Irrigation for smallholder farming systems is an important approach for sustainable intensification and increased productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa, provided investments in irrigation are properly targeted and accompanied by complementary improvements.

Many GIS-based tools have been developed to identify suitable areas for investments in different types of small scale irrigation (SSI), but they do not explicitly address uncertainty on the data input and on the determination of factors that affect success of an investment in a given context.

This paper addresses this problem by presenting an application of a decision-support targeting tool based on Bayesian networks (BNs) that can be used by non-expert policy-makers and investors to assess the potential success of specific technologies used for groundwater-based SSI. A case study application for the White Volta Basin in West Africa is presented to illustrate the BN approach.

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