Improving and Institutionalizing Collection of Data on Diffusion and Use of CGIAR Innovations in National Data Collection Systems

SPIA has been working to improve the accuracy and efficiency of data collection related to adoption of CGIAR innovations and on key CGIAR outcomes. The goal is to integrate new data collection protocols into large-scale surveys regularly implemented by national systems. This work is being carried out in a small set of priority countries as proof of concept, to then develop a strategy for institutionalization. Central to this work is the ongoing partnership between SPIA and the World Bank Living Standards Measurement (LSMS-ISA) team to strengthen the statistical capacity to capture CGIAR outcomes at a representative scale in key countries.

The SPIA country-level approach to documenting the adoption and diffusion of agricultural innovations linked to CGIAR research involves three stages:

  1. Understanding the full range of recent CGIAR activities in the country by engaging with CGIAR researchers, science leaders and national stakeholders.
  2. Prioritizing among these candidate innovations and identifying those that can be observed in survey data or be subjected to new data collection approaches such as DNA fingerprinting or remote sensing.
  3. Working with partners to integrate these new data collection approaches into nationally representative surveys.



Ethiopia, where SPIA has been working since 2015, was the first focal country for SPIA’s country-level approach to documenting the adoption and diffusion of agricultural innovations linked to CGIAR research.

  1. The stocktaking work in Ethiopia led to detailed documentation on 52 different CGIAR-related innovations from the past two decades related to the work of 10 CGIAR Centers and their partners, including the Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research (EIAR).
  2. In the second stage, methodological experiments and pilot tests of data collection approaches were used to select the best data collection approach for each innovation.
  3. In partnership with the World Bank Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) team and the Ethiopian Central Statistics Agency (CSA) work was carried out to integrate 18 CGIAR-related innovations into nationally representative surveys.

In 2016 and 2019, SPIA supported the CSA to field the third and fourth rounds of the Ethiopian Socioeconomic Survey. The 2019 round included, for the first time, DNA fingerprinting of crop varieties, alongside detailed protocols for livestock and natural resource management.




SPIA’s current work program in Uganda includes the following five components.

  • Household-level data collection in the Uganda National Panel Survey (UNPS) – SPIA is working in partnership with the World Bank LSMS-ISA team and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBoS) on household-level data collection in the UNPS. The work includes a new refreshed sample of up to 5,000 households and the integration with the Annual Agricultural Survey of the 50x2030 initiative. One of the key deliverables from this work will be DNA fingerprinting-based estimates of the adoption of improved crop varieties for six crops.
  • Community-level data collection in UNPS – Through the same partnership with the World Bank LSMS-ISA team and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, this component addresses multiple agricultural innovations that are best measured at a community level (tree nurseries, milk collection centers, sustainable land management practices, etc.)
  • Contributions to the National Service Delivery Survey – This component is centered around a different survey fielded by UBoS. SPIA has helped design instruments for data collection on topics such as agricultural extension, crop pests, and diseases, etc.
  • Diffusion of biofortified crops – Under this component, SPIA has led a process of convening regional workshops to construct a database on the diffusion of orange-fleshed sweet potato and biofortified bean varieties. The goal is to construct a dataset that is spatially and temporally explicit and to try and link that with the forthcoming Demographic and Health Surveys to see if we observe impacts on consumption of biofortified foods (and possibly on nutritional outcomes).
  • Seed systems survey – This project arose following the initial Uganda consultation meeting in October 2019, where the topic of poor-quality planting material was highlighted as a priority and major constraint to agricultural development. With support from the Ministry of Agriculture and National Agricultural Research Organization, SPIA Special Initiative Member Professor Travis Lybbert (UC Davis) is leading an effort to collect maize and bean seed samples at different seed system levels. These will be subjected to a range of quality tests (including genetic purity testing using genotyping methods) to understand at which points in the seed system seed quality may degrade.