Frequently asked questions
What is the 50x2030 Initiative to Close the Agricultural Data Gap?
The 50x2030 Initiative was conceived to fill critical gaps in the availability and use of agricultural data in 50 low- and lower middle-income countries by 2030. Every year, governments in these countries invest nearly US$264 billion in agriculture, often without good evidence to inform those investments. This leads to suboptimal outcomes, losses in productivity, shortfalls in agricultural income and, ultimately, more hunger and poverty. It also makes it extremely difficult for policymakers to make sound decisions that drive economic growth and reduce poverty.
Implemented through a partnership between the World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), 50x2030 looks to improve country-level data by building strong, nationally representative integrated survey programs that produce high-quality and timely agricultural and rural data. These survey programs leverage the experiences of the FAO Agricultural Integrated Survey (AGRISurvey) Programme and the World Bank’s Living Standards Measurement Study-Integrated Surveys on Agriculture (LSMS-ISA).
There are so many global development initiatives? Why do we need 50x2030?
50x2030 occupies a very distinct place in the data for development landscape. The Initiative involves an inter-agency collaboration at both the global and country levels, employs a distinct methodology (i.e. a new set of questionnaires that yield comprehensive, quality, timely data, and cover important dimensions like productivity, gender, etc.), and it intervenes at every stage of the data cycle: from identification of priority data needs and data production to ensuring data use for policymaking. Sustainability – both financial and technical -- is embedded in the program model. Partner countries agree at the outset to assume responsibility for continuing their national program after 50x2030 support winds down and to share in the costs of the Initiative during the 5-8 program years. 50x2030 activities are also sustainable as they are embedded in national planning processes like national strategies for the development of statistics (NSDS) and the strategic plan for agricultural and rural statistics (SPARS).
Finally, although the Initiative works with 50 countries, its reach will be much greater. All of 50x2030’s technical outputs will be made publicly available. Any country can access the questionnaires, the enumerator manuals, the research papers and guidelines, and the data use training material at any point for free.
What is 50x2030 looking to achieve?
50x2030 aims to increase the capacity of participating countries to produce, analyze, interpret and use high-quality, timely agricultural survey data for evidence-informed decision- and policymaking. The 10-year estimated US$500 million initiative aims to reach 5 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, 15 countries in East Asia and the Pacific, Central Asia and South Asia, and 30 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East and North Africa.
These efforts to build strong national agricultural data systems will help increase agricultural productivity and sustainable food production, which are crucial to alleviating hunger. Indeed, 50x2030 survey models help contribute to the data needs of both the Sustainable Development Goals, and particularly SDG2 (Zero Hunger) and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), while at the same time ensuring that the data produced are used in policy- and decision-making.
Why are three different agencies involved?
The Initiative’s implementation is divided into three interdependent components – data production, methods and tools development and data use. Each participating agency has deep experience and thus a comparative advantage in each area of work. FAO will lead the data production component through technical assistance and capacity building activities. The World Bank’s Center for Development Data (C4D2) will develop critical methodological research for agricultural (including fisheries, forestry and livestock) and rural surveys to produce more efficient and cost-effective measurement tools.
To make these solutions last, the Initiative includes activities that ensure countries are able to use the data collected. 50x2030 data use activities will be designed and implemented by IFAD, a clear fit given the agency’s strategic role in policy engagement and building evidence and knowledge to promote sustainable rural transformation in partner countries.
This complementarity of technical knowledge across three agencies is a strength and unique asset of the Initiative.
How can a country participate in 50x2030?
Countries interested to join 50x2030 will need to submit an application addressed to the Program Management Team using the Country Expression of Interest (CEI) form. The CEI must be submitted by the National Statistics Office and/or the Ministry of Agriculture, whichever agency has the mandate to conduct the survey in the country.
The 50x2030 Initiative will employ a systematic and objective process in evaluating candidate countries for participation in the Initiative. Eligibility and qualification are the two major considerations: Being eligible means the country meets the condition to be considered while being qualified means meeting the standards and requirements of the Initiative.
To be eligible, a country must meet three preconditions:
- Income classification: Country must belong to the low or lower-middle income groups under the World Bank’s annual Country Classification process at the time of application.
- Regional affiliation: Country must belong to one of the six World Bank sub-regions covered in the Initiative (i.e., Latin America and the Caribbean; East Asia and the Pacific; Central Asia, South Asia; Middle East and North Africa; and Sub-Saharan Africa).
- Agricultural statistics capacity: Country must be classified as either having medium, low, or very low capacity.
To qualify for implementing a 50x2030 Country Project, four criteria must be satisfied:
- Country commitment: A country needs to demonstrate efforts to prioritize agricultural statistics.
- Potential for impact: The degree to which implementation of the 50x2030 Country Project will potentially contribute to achieving the country’s national agriculture policy needs, SDG 2 and other related SDG indicators.
- Funding commitment: Financial resources are available in the country and government is committing funding to the Program. This government funding should be distinct from the funding that might be made available from a specific IDA/IBRD package.
