Characterising agricultural systems

Developing generic tools for characterising agricultural systems for climate and global change studies


There is a real need for systems-level information at the household level for characterising livelihood activities and for assessing the impacts of adaptation and mitigation strategies on livelihoods, food security and the environment.  At the same time, there would be considerable benefits from having repositories of such information that could be shared by a wide range of stakeholders for research and development activities.  To date, the information that is available on agricultural systems and households in developing countries is rather piecemeal, and its coverage is extremely uneven, even where data exist.  


This project aims to develop an existing tool, IMPACT (Integrated Modeling Platform for Mixed Animal-Crop Systems), to make it generic enough to collect household-level information from all the agricultural systems that CRP7 is likely to work in, ultimately to allow quick links to household models and other evaluation tools.


The work will start with a scoping exercise of data needs within the different research themes of CCAFS.  this will be followed by a mini-workshop (April) to review existing data collection platforms and plan for the changes needed to the IMPACT tool.  Development and testing of the data collection tool on different platforms (e.g. PDAs and laptops) and in French as well as English will be carried out, and testing of the tool in specific households in the CCAFS target regions will be carried out in the fourth quarter of 2011.  Phase 2 of the work in 2012 will involve the development of meta-databases of the IMPACT data collected so far, and more extensive household data collection and analysis in the target regions coupled with training workshops in IMPACT’s use.


  • An agricultural household data collection tool, in English and French, that can be run on a variety of different platforms, with appropriate documentation.
  • A database and meta-database of new and existing IMPACT household data available on the web.


International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)


January – December 2011 (phase 1)


Global scope, tool tested in all CCAFS target regions