Participatory evaluation and application of climate smart agriculture practices

Queen Leva and Josephine Sammy, taking the lead in implementing climate-smart farming techniques on their farms in the climate-smart village of Wote. Photo: C.Schubert (CCAFS)
(view original)

Project Description

Maize, beans and cassava are major staple crops in East and Southern Africa, usually produced by mixed crop-livestock smallholders under rainfed conditions. This type of farming system is already vulnerable to seasonal weather variability. In addition, maize and beans are among the most sensitive crops to climate change in the region, whereas cassava is regarded as among the least sensitive crops. Livestock is an important asset that helps farmers in these mixed systems cope with different types of shocks.

This project aims to synthesis knowledge and data generated by CCAFS on individual climate-smart agricultural (CSA) practices to produce acceptable, integrated, gender-responsive portfolios.

Research Activities

  • Identification and mapping of current and future climate risks and vulnerabilities and existing (including indigenous) innovative adaptation strategies to guide gender-sensitive participatory evaluation of CSA portfolios in maize-bean-livestock smallholder systems.
  • Development of farm and household typologies for targeting CSA portfolios.
  • Evaluation of the potential scale (field, farm household and landscape) and nature of the impact (e.g. productivity, livelihoods, gender and equity, environment) of different CSA portfolios as well as their trade-offs.
  • Participatory evaluation of gender-responsive CSA portfolios and formulation of recommendations for uptake and scaling out by partners.
  • Communication strategies and tools co-developed and applied for wider use to scale CSA practices.


By 2019, it is anticipated that international and national agricultural research institutions, national agricultural development programmes, international and national NGOs, as well as other CGIAR Research Programs and Centers will be applying the portfolio of best-bet CSA practices that will be co-developed through the project. This project will enable public, private and non-public actors at national and sub-national levels to initiate new partnerships which provide the basis for incentive mechanisms based on the Agricultural Innovation Platform approach that explicitly promote climate smart agriculture along several value chains, leading to more equitable and sustained benefits, including increased agricultural productivity, enhanced food security, higher incomes, and resilience.

Expected Outputs:

  • Conceptual framework of farm household and farming system typologies, and existing data for targeting CSA practices.
  • Open-access database of findings.
  • Identification of potential domains for targeting portfolios of CSA practices.
  • Development of social science and agronomic protocols and partnerships for field evaluations of CSA practices.
  • Best-bet CSA practices will be packaged and shared.
  • Development of methods, selection criteria and metrics for evaluation of CSA practices.
  • Maps and reports on current biophysical and socioeconomic vulnerabilities and risks for Wote, Lushoto, Rakai and Murewa.
  • Regional thematic maps on the impact of CSA practices on productivity, income and livelihoods, gender and equity, and the environment (e.g. soil health).
  • Hands-on tools training workshop from key development initiatives.
  • Identification of the potential for scaling out CSA practices.
  • Lessons on participatory approaches systematized, applied and shared, with emphasis on gender and social inclusion.
  • Peer review publications.


  • Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT)
  • International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
  • The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA


This project is focused on producing gender-responsive portfolios of climate-smart agricultural practices. The opinions and preferences of women and marginalised groups will be incorporated and taken into account in the development and the composition of portfolios, as well as the selection of options for scaling out. It will commit special efforts and resources to ensure their full participation.

Further Information

For further information, please contact the project leader, Michael Misiko (CIMMYT):