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Karen Macours, appointed to lead the independent assessment body for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research

CGIAR, a global agricultural research partnership for a food-secured future

Karen Macours est directrice de recherche Inra au sein de l’UMR Paris School of Economics (Inra, EHESS,  CNRS, ENPC, ENS).  © Benoit Galibert
Updated on 03/08/2018
Published on 12/20/2017

An INRA Research Director in the INRA-EHESS-CNRS-ENPC-ENS Joint Research Unit, Paris School of Economics, Karen Macours was appointed on 1st September 2017 as Chair of the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).  She took up her duties on 1st October 2017.

She succeeds Doug Gollin, who had been chairing the SPIA since 2012.


Contributing to the assessment of international agricultural research

The SPIA is an independent body whose roles are to assess the systemic impact of the investments made and results obtained by the CGIAR, to draw strength from different research centres in their ex-post impact assessments and to participate in identifying research priorities for the CGIAR.

Karen Marcours’ role in her new post will be to participate in developing the impact assessment strategy of the CGIAR, to assure links with the international university community, to drive actions conducted by the SPIA in terms of research and to improve impact assessment capacities within the CGIAR. As Chair of the SPIA, Karen Macours will also serve as an ex officio member of the Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) another independent body that advises the CGIAR with respect to the integrity and quality of its research work.


Karen Macours, a busy career as an economist

After receiving her Master’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from Leuven Catholic University in Belgium, and a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, Karen Macours focused her efforts on the micro-economic constraints to agricultural productivity and reducing rural poverty. Much of her current research involves the evaluation of programmes addressing the productive and human capital investments of rural households and related measurement questions in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

As a member of J-PAL Europe, the European branch of J-PAL (Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action), a research unit working on poverty and specialising in the assessment of social policies, development and the fight against poverty in France and throughout the world, Karen Macours is a contributor to the European Development Research Network. She is also an affiliate of the Economic Research Centre.

From her teaching and training of students to her numerous responsibilities at the chair of Scientific Advisory Boards or Editorial Boards for scientific journals, Karen Macours has numerous important and symbolic posts and activities that easily fill her weekly diary.

A few words on the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is a “global research partnership for a food-secure world”.  

Founded by the World Bank on 19 May 1971 under the joint patronage of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the United National Development Programme (UNPD), it currently groups 15 research centres throughout the world, involving more than 10,000 agents.

Its role is to coordinate research programmes in partnership with hundreds of partner organisations (national and regional research establishments, civil society organisations, universities) with the aims of reducing poverty and improving food security and ecosystem services.