers’ organizations through investment in extension services and the provision of technical equipment. Ministries of agriculture were key in coordinating P4P activities with other national stakeholders, particularly with government entities charged with providing technical support through extension and enhancing access to agricultural inputs. Depending on the country context, other ministries, such as ministries of education, gender, trade and commerce, cooperatives, social services and finance were also involved. Some of the best examples of government ownership and engagement come from Africa.

This conference was motivated by a productive partnership between AERC and WFP on the P4P pilot programme and the discussions in the meeting were conducted in the best of AERC traditions, guided by rigour and evidence. This is where research meets policy,” said Professor Lemma W. Senbet, Executive Director of AERC.  

About AERC

African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), established in 1988, is a premier capacity building institution in the advancement of research and training to inform economic policies in sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the most active Research and Capacity Building Institutions (RCBIs) in the world with a focus on Africa. AERC’s mission rests on two premises: First, that development is more likely to occur where there is sustained sound management of the economy. Second, that such management is more likely to happen where there is an active, well-informed cadre of locally-based professional economists to conduct policy-relevant research. AERC builds that cadre through a programme that has three primary components: research, training and policy outreach. The organization has now emerged as a premier capacity building network institution integrating high quality economic policy research, postgraduate training and policy outreach within a vast network of researchers, universities and policy makers across Africa and beyond. AERC has increasingly received global acclaim for its quality products and services, and is ranked highly among global development think tanks.

# # #

 

For more information about this workshop or AERC, please contact:

The Executive Director
African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
Middle East Bank Towers, 3rd Floor, Jakaya Kikwete Road,
Tel: (+254-20) 273-4150 / 273-4157
Fax: (+254-20) 273-4173
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
www.aercafrica.org

 

Senior Policy Seminar on Industrialization in Africa

The African Economic Research Consortium’s (AERC) Senior Policy Seminar XIX (SPS) on the theme “Industrialization in Africa” that was held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on March 13-14, 2017was a great success. The conference, which was officially opened by Jean-Claude Brou, Minister for Industrialization and Mines, Cote d’Ivoire was a timely opportunity to explore policy options for accelerating the pace of industrialization on the continent. The seminar drew on research by the AERC network, and on a multi-year research programme involving many AERC affiliates. It was jointly sponsored by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Brookings Institution, and the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER).

The contributions in this meeting really enhanced the understanding of ingredients for accelerated industrialization toward African economic transformation. Records show that Africa has really underperformed in terms of industrialization. Today, the share of manufacturing in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about what it was in the 1970s; less than one-half of the average for all developing countries. And in contrast with developing countries as a whole, it is declining. Many of the region’s recent growth success stories—Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, for example—have shares of manufacturing in GDP that are well below their predicted values.

AERC senior policy seminars are forums designed specifically to bring together senior policy makers from sub-Saharan African countries to exchange experiences and deliberate on topical issues pertaining to sustainable development of their economies. Participants in these seminars are drawn from the highest levels of government, including the presidency, ministers, governors of central banks, heads of civil services, permanent secretaries and heads of government agencies and parastatals.

 

Africa has no choice but industrialize. Simultaneously it has no choice, but integrate in its quest for inclusive and sustainable growth. There are positive upswings, though. A strong and positive growth trajectory, rapid urbanization, more stable and improving economic and political environments have opened a window of opportunity for Africa to achieve economic transformation through industrialization and regional integration. And this specific senior policy seminar on industrialization in Africa provides a timely forum for dialogue on the subject between senior policy makers, academic thought leaders, private sector actors, and among policy makers themselves. This debate will be conducted in the best of AERC’s traditions guided by rigour and evidence,” said Professor Lemma W. Senbet, Executive Director of AERC on the eve of the conference.   

 

Leading researchers and thought leaders shared their ideas with distinguished senior policy makers in various sessions. The first session was devoted to a presentation by Prof. Finn Tarp of the UNU-WIDER, Finland, titled “Industrialization in Africa: Setting the Stage & Overview”The second session featured Prof. Carol Newman, Trinity College, Ireland, who presented a paper on “Industrial Clusters: The Case for Special Economic Zones in Africa”. Dr. Eyerusalem Siba, Brookings Institutions, Washington D.C did the last presentation of the day on “Learning to Export and Learning by Exporting”.  

