About Policies and Institutions

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How do we enable millions of farmers to adapt to a changing climate while boosting food security and low-emissions development? One key step will be the development of better policies and institutions that support the integration of climate change into agricultural policies and vice versa.

The Policies and Institutions Flagship works from district to global levels to better understand the power dynamics and processes that influence the development of policies on climate and food systems . At the same time, the Flagship works to integrate tools and knowledge developed by the CCAFS program into climate-resilient food systems policies. The flagship also works to ensure that climate-smart research informs investment decisions of national governments as well as donors.

This Flagship works to ensure that climate change, agriculture and food security priorities are integrated into national policies, plans and institutions. At the same time, the Flagship backs major international organisations to help national policy makers identify climate-smart food system priorities and make appropriate investments.

Research Areas

Policy and stakeholder analyses and engagement

There is a need to find ways to effectively connect farmers, local communities and organisations with policy-makers and the science community in decision-making processes. Moreover, this interaction must be meaningful and help deliver climate-resilient food systems. To this end, CCAFS works with key partners to establish district-level, national and regional learning alliances and help enhance the capacity of stakeholders at all levels. Bridging the divide between science and policy equips and encourages policy-makers not just to use evidence but also to co-create it and become real advocates for a climate-resilient future. This inclusive approach ensures that actors at different levels are all fully able to engage in the decision-making process.

Priority setting, data, models and scenarios

This Flagship supports climate-smart decision-making and planning, through the development of decision-support tools and models for policy-makers, knowledge brokers, organisational representatives and agriculture extension agents. Such tools help participants to better analyze climate change impacts, to set priorities and to implement the best climate-smart agriculture options at local, national and global levels.

To understand the policy implications of future climate change, work on future scenarios is carried out in all five CCAFS regions. Scenarios help policymakers and stakeholders explore alternative futures and equip them to re-think and re-organise current plans and structures to create more robust climate and food-related policies and strategies. 

Photo from workshop on scenario-guided policy analysis for development, food security and environment in the Andean region with regional stakeholders from governments, development organizations and academia. Photo: E. van de Grift

Analysing governance systems and engagement from national to global levels

Policy interventions are key to building climate-resilient food systems. This research analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of current national and regional policies on food systems to understand how climate-smart they really are. The team also looks at decision processes in government and institutions from the local to global levels and assists in developing policy interventions and prioritizing investments. Once policies have been implemented, CCAFS then helps to support the assessment of those policy interventions, including their impact on gender equity and different social groups.

Key partners

Regional and global partnerships help support international organisations and national policy-makers to identify climate-smart food system priorities and to appropriately direct investments. Key partners that we work with include international food systems actors such as the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). At the regional level, the Policies and Institutions Flagship works with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the Central American Agricultural Council (CAC).

National partners provide a direct link with policy-makers, knowledge brokers and advisors. At country level, CCAFS works with National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in the Philippines; several Ministries of Agriculture and Ministries of Environment, including in Peru, Colombia, Tanzania, Uganda, Senegal, Ghana and Kenya and Guatemala.

Leading universities and research institutions across the globe serve as key partners to this Flagship, including the University of Oxford, the University of Reading, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Ghana, the Agency for Environmental and Sustainable Development in Mali, the University of Pretoria, the Indiana University Bloomington, Arizona State University, the University of Florida, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).

The Flagship collaborates closely with a number of other CGIAR Centers and Programs across CCAFS five regions. These partners are essential for preparing and carrying out the work in the regions, and establishing partnerships with key stakeholders, and include the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the International Livestock Research Program (ILRI), Bioversity International and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).