Download Now! Actions to Transform Food Systems under Climate Change

Shaping equitable climate change policies for resilient food systems across Central America and the Caribbean

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Claudia Navas, Advisor to the High Counselor for Post-Conflict, Human Rights and Security of Colombia, visited the Los Cerrillos-Cauca CSV, to learn about CCAFS' and farmers' experiences. Photo: J Luis Urrea (CCAFS)
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Project description

This CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) project works closely with countries and regional bodies in Central America to improve decision making processes, policy design and implementation to support more resilient food systems for improved food security and nutrition in the context of progressive climate change. We take stock of existing policies and regulations to understand barriers and success factors in order to inform more appropriate policy mixes to address the complex, cross-sectoral agenda of climate change, food security and nutrition. Through the development and analysis of exploratory scenarios and foresight, including on gender-related issues, and the modelling of possible impacts under climate change, we support the formulation of improved or new policies, decision making processes and governance structures at national and regional levels. By 2020 we will have contributed to an equitable and enabling institutional and policy environment for sustainable food systems under progressive climate change.

The project consists of four main components including policy mix analysis, explorative scenarios development, and modelling of food and nutrition futures in parallel to demand-driven policy engagement and gender analysis. The project will be aligned to an International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) funded project "A Common Journey" led by CIAT on climate policy analysis and capacity building across C4 countries and other field-based projects where implementation of policies can be showcased. Concrete links with the policy analysis component of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) will be established.


Policy and scenarios analysis: This activity will generate information on the bottlenecks/constraints for successful implementation of policies across sectors and across levels (i.e., from local to national) to inform/orient the policy engagement process, favour policy uptake of CCAFS science, and generate institutional innovation. It promotes policy engagement via participatory policy analysis and scenarios development, both with a gender perspective, to explore future uncertainties, enablers and facilitators for sustainable diets; assess gender resource gaps in current food security and nutrition (SAN) and climate change policies; and derive policy recommendations.

Ex-ante and scenario modelling: The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) will examine the interface between global and national drivers that may influence climate-smart agriculture (CSA) priorities and SAN-related outcomes. This will be done using strategic foresight approaches linked to the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) and the IMPACT model produced by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), along with ancillary data (such as changes in crop yields, access to markets, etc.). These resources will be used to develop a model and decision support tool suitable for identifying CSA priority hotspots and to feed the scenario analysis (both geographically and thematically around food security and nutrition opportunities). This will complemented by mapping demographic data related to gender and age onto CSA priority hotspots in Central America. The results, based on economic partial equilibrium modelling, will be complemented and contrasted with model results fed by exploratory scenarios development (based on the MAGNET general equilibrium model focussed on food systems) and shared with decision makers during policy analysis. This should in turn generate interesting opportunities for comparative studies.

Recent work in the CCAFS Latin America (LAM) program has shown that social interactions at and across multiple scales have the potential to enable or inhibit the implementation of CSA practices. As food and nutrition security require interactions and flow of information between individuals, households and institutions, this component will investigate how network structures in different local and regional contexts interact with planned food and nutrition security outcomes.

Gender and youth: The Policy and Scenario Analysis project component includes three gender sensitive and responsive activities whose outcomes have the potential to be gender transformative:

  1. Diagnostic Assessment: will identify gender resource gaps critical for achieving SAN in light of climate change via rapid rural analysis and a review of existing data. It will also assess existing public policies dealing with productive resources, SAN, and climate change to determine the extent to which they respond to identified gender resource gaps.
  2. Participatory Policy Analysis (PPA) with a Gender Lens: will be carried out using a draft toolkit adapted for this project from an existing CIAT-Central America participatory policy analysis (PPA) toolkit with a gender lens.
  3. Organizational Change and Policy Incidence: will be informed by the results of gendered PPA and consist of: a) capacity development with local and national partners to revise organizational strategies and/or engage in policy incidence to increase women’s access and control over productive resources to enhance SAN in light of climate change and b) introducing the recommendations and strategies resulting from PPA to decision makers via multi-actor forums to encourage policy actions to address gender resource gaps to enhance SAN in light of climate change.

Monitoring, evaluation and learning: The monitoring and evaluation (M&E) scheme is threefold. Firstly, we monitor quantitatively the support, engagement and capacity building given to stakeholders. This scheme will be carried out through the aligned IFAD-funded project and document the number of beneficiaries and support they received (see description of bilateral project below). A second layer of M&E will document the changes in behavior, attitude, skill, knowledge and practices of the key stakeholders and decision-makers in relation to the main policy issues which the project is intended to influence, namely policy coherence and synergy around food security and nutrition, food system resilience, and climate change. A third layer of M&E and learning will include a global comparison of different approaches of foresight and scenario analysis to support climate change policies. Through close collaboration with regional decision-makers across the five CCAFS regions, it will specifically assess how climate foresight can be incorporated into more inclusive, reflexive, deliberative and impactful anticipatory climate governance.

Expected Outcomes

  • Public, private and civil society actors involved in SAN and related sectors integrate climate change into their strategies and policies on food systems based on CCAFS analysis of socioeconomic and climate change scenarios, ex ante evaluation, and climate variability risk management (mainstreaming of climate change in SAN)
  • Stakeholders at different scales (regional, national, local) articulate their actions to effectively and efficiently implement gender-responsive and gender-transformative measures and policies that improve food security and nutrition and strengthen the resilience of the local and national food systems in the context of climate change (policy implementation, policy mix and policy interactions)
  • Policymakers are able to design coordinated, inter-sectorial and gender-transformative public policies and instruments for food security and nutrition, climate change and agriculture building on recommendations from local and national stakeholders, lessons learned and successful experiences from previous policies (policy learning, policy transfer)
  • Public, private and international cooperation actors invest in resilient food systems considering risk and opportunities from climate change (investment prioritization) 

Further information

For further information, please contact Jean Francois Le-Coq, (CIRAD-CIAT) or Peter Laderach, (CIAT)