The East Africa Social Science Translation (EASST) Collaborative is pleased to announce its fourth annual Research Grant Competition. EASST invites pairs of researchers from the CEGA faculty network and from East Africa to submit grant applications for the evaluation of innovative interventions in health, education, economic development, energy, and other sectors. The ceiling for grant requests is USD $50,000 per project, and a total of $200,000 in research funding will be awarded across all projects. Please see the attached RFP or visit the Opportunities page of the EASST website for full details on how to apply. Proposals must be submitted via our online platform: http://tinyurl.com/Submittable-EASST-2016-RGC.
The deadline to submit to the 2016 RESEARCH GRANT COMPETITION
11:59PM Pacific Time, Wednesday, 13 April 2016.
Use of high-quality agricultural inputs is extremely low in Uganda. Counterfeit products, for instance, make up 30-67% of all inputs in Africa and have led to a lack of farmer trust in the inputs supply system. In order to address these issues, USAID's Feed the Future initiative, has developed an e-verification (EV) program for input quality assurance. Through e-verification, agricultural inputs are marked with a scratch-off label that provides an authentication code. The consumer can then enter the code on a mobile phone to receive confirmation of the product's authenticity. Given the potential importance of this initiative, USAID is funding an impact evaluation to determine the impact of EV on the reduction of counterfeit agricultural inputs and the increase in farmer profits and yields. The baseline survey report describes the Feed the Future e-verification sub-activity, introducing the impact evaluation study design and summarizing information from the baseline household survey to describe the context and the study's suitability to study the counterfeiting problem.
This research adds to a growing body of evidence supporting the need for better access to information and quality inputs for smallholder farmers in Uganda. Fall 2013 EASST Fellow, Annet Adong has contributed to the research on technology adoption among farmers in Uganda. Annet spent her time at Berkeley studying sale offers for established farm inputs in Uganda, seeking to understand what misconceptions exist and whether different sales offers impede adoption of technologies. She has published widely on smallholder food crop commercialization, showing a positive impact of households’ membership of farmers’ groups on the adoption of improved technologies. Annet suggests farmer group participation and household retention in groups in Uganda should be used as an avenue for the dissemination of agricultural technologies in Uganda.
Three weeks ago, USAID hosted the webinar E-verification of Agricultural Inputs: Progress in Uganda, introducing an initial pilot partnership between a private firm and the government of Uganda that could help address the issue of counterfeit inputs. Visit this link to access the e-Verification presentation, including audio recording of the presentation, Q&A session and the webinar recording.
Last Monday, November 23rd, EASST Visiting Fellows and CEGA staff traveled to the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) to present at the Economic Department's Development Lunch and receive feedback on their research. Hailemariam Ayalew introduced his work on Commodity Exchange and Spatial Market Price Dispersion: Evidence from Ethiopia, and Kizito Omala discussed his early research on Teacher’s Productivity and Student Achievement in a Centralized Deployment System: Experimental Evidence from Uganda. Presenting at the department lunch gave the fellows an opportunity to interact with PhD students, Visiting Fellows and Professors Prashant Bharadwaj, Gordon McCord, Mark Muendler, Paul Niehaus and Eli Berman. The presentation was followed by lunch with Professors Bharadwaj, McCord, Muendler and Karthik Muralidharan and a one-on-one meeting to discuss their research with Professor Craig McIntosh.