Training Agricultural Economists for Work in International Development. [1977 - 1982]

Co-Principal Investigators

Project Name:           Training Agricultural Economists for Work in International Development*
Donor:                        Agency for International Development
Contract No:              AID/ta-BMA-4
Account No:               71-2044
Location:                    Asia, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Central America
Duration:                    September 1977 - November 1982
Budget:                       $1,728,952

Key MSU Faculty:       Darrell Fienup and Harold H. Riley (Agricultural Economics) .

 Documents:               (Click here to view)  

 Project Goals:           To gain greater insight into the contributions U.S. graduate training in agricultural economics has made to the development process and to determine what adjustments might be made to increase these contributions.

 Project Plans/Objectives:

  •  To systematically document what has happened to students from developing countries with U.S. formal degree training in agricultural economics in terms of employment, professional contributions, and mobility since returning to their own countries.
  • To evaluate the training these students received in their U.S. universities and its continuing usefulness throughout their career development, and reassess their training needs at later stages of career development.
  • To determine the nature and extent of teaching and research opportunities available to U.S. professionals prepared to work in the economics of international agriculture.
  • To prepare revised strategies for improving the training of professional agricultural economists for international agricultural development work based on the data and analysis obtained from the above-stated objectives and working with training institutions to implement them.

 Project Summary:  The principal means used to collect the data and information for this evaluation was through mail questionnaires, personal interviews, and professional workshops in various developing countries and other countries where trainees were located in the major regions of the world.  The workshops were coordinated with host country professional meetings, to the extent possible, and in conjunction with the Agricultural Development Council/Research and Training Network activities, where possible.  The evaluation attempted to determine a) how to make U.S. graduate training more meaningful for the students and their employers; b) how to develop flexibility to utilize joint training programs with developing country institutions;  c) the advantages, costs, and logistics of graduate students doing their theses in their own country; and d) methods for developing closer links between U.S. and developing country professionals in research projects, graduate student advising, and general professional communication.

Documents From/About This Project:

* This description is adapted from work by Nancy E. Horn, an MSU alumnus from the Anthropology Department, published in 1985 “A Project History of Michigan State University’s Participation in International Development for the period 1951 – 1985”.  See AFRE Emeritus Faculty - Acknowledgements