Harnessing ICT to scale-up agricultural solutions

This research project aims to contribute to the overall challenge of scaling agricultural solutions in rural developing regions, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa, through a study focused on the role and contributions of ICT.

ICT4Scale Research

This work is being carried out with the aid of a grant from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) www.idrc.ca. 

Research problem

Despite the development and testing of agricultural
innovations that have demonstrated potential to enhance
household food and nutrition security and contribute to rural
development, there remain important challenges to their
uptake at scale by smallholder farmers and rural communities.

Research questions

1. What combinations of ICT, actors and institutional arrangements are most effective in scaling agricultural solutions?

2.  What strategies for the use of ICT are successful in facilitating the scaling of solutions, e.g. interaction with audiences, type and quality assurance of information and content?

3.  What are the gender equality considerations of ICTenabled scaling of agricultural solutions?

4.  How and by whom are ICT being designed, applied and tested as part of business models that lead to successful scaling of solutions and practices?

5.  What barriers may limit the reach or effectiveness of ICTs in scaling initiatives?


Meta review

Impact assessments and findings from a set of existing ICT-enhanced scaling-up initiatives implemented worldwide are being synthesized using content analysis of documents, surveys, and interviews.

Resource pack

Case studies

Case studies are being conducted in sub-Saharan Africa to examine in more detail the functioning and impact of concrete scaling-up initiatives.



We are testing  elements of our ICT4Scale models within existing initiatives, and the assessment of their impact on beneficiaries. This includes radio, call-centres, SMS and more...

Our impact pathway

Impact pathway

1. Research

Better understanding of how ICTs can enhance scaling-up of agricultural solutions

2. Develop & test

Identification of gender-responsive ICT models that can enhance scaling-up

3. Share knowledge

Increased awareness and acceptance of ICT models by stakeholders

4. Use of models

Increased used of proposed ICT models by stakeholders

5. Impact at scale

Increased number of beneficiaries benefiting from agricultural solutions being scaled-up with ICT models

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