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Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area – DAPA
About DAPA

About DAPA

The Decision and Policy Analysis (DAPA) Research Area strongly believes  in the power of information for designing effective policies in terms of investments in agricultural development and natural resource conservation and management. Our goal is to contribute to improved decision-making across Latin America by providing novel and accurate information about agricultural systems and associated natural resources at all levels, from farm- to the continent- level. To ensure that the rural poor benefit from both public- and private-sector policies, we also work with key governmental and nongovernmental organizations.

Our key objectives:

  • To maximize the impact and returns on investment of agricultural research and development through ex ante and ex post impact assessment
  • To contribute to improved management of critical ecosystem services through pro-poor payment schemes for water in Latin America
  • To understand the likely impacts of climate change on agricultural systems, livelihoods and critical ecosystem services, and identify adaptation strategies from local to global level
  • To ensure that public and private sector policies provide the opportunity for smallholder farmers to profit from emerging market opportunities


Outputs and impact:

The DAPA Program focuses on providing policy-relevant research outputs for six thematic areas where significant demand exists in Latin America. These are:

Although they are thematically diverse, the underlying research processes are similar, namely, spatial and economic analyses. Specifically, some of our outputs include:

  • Ex ante targeting of agricultural technologies to maximize potential impact for the benefit of the rural poor.
  • Design of payment schemes for managing water-based ecosystem services in the Andes; these schemes would be socially equitable, economically viable, and environmentally friendly.
  • Economic modeling to identify appropriate policies for managing carbon in Amazonian agro-ecosystems.
  • Broad-scale analyses of the impact of climate change on tropical agriculture.
  • Scenario analyses of potential adaptation options for confronting progressive climate change.
  • Develop new pro-poor business models and guidelines for public and private policy that would ensure that the rural poor benefit from supply chains.

Main activities and projects:

  • Africa Trial Sites Catalogue: a network supporting cultivar testing in Africa.
  • A spatial policy-targeting tool for ecosystem services management in the Amazon.
  • Assessing and anticipating the consequences of introducing benefit-sharing mechanisms for managing water in the Andes.
  • Coffee Under Pressure (CUP): evaluating the impact of climate change on coffee in Central America, and identifying viable adaptation options for rural communities.
  • Analysis of the Colombian agricultural sector’s vulnerability in the face of progressive climate change; in collaboration with a range of Colombian partners.
  • PARASID: a monitoring system of land cover for Latin America, a project being developed in collaboration with TNC.
  • Gap analysis of germplasm holdings globally.
  • Ex ante impact assessment of possible breeding investments to confront future climatic change for CIAT commodities and others.


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