Collecting and Applying Data on Smallholder Agriculture During COVID-19

Video chats

05 October 2020 9:00 am - 9:00 am EDT
This event has concluded.

Collecting data and understanding rural and agricultural livelihoods have always been challenging. Now, facing COVID-19 and related restrictions, understanding customers and developing financial solutions that meet their needs is even harder. To learn more, CGAP and AgriFin, the center of excellence on agriculture finance in the World Bank Group, hosted two video chats in early October with a variety of experts.

Below please find recordings of these two chats, followed by speaker bios.  

Data Generators Video Chat

Data Suppliers Video Chat

Listen or download audio only version here:

Listen or download audio only version here:

  • Ruth Meinzen-Dick, IFPRI
  • Venu Aggrawal,  60 decibels
  • Tomoko Harigaya, Precision Agriculture for Development
  • Leora Klapper, World Bank
  • Anzetse Were, FSD Kenya
  • Chris Brett, World Bank
  • Ferdi Meyer, Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy
  • Greta Bull, CGAP


Panelist Bios

Data Generators Panelists

Ruth Meinzen-Dick, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI, has over 25 years’ experience in transdisciplinary research. One of her major research areas deals with how institutions and policies affect the way people manage natural resources, especially land and water. She also studies gender issues in agriculture, with a particular focus on gender differences in control over assets, and the impact of agricultural research on poverty, including co-developing the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index.  She is the author of over 150 peer-reviewed publications based on this research. Much of her research has been in South Asia and Africa south of the Sahara. She received her PhD and MSc degrees in development sociology from Cornell University and her bachelor's degree in anthropology from Washington University.

Venu Aggrawal, is Director at 60 decibels, a tech-enabled social impact measurement and customer intelligence company spun out of Acumen that makes it easy for organizations to listen to the people who matter most. Its proprietary approach, Lean DataSM, brings customer-centricity, speed and responsiveness to impact measurement. Ms. Aggrawal leads 60 Decibels’ work in Agriculture. Prior to 60 Decibels, she worked at Acumen for 6 years. Ms. Aggrawal started her career as management consultant at McKinsey & Company and PRADAN, a grassroots non-profit in India focused on livelihood generation. She holds a Masters in Public Affairs from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and a Bachelor of Science from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University.

Tomoko Harigaya, is Director of Research at Precision Agriculture for Development, a global non-profit that provides actionable information to enable smallholder farmers to improve their wellbeing. Ms.Tomoko holds a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University. She has over 10 years of experience working with development organizations and government agencies on evaluation research. Ms. Tomoko has previously worked at Innovations for Poverty Action and consulted for Grameen Foundation.

Moderated by Leora Klapper, Lead Economist in the Finance and Private Sector Research Team of the Development Research Group at the World Bank. Ms. Klapper's publications focus on corporate and household finance, banking, entrepreneurship, and risk management. Her current research studies the impact of digital financial services, especially for women. She is a founder of the Global Findex database, which measures how adults around the world save, borrow, make payments, and manage risk. Previously, she worked at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Salomon Smith Barney. Ms. Klapper holds a Ph.D. in Financial Economics from New York University Stern School of Business.

Data Consumer Panelists

Anzetse Were, Economist, FSD Kenya is a development economist with over ten years of experience working in Africa on Economic Research, Analysis and Strategy Development with a focus on Macroeconomics; Manufacturing; Private Sector Development; the Informal Economy and Sino-African Relations. She has a Masters in Economics from the University of Sydney (Australia) and a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University (USA). Over her career, Ms. Were has worked with African governments, private sector, development finance institutions, non-profit organisations, as well as academia and think tanks. She is currently an Economist at FSD Kenya and resides in Nairobi, Kenya.

Chris Brett, Lead Agribusiness Specialist with the World Bank and part of the Agriculture and Food Global Agricultural Practice, is based in Washington DC. He has a master’s degree in Management for Agricultural Development from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom. He has more than thirty years’ experience of working within the public private and voluntary sectors in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Prior to working with the World Bank, he worked for 9 years as the Global Head of Sustainability for a large multi-national agricultural supply chain management company. As part of the senior management team, Mr. Brett supported the company’s transition from a trading-based company to a global agri-business supply chain management company. From 2001 to 2007, he undertook a range of consultancies for leading development organisations and the private sector including the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, African Development Bank, European Union, United Nations Development Programme, commercial banks and infrastructural development companies. He also worked for 6 years in Central America as a Private Sector Development Advisor (1995-2001) for the UK Department for International Development.

Ferdi Meyer, Managing Director, Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy, grew up on a crop and livestock farm in the North-West Province of South Africa. After 20 years at the University of Pretoria, he became an extra-ordinary professor at the University of Stellenbosch in 2020. He was one of the founding members of the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) in 2004. Through his leadership, BFAP has grown from an informal network of partners in academia, public and private sector to a non-profit company that is internationally recognized as an independent think tank on the African continent, serving the agro-food, fibre and beverage sectors. As Managing Director of BFAP, he has been leading the team on a vast range of national and international strategic projects and initiatives. These include the agricultural chapter of the National Development Plan for South Africa, strategic sector and investment analyses for a number of private sector firms, and end-to-end value chain projects in a number of Eastern and Southern African countries. He specializes in agricultural market, trade - and policy analyses, value chain analytics, strategic foresighting and scenario planning.

Moderator Greta Bull is the CEO of CGAP and a director at the World Bank Group. Ms. Bull has 18 years of experience in development finance, primarily focused on small and medium enterprise finance, microfinance, and digital financial services. She has worked with both financial services providers and policy makers in Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia. Her clients have included banks, microfinance institutions, mobile network operators, and FinTechs. Before joining CGAP, Ms. Bull was a manager for Financial Institutions Advisory Services at the International Finance Corporation. Other career highlights include serving as director of the Finance, Banking and Enterprise Division at DAI Europe and holding senior-level positions at the Eurasia Foundation.