Archived Webinar

AgResults Webinar Series #3: Learning from 8 Years of Using Prizes to Transform Markets

“Pay-for-Results,” “pull mechanisms,” “blended finance.” These terms – and approaches – are increasing in popularity as development actors seek out new ways to solve complex challenges and make societies more resilient and sustainable.

AgResults is a $152 million collaborative program between the governments of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that funds agricultural Pay-for-Results prize competitions. AgResults uses prize competitions to incentivize the private sector to overcome specific market barriers and invest in high-impact agricultural innovations. Since 2013, AgResults has designed and implemented these competitions, which are one type of Pay-for-Results pull mechanism, to develop solutions to food security and agriculture challenges that disproportionately affect people living in poverty.

AgResults’ prize competitions fall into one of two categories: 1) prizes that incentivize the Research and Development (R&D) of a new solution or product to address a market failure; and 2) prizes that encourage the development of innovative delivery models that incentivize beneficiaries, usually smallholder farmers, to adopt an existing product or service at scale.

Over eight years, AgResults has collected a range of useful – and sometimes surprising – lessons about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to designing and implementing prize competitions. Some of these lessons focus on sourcing and design: Not aiming to address both supply and demand challenges at once, understanding the enabling environment of a potential prize concept, how short or long to structure prize periods, and the best way to create an accountable and feasible verification system.

Other lessons highlight critical decision points during launch and marketing of a prize: why strong industry connections are essential to market the prize to competitors, and how a deliberate pre-launch strategy could increase engagement and avoid fallout.

A third set of lessons address the day-to-day running of a prize competition: Being sensitive to fluctuating conditions and how to adjust the contest accordingly, blending pull mechanisms with minor ‘push’ support to unlock the potential of competitors, identifying and leveraging unintended positive benefits that bubble up during a competition, and how to harvest learning even from a failed competition.

This webinar takes participants on a journey from design to launch through implementation of a prize competition, highlighting AgResults’ learning from Nigeria to Vietnam to Zambia.


About the Presenters

Christopher Brett (moderator), AgResults Steering Committee, World Bank Lead Agribusiness Specialist

Currently the Lead Agribusiness Specialist in the World Bank Global Agricultural Practice, Christopher Brett serves as the Bank’s representative to the AgResults Steering Committee. He has more than thirty years of experience in the public and private sectors in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Prior to the World Bank, he worked for 9 years as the Global Head of Sustainability for a large multi-national agricultural supply chain management company. Mr. Brett has undertaken a range of consultancies for leading development organizations and the private sector, such as the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, African Development Bank, European Union, UN Development Program, commercial banks, and infrastructural development companies. He worked for 6 years in Central America as a Private Sector Development Advisor for the UK Department for International Development. Mr. Brett has a Master’s Degree in Management for Agricultural Development from Cranfield University in the UK.

Alan Tollervey (speaker), Senior Livelihoods Adviser, UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO)

Currently on the AgResults Steering Committee, Alan Tollervey is a Senior Livelihoods Adviser in the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) Agriculture Research team. FCDO commissions and funds agricultural research to develop new agriculture technologies; test interventions and delivery mechanisms; and develop a deeper understanding of the context that influences the success of investments in agriculture development. Dr. Tollervey leads research on animal health and zoonoses and represents the UK on the CGIAR System Council. He has 30 years of policy and programming experience in fisheries, agriculture, and rural development programs in Asia and Africa. Dr. Tollervey has a PhD in Marine Biology from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and a Masters in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science from Stirling University.

Rodrigo Ortiz (speaker), Secretariat Lead, AgResults

Rodrigo Ortiz has more than 40 years of experience in 88 countries leading and implementing large and complex technical assistance programs for economic development agencies, provincial and state governments, international donors including USAID, the World Bank, and other public and private sector organizations. Mr. Ortiz currently serves as the Program Lead for AgResults, a $152 million initiative that designs and implements Pay-for-Results prize competitions to overcome agricultural market challenges around the world. Prior to working on AgResults, he was the director of an internationally recognized global technical assistance unit at the World Bank, responsible for delivering investment promotion and economic development assistance programs to the member countries. Areas of expertise include private sector engagement, market systems development, development finance, technology scale-up, and agricultural investment.

Target Audience

This webinar is relevant for World Bank Task Team Leaders and Program Managers as well as development donors and practitioners interested in solving agricultural market challenges through innovative development financing, particularly by engaging the private sector.

Questions Submitted

jose luis

- Jul 17, 2022
muy bueno

Mahaman Mourtala

- Dec 9, 2021


- May 10, 2021

Joy Mildred Adhiambo

- May 4, 2021
Great discussion

Mohammad Nadir

- May 1, 2021
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