The Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) is a sub-group of the ISPC. SPIA’s mandate is to:

  • provide the CGIAR with timely, objective, and credible information on the impacts at the system level of past CGIAR investments and outputs in terms of the CGIAR SLOs,
  • provide support to and complement the CGIAR centers in their ex post impact assessment activities, and
  • provide feedback to CGIAR priority setting and create synergies by developing links to ex ante assessment and overall planning, monitoring and evaluation functions in the CGIAR.

SPIA currently manages a large program called Strengthening Impact Assessment in the CGIAR (SIAC) that supports methods development, impact assessments and other studies, capacity strengthening, and a community of practice of impact assessment specialists in the CGIAR.

For more information on CGIAR Impact Assessment, visit the website (managed by SPIA) at


View All News

IEA managed evaluation of SIAC
3 May 2017

The final report and management reponse from the SPIA commissioned, IEA managed evaluation of the SIAC program is on the IEA website. You can also read the inception report on the same page, and look through findings of the evaluation presented at ISPC 14 (ICRISAT, Hyderabad) in September 2016.

Vacancy announcement: SPIA Chair
2 May 2017

The Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) of the CGIAR is seeking to appoint a Chair for its Standing Panel on Impact Assessment. The SPIA Chair plays an important role in expanding the evidence base on CGIAR impact. He/she is an ex officio member of ISPC, and serves for a term of 3 years with possibility of renewal for one additional term. The position requires a minimum commitment of approximately 40 days per year. Deadline for application 15th May, 2017. More information here.

DIIVA project book
23 September 2016

Edited by Tom Walker and Jeff Alwang, Crop Improvement, Adoption and Impact of Improved Varieties in Food Crops in Sub-Saharan Africa (CABI) is the result of a major follow-up effort on the Evenson and Gollin baseline. Funded by the BMGF, DIIVA greatly advanced our knowledge of varietal adoption and diffusion in SSA. You can purchase the book from the CABI site or read the PDF on the IMPACT website here.


This report synthesizes the findings and recommendations of a critical review of impact assessemnts (IAs) of CGIAR irrigation and water management research. Critical reviews such as this one are intended to be the first step in encouraging new IAs of the under-evaluated topic in question, as well as provide inputs on improving the quality of IAs.

This Impact Brief is based on the study that documents the impacts of improved common bean varieties on field-level yields, costs of production, and household farm incomes among smallholders in Rwanda and Uganda. Effects are also examined so that the number of people escaping poverty due to the diffusion of improved varieties can be calculated.

This Impact Brief is based on the study that documents the impacts of improved maize varieties on household well-being and on overall rural poverty using primary data. In Ethiopia, the last four decades have seen more than 40 improved varieties of maize - including hybrids and OPVs – developed and released by EIAR in collaboration with CIMMYT.

This brief summarizes the findings of the analysis of CGIAR legume research outputs, adoption data on legumes in SSA and South Asia, and impacts on CGIAR SLOs as well as gender impacts. Individual ex post impact assessments as well as adoption data from the DIIVA study formed the basis for the Legumes Synthesis Report.

Key results on adoption from the wide-ranging Synthesis Report titled Measuring the Effectiveness of Crop Improvement Research in Sub-Saharan Africa from the Perspectives of Varietal Output, Adoption, and Change: 20 Crops, 30 Countries, and 1,150 Cultivars in Farmers’ Fields are presented in this Impact Brief.

The DIIVA report covers 20 crops and 30 countries in SSA. The project was organized around three distinct activities: documenting key performance indicators of crop genetic improvement, collecting nationally repre­sentative survey data on varietal adoption, and assessing the impact of varietal change. This synthesis paper reports on progress in the first two areas.

This brief is based on the paper by Stevenson, J., et al. (2011) Agricultural technology, global land use and deforestation: a review and new estimates of the impact of crop research. In: CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council. 2011. Measuring the environmental impacts of agricultural research: Theory and applications to CGIAR research.

This brief is based on the paper by Jeff Bennett (2011) Advancing ex-post impact assessment of environmental impacts of CGIAR research: conceptual issues, applications and the way forward. In: CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (2011). Measuring the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Research: Theory and Applications to CGIAR Research.

This brief is based on the paper by Mitch Renkow (2011) Assessing the environmental impacts of CGIAR research: toward an analytical framework. In: CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (2011). Measuring the Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Research: Theory and Applications to CGIAR Research.

This brief is based on the paper by Byerlee, D., Maredia, M., Shankar, B., Kelley, T. and Stevenson, J. (2011). Foreword. In: CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council. Measuring the Environmental Impact of Agricultural Research: Theory and Applications to CGIAR Research.

This paper analyzes the challenges faced by the CGIAR in evaluating the impact of agricultural technologies and suggests avenues for improving the methodology used in impact analyses. The focus is on technologies such as crop varieties, whose adoption is described easily as a binary choice rather than best practice or policy.



The fifteenth meeting of the ISPC was held from 04-05 April 2017 in Rome, Italy.

The fourteenth meeting of the ISPC was held from 14-16 September 2016 at ICRISAT Headquarters, Patancheru, India.


This workshop report is a summary record from the second workshop convened by the ISPC/CSIRO Agri-food systems innovation and partnership initiative, and held from 27 to 29 June at ICRISAT in Hyderabad, India. The report attempts to capture, in brief, the deliberations of the participants, including key outcomes and follow-up actions to further the initiative’s campaign and ongoing dialogue on the reframing of the common narrative on agri-food System Innovation.

The ISPC is facilitating System-wide agreement on the nature and assessment of Quality of Research for Development (QoR4D). A small working group (WG) on QoR4D with representation from Centers, CRPs and the IEA was established late last year. This WG organized a workshop at FAO on 06-07 February 2017 with representation from across CGIAR System constituencies - key findings from those discussions are elaborated in this brief.