 

The first session of the second day was a presentation by Prof. Judith Fessehaie, University of Johannesburg, South Africa on “Regional Industrialization in Africa”and the second session featured “Financing Industrial Development: Lessons from other Regions” byProf. Keun Lee, Seoul National University, Korea. Third session was on “AfDB’s Industrial Strategy” and the presenter was Dr. Ludovic Alcorta, United Nations Industrial Development Organization(UNIDO).

 

The lead discussants for these papers were, respectively, Prof. Aly Mbaye, CREA/UCAD, Senegal; Dr.Adam Mugume, Bank of Uganda; andDr. Nii Sowa, International Growth Centre, Ghana. Session chairs were Pierre Guislain, AfDB; Dr. Kheswar Jankee, Mauritian Ambassador to Germany; Prof.Monty Jones, Minister of Agriculture, Sierra Leone; Dr. Louis Kasekende, Deputy Governor, Bank of Uganda; andDr. Frannie Leautier, Senior Vice President, AfDB. There were floor discussions by participants after each presentation. The closing session of the conference was a policy roundtable on Industrialization in Africa. This roundtable was chaired and moderated by Dr. Bright E. Okogu, Executive Director, AfDB.

 

About AERC

African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), established in 1988, is a premier capacity building institution in the advancement of research and training to inform economic policies in sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the most active Research and Capacity Building Institutions (RCBIs) in the world with a focus on Africa. AERC’s mission rests on two premises: First, that development is more likely to occur where there is sustained sound management of the economy. Second, that such management is more likely to happen where there is an active, well-informed cadre of locally-based professional economists to conduct policy-relevant research. AERC builds that cadre through a programme that has three primary components: research, training and policy outreach. The organization has now emerged as a premier capacity building network institution integrating high quality economic policy research, postgraduate training and policy outreach within a vast network of researchers, universities and policy makers across Africa and beyond. AERC has increasingly received global acclaim for its quality products and services, and is ranked highly among global development think tanks.

# # #

 

For more information about this workshop or AERC, please contact:

The Executive Director
African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
Middle East Bank Towers, 3rd Floor, Jakaya Kikwete Road,
Tel: (+254-20) 273-4150 / 273-4157
Fax: (+254-20) 273-4173
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
www.aercafrica.org

 

Policy seminars discuss Service Delivery Indicators for improved outcomes in health and education

A two-day policy seminar was held in Nairobi to deliberate the Service Delivery Indicators (SDI) project, part of a large-scale research project conducted by AERC in partnership with the World Bank.

Dubbed the Institutions and Service Delivery project, it started in the mid-2000s and later incorporated the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The project was initiated to review the quality of service delivery in primary education and basic health services and provide measures for benchmarking service delivery performance in Africa.

The SDIs examine the efforts (what providers do) and abilities (what providers know) of health providers and educators and the education and health facilities’ resources that contribute to a functioning school or health facility. In education, providers’ ability is measured by teachers’ minimum knowledge to master the curriculum and quality of instruction they offer while in health, it is measured by health workers’ diagnostic accuracy, adherence to clinical guidelines and management of maternal/neonatal complications.

Providers’ effort in education is measured in terms of teachers’ absence from school, absence from classroom and time they spend teaching while in health, it is measured in terms of health workers’ absence from facility and caseload per provider. Finally, inputs in schools are measured by assessing availability of teaching equipment, infrastructure, student-teacher ratio and students per textbook while in health facilities, it is measured by availability of equipment, drugs and infrastructure.

In the three countries of focus, namely Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania, the key findings from the surveys were:

·         there was fairly high absenteeism rates both in schools and health facilities across countries;

·         there were low rates of correct diagnosis by public health providers of at least 4 out of 5 very common conditions – suggesting either existence of knowledge gaps or failure to adhere to professional guidelines (or both); and

·         a significant proportion of primary school teachers do not exhibit mastery of the curriculum they teach.

Since the launch of the SDI country reports, further research has been undertaken by AERC, with support from the World Bank, to better understand and exploit this rich data set in order to inform policy making in Africa. The research in question has focused on understanding service delivery in health and education in three countries, names, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria.

