Climate Change and Social Learning Initiative


The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is catalyzing new thinking and action around social learning research within a climate change context. Social learning is an approach used by CCAFS and partners to support transformative change and frameworks that support climate-smart and sustainable decision-making at different levels.

The Climate Change and Social Learning (CCSL) Initiative was launched by CCAFS in early 2012 to look at ways that learning-oriented approaches can improve the impact of research for development programs. A community of practice has been established and is continuously growing as a key mechanism to support social learning.

Rigorous evidence of the added value for research for development programs is weak. In 2014, CCSL released a social learning monitoring and evaluation framework that enables a systematic collection and analysis of data on social learning-oriented approaches across a range of projects and programs at different scales.

The CCSL initiative will use the framework to document and analyse projects that are incorporating social learning approaches in their work, while continuing to gather an evidence-base for the value of these approaches. Recognizing the need for institutional change, dialogues of institutional learning within international organizations is taking place to enhance the achievement of development outcomes through agricultural research within the context of climate change.


An evidence base of the value of social learning approaches to enhance the development outcomes of agricultural research will be established. This will be supported by an active community of practice that acts as a peer assist mechanism to support learning.

A global organisation will be influenced by the evidence base to make institutional investment changes in support of learning based approaches, fostering adaptive management and learning and thus contributing more effectively towards development outcomes and towards the up-scaling of climate smart agriculture.

Expected Outputs

  • Report and Learning Notes on the Results-Based Management trial and additional lessons learned
  • Case studies on social learning in CCAFS regions
  • Documented monitoring and evaluation framework and case study progress reports.


The Climate Change and Social Learning initiative is led by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) together with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA).

Further information

For further information, please contact Philip Thornton, CCAFS ( and Liz Carlile, IIED, (