SEEDS: Long-term Impacts of a Complex Agricultural Intervention on Welfare, Behaviour and Stability in Syria

In this project, funded under the CEDIL – Centre of Excellence for Development Impact and Learning initiative, we study a complex agricultural intervention in a protracted crisis setting. We use innovative quantitative methods to analyse impact magnitudes, pathways and interactions of different intervention components across multiple local contexts and on multiple outcomes. Our knowledge and methodological contributions promise to yield novel, valuable and cost-effective learning for improving the design, implementation and evaluation of on-going and future complex programmes in crisis settings.

We will study a FCDO-funded programme implemented by FAO in Syria. The programme delivers two packages:

  1. an ‘emergency’ package, focusing on the provision of agricultural assets, such as seed and poultry kits; and
  2. an ‘early recovery’ package, focusing on rehabilitating agricultural infrastructure (irrigation systems) and diversifying income-generating activities.

The project has three overarching objectives:

  1. The empirical research objective is to improve our understanding of the short-, medium-, and long-term impacts of complex agricultural interventions in protracted humanitarian crises.
  2. The methodological research objective is to adapt existing approaches and test novel approaches for conducting rigorous impact evaluations of complex interventions in these settings.
  3. The communication objective is to draw attention to and inform about the opportunities for impact evaluations of complex interventions in crisis settings and the lessons learnt from evidence of a specific complex intervention.

The project is a cooperation between ISDC and the American University of Beirut. The team at AUB includes Hala Ghattas (Co-Principal Investigator), Zeina Jamaluddine and Hadi Jaafar (Co-Investigators).

The Advisory Board of the study includes:

  • Valentina Calderon Mejia (development in MENA, UNESCWA, Beirut);
  • Jacobus De Hoop (humanitarian emergency, UNICEF-Innocenti, Florence);
  • Stefan Dercon (poverty and behaviour, University of Oxford);
  • Patricia Justino (development and conflict, IDS, Brighton/UNU-WIDER, Helsinki);
  • Suneetha Kadiyala (agriculture and nutrition, LSHTM, London).

ISDC and CEDIL have also published a blog post which builds on the experience from this project to call for more impact evaluations in fragile and conflict settings.

See the final research project paper.

Project Details


Ghassan Zoom 1

Ghassan Baliki

Tilman Zoom

Tilman Brück

Wolfgang Zoom 08490

Wolfgang Stojetz

Doro 2 Zoom

Dorothee Weiffen

Hala Ghattas Photo Black White

Hala Ghattas

Melodie Zoom 01922

Melodie Al Daccache

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