Measuring the socio-economic impacts of agroforestry projects in the Philippines
Conventional wisdom suggests that agroforestry projects can provide both ecological and economic benefits. Most agroforestry project evaluations, however, have failed to adequately assess the soci0-economic impacts. For example, a review of 108 agroforestry project impact evaluations by Sara Scherr of IFPRJ reported that only 8% assessed economic costs or benefits, 5% examined adoption or distribution of benefits by type of participant, and less than a third assessed impacts on yields. This results from a number of factors including the lack of farm level input and output data, standardized methods for basic tree and crop yield assessments, and guidelines for data collection and analysis. Given this background, the Southeastern Forest Experiment Station and the USDA/USAID Forestry Support Program are cooperating to develop and test data collection and analysis methods for assessing the socio-economic impacts of agroforestry projects.