The Center for Risk and Inclusion in Food Systems (CRIFS) generates and translates policy and action-focused knowledge to improve the lives and livelihoods of small-scale agricultural producers (SSPs) in low-income countries, inclusive of women, through interdisciplinary efforts that advance cost-effective strategies for managing risks and volatility.


House on agricultural land

Research Motivation & Focus

While there has been a steady supply of innovative agricultural technologies for decades, in many cases the rate of sustained uptake has remained stubbornly low among small-scale producers (SSP) in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. While provision and delivery are necessary conditions for use, they are not sufficient; only end-line adopters can fully translate innovation into impact. Our technical knowledge of potential adaptation technologies and strategies appears to have grown at a much faster pace than our understanding of decision-making in these contexts that would allow us to better match supply with demand. And the urgency of addressing this mismatch grows as exposure to highly variable and extreme precipitation and temperature is predicted to increase. CRIFS rationale and design is motivated by lost opportunities between technology adaptation that affect both daily and transformative livelihood decisions facing risk, and the continuing under-production of locally produced data analytics for local decision-making; both of which could better contribute to food system adaptation, men’s and women’s SSP outcomes, and country-led Inclusive Agricultural Transformation (IAT). CRIFS is designed to generate evidence on how to close the gap between technology and system investments, and “last-mile” adoption and broader adaptation, and to connect that evidence in an on-going manner to the highest quality data available, trained in-country data analysts, and policy and investment decision-makers.