In much of the developing world, entrenched market failures stifle agricultural productivity, leading to food insecurity and undernourishment for hundreds of millions of people. As populations continue to grow, we must address these challenges by encouraging public and private actors to transform markets and improve the livelihoods of farmers and other vulnerable populations.
Private sector agricultural research in developing countries accounts for only two percent of global spending on agricultural research and development. Publicly funded research and extension services cannot meet this gap in investment, and as a result, market failures often remain unsolved. However, there is an emerging consensus in favor of testing Pay-for-Results incentive approaches that use public financing to drive agricultural innovation and build inclusive markets for agricultural goods and services that benefit smallholder farmers.
At the June 2010 G20 meeting, G20 leaders submitted the Toronto Summit Declaration, which called for the development of "innovative, results-based mechanisms […] to harness the creativity and resources of the private sector in achieving breakthrough innovations in food security and agriculture development in poor countries." Later that year at the Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth, G20 leaders requested that international organizations "examine and recommend potential innovative results-based mechanisms […] for enhanced agricultural productivity."
The concept of “pull mechanisms” for agriculture received its first explicit reference in the November 2011 Report of the G20 Development Working Group when G20 representatives stated that "to encourage public and private sector investment in agricultural research in developing countries, we support the implementation of the ‘Agriculture Pull Mechanisms’ initiative, and welcome projects that embrace an innovative, results-based approach." In Innovation with Impact, a report commissioned by the G20, Bill Gates stated, “I believe this concept of pull mechanisms has real promise in the agricultural sector.”
In response to these calls, a group of countries including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, created AgResults, a multilateral initiative incentivizing and rewarding high-impact agricultural innovations.
Two years later, at the G20 Summit in Los Cabos Mexico, the governments of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged $118 million to establish AgResults through a Financial Intermediary Fund operated by the World Bank. In 2016, the Department of the Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Australia, pledged an additional US $4 million, making the total AgResults Fund $122 million. Further funding by the Gates Foundation has increased that total to $145 million.
AgResults is overseen by a Steering Committee comprising representatives from each donor agency and the financial trustee. The Steering Committee is responsible for strategic oversight of the initiative, including making management decisions, approving design stages for each new project, and the monitoring of projects and the initiative as a whole. The Steering Committee includes representatives from:
Funds from donor countries are managed by the World Bank in its role as Trustee of the initiative.
A dedicated Secretariat supports project implementation, oversight and monitoring, project sourcing, peer review of new concepts, and outreach and communications.
A competitively selected Project Manager oversees each Challenge Project, working alongside competing private sector (and in a few cases NGO) organizations, and Verifiers. In some cases, additional technical support is required. The External Evaluator is responsible for measuring AgResults' impacts and comparing them to traditional “push mechanisms” or grant-based development approaches.
The AgResults structure is below:
The AgResults Steering Committee comprises representatives from our five donor countries and the World Bank Group, who acts as the trustee. The Steering Committee is a collaborative body that works together to decide the direction and priorities of AgResults.
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE (DFAT)
Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
Tristan Armstrong is Senior Sector Specialist Agriculture and Food Security at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He holds a PhD in plant genetics and has worked for over 15 years in agriculture, rural development, biodiversity conservation and natural resource management in Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION
Orin Hasson is the AgResults Steering Committee Representative from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he is a Senior Investment Officer working with teams across the foundation to design and execute innovative financial investments. Earlier, Mr. Hasson served as a Program Officer on the Gates Foundation's agricultural development team for five years, managing grants focused on linking smallholder farmers to markets across sub-Saharan Africa. He has implemented development programs on behalf of USAID, DfID, the EBRD, and the World Bank in Israel, the United Kingdom, Afghanistan, and Turkey. Mr. Hasson holds an MA in Conflict, Security, and Development from the War Department of King’s College London as well as an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
THE WORLD BANK GROUP
The World Bank Group
Christopher Brett was appointed as the Lead Agribusiness Specialist with the World Bank from November 2016 and works in the Global Agricultural Practice, based in Washington, D.C. He has a Master’s Degree in Management for Agricultural Development from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom. He has more than thirty years of experience of working within the public private and voluntary sectors in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Prior to working with the World Bank, he worked for 9 years as the Global Head of Sustainability for a large multi-national agricultural supply chain management company. From 2001 to 2007, he undertook a range of consultancies for leading development organizations and the private sector, such as: the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, African Development Bank, European Union, United Nations Development Program, commercial banks, and infrastructural development companies. He also worked for 6 years in Central America as a Private Sector Development Advisor (1995-2001) for the UK Department for International Development.
BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION
Rafael Flor is a Senior Program Officer in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Agricultural Development team. He has 20 years of progressive work experience in international development. He has held positions with the Rockefeller Foundation, the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Armajaro Trading (now Ecom Trading), the MDG Centre | West & Central Africa, the United Nations Development Programme, and Escuela Agricola Panamericana, Zamorano. Mr. Flor has served as a member of the World Food Programme’s Working Group on Productive Safety Nets, the United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Hunger, Peer Reviewer of the 2006 Environmental Performance Index, and the Danish Think Tank on Prevention of Food Loss and Waste’s Advisory Panel. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from Escuela Agrícola Panamerica, Zamorano.
GLOBAL AFFAIRS CANADA
Amrane Boumghar is a senior development professional with over 25 years of experience in developing and implementing sectoral and thematic Agriculture and Trade development strategies in Canada and internationally.
His recent experiences include managing sectoral and cross-sectoral engagement tables and a Policy Coordination Unit at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
He previously worked with MSF/MSD as a senior Agriculture and Value Chain Development Specialist and Deputy Director of the Knowledge Development and Program Support team.
He was previously responsible for a number of Agricultural sub-sectors for Agriculture Canada and the federal lead on various Quebec Government led 'Tables Filières Agricoles et Agroalimentaires'.
He has also held senior advisory and programme management positions in sector strategy design and value chain development at the International Trade Centre (UNCTAD-WTO, 2009-2010) as well as program management responsibilities for CIDA in the areas of Agribusiness and Private Sector Development with Deloitte Emerging Markets (1997-2004)
Amrane holds a graduate degree in Agronomy and Crop Science from l’École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique (ENSA) of Algeria (1990) and post graduate degree in Integrated Crop Protection from the University of Perpignan (France, 1996).
GLOBAL AFFAIRS CANADA
Oluwadara Adekunle (Dara) is an development professional. Her main technical focus is on agribusiness, renewable energy and business development. For more than Seven years, she has actively engaged various agricultural stakeholders including farmer organizations, agribusinesses SME’s and large corporates as well as financial institutions & Investment Firms to create access to markets, technologies and a free flow of finance and investments to the agricultural value chain.
Dara worked previously as the Deputy Chief of Party for the USAID funded 'Feed the Future' Nigeria Agribusiness Investment. Her role included strengthening the enabling environment for Agribusiness finance and investment, improving the ease of doing business in the agricultural sector, broadening access to finance by mitigating the credit risk of agricultural enterprises and promoting investment opportunities for agribusinesses to expand and scale operations. Dara ventured into agriculture by setting up a Moringa farm and trading agricultural commodities and she has worked on several donor-funded projects.
Oluwadara hopes to engage in businesses and projects that will revitalize the rural communities and contribute to the sustainable and economic development of Africa and developing economies.
Dara is an Alumni of Lagos Business school Venture in Management Program (ViMP), A fellow of the president Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), West Africa, an alumni of Covenant University and has a MBA in leadership and innovation from Edinburgh Napier University.
Dara loves to read, travel and curate art exhibitions.
UNITED KINGDOM FOREIGN, COMMONWEALTH & DEVELOPMENT OFFICE (FCDO)
Alan Tollervey is a Senior Livelihoods Adviser in the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) Agriculture Research team. FCDO commissions and funds agricultural research to develop new agriculture technologies; test interventions and delivery mechanisms; and develop a deeper understanding of the context that influences the success of investments in agriculture development. Dr. Tollervey leads research on animal health and zoonoses and represents the UK on the CGIAR System Council. He has 30 years of policy and programming experience in fisheries, agriculture, and rural development programs in Asia and Africa. Dr. Tollervey has a PhD in Marine Biology from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and a Masters in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science from Stirling University.
