Evaluating the Impact of Poultry Ownership on Income and Health

Client: EthioChicken
Partners: Acumen, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Location: Ethiopia
Sector: Animal Farming
Dates of Service: 2016-2018
IDinsight service: Impact Evaluation
Status: Completed
Additional Resources: Endline Report

A community member in Oromia feeds her chickens.

A community member in Oromia feeds her chickens.

The Problem

The sale of eggs and chickens through poultry farming can contribute significantly to rural household incomes in low and middle-income countries. EthioChicken is a private manufacturer that raises improved chickens, which are expected to gain weight and produce eggs faster than traditional breeds, and sell them to farmers through a network of government agricultural extension agents.

EthioChicken and their investing stakeholders, Acumen and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, wish to understand the impact of EthioChicken’s business expansion on smallholders’ level of income and nutrition.

Evidence Needs

IDinsight Service

IDinsight is conducting a quasi-experimental (matching) impact assessment of EthioChicken’s expansion in the Oromia region of Ethiopia in order to determine its effect on the outcomes of interest: household income and nutrition.


IDinsight found that households that purchased improved chickens had average household income increases from egg and chicken sales. Nutritional outcomes were not considerable and did not reach children as expected.

IDinsight recommended further assessing the medium to long-term impacts on nutrition and income over the ownership cycle, and investigating complementary interventions in nutrition that may boost the effect of high-productivity chicken ownership.


Lessons from this evaluation have also been incorporated into the design of other poultry-related evaluations in the Acumen-Africa Poultry Multiplication Initiative (APMI).