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Collecting P4P lessons for the benefit of future farmers

 Learning and sharing continue to be essential pillars of the P4P pilot. The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) has been a key partner in this work since 2011, supporting WFP in the collection, analysis and validation of P4P data. A dedicated data analysis hub has been established in AERC’s Nairobi headquarters to support P4P pilot countries in their data collection efforts. 

P4P emphasizes the value of learning from an honest and transparent examination, both of what works and what does not work. WFP collects programme data based on a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system that collects quantitative and qualitative data from farmers, farmers’ organisations and traders. Later this year, AERC will launch a web portal containing the lessons learned and the data collected over the five years of P4P implementation. 


Paulo Dias, close-upPrior to joining the AERC as the WFP/AERC data analysis project manager, Paulo worked as a consultant in the Agricultural Development Economics Division at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome. He also held several positions in government and academia, including as statistician at the Mozambique National Institute of Statistics, contributing to collection, analysis and processing of data about enterprises and industries based in the southern provinces of Mozambique.

Paulo Dias recently joined AERC as the data analysis project manager for the hub. He is excited about the work ahead and describes the AERC and P4P collaboration as “the meeting point between two worlds - research and experience”.

What is your vision with this project?

My vision is to drive the WFP/AERC project to such an extent that it will be globally known for deriving the learning on how to link smallholder farmers to markets. More concretely, we seek to combine our quantitative expertise with the qualitative expertise within P4P, to produce joint analytical working papers using P4P data.  We will work together on sharing the lessons learned through global, regional and country level forums. We will also use the P4P data to produce and share lessons learned reports which would raise the awareness of P4P’s impact on the livelihood of the smallholder farmers. An optimum outcome would be for the work to contribute towards developing pathways for scaling up this initiative.

What are the achievements this far?

We have taken many steps forward. Despite challenges which are typical in data collection, cleaning and validation, twelve baseline reports are completed and four are under review and will be shared by the end of July. Regarding follow up data collection and cleaning, so far we have cleaned follow up data for the majority of countries, and we have the first preliminary drafts for Tanzania, Zambia and DRC. This constitutes a significant achievement taking into account the time constraint and challenges related to follow up surveys. 

What is the progress on launching the P4P data web portal?

The web portal is in the final phase and will be launched very soon. It will contain robust open source P4P micro-datasets which will be an important tool for different users, more specifically researchers, university students and other stakeholders. The information that will be available on the site will also show the outcome of P4P in the pilot countries and how it has affected smallholder farmers’ access to markets in the pilot countries.


AERC, established in 1988, is a public not-for-profit organization devoted to the advancement of economic policy research and training. AERC's mission is to strengthen local capacity for conducting independent, rigorous inquiry into the problems facing the management of economies in sub-Saharan Africa. AERC has distinguished itself internationally as a credible research network that draws on agricultural and economic expertise located among over 35 collaborating universities across the African continent.

Read more on AERC's website.