Pro-poor research & development

The Pro-Poor Research and Development model is designed to generate a more focused research agenda. It targets areas for potential high impact, identifies needs and opportunities, and recognizes the need for flexibility to take projects to scale, measure their impacts, and adjust their lessons to research projects and priorities. It also incorporates analyses of impact pathways to better understand how research outputs are taken up (or not) and how they are (or should be) used to promote positive results.

The model has five stages, organized in a continuous cycle with each step informing the development of the next one, including


Targeting, which involves identifying where poor and hungry people live in relationship to where potatoes and sweetpotatoes are produced to enhance impact potential. The goal is to identify priority areas, populations, and systems where CIP’s research should focus. Targeting is an ongoing process, periodically refined to reflect emerging trends or improved data.

Needs and opportunities assessment

Needs and opportunities assessment, which includes the identification of assistance needed and potential tools, methods, or partners available to overcome hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. It is a participatory process to shed light on the types of knowledge and technologies that need to be generated to enhance impact. The needs and opportunities are linked to broader issues, such as gender and health, food production systems, and how social systems impact the uptake and impact of research outputs.


Research is based on the needs and opportunities assessment. CIP’s research portfolio maintains a balance between demand-driven regional research and science-driven global research responsibilities, resulting in three global science programs and five regional programs.

Scaling out

Scaling out involves moving beyond the confines of research and pilot sites. Because CIP is a small institute with a big mandate, we work with a vast network of public and private partners and stakeholders to broaden the impact of our work, taking it to scale with capacity building, systems enhancement, and strategies to expand effects. In addition, we focus with our partners on ensuring and monitoring that the benefits, such as income generation, access to resources, improved nutrition, and participation in decisionmaking, reach those who need them most, including farmers, communities, and poor women and children.

Impact assessment

Impact assessment contributes both to internal and external accountability by demonstrating the effectiveness and value for money of research. It highlights key impact issues, such as the consequences of technology adoption on household welfare, distribution of benefits by gender or other measures, and issues of equity and social inclusion. Following the Pro-Poor R&D model, impact assessment also informs further targeting and refinements or adjustments to the research agenda.