Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture

Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture No. 4/07

Advances in impact assessment of natural resources management research

David Zilberman
University of California at Berkeley, USA

Hermann Waibel
University of Hannover, Germany


In this paper we summarize some recent examples of impact assessment of Natural Resource Management Research (NRMR) in the CGIAR. In total seven cases studies on NRMR impact have been conducted, which demonstrate the impacts achieved with such research, the possibilities and constraints of impact assessment methodologies. We highlight one case which is particularly relevant for agriculture’s implications for energy. The case studies provide empirical evidence of the impact of NRM research in the CGIAR. At the same time the case studies illustrate the need for new conceptual frameworks and models. In the paper we therefore discuss advanced theoretical frameworks for assessing NRMR. These methods and models can be used as a guide to frame future impact assessment studies. While the methods applied in the seven case studies are partial and are mainly driven by data availability the proposed methods are comprehensive in specifically addressing micro level behaviour of technology adopters, identification of the sources of heterogeneity, the recognition of dynamic drivers, aggregation procedures and the policy and institutional conditions for NRM technologies. The focus lies on micro-level NRMR projects, but some ideas assessing the impact of macro-level NRM projects, are given. In the last part of the paper we draw some conclusions for further research in this field.

Keywords: impact assessment, natural resource management, adoption, economics, technology

JEL: Q 01, Q 16, Q 55

Vol. 46 (2007), No. 4: 395-420