Advancing science

Research that informs efficient and effective action is needed to address the urgent climate risks to food systems but complexity and uncertainty around CSA stand in the way. The complexity stems from the existence of diverse interventions (ranging from field level management practices to national and regional policies), site-specific farming systems and households (from pastoralists to market-oriented smallholders) and potential outcomes of success (from soil carbon to maternal dietary diversity).

The novel scientific approach under this research is centered on generating greater understanding of the role of climate in determining whether a specific practice or technology is appropriate or not for a given context.  Research assesses the evidence of which practices and technologies work where and why, the costs involved and the expected co-benefits or dis-benefits for farmers (including gender and labour aspects) and their supporting organizations and institutions. This new knowledge contributes to reduce climate related risks and increase the business case for CSA investment to generate wide scale adoption.

Impact pathways

Our research focuses on supporting major players in the CSA space with research-informed knowledge to bring CSA to scale effectively. We work with partners at all levels - from the farm to national governments- and across a range of agro-ecologies and social contexts to test, evaluate, promote and scale up CSA technological and institutional options that meet the needs of farmers – including women and marginalized groups.

By iIntegrating and applying promising methods, tools and approaches for equitable local adaptation planning and governance, and developping innovative incentives mechanisms we help build adaptive capacity and resilience to climate variability and change, while increasing food availability and generating mitigation co-benefits.

The primary target beneficiaries of our work are climate-vulnerable, food insecure and poor men and women smallholder farmers in twenty one focal countries. Research also benefits development agencies working from grassroots through to national scales, as well as local and subnational institutions involved in agricultural planning, and the private sector that can support scaling up.

Gender and youth

This work generates evidence on the gender and youth related motivations, opportunities, challenges, and associated benefits related to specific technologies and practices. It targets 15 organizations adapting their plans or directing investment to increase women's access and control over productive assets and resources. Outputs: specific gender related indicators associated with targeted CSA options, socially differentiated CSA adoption profiles, gender focused CSA value chain and financial incentive mechanisms.