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)

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.


  • 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.

Expected outcomes

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.

Gender and youth

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.


  • International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
  • International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
  • International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

More information

For more information, please contact the project leader: