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    The data comes from the household survey in Nyabihu District (Rwanda) in 2012. This data is used for doctoral research on "The Determinants of Long-Term Growth in Smallholder Farmers in Rwanda: An Intergenerational Analysis". The surveyed households were initially surveyed in 1986 by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) under the study on "Commercialization of Agriculture under Population Pressure" (See von Braun et al., 1991: http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/rr85.pdf)

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    The optimal allocation of scarce resources for health improvement is a crucial factor to lower the burden of disease and to strengthen the productive capacities of people living in developing countries. This research project aims to devise tools in narrowing the gap between the actual allocation and a more efficient allocation of resources for health in the case of Tanzania. Firstly, the returns from alternative government spending across sectors such as agriculture, water etc. are analysed. Maximisation of the amount of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) averted per dollar invested is used as criteria. A Simultaneous Equation Model (SEM) is developed to estimate the required elasticities. The results of the quantitative analysis show that the highest returns on DALYs are obtained by investments in improved nutrition and access to safe water sources, followed by spending on sanitation. Secondly, focusing on the health sector itself, scarce resources for health improvement create the incentive to prioritise certain health interventions. Using the example of malaria, the objective of the second stage is to evaluate whether interventions are prioritized in such a way that the marginal dollar goes to where it has the highest effect on averting DALYs. PopMod, a longitudinal population model, is used to estimate the cost-effectiveness of six isolated and combined malaria intervention approaches. The results of the longitudinal population model show that preventive interventions such as insecticide–treated bed nets (ITNs) and intermittent presumptive treatment with Sulphadoxine-Pyrimethamine (SP) during pregnancy had the highest health returns (both US$ 41 per DALY averted). The third part of this dissertation focuses on the political economy aspect of the allocation of scarce resources for health improvement. The objective here is to positively assess how political party competition and the access to mass media directly affect the distribution of district resources for health improvement. Estimates of cross-sectional and panel data regression analysis imply that a one-percentage point smaller difference (the higher the competition is) between the winning party and the second-place party leads to a 0.151 percentage point increase in public health spending, which is significant at the five percent level. In conclusion, we can say that cross-sectoral effects, the cost-effectiveness of health interventions and the political environment are important factors at play in the country’s resource allocation decisions. In absolute terms, current financial resources to lower the burden of disease in Tanzania are substantial. However, there is a huge potential in optimizing the allocation of these resources for a better health return.

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    There is an increasing interest of acquiring farmland abroad, especially following the food price crisis in 2007/08. East Africa is a hotspot of activities, and given the high prevalence of poor people in the area, impacts on rural livelihoods are expected to be substantial. Following significant primary data collection in Ethiopia and Uganda, the study analyses the impact of two such large-scale land acquisitions on the rural economy and the local population’s livelihood, using Theory-based Impact Evaluations (Hemmer 2011) within an analytical framework of layered social analysis (Williamson 2000). Impact is assumed to manifest through five major channels: land, labour, natural resources, technological & organisational innovation and institutional change. The study consists of five chapters: The introduction surveys the global trend, reviews existing evidence and relevant theory to elaborate a conceptual and an analytical framework for the research. The second chapter takes stock of trend and types of large-scale land acquisitions in Eastern Africa, using national official data from Ethiopia and Uganda. While there is a clear increase in number of land transactions, media reports are only confirmed in a small fraction. Investors are coming from Europe, the Arabic peninsula as well as other emerging economies in the global South (South Africa and India, specifically). However, a surprisingly large number of acquisitions is done by domestic investors. The third chapter analyses the early stage impact of a large scale land acquisition in the far western lowlands of Ethiopia. A Saudi-Ethiopian investor tries to develop 10,000 ha for irrigated rice production. Building on primary household data and qualitative information gathered in the area in 2010, a mathematical programming model is calibrated to quantify likely impacts ex-ante. The investment is found to have poverty reducing potential, mainly due to employment creation and growth of the rural non-farm economy. However, the local population has to bear uncompensated costs of lost forestland and local inequalities are likely to widen in consequence of unequal participation on employment and business opportunities. The fourth chapter examines a forty year old large-scale investment in Uganda to understand long-term impacts, especially regarding technological and organisational innovation, as well as institutional change. Using an institutional economic analysis, changes at the organisational structure of the investment can be related to broader changes in the surrounding rural economy, indicating the significant impact a LSLAs can have on rural transformation. Again, the investment has overall contributed to poverty reduction, but organisational flaws and the collapse of a contract farming scheme indicate the difficulties to govern the large farm well. The emergence of a land market for wetlands, adoption of rice as a new crop and organisational improvements among smallholders can be considered as major outcomes of the investment’s activities. The fifth chapter synthesises the early three empirical chapters and locates the findings within a broader set of trends regarding the commercialisation of the agri-food system, the discussion on optimal farm size for production and poverty reduction, and the importance of functioning land and labour markets for poverty reduction and rural transformation in developing economies.

