The ARD landscape in the UK
The UK’s cross-government agriculture-related research sits under the umbrella of the Global Food Security programme, which was launched in early 2011. The Department for International Development (DFID) is the lead agency for Agricultural Research for Development (ARD).
DFID is responsible for delivering the UK Coalition Governments’ priority to make DFID more systematic in using evidence as a basis for how best to reduce global poverty, and provide high quality relevant evidence to others. It aims to achieve this through commissioning research on key questions in development, robust evaluation of DFID’s programmes, high quality statistics, active engagement with policymakers and strengthening DFID’s professional cadres. A strong evidence base and well conducted evaluation is essential for the provision of more effective development and humanitarian assistance to the poorest if we are to get best value for money, learn lessons for the future and demonstrate impact.
DFID’s Agriculture Research Team has also aligned with the government’s new aid priorities and taken into account new evidence which clearly demonstrates the nature of future threats to global agriculture and food security: climate change, resource scarcity, food price volatility, and falling incomes.
The new Global Food Security programme strategy will ensure that this sort of research works harder for people in developing countries by avoiding duplication and pushing into areas where new research is needed.