CRP-FTA has a dedicated MEIA Team with scientists from participating centres and partner organizations and support from the CRP-FTA Director’s Office. The MEIA Team will:
- Support the development of community of practice around MEIA within CRP-FTA, and link with the larger CGIAR MEIA community of practice
- Help projects, themes and components to develop clear and explicit impact pathway and progress markers in the design phase, to monitor and assess progress during implementation and to build an evidence base that will support high quality evaluation and ex-post impact assessments
- Conduct or coordinate internal evaluations of CRP-FTA research at the theme, component or region level
- Advance the tools and approaches for measuring the returns to policy-oriented social science research and natural resources management research
The CRP-FTA model is an experiment and research on the effectiveness of the approaches used is an important scientific effort in and of itself. There is a known lack of reliable approaches for evaluating the impact of policy and natural resources management research. The dearth of studies within the CGIAR system itself that address non-marketed environmental benefits and costs of research has been criticized. Recent efforts by SPIA have made good progress, but methods for assessing critical outcomes such as capacity strengthening, institutional development and policy reform require further development and testing. CRP-FTA will tackle this as a means to improve its own monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment. This then will be another important output of the program.
As a part of the early implementation of the program, the MEIA team will work with individual component leaders and teams to develop component-level impact pathways, outcome maps, and explicit indicators of progress to be used in monitoring, reporting, impact pathway evaluation and, ultimately, in Component- and CRP-Level evaluations. Reports will be peer reviewed and published in an ongoing series of MEIA discussion papers and journal articles, and the results will be summarized and highlighted on a MEIA webpage. The team will engage with ongoing and developing research, communications and extension efforts as a way to share learning with CRP-FTA partners and stakeholders, and more broadly.