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    Land degradation in this dataset is defined as the persistent reduction or loss of land ecosystem services, notably the primary production service. The long-term trend of inter-annual mean Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), over the period 1982–2006, is used as a proxy for the persistent decline or improvement in the Net Primary Productivity (NPP) of land, thereby delineating land degradation hotspots. The Global Inventory Modelling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) dataset of 64 km2-resolution of NDVI data employed has been corrected for rainfall variation effect and atmospheric fertilization effect in addition to the masking of ineligible pixels. The data is used to calculate the area of NDVI decline in km2 and in percentages for corresponding land covers. The dataset provided contains different files (GIS files, a table and a report). The report,"BIOMASS PRODUCTIVITY-BASED MAPPING OF GLOBAL LAND DEGRADATION HOTSPOTS", contains a detailed description of how the global land degradation hotspots, based on biomass productivity, were identified. A summary of the “ground truthing” methods is also presented. The GIS files map the global land degradation hotspots versus main land cover/use types. In addition, the GIS files map the areas with above ground biomass improvement. The area (km2) of long-term (1982-2006) NDVI decline (with correction of RF and AF effects and masking of saturated NDVI zone) versus main land cover/use types counted for each country are then presented in the excel table.

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    The data was conducted by three Organizations: EDRI, IFPRI and University of Sussex to see the Impact of biomassweb on the economies of developing countries using the 2005 Household Income Consumption Expenditure Survey. It covers 65 production accounts, 100 consumption accounts, 16 households, 4 factors of production and, government, I-S and ROW accounts.

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    In four kebeles (smalles administrative unit in Ethiopia: Bonda Megela, Gaba, Wabo, Wangene) in Oromia district gender-disaggregated focus group discussions on socio-economic aspects of farming communities were conducted. Aspects have been the institutional network of the village (with the help of the Venn Diagram tool, income and livelihood sources (with land, without land, with irrigation, without irrigation) with a focus on cash and food crops and vegetable production, market access, marketing structure and prices, land titles and inheritance arrangements, role of extension services, access to credit, contractfarming and future plans of children. Discussions were part of the NutriHAF project, which aims at diversifying diets and livelihoods through the promotion of multi-storey cropping in biosphere hotspots in Ethiopia and Madagascar.

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    The persistence of poverty in some parts of the society across the globe inspired recent studies in development economics to embrace the use of multidisciplinary tools and concepts to better understand the situation of the poor. This thesis employs one of the recent conceptual tools, the aspirations-failure framework, which links the situation of the poor and their (under)investment behavior to aspirations failure. Based on individual and household level data collected from a sample of farm households in rural Ethiopia, the thesis first econometrically examines the effect of social interactions on aspirations (with respect to income, wealth, social status and education). The findings are in line with the theory which suggests that aspirations are socially determined through observations and social interactions. In particular, results indicate that social network size is an important determinant of aspirations and especially that of women’s, attesting to the importance of widening the ‘aspirations window’ – a person’s cognitive world that shapes their aspirations. One of the channels in which aspirations may affect behavior is through their effect on risk aversion. The thesis finds that the ‘aspirations-gap’ (AG) – the difference between the aspired and present status – indeed relaxes risk aversion, and the association is non-linear. Results also indicate that the effect of AG on risk preferences is stronger for women. Social interactions may also enhance diffusion of innovations and productivity. Based on social networks data collected using ‘random matching within sample’ procedure, the thesis identifies strong evidence of network externalities in the adoption of row-planting and also in farm productivity. The novelty of the thesis is also the identification of aspirations (or AG) as one of the key determinants of farmer innovativeness or the adoption of innovation products such as chemical fertilizers. The main goal of the thesis is ultimately to try to understand the implications of aspirations by examining their interactions not only with the underlying drivers of well-being (such as the adoption of agricultural innovations and risk behavior) but also their interactions with the well-being outcomes themselves. The thesis uses various outcome indicators including income and consumption expenditure, various triangulating measures of food security, and subjective well-being defined in terms of life satisfaction and happiness. In nearly all outcome indicators, the thesis finds suggestive evidence that aspirations are important predictors of household well-being in rural Ethiopia. The overall findings of the thesis clearly demonstrate that beyond the resource-related deprivations, low aspirations also play a role in rural households’ decision-making in Ethiopia, with consequences on well-being outcomes. Targeting the determinants of aspirations may therefore be a useful policy strategy.

