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Esther Smits

Impact Economics

Esther Smits is an interdisciplinary social scientist with a focus on environmental and agricultural development. She holds an MSc in Development Economics from Wageningen University & Research and specialises in impact evaluation research. She has experience with quantitative as well as qualitative impact evaluation methods, which she likes to combine in mixed-methods designs.

Her work in quantitative impact evaluations includes randomised controlled trials (RCTs), difference in differences, field experiments and propensity score matching, while her experience with qualitative methods includes interviewing and focus group discussions.

Esther has lived in Ghana, where she worked with Innovations for Poverty Action on a large scale RCT impact assessment study. She also spent three months in Sierra Leone, conducting a mixed-methods research on agriculture and conservation. For KIT, Esther has conducted field work in Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Mozambique, where she facilitated electronic data collection through household surveys


  • Towards more effective ways to address child labour in the cocoa sector

    • Institute
    • Project

    Child labour remains a persistent human rights violation in the cocoa sector, impacting children’s physical and mental health while depriving them of educational opportunities. The cocoa sector is increasingly responding to this issue by implementing innovative programmes, targeting the root causes of child labour, such as poverty and a lack of access to quality education. […]

  • Accelerating Agriculture and Agribusiness in South Sudan

    • Institute
    • Project

    A3-Seed The seed sector in South Sudan is currently dominated by seed aid. The A3-Seed project seeks to reduce the country’s dependancy on foreign-sourced seeds, and humanitarian support, with the aim to transform the seed sector into a commercially viable one.  “The yield was not good” As part of the project, we recently held an […]

  • Evaluation of the IDH-NICFI “Connecting Production, Protection & Inclusion” Landscape Programme

    • Institute
    • Project

    Landscape approaches seek to reconcile social, economic, and environmental objectives in areas where agriculture and other productive land uses compete with environmental and biodiversity goals. The Sustainable Trade Initiative’s (IDH) pioneering role in promoting such landscape transformation is captured in the Production, Protection & Inclusion (PPI) approach – a three-pronged process that focuses on sustainably increasing productivity, protecting […]

  • Annual Outcome Surveys for the AGRA PIATA programme

    • Institute
    • Project

    The Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) intends to catalyse and sustain an inclusive agricultural transformation in Africa by increasing incomes and improving food security for 30 million farming households in 11 focus countries. KIT is supporting AGRA in achieving this ambition by measuring and assessing progress at a household and agricultural systems level. […]