Enabling institutions and policies for sustainable climate change governance in agriculture

The Enabling Institutions and Policies for Sustainable Climate Change Governance in Agriculture aims to suppor countries in putting in place policy, institutional and technical means to mainstream climate change considerations into agricultural sectors
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Project description

Pursuant to the Paris Agreement, countries within West Africa have identified the potential for the agricultural sectors to deliver adaptation-mitigation synergies, as well as economic, environmental and social co-benefits. In addition, CSA is explicitly referred to in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the context of seizing adaptation-mitigation synergies, which indicates a growing momentum for climate action in the agricultural sector, as well as the opportunities for synergies and the corresponding need for international support.

In a different but complementary note, ECOWAS recently indicated its intentions to improve the shortcomings of the National Agricultural Investment Plans (NAIPs) and Regional Agricultural Investment Plans (RAIPS) in the quest to achieving sustainable food security in the face of climate change challenges by (i) integrating CSA in the NAIPs of the 17 ECOWAS/CILSS countries and in the RAIP at regional level; (ii) assisting the countries in increasing climate funding mobilization for CSA within the framework of their NAIPs and develop a CSA monitoring-evaluation framework in the context of ECOWAP/CAADP monitoring-evaluation system; and (iii) strengthening inter-institutional dialogue and cross-sector cohesion around CSA between agricultural policies and programs for climate adaptation and water management both at national level and regional level (ECOWAS 2015).

To achieve the above, countries have to be supported in putting in place policy, institutional, technical and financial means to mainstream climate change considerations into agricultural sectors and provide a basis for operationalizing sustainable agricultural and food systems under changing climatic conditions. For the past five years, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has used scenarios testing and review exercises to improve the robustness of agricultural policies and development plans to climate uncertainties and supported institutional settings at the village, district and national levels to spearhead the advocacy for climate-smart agriculture (CSA) mainstreaming into agricultural development plans, policies, programs and strategies in West Africa. From 2019 to 2022, CCAFS wants to build on its achievements in West Africa (specifically Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Senegal) to meet major development needs and strategically contribute to emerging policy initiatives such as the NAIPS and NDC implementation in the region while also using socio-economic scenarios to understand complex interactions between socio-economic factors, political developments and climate change in order to generate policy recommendations that can be integrated into national agricultural development plans, strategies and programs. In addition, climate science, policy and environmental research, and agricultural modeling will be linked with food systems research and socio-economic scenarios to integrate climate concerns into food security and nutrition planning.

To achieve the objectives of the project, already existing district and national multi-stakeholder policy dialogue platforms established by CCAFS shall be improved and technically assisted to lead the science-policy interfaces on climate change and CSA. Effective partnership development, stakeholder consultation workshops and development of easily accessible communication products documenting evidenced-based CSA technologies and approaches shall be used as media for policy engagements. For objectives 1, 2 and 4, (read the Objectives section below) CCAFS in collaboration with the platform shall (a) assist countries in prioritizing CSA options including gender dimensions, (b) review contents of country NAIPS and NDCs for CSA mainstreaming; (c) build capacities of national stakeholders in NDC implementation; (d) relate agriculture to the goals of country NAIPS and NDCs; and (e) review national agricultural, food security and nutrition policies and development plans. The project will be promoting mainly the bottom-up, from community to district to national to regional levels, to generate evidence that will inform the development of policies, plans, and strategies.

For objective 3, the platform will collaborate with key stakeholders to evaluate both adaptation and mitigation funding needs and together with CCAFS support countries in developing bankable proposals to source for funding from climate finance initiatives.

Along the implementation of the above, there will be a conceptualization of the mode of operation of the platform and embed it within scientific and social theories. In collaboration with the platform, CCAFS fill important knowledge gaps as to how the modes of operation and achievements of the platform improve our understanding of the science-policy interface of agricultural and climate change decision-making.

Major research questions could center on:

  1. How institutionalization of the platform improve their recognition as an advocacy group on climate change;
  2. How their engagements with policy makers improve awareness creation on climate change and the mainstreaming of climate change and CSA into agricultural development plans; and
  3. The constraints as well as internal and external boundary barriers that impede the achievement of expected outcomes of the platform.  
  4. This project aligns with A4NH flagship 1 (Food systems for healthier diets) and flagship 4 (supporting policies, programs and enabling action through research) projects an will contribute to A4HN targets in the selected countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Senegal).


This project is novel and aims to

  • Promote climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in the contribution of agriculture to NDCs and NAIPs;
  • Monitor agricultural contributions to the NDCs and NAIPs;
  • Assist countries in the development of eligible bankable projects to climate finance initiatives such as the GCF; and
  • Use climate science, food systems research and CCAFS scenarios methods to influence policy formulation that will permit the scaling up of science-evidenced CSA options, integration of climate concerns into national policies and enactment of plans and policies that increase investment toward improved access to diverse and locally acceptable diets.

Expected outcomes

  • CCAFS priority setting is used by 5 countries to target and mainstream CSA into NAIPS, NDCs and other agricultural development policies and plans
  • National budgetary planning for NDC implementation guided by CCAFS science and engagement
  • 5 policy decisions on mitigation and adaptation taken (in part) by 5 countries/states based on engagement and information dissemination by CCAFS
  • USD 20 million of new investments by state, national, regional and global agencies informed by CCAFS science and engagement
  • CCAFS engagements contributed to 5 countries receiving funding from climate finance initiatives

Project activities

  • CSA baseline development and prioritization of CSA options
  • Ex-ante evaluation for agriculture and CSA options in NDCs
  • Reviewing NAIPs and NDCs to guide CSA mainstreaming
  • Capacity building and support for bankable proposal development
  • Enabling policy environments for CSA, food security and improved diets

Key Deliverables

  • Technical reports on CSA mainstreaming into NAIPS and NDCs
  • Technical reports and journal papers on ex ante evaluation of the contributions of CSA and agriculture to mitigation and adaption goals defined in the NDCs
  • Financial plan for implementing CSA and agricultural-related activities in NDCs
  • Working papers on institutional arrangements for climate change policies in priority countries


  • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
  • Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ghana
  • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique et Technologique (CNRST), Burkina Faso
  • The Malian Association of Awakening to Sustainable Developemnt (AMEDD), Mali
  • Ministère de l’Agriculture et de l’Equipement Rural (MAER) Sénégal

Further information

For more information please contact the project leader Dr. Samuel T. Partey at s.partey@cgiar.org