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3ie-LIDC Seminar Series: The Effects of Training, Innovation and New Technology on African Smallholder Farmers’ Wealth and Food Security: A Systematic Review

Upper Meeting Room (103), London International Development Centre, 36 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD
Laurenz Langer, EPPI-Centre, UCL Institute of Education

To be held in September 2015, date to be announced soon.

Abstract: Smallholder farming remains the foremost livelihood strategy for a majority of rural households in Africa. Interventions to improve rural livelihoods, consequently, target the improvement of farming practices and systems. This presentation will engage with the findings of a systematic review and meta-analysis that critically assessed the impact of training, innovation and new technology interventions on the financial wealth and food security of African smallholder farmers. Based on an exhaustive search strategy and rigorous risk of bias assessment, the systematic review provides synthesised evidence of what works and what does not work in supporting smallholder farmers in Africa. 

The presentation will explain the review process and highlight its main findings for policy and practice. It will further comment on the applicability of systematic review methodology in international development and investigate possible methodological adaptations. 

About the speaker: Laurenz Langer is a development economist with four years of experience in implementing development programmes in Southern Africa (South Africa, Malawi, and Botswana). Through this experience, Laurenz has become convinced of the need for evidence- rather than intention- based development intervention. As a result, he is researching questions of development effectiveness to contribute to the evidence-base of what works, why and how in supporting social change.

Laurenz is a 2nd year PhD student at the UCL Institute of Education affiliated with the EPPI-Center. His research focuses largely on systematic reviews (including meta-analysis and thematic synthesis) of the effectiveness of development programmes and his work has appeared in the Journal of Development Effectiveness and Environmental Evidence, amongst others publications. 

This seminar is part of the 3ie-LIDC Seminar Series 'What works in International Development'.