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How will training traders contribute to improved food safety in informal markets for meat and milk? A theory of change analysis:


  • Johnson, Nancy L.
  • Mayne, John
  • Grace, Delia
  • Wyatt, Amanda


Increased consumption of meat, milk, eggs, and fish among poor consumers in developing countries has the potential to improve nutrition as well as drive pro-poor economic development. However, animal-source foods are a major source of food-borne disease. In addition to the health impacts, concerns about food safety can reduce consumption of nutritious foods and reduce market access for smallholders. Researchers from the International Livestock Research Institute and partners have developed and piloted an institutional innovation—a training, certification, and branding scheme for informal value chain actors—that has the potential to improve the safety of animal-source foods sold in informal markets. To support further research and, eventually, delivery at scale, this paper develops a theory of change for how the intervention is expected to contribute to better nutrition and health outcomes for consumers. The outcomes along the pathway from intervention to impact are identified, along with the underlying causal assumptions. For each assumption, the existing evidence is summarized and assessed. The results show that for some parts of the impact pathway, outcomes and causal links are well defined and supported by evidence, while for others, the program logic needs to be refined and more evidence gathered to validate hypothesized causal relationships in specific contexts. Addressing these gaps through research and through piloting interventions with development partners can increase the likelihood of achieving expected outcomes and contribute to learning about how to improve the performance of informal markets in developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnson, Nancy L. & Mayne, John & Grace, Delia & Wyatt, Amanda, 2015. "How will training traders contribute to improved food safety in informal markets for meat and milk? A theory of change analysis:," IFPRI discussion papers 1451, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1451

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Unknown, 2010. "Demand for livestock products in developing countries with a focus on quality and safety attributes: Evidence from case studies," Research Reports 97973, International Livestock Research Institute.
    2. Chamhuri, Norshamliza & Batt, Peter J., 2013. "Exploring the Factors Influencing Consumers’ Choice of Retail Store When Purchasing Fresh Meat in Malaysia," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 16(3), pages 1-24, September.
    3. Kaitibie, Simeon & Omore, Amos & Rich, Karl & Kristjanson, Patti, 2010. "Kenyan Dairy Policy Change: Influence Pathways and Economic Impacts," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1494-1505, October.
    4. Kumar, Anjani & Staal, Steven J., 2010. "Is traditional milk marketing and processing viable and efficient? An empirical evidence from Assam, India," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universitaat zu Berlin, vol. 49(3), pages 1-13.
    5. White, Howard, 2009. "Theory-Based Impact Evaluation," 3ie Publications 2009-3, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).
    6. Giel Ton & Sietze Vellema & Lan Ge, 2014. "The Triviality of Measuring Ultimate Outcomes: Acknowledging the Span of Direct Influence," IDS Bulletin, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(6), pages 37-48, November.
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    food safety; markets; dairy; training; informal sector; certification;
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