ASTI provides trusted open-source data on agricultural research systems across the developing world. ASTI works with a large network of national collaborators to collect, compile, and disseminate information on financial, human, and institutional resources at both country and regional levels across government, higher education, nonprofit, and (where possible) private for-profit agricultural research agencies.
Policymakers realize that higher levels of investment in agricultural research are key to increasing agricultural production to meet global needs. Despite this, many low- and middle-income countries struggle with serious capacity and funding constraints in their agricultural research and higher education systems. Quantitative information is fundamental to understanding the contribution of agricultural research to agricultural growth. Indicators derived from such information allow the performance, inputs, and outcomes of agricultural innovation systems to be measured, monitored, and benchmarked. ASTI fulfills a unique role in supplying the necessary information to promote an understanding of the status and direction of national agricultural research systems in developing countries. Such data constitute a powerful resource for national and regional research managers, policymakers, donor organizations, and other stakeholders.
In recent years ASTI has been transformed from a data-focused initiative conducting basic descriptive analyses to a more holistic program comprising three core components:
- the collection, processing, validation, and dissemination of data;
- the facilitation of targeted, demand-driven analytics; and
- the delivery of context-specific outreach to ensure that ASTI’s resources are converted to outputs and events that influence outcomes.
To ensure its long-term sustainability and relevance, ASTI is establishing an active network of relevant national, regional, and international partners. This means transforming to regional multi-stakeholder platforms in which the ownership of data collection, analysis, and outreach functions are shifted to the countries. This will enhance the impact of ASTI’s data and analysis at the national level.
ASTI data and analysis contribute to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 2 on achieving food security and improved nutrition. Specifically target 2a calls for an increase in investment in rural infrastructure, agricultural research and extension services, technology development, and plant and livestock gene banks in order to enhance agricultural productive capacity of developing countries.
ASTI’s Core Assets, Resources, and Legacy
- Long-term, internationally comparable time-series datasets on agricultural R&D investment and human capacity, accessible through an array of user-friendly tools and publications
- Authoritative information on the status and direction of agricultural R&D investment and capacity worldwide, used extensively by development partners, regional organizations, and national stakeholders
- Effective and proven methodology based on more than 20 years of experience in nearly 90 low- and middle-income countries across four regions
- Extensive expertise in analyzing the efficiency of national agricultural research systems and the impact of agricultural R&D investment on technical change and productivity
- A well-established network of national partners in charge of survey implementation and stakeholder outreach
- A growing network of technical and policy partners capable of engaging in direct policy outreach with governments and other stakeholders at national, regional, and international levels.