Katie Hauser is a Private Enterprise Officer in the USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security working at the nexus of digital development and private sector engagement. She focuses on the commercialization and scaling of agriculture innovations in agriculture, food security, and nutrition programming. Ms. Hauser began her career as an economist, assessing financial sector policy and potential to increase agricultural investments across Africa. Prior to joining USAID, she served as an agriculture and food security specialist with International Resources Group (IRG), working on enterprise-led development in Rwanda and business opportunities in market systems, agriculture, food security and nutrition. Ms. Hauser has a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Glasgow and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Flagler College.
The World Bank Group acts as AgResults' Trustee and provides financial intermediary services that include, but are not limited to, receiving funds, holding funds, investing funds, and transferring them to recipients or other agencies for implementation as directed by the Secretariat on behalf of the Steering Committee. In addition to these basic financial management services, the World Bank provides additional financial analysis and financial guidance to the Steering Committee as requested, and is actively engaged in Steering Committee meetings as appropriate. The World Bank was also involved in the design and exploration of AgResults as an innovative finance initiative since its inception in 2010. The early involvement of the World Bank in this capacity reflects its comparative advantage in successfully bringing a number of innovative financial structures to the development community.
THE WORLD BANK
THE WORLD BANK
Serving as the Trustee Team Lead for AgResults, Larissa Vovk, CFA, is an Operations Officer in Trust Funds and Partnerships Department of Development Finance Vice Presidency (DFi) of the World Bank with more than 20 years of finance experience. In her position with the DFi Vice Presidency, she helps to manage and monitor procedures for World Bank development financing vehicles and to create and disseminate policies and business processes of financial intermediary funds. In addition to working on AgResults, Ms. Vovk is the Trustee Team Lead for the Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS Initiative) and Debt Relieve Trust Fund. Prior to the World Bank, she worked for the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund. Ms. Vovk has a BSc. Hons in Business Administration from Utah Valley University and an MSc. in Accounting with a Minor in Finance from George Washington University.
Denise Mainville Consulting
Under sub-contract to Abt Associates, Dr. Denise Mainville is an agricultural economist specialized in agri-food market systems development. Her extensive experience in international agricultural research, development, and outreach focus on enhancing complementarities between private sector activity and development outcomes in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia. Dr. Mainville leads the qualitative study design and implementation to assess AgResults’ impact on markets, as well as the evaluation team’s gender assessment activities. She has numerous publications and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Michigan State University.
Dr. Judy Geyer is an economist with expertise in conducting policy and program evaluation who leads the Vietnam evaluation and provides internal peer review for other evaluations under AgResults. As Research Team Co-Director, she reviews all evaluator deliverables and coordinates reporting. Dr. Geyer focuses primarily on household economic behavior, as affected by a range of programs including transfers, insurance, and rewards-focused programs in the U.S. and developing countries. Her methodological expertise is econometrics, especially the design of randomized control trials, the design of quasi-experimental evaluations, and structural choice modeling. She holds a PhD in economics from Carnegie Mellon University.
Betsy Ness-Edelstein is an agricultural development specialist with experience designing and implementing mixed-methods evaluations in sub-Saharan Africa. As Research Team Co-Director, she reviews all evaluator deliverables and coordinates reporting, and serves as the lead for the Kenya and Tanzania project evaluations. Her skills include developing theories of change, working with stakeholders to define learning agendas and evaluation questions, conducting impact and performance evaluations, collecting quantitative and qualitative data, and synthesizing and disseminating results. Ms. Ness-Edelstein holds an M.A. in development economics and international business from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Dan Stein, Chief Economist and Partner at IDinsight, serves as the lead for IDinsight’s External Evaluator Team for AgResults. As Chief Economist, Dr. Stein is responsible for setting and maintaining technical standards throughout the organization, developing new projects and partnerships, and helping manage the team of technical experts. Prior to IDinsight, he was an Economist at the World Bank, where he specialized in agriculture and forestry impact evaluations. Dr. Stein holds a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics, where he researched agricultural micro-insurance.