Policymakers and donors often need to identify the locations where technologies are most likely to have important effects, to increase the benefits from agricultural development or extension efforts. Higher-quality information may help to target the high-benefit locations, but often actions are needed with limited information. The value of information (VOI) in this context is formalized by evaluating the results of decision making guided by a set of specific information compared with the results of acting without considering that information. We present a framework for management performance mapping that includes evaluating the VOI for decision making about geographic priorities in regional intervention strategies, in case studies of Andean and Kenyan potato seed systems. We illustrate the use of recursive partitioning, XGBoost, and Bayesian network models to characterize the relationships among seed health and yield responses and environmental and management predictors used in studies of seed degeneration. These analyses address the expected performance of an intervention based on geographic predictor variables. In the Andean example, positive selection of seed from asymptomatic plants was more effective at high altitudes in Ecuador. In the Kenyan example, there was the potential to target locations with higher technology adoption rates and with higher potato cropland connectivity, i.e., a likely more important role in regional epidemics. Targeting training to high management performance areas would often provide more benefits than would random selection of target areas. We illustrate how assessing the VOI can contribute to targeted development programs and support a culture of continuous improvement for interventions.
Buddenhagen, C. E., et al. “Where to Invest Project Efforts for Greater Benefit: A Framework for Management Performance Mapping with Examples for Potato Seed Health.” Phytopathology®, vol. 112, no. 7, July 2022, pp. 1431–43, https://doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-05-20-0202-R.
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