 

The seminars also involved media and civil society organizations in Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria. With increased discussions and use of SDIs, it is expected that findings of SDIs will become integrated into education and health policymaking processes for improved service delivery, performance and accountability in the two countries.

 

AERC among Top Development Think Tanks Internationally in the 2016 Global Index

African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) has again emerged among the very top International Development Think Tanks in the 2016 Global Index. It is listed first in this category in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and placed at position 26 globally.AERC is also separately listed among the top in other categories, including Top Economics Think Tanks Worldwide;Best Independent Think Tanks Internationally; Top Think Tanks Worldwide (Non-US); and Think Tanks with the Most Significant Impact on Public Policy.

 

This programme involved over 6,500 think tanks and other civil society actors worldwide in various categories, and it was conducted by The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP).  The organization conducts surveys on the role policy institutes play in governments, and in civil societies around the world.

 “Over the last 26 years, the TTCSP has developed, and led a series of global initiatives that have helped bridge the gap between knowledge and policy in critical policy areas such as international economics, international peace and security, globalization and governance, environmental issues, information and society, poverty alleviation, and healthcare and global health. These international collaborative efforts are designed to establish regional and international networks of policy institutes and communities that improve policy making while strengthening democratic institutions and civil societies around the world,” said Dr. James G. McGann, Director, Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program during the presentation of the results.

“This is a delightful news for the Consortium. We are very excited that AERC has achieved consistently high rankings globally over the years, including the five star global transparency rating just recently.  In addition, the new category of recognitions, that puts us among top independent think tanks internationally and think tanks with the most significant impact on policy, are a testimony to AERC’s tradition of independent inquiry for evidence base policy in Africa. While it is gratifying that we are getting high global ratings as part of think tank rankings, it is imperative to note that AERC is not just a think tank. It is a think tank plus; a highly integrated knowledge organization with multiple arms, including research, collaborative graduate training, policy outreach, and a vast network with substantial emphasis on capacity building. Its alumni are visible around the continent, including numerous governors of central banks and high level policy officials,” said Prof Lemma W. Senbet, AERC Executive Director.

This Global index marks the ninth year of continued efforts by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania to acknowledge the important contributions and emerging global trends of think tanks worldwide. Their initial effort to generate a ranking of the world’s leading think tanks in 2006 was a response to a series of requests from donors, government officials, journalists, and scholars to produce regional and international rankings of the world’s preeminent think tanks. Since its inception, the objective for the GGTTI report is to gain understanding of the role think tanks play in governments and civil societies, and assist in improving the capacity and performance of think tanks around the world.

 As part of the nominations process, 6,846 think tanks catalogued in the TTCSP’s Global Think Tank Database were contacted and encouraged to participate, in addition to over 4,750 journalists, policymakers, public and private donors, and functional and regional area specialists. This group of peers and experts was surveyed to both nominate and rank public policy research centers of distinction.

About AERC

AERC, established in 1988, is a premier capacity building institution in the advancement of research and training to inform economic policies in sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the most active Research and Capacity Building Institutions (RCBIs) in the world, with a focus on Africa. AERC’s mission rests on two premises: First, that development is more likely to occur where there is sustained sound management of the economy. Second, that such management is more likely to happen where there is an active, well-informed cadre of locally-based professional economists to conduct policy-relevant research. AERC builds that cadre through a programme that has three primary components: research, training and policy outreach. The organization has now emerged as a premier capacity building network institution integrating high quality economic policy research, postgraduate training and policy outreach within a vast network of researchers, universities and policy makers across Africa and beyond. AERC has increasingly received global acclaim for its quality products and services, and is ranked highly among global development think tanks.

# # #

For more information about this workshop or AERC, please contact:

The Executive Director
African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
Middle East Bank Towers, 3rd Floor, Jakaya Kikwete Road,
Tel: (+254-20) 273-4150 / 273-4157
Fax: (+254-20) 273-4173

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
www.aercafrica.org

 

 

 

Inclusive Finance for Low Income Countries

Inclusive finance is intended to enhance access to, and availability of financial services to the broadest segments of society at affordable terms. The segments are broad enough to include the youth, women, small farmers, small firms, small entrepreneurs, rural areas, etc. The available evidence is that finance and financial development promote economic development.  However, it is not clear how inclusive financial development delivers inclusive and sustainable economic growth. Recent empirical research, though, shows that in low income countries (LICs), there are financial development gaps as well as financial inclusion gaps; and Africa features large gaps relative to other LICs, with women, the poor and rural households having no or limited access to a range of quality financial services at affordable prices.

