Adaptation processes in agriculture and food security: Insights from evaluating behavioral changes in West Africa
This is a chapter from the book (PDF) “Evaluating Climate Change Action for Sustainable Development“, which presents the ever progressing state of the art in evaluating climate change strategies and action. The book builds upon a selection of relevant and practical papers and presentations given at the 2nd International Conference on Evaluating Climate Change and Development held in 2014 and includes perspectives from independent evaluations of major international organizations supporting climate action in developing countries. This chapter (PDF) focuses on the evaluation of adaptive capacities of community-level human systems related to agriculture and food security. It highlights findings regarding approaches and domains to monitor and evaluate behavioral changes from CGIAR’s research program on climate change, agriculture and food security (CCAFS). This program, implemented in five West African countries, is intended to enhance adaptive capacities in agriculture management of natural resources and food systems. In support of participatory action research on climate-smart agriculture, a monitoring and evaluation plan was designed with the participation of all stakeholders to track changes in behavior of the participating community members. Individuals’ and groups’ stories of changes were collected using most significant change tools. The collected stories of changes were substantiated through field visits and triangulation techniques. Frequencies of the occurrence of characteristics of behavioral changes in the stories were estimated. The results show that smallholder farmers in the intervention areas adopted various characteristics of behavior change grouped into five domains: knowledge, practices, access to assets, partnership and organization. These characteristics can help efforts to construct quantitative indicators of climate change adaptation at local level. Further, the results suggest that application of behavioral change theories can facilitate the development of climate change adaptation indicators that are complementary to indicators of development outcomes. We conclude that collecting stories on behavioral changes can contribute to biophysical adaptation monitoring and evaluation.