- Ability to leverage resources: Funding can be made available for the Program through World Bank IDA/IBRD processes or from other donors and private sector investors.
Countries will be assessed vis-à-vis these criteria and results of the assessment will serve as basis for the final selection.
If, however, a country is not deemed eligible to participate, it can always access the tools and learnings emerging from the Initiative on the 50x2030 website.
Why are some countries already included in the Initiative?
Fifteen countries were “pre-approved” for participation in 50x2030 because they were already receiving assistance through the FAO AGRISurvey or World Bank LSMS-ISA projects before 50x2030 began. These countries will be rolled over into the initiative because they both 1) qualify as a lower-income country or lower-middle income country at the time of selection and 2) demonstrate a willingness to completely take over implementation of the survey program within a multi-year period. The 15 pre-approved countries are: Armenia, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda.
How does the 50x2030 Initiative fit with a country’s programs?
There are three ways.
1. It builds on existing agricultural and/or socioeconomic surveys
The Initiative’s integrated survey program builds on existing agricultural and/or socioeconomic surveys in a country. The Initiative offers two survey models – the Agricultural Survey Program (Agricultural Model) and the Integrated Agricultural and Rural Survey Program (Integrated Model). A country may choose to implement the model that aligns with their needs and requirements. Figure 1 below provides an overview of the Initiative's two survey models.
In the Agricultural Model, the survey will cover both households and non-household (commercial) farms and will be conducted over 10-year cycle, ideally during the intercensal period. This model integrates an annual core module on crop and livestock production and the periodic rotation of other modules on key agronomic and economic dimensions of farming. It also provides complete and fully representative data on agriculture and broadens data collection to include limited socioeconomic and environmental variables.
In the Integrated Model, the farm-based agriculture survey is aligned and harmonized with a household-based rural socioeconomic survey. This model builds on rural household surveys that cover socioeconomic and demographic information such as income, poverty, employment and food security. It collects data on production, productivity, revenues and net returns, and farm practices from a representative sample of agro-enterprises, both household and non-household. For the rural survey component, the starting point is the household and its livelihoods for both agricultural and non-agricultural households.
Figure 1. 50x2030 Integrated Agriculture and Rural Survey Program
2. It may be integrated into a technical cooperation project on Agricultural Census
Countries planning to undertake an Agricultural Census through a technical cooperation project may integrate an agricultural survey component into the project, which will be conducted following the Census.
3. It is mainstreamed in statistical plans
The Initiative’s Data Production and Data Use components offer capacity building support aimed at strengthening the capabilities of data producers and users. This support will be tailored to the country’s current data needs and technical capacities on agriculture statistics, data user demands, existing survey programs, and capacity to financially and technically take over the survey program. The capacity building programs align with the statistical development needs of the country, which are already identified in national statistical plans (e.g., national strategy for the development of statistics or NSDS and/or strategic plans for agricultural and rural statistics or SPARS).
What is expected from a country that participates in the Initiative?
Country ownership, program take-over and sustainability are key principles of the Initiative. Any country wishing to join the Initiative must commit to assume technical and financial responsibility to continue the integrated agricultural and rural surveys within a period of five to eight years, i.e. a full cycle of support by the Initiative. This include contributing to funding the Initiative’s implementation based on the country’s financial capacity and sustaining financial and human resources for the agricultural production surveys after funding support from the 50x2030 Initiative ends.
Partners and governance
How is 50x2030 financed?
The costs of the Initiative are shared by partner countries, donors and philanthropic organizations, multilateral implementing partners and the private sector. The aspirational burden-sharing targets are as follows: partner countries (42%), donors and philanthropic organizations (39%), multilateral implementing partners (16%), and the private sector (3%) over the lifetime of the Initiative.
What kind of partnership opportunities are available with 50x2030?
We see partnerships not only as a means to mobilize resources for the Initiative but foremost as a tool to support implementation, foster the use of new technologies and innovations, increase awareness and use of data, and to foster cooperation especially for our partner countries.
Thus, 50x2030 is open to exploring both technical and financial partnerships with a diversity of actors from multi- and bi-laterals, foundations and research centers to corporations. Financial partnership opportunities can be developed around long-term and broad support to the Initiative or to ad hoc activities, such as sponsorship of an event. Technical partnerships can be negotiated around knowledge and tools exchange (data, sensors, drones, images, handheld devices, robots, etc.), research, investments in alignment with Corporate Social Responsibility goals, education and communication.
How does the Initiative ensure that its work meets the highest technical standards?
50x2030 has a Partnership Council, Technical Advisory Group and a Program Management Team. The Partnership Council, the highest decision-making body of the Initiative, consists of high-level representatives of donors, partner countries and the three implementing agencies. It is responsible for providing strategic guidance and oversight for the execution of the Initiative; reviewing and endorsing annual or multi-year work plans, budgets and regular progress reports; determining the results of the country onboarding process; and overseeing and monitoring the overall technical and financial performance of the Initiative.