Data & Papers

Evaluation Design


We use a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) to evaluate the impacts of Anchor Farm Model's (AFM) access to demonstration plot-based learning and marketing assistance over a period of 5 years. We worked with CDI to identify 2500 farming households in 250 villages within two Extension Planning Areas (EPAs) covered by the ongoing project scale-up: Mtunthama in Kasungu district and Chibvala in Dowa district.

In 2014, we divided these 250 villages - randomly - into 2 groups: a control group of 125 villages with no access to CDI's activities and a treatment group of 125 villages who were invited to form farmer clubs and received access to CDI's demonstration plots, e.g., through field visits and field days. We plan to extend this randomizing further in 2015 by including a marketing assistance sub-group in each one of these two groups.

Data Collection and Instruments:

The data collection consists of:

(i) a qualitative component

(ii) an agronomic component (soil data, GPS data, yield data and rainfall data) 

(iii) household and plot level questionnaires 

(iv) a farmer club game 

We plan to collect three rounds of data. A baseline in Fall 2014, a midline in Fall 2015 and an end line in Fall 2018. At baseline, we also collect village-level data. In addition, throughout the study, we collected program participation data from our partner, CDI.

Qualitative Component

Semi-structured interviews among 28 farmers in seven villages in two treatment districts where CDI implemented the program prior to our study (before baseline). Of these 5 farmers are lead farmers, are club members and the remainder will be village farmers. We asked respondents to reflect on socio-economic aspects of their lives during the last five years and covered changes in household composition, livelihood strategies and perceived constraints, investment strategies and beliefs and hopes for the future. We conducted these interviews in summer 2014. The report is available on request from the team.

Focus-group interviews in 10 villages with farmer clubs at baseline and at midline. We focused on (i) club dynamics, (ii) constraints and opportunities of club-based extension and marketing, and (iii) club activities and plans and hopes for the future of the group. We conducted these interviews in Fall 2014 and Fall 2015. The reports are available on request. Below is a picture of Miss Mtanga obtaining data on information flows in one of the clubs.

Agronomic Data

Focusing on select farmer and demonstration plots, we collected data on rainfall using pluviometers and agricultural yield from 19 demonstration plots, and  soil sample data from 600 plots including GPS and plot history information.

Rainfall data is collected throughout the season. Soil data is collected at base, mid and endline and includes pH, organic carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, potassium, cation exchange capacity, and texture and bulk density. Yield data is collected at the end of each season. Below is a picture of the research team collecting a soil sample.

Household & Plot Level Questionnaires

The baseline questionnaires include: household composition, landholding and assets, beliefs regarding yields, group membership and networks, time preferences, input-output modules per plot, marketing and past agronomic practices (with a focus on ISFM). The questionnaires for the baseline are available via the links below.

Household Questionnaire Baseline
Plot Questionnaire Baseline

The midline household questionnaire includes: updated household composition, networks, knowledge about ISFM, participation in program activities, adoption plans, beliefs regarding yields, input-output modules per plot, and marketing

Household Questionnaire midline
Plot Questionnaire midline

Club Game

At baseline, we played a public goods game among all members of the farmer's clubs. In this game, we ask each subject to divide a sum of money in two piles: one for themselves and one for the group. The money for the group is multiplied by 2. The game protocol is available via the link below.

Protocol Club Game


The team has completed baseline data collection in Fall 2014 and midline data collection in Fall 2015. The data will be made available through FIGSHARE at the end of the project.

Papers & Reports

Reports on the baseline data

Agronomic Report

Policy Brief on What Determines Cooperation on Farmer's Club's

Baseline Report

Paper on Public Good Provision and Deliberate Democracy: Evidence from Malawi