ACAI to Deploy ‘Uptake and Use’ Survey to Track Adoption of AKILIMO by End-Users

ACAI to Deploy ‘Uptake and Use’ Survey to Track Adoption of AKILIMO by End-Users

Saburi Adekunbi, ACAI Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist giving a training to ACAI stakeholders in Nigeria.

As part of its monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) system, the ACAI project has developed and piloted a survey tool called “use and uptake” tool. This tool will be used to monitor the extent to which targeted end-users adopt and apply the AKILIMO tools as well as identifying the initial factors influencing the adoption.

The AKILIMO tools have been designed and developed to provide agronomy advice to cassava farmers for optimized return on their investments. ACAI project has consistently relied on the learnings and feedback from its partners and stakeholders to improve the processes involved in development and scaling and perfect the performance of the AKILIMO tools in general. The process of monitoring in the project has evolved with the needs of the project as time went by.

In 2019, ACAI project released the final version of the AKILIMO tools and commenced dissemination.  AKILIMO tools have been deployed as a smartphone application, printable guide and maps, SMS and Interactive voice response.

The release of the final version of AKILIMO marked the turning point for the project to focus mainly on scaling and dissemination of the tools and promote use within the project’s primary partnerships and beyond.

As a result of the new focus for the project, the monitoring and learning needs have also evolved to include tracking the uptake and use of the tools. Although primarily aimed at reporting beneficiary response to AKILIMO in terms of use and uptake, the survey results will also give the project team access to timely feedback to allow adjustment of the dissemination and scaling strategy in order to reach maximum impact. In addition, ACAI will be seeking to understand the demographics of the most receptive end users, how the users apply recommendations and mode of the tools that is most and least popular among the users. The MEL team; Theresa Ampadu-Boakye and Saburi Adekunbi are also an integral part of the scaling and dissemination of the AKILIMO tools and therefore provide direct access and use of such feedback and learning.

The pilot already indicates some interesting results in the areas of efficiency of dissemination approaches (which approach seems to reach more farmers), demographics that can affect adaptation or adoption and level of adoption (partial or total ). Theresa says these are key preconditions for impact and early feedback and learning on such areas will be useful to accelerate the achievement of the project impacts.   

Theresa Ampadu-Boakye, ACAI Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist speaking to project partners at a past event.

The survey, which is mainly conducted through mobile interviews of farmers reached, was tested in the last quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020 through a pilot survey with more than 80% response rate, indicative of a successful implementation.

According to Saburi, the team will use the period on non-activity to fine-tune the survey tools based on the feedback received from the results of the pilot survey. The team is focused on using the pilot results to modify the tool to address the data gaps that have been identified, fine-tune the tool with feedback received and methodology.

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