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Outcome Evaluation and Indicative Impact Assessment of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) work on Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV)

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The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), through its Flagship on Low-Emissions Development—otherwise known as Flagship 3 (FP3)— seeks to address the increasing challenge that global warming is placing on agricultural practices, policies and measures and the overall challenge of declining food security. CCAFS was established in 2010 as a cross-cutting program of the 15 CGIAR Research Centers and strategic partnerships. For the past decade, CCAFS has been working intensively on, among other things, low-emissions development (LED) and mitigation. Before the closure of its second phase in December 2021, the program has commissioned an evaluation of progress towards impact, particularly around the work packages on measuring, reporting, and verification (MRV) with a rough investment of USD 2.4 mil. over ten years. The evaluation methods included a stakeholder survey and an adaptation of Contribution Analysis (Mayne 2013) and Outcome Harvesting (Wilson-Grau, Britt 2013) to develop a narrative of CCAFS’ contributions to MRV impacts. We complemented this with an analysis to calculate estimated benefits and impact benefits in GHGE reductions, people’s wellbeing and hectares affected.
The survey helped to identify the top three clusters of MRV outputs and provide evidence of impact, followed by interviews to understand the impacts in more depth. CCAFS’ influence, at a qualitative minimum, on primary target countries was confirmed by interviewees for China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Vietnam. While MRV improvements clearly contribute to improved quantification of emissions for mitigation planning and implementation, there is no reliable way to quantify and link these to mitigation outcomes, other than to indicate the significance of the agricultural emissions from each country, which we have done here. Our
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findings indicating early impact can serve as pointers and follow-up quantitative evaluative analytical work. In our evaluation results, we include analysis and interpretation of FAOSTAT data and some quantifications towards the System Level Outcome (SLO) target indicators.
The delivery model, hinging on strategic partnerships involving government champions, research expertise, and South-South countries knowledge exchange, was viewed as successful in the selected countries where we received confirmation from partners and government affiliated key informants. Seven harvested outcomes are presented in Annex VII as individual cases per country and specific MRV work. The overview of results and findings from the key informant interviews illustrate the demand-driven delivery of innovative products and processes required for the MRV work evolution to yield the desired impacts.
The results strongly support evidence of how CCAFS work over the past ten years on MRV has successfully introduced the right mechanisms and incentives to support the achievement of FP3 goals and higher-level global climate-related targets. The work in strong partnerships has developed a series of tools, approaches, networks for exchange and sharing across countries, and capacity in key positions, champions in governments, research, and South-South collaborations to support and enable the continuous improvement of MRV criteria that are critical to achieving the CCAFS Program and CGIAR system-level set targets, and ultimately the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and commitments of the Paris Agreement. These outcomes are solid starting points upon which to follow-up in a few years to substantiate the changes and obtain further refined quantified impacts as they gradually mature and as more next users make use of CCAFS MRV innovation products and materials.

Citation

Schuetz T, Poulos A. 2021. Outcome Evaluation and Indicative Impact Assessment of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) work on Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV). CCAFS Working Paper no. 364. Wageningen, the Netherlands: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).