The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 660–689 | Cite as

Organizational and Institutional Barriers to the Effectiveness of Public Expenditures: The Case of Agricultural Research Investments in Nigeria and Ghana

  • Catherine Ragasa
Original Article


Where investments in agricultural research do not yield positive impact on incomes and food security, organizational and institutional bottlenecks can be critical factors. We illustrate this point by using the cases of Ghana and Nigeria, two of the largest agricultural research systems in sub-Saharan Africa. This article combines elements of organizational design, institutional analysis and innovation systems literature to empirically measure organizational performance and its determinants. Findings suggest weak monitoring and impact-orientation in sample research organizations. Unstable funds, weak infrastructure and unconducive work environment are binding constraints in increasing research productivity and outreach in Ghana and Nigeria. Different priorities for these two countries emerged from this article: quality of human resources seems to be the priority for Ghana, while adequacy of physical resources and implementation of organizational management systems seem to be the priority for Nigeria.


agricultural research system public investment organization institution Africa 


Lorsque les investissements dans la recherche agricole n’aboutissent pas à un impact positif sur les revenus et la sécurité alimentaire, les goulets d'étranglement organisationnels et institutionnels peuvent être des facteurs critiques. Nous illustrons ce point en utilisant les cas du Ghana et du Nigeria, deux des plus grands systèmes de recherche agricole en Afrique Sub-saharienne. Ce document combine des éléments de conception organisationnelle, d'analyse institutionnelle, et de la littérature des systèmes d'innovation pour mesurer de façon empirique la performance organisationnelle et de ses déterminants. Les résultats suggèrent la faiblesse du suivi et de l’orientation vers l'impact dans les organisations de recherche de l'échantillon. Des financements instables, la faiblesse des infrastructures et un environnement de travail peu propice sont des contraintes incontournables dans l’augmentation de la productivité de la recherche et de sensibilisation au Ghana et au Nigeria. Des priorités différentes pour ces deux pays ont émergé de cet article: qualité des ressources humaines semble être la priorité pour le Ghana, alors que pour le Nigeria, la priorité semble être l’adéquation des ressources physiques et la mise en œuvre de systèmes de gestion organisationnelle.


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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Ragasa
    • 1
  1. 1.International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Development Strategy and Governance DivisionWashington, District of ColumbiaUSA

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