Design and piloting of PIALA with IFAD

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Clients. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)

Period. 2012-2016

Locations. Ghana, Vietnam

Sectors. Agricultural value chains and market systems.

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This is the most innovative combination of methods I remember ever having come across... All of you who have been involved deserve congratulations and thanks for having done what we have been advocating so long and fruitlessly with donors, to fund methodological innovation.

Robert Chambers, author of “Can We Know Better” (2015)


PIALA (Participatory Impact Assessment and Learning Approach) was designed and piloted with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), with additional funding of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), to address the challenges of assessing causality of system change and meaningfully engaging stakeholders at scale. The approach was piloted with IFAD, first in the impact evaluation of the Doing Business with the Rural Poor (DBRP) Programme in Ben Tre province in Vietnam, and subsequently in the impact evaluation of the Roots & Tubers Improvement and Marketing Programme (RTIMP) in the entire country in Ghana. The evaluations and the approach were very well received, as shown by the Ghana Performance Evaluation of IFAD’s Independent Office of Evaluation that entirely built off the PIALA evaluation, and the PIALA Research Paper published on IFAD’s Impact Page.

PIALA has since become a well known brand, is used and promoted by Oxfam, UN Women, IIED and IFAD, and guides Collaborative Impact's overall approach. The PIALA work is discussed by Robert Chambers in his latest book Can We Know Better.