Lybbert poses for a headshot with his arms crossed in a blue button-up..

Professor Travis Lybbert Appointed Chair of the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research

Professor Travis Lybbert in the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics was recently appointed as chair of the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a global partnership that unites international research organizations to enhance food, land and water systems. 

CGIAR’s work is critical to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly goal 2–Zero Hunger–which aims to create a world free of hunger by 2030. SPIA provides rigorous evidence of the reach and causal impacts of CGIAR research and independent strategic advice to CGIAR. SPIA is an external, impartial panel of experts in impact assessment tasked with generating evidence to guide key decisions.

“We are delighted to see Lybbert appointed to this critical position,” said Joanna Regulska, vice provost and dean of Global Affairs. “CGIAR’s research and the work of the SPIA is vital to the advancement of a healthy and sustainable food system and progress toward the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Lybbert’s work at UC Davis aims to understand and relieve constraints on agency and thereby expand human flourishing and dignity. This includes research in international economic development on poverty, vulnerability, and technology adoption. He has published research in applied microeconomics on topics ranging from food security, climate change, and agricultural productivity to childhood nutrition, financial inclusion, and aspirations. Currently, Lybbert has ongoing projects in India, Haiti, Morocco, and several countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Lybbert has worked with CGIAR partners in a variety of research capacities for 25 years. He served as an SPIA Special Initiative Member since 2019 with responsibility for country studies that use nationally representative surveys to comprehensively track the adoption of CGIAR innovations in Uganda and Ethiopia. As SPIA Chair, he will lead the expansion of this critical work to 18 other countries in the Global South, along with several other initiatives that bring the most reliable empirical methods to demonstrate the reach and impact of CGIAR innovations.

“I appreciate the CGIAR legacy of harnessing science to lift millions out of poverty, but challenges in food, agriculture, and environment are always evolving, ever-present and ever-pressing. I’m excited to lead this effort to build and use rigorous evidence to guide critical investment and design decisions in the coming years,” said Lybbert.

Lybbert began his role as SPIA Chair on October 1, 2023, and will serve a three-year term.

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