Does climate information matter? A proposed monitoring and evaluation framework for participatory assessment of the impact of climate services for male and female farmers.

Published online
23 Dec 2014
Content type

Tall, A. & Davis, A. & Agrawal, S.
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Africa South of Sahara & India & Kenya & Senegal


This report summarizes a new contextual and gender-responsive monitoring and evaluation framework (M&E) to assess the added value of climate information and advisory services for smallholder farming communities across the developing world. The proposed M&E is based on three primary goals for conducting an evaluation of climate services for farmers: (1) to inform design of a new climate service project; (2) to identify gaps in climate service delivery, and improve project effectiveness and service delivery quality; and (3) to assess impact of provided services for farmers, hypothesized to benefit from the climate service. In order to meet these goals, we developed a multi-step process for climate service impact evaluation, including a pre-assessment (PA) toolkit of ethnographic and evaluative tools, followed by guidelines for baseline data collection, monitoring, and evaluation of climate service projects. The PA serves to build understanding of background contextual issues that constrain or enable the usefulness of climate information services in any given community, such as information about farmer's decision- making, socio-economic and cultural constraints behind behavioral changes, and gender roles and norms within a given community. These elements may have impacts on information use and changes in practices, skills and abilities that aid farmers' adaptation to a changing climate, and uptake of information to make decisions under uncertainty. Once such understanding of farmers' decision-making context is determined, evaluators will be better equipped to define a contextualized impact pathway of climate information for rural farmers. The PA is the first step in a larger process of developing a targeted, locally-specific and gender-responsive M&E framework. This M&E framework will enable project teams to evaluate the relevance of climate services to support smallholder farmer decision-making under an uncertain climate and improve local management of climate related risks at the farm-level.

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