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    Secondary data on social indicators and public expenditure on district and regional level in Tanzania (1996-2010), as for example: THINV: Logarithm of deflated public per capita spending on health in the short- and long term (total spending of the current and the last five budget years) SANI: Latrines per 100 pupils INFRA: Percentage of women and men age 15-49 who reported serious problems in accessing health care due to the distance to the next health facility URB: Percentage of people living in urban areas TAINV: Logarithm of deflated public per capita spending on agriculture (current and previous budget year)* BREASTF: Percentage who started breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth, among the last children born in the five years preceding the survey IODINE: Percentage of households with adequate iodine content of salt (15+ ppm) MEDU: Percentage of women age 15-49 who completed grade 6 at the secondary level VACC: Percentage of children age 12-23 months with a vaccination card TWINV: Logarithm of deflated public per capita spending on water in the short- and long term (total spending of the current and the last five budget years)* TEINV: Logarithm of deflated public per capita spending on education in the short- and long term (total spending of the current and the last five budget years)* LABOUR: Percentage of women and men employed in the 12 months preceding the survey LAND: Per capita farmland in ha (including the area under temporary mono/mixed crops, permanent mono/mixed crops and the area under pasture) RAIN: Yearly rainfall in mm etc.

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    The file was developed to assess the performance of a novel bamboo-drip irrigation system in laboratory and in field conditions, in South-west Benin. The assessment was conducted in terms of hydraulics, uniformity, yield, water productivity and soil-water management.

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    The current study explores the determinants of long-term growth in small-scale agriculture in a rural area of Rwanda, with a special focus on intergenerational mobility of income and poverty over the past two and a half decades. We use a unique panel dataset that spans over a 26 year-period, constructed from two waves of household surveys conducted in Nyabihu, the most densely populated rural district in Rwanda. The first wave of data was collected by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) from 190 respondents in 1986. While in the second survey done in 2012, we followed the same households and the households of family members who split off from them in order to construct a dataset of extended families that consists of 164 original households and 200 split-off households. The analysis of the demographic structure shows that the sample population has increased by 88 percent over the past two and a half decades. Econometric results indicate that human fertility is positively associated with initial household income, and household head’s age, but inversely correlated with mother’s age at marriage and mother’s education. In this context, we found evidence of Boserup effect in the study area. Accordingly, there is a positive and statistically significant correlation between household size and agricultural intensification as well as farm productivity. However, the obtained inverse association between the family size and per capita expenditure speaks for immediate policy to reduce the growth of population in the study area. The findings from Cobb-Douglass function estimation suggest that factors such as labor, capital, land, and land quality are the key drivers of output growth. Agricultural production in the study area is characterized by decreasing returns to scale economies, with high output elasticities of labor (0.48), followed by lower elasticities of capital (0.17) and land (0.13). However, productivity of labor will not continue to grow at the pace of consumption demand, considering decreasing marginal returns of labor and the prevailing level of population growth. Pathways to less labor intensive agricultural and off-farm employment are highly desirable. The use of cellular phones by farmers has significantly increased output level and income in recent years. The study finds that agricultural output of mobile phone users is at least 38 percent higher than output of non-users, whereas their income level is about 26 percent higher. The provision of network infrastructure and electricity in the study area can enhance agricultural development through increased adoptions of telecommunication technology by smallholder farmers. The transmission matrices and regression results suggest strong income mobility and relatively small persistence of assets holding across generations, especially with regard to land and livestock which are considered as eminent assets in the study area. Everything else being equal, a ten percent increase in parental landholding is associated with a three percent increase in available land for the children. Similarly, an increase of ten percent in parent’s livestock is associated with a two percent increase in livestock for their offspring. Besides, the data suggest a relatively small degree of persistence of poverty across generations in the study area. Therefore, key policy options should not only aim at controlling the population growth, but also ensuring a fair distribution of wealth to ensure poverty reduction and rural development in Rwanda.