The current consensus is that there is urgent need for research on inclusive finance and its potential contribution to lifting low income countries to the level of their medium income peers. Led by Professor Victor Murinde at the University of Birmingham, a consortium of partners, including African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), will collaborate on a £2.02 million (approximately US$2.93 million) research project on finance for low income countries with a focus on Africa. The project is inspired and funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), shortened as DFID-ESRC - Growth Research Programme (DEGRP). The Consortium is the winner of the global bid for this large scale project [DEGRp call 3 (2015/2016)].

 

The research project was launched in conjunction with the AERC Biannual Research Workshop in Nairobi on Monday, 30th May, 2016, and pre-launched at the AERC Senior Policy Seminar on “Financial Inclusion in Africa”, Nairobi, March 2016. The launch presentations were led by Professors Victor Murinde, Lemma Senbet, and Robert Lensink, with other partner organization members in attendance and in active dialogue. Both the AERC biannual research workshop and the senior policy seminar provided an opportunity for exchange of views on the project with key stakeholders including AERC network researchers, international resource persons, senior policy officials, private sector actors, and civil society.

The Consortium is international with a focus on the North-South partnership, and it includes the United Kingdom (University of Birmingham; SOAS University of London; Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex; Loughborough University; the Overseas Development Institute; and the University of Nottingham), the Netherlands (CIBIF - Centre for Development Finance and Impact Analysis, Faculty of Economics and Business, the University of Groningen), North America (Université Laval in Québec, Canada and Columbia in the United States) and, crucially, Africa (the University of Ghana-Legon; and the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), a pan African institution headquartered in Nairobi).

 

“The conversation in Africa has now shifted beyond the growth renaissance the region has witnessed over the years, to that of inclusive growth that is sustainable.  Inclusive finance is at the center of this transformation, and hence the project is very timely.  AERC is privileged to be a partner, since the project pervades its entire capacity building framework inclusive of research, collaborative graduate training, policy outreach, and vast network”, said Professor Lemma W. Senbet, AERC Executive Director and the William E. Mayer Chair Professor of Finance, University of Maryland, during the launch.

 

“The research project focuses on delivering inclusive financial development, with a focus on low income countries in Africa,”  Professor Victor Murinde, the Principal Investigator, said adding that “the project will: deliver rigorous, high quality research to support financial inclusion policies; develop innovative financial products in collaboration with households, banks, and the private sector; involve collaborative research to enhance methodologies and data for the promotion of inclusive finance; and engage with policy-makers to provide research-based advice on financial inclusion in Africa”.

 

This research is vital for embedding financial inclusion in African economies, and aims ultimately to have a significant impact on livelihoods. The project’s other important dimensions pertain to capacity building of early career researchers in low income countries, with a focus on Africa, to conduct policy-oriented research of global standards, and to influence policy dialogue and formulation among senior policy decision makers as well as non-state actors, such as the private sector.

 

About AERC

The AERC, established in 1988, is a premier capacity building institution in the advancement of research and training to inform economic policies in sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the most active Research and Capacity Building Institutions (RCBIs) in the world, with a focus on Africa. AERC’s mission rests on two premises: First, that development is more likely to occur where there is sustained sound management of the economy. Second, that such management is more likely to happen where there is an active, well-informed cadre of locally-based professional economists to conduct policy-relevant research. AERC builds that cadre through a programme that has three primary components: research, training and policy outreach. The organization has now emerged as a premier capacity building network institution integrating high quality economic policy research, postgraduate training and policy outreach within a vast network of researchers, universities and policy makers across Africa and beyond. AERC has increasingly received global acclaim for its quality products and services, and is ranked highly among global development think tanks.

 

# # #

 

For more information about this workshop or AERC, please contact:

The Executive Director
African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
Middle East Bank Towers, 3rd Floor, Jakaya Kikwete Road,
Tel: (+254-20) 273-4150 / 273-4157
Fax: (+254-20) 273-4173
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.aercafrica.org

 

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