New institutional approaches to collecting technology diffusion data

Most diffusion surveys in the past have depended on CGIAR research teams, either working on their own or working in collaboration with national programs and statistical services to generate the data. In many countries, there are private market research firms as well as private survey firms engaged in carrying out household surveys for academic purposes. As part of SIAC Objective 1, we will explore new alternatives for outsourcing the collection of data on a routine basis that will allow the CG system to track the adoption of major agricultural technologies in developing countries.

Explore alternative avenues to outsource the collection and validation of technology adoption data: This Activity will be planned to take advantage of the complementarity with other Activities that require primary data collection as much as possible. Once an opportunity to ‘piggy back’ on planned data collection under other Activities is identified, MSU will identify all the possible alternatives for ‘outsourcing’ the planned data collection. If in a selected country there are private sector alternatives, MSU will prepare a ‘request for proposals’ (RFP) document to elicit expressions of interest or proposal from these actors for a pilot project that would (a) develop and pilot a protocol to collect diffusion data for some focused technologies (i.e., varietal or NRM); and (b) demonstrate in a rigorous way that the data from the pilot survey are accurate. The goal of this competitive process will be to facilitate and promote innovations and improvements in the data collection process, with a secondary goal of understanding the degree to which CGIAR scientists need to be directly involved in designing and coordinating the diffusion studies. The selection of ‘alternative’ institutions that will be sub contracted for the collection of data will be made jointly by MSU and PSC.

The lessons derived from the experience of implementing Activity 1.3 will be the basis to assess the scope for effectively scaling up outsourcing of technology adoption data collection to the private sector. If the public sector (and private agricultural input industry) can demonstrate an effective demand for such data, there is scope for private sector to fill the information gap and provide farm level adoption data on a routine basis. The scope of the role of the private sector in meeting the need for adoption data (on demand based on a contract) or ad hoc (based on proprietary data sold at a price) will be explored under objective 2 (Activity 2.4).

Call for proposal  (PDF)