How to evaluate agro-climate information services?

Climate services must be evaluated first before they are out-scaled to other communities.  

The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Vietnam, CARE, and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) developed a rapid evaluation tool for Agro-Climate Information Services (ACIS) in the form of a questionnaire. The ACIS project is aiming to translate climate knowledge and information into climate-informed decisions in vulnerable communities.

Purpose and form of the evaluation

The tool can be used to evaluate the outreach and extent of application of climate services, user satisfaction, points for improvement, and the scaling potential.

The underlying criteria for the design of the questionnaire were that they would take no longer than one hour, provide qualitative and quantitative information to evaluate the climate service. The guide gives two example questionnaires, one longer and one shorter version, which can be adapted for contexts. The longer version allows individual as well as group responses. Groups can represent different user categories, such as gender, age or farming types.

Outline of the questionnaire

The questionnaire is divided into three sections. The first part rates positive and negative outcomes of the climate services The outcomes include yields, income or savings, labor needs, the timing of harvests and planting, use of pesticides and fertilizers, and changes in women’s participation in decision-making. This section also intents to convert responses to a qualitative cost-benefit analysis. The second part focuses on concrete examples of actionability of the climate service and includes group discussions. The third part emphasizes the key impacts of the services.

The guide also gives examples for analyzing, interpreting and displaying the results. Specifically for gender-specific analyses, it can be used to recommend socially inclusive climate services that contribute to the women’s decision-making in the farm and household levels.

Download the publication: Simelton E, Gammelgaard J, Le TT. 2018. Guide for impact assessment of agro-climate information services. CCAFS Working Paper no. 242. Wageningen, the Netherlands: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Available online at: www.ccafs.cgiar.org

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