Supporting local institutions for inclusive green growth: Developing an Evidence Gap Map

Ezra Berkhout*, Jetske Bouma, Nikolaos Terzidis, Maarten Voors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


We conduct a structured search of the academic literature that assesses the impact of development interventions that aim to build and strengthen local-level institutions to facilitate Inclusive Green Growth. Inclusive Green Growth extends the standard growth perspective to include welfare enhancements both the poor ('inclusive') and for future ('green') generations. We restrict our search to studies in the domain of agriculture and poverty alleviation in the developing world. We access ten online databases and various working paper series and focus on summarising evidence from quantitative studies that use rigorous evaluation methods. Together, this yields 158 studies. We then retain 66 studies that contain a credible counterfactual. We visualize the interventions and outcomes in an Evidence Gap Map, highlighting both the available evidence and remaining knowledge gaps. Most studies suggest that strengthening local institutions can improve the delivery and targeting of public services and overall satisfaction with local governance. There are however, clear limitations and knowledge gaps highlighting priorities for future work. Few studies assess impacts on final outcomes such as household income or agricultural productivity and no studies assess inclusive and green outcomes jointly. We discuss the key benefits of a structured literature search and Evidence Gap Map for policy-makers and development practitioners and illustrate how it serves as a knowledge repository and identifies where evidence is lacking, thus setting the agenda for future work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-71
JournalNJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Early online date13 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Evidence Gap Map
  • Evidence-based policy-making
  • Inclusive green growth
  • Local institutions
  • Rigorous evaluations
  • Structured literature search


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