About the Agricultural Development and Policy Programme

Women from the village of Dikha return from collecting leaves - Nepal. Flickr, Gates Foundation

The Agricultural Development and Policy Programme works to promote understanding of transitions in food and agriculture, and appropriate policy responses. This is done with the aim of reducing hunger and poverty, and improving the sustainability of rural livelihoods in the face of increasing social, economic and physical shocks and stresses.

Taking a wider view of agriculture

We take a holistic view of agricultural development and its contribution to wider growth and poverty reduction dynamics. Recognising that rural poverty cannot be understood purely in terms of the rural agricultural sector alone, we link agriculture to other sectors through integrating rural-urban links and migration patterns, and the rural non-farm economy. We look not just at agriculture but how it connects with the wider issues of rural development, food and nutrition security, and the management of natural resources. This is particularly important in the context of rising food prices and the looming challenge of climate change.

Using flexible agile approaches

We use rigorous but flexible forms of analysis, translating research into policy recommendations, often over short periods of time. We are often asked to deliver studies within a few months, sometimes a few weeks, to serve policy-makers who need guidance in the near future. To serve such needs, we often draw on existing work to review what it says and implies for new questions.

We make use of networks to combine with others working on similar topics. We work across disciplines within ODI, combining social, economic and political expertise from different teams. We also draw extensively on our external networks, such as the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) a learning alliance of academic researchers and practitioners involved in African agriculture. We use a combination of qualitative and quantitative analysis, as appropriate, to assess factors driving policy decisions, presenting results in an accessible way.