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Technology impact evaluation in agroforestry projects

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To identify appropriate methods for evaluating the impact of new agroforestry technologies ICRAF in 1988–89 contacted 166 projects worldwide about their activities in agroforestry technology monitoring and evaluation. Of the 108 which responded 45% were involved in some type of impact evaluation. This review revealed common difficulties in selecting impact indicators and methods of evaluation. Emphasis to date has been on evaluating numbers of trees planted and area under agroforestry rather than socioeconomic impacts. Defining agroforestry adoption and distinguishing intermediate and final impacts were problematic. Impact studies were often difficult to interpret or compare limiting their value for the rest of the agroforestry community. An analytical framework for planning impact evaluation in agroforestry projects is proposed based on lessons learned from the review. Selection of indicators should depend upon whether project objectives relate to changes in: number and type of trees grown land use farmer knowledge and attitudes availability of agroforestry products and services and/or socioeconomic welfare. Data collection tools may include sequential photography or mapping informal or formal farmer surveys informal or formal field surveys farmer meetings and workshops trend analysis of project records and case studies of households or communities depending upon the audience for project evaluation and project resources.

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    Scherr, S.J.; Müller, E.U.


    Agroforestry, Evaluation, Extension workers, Farmers, Impact assessment, Monitoring

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