Review of climate screening approaches and tools for agricultural investment: areas for action and opportunities to add value.
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Climate Risk Management Flagship aims to enable the transition towards more climate-smart agricultural systems and climate-resilient rural livelihoods in high-risk environments. It does this in part by supporting the availability and effective use of relevant climate information by farmers and by the institutions that support them. As an initial step towards assessing whether and how CCAFS and its partners might contribute to improvements in the ways these funds are screened and used, CCAFS commissioned this selective review of current climate screening approaches and tools that several major development investors have put in place in recent years, focusing on their approach to screening investments in agriculture and food security. This selective review of donor agencies was undertaken in order to understand their various approaches to climate screening, identify current issues that they are facing, look for common threads and themes among them and suggest ways in which CCAFS might add value to their screening processes and that of other donors. In general, climate screening tools and approaches appear to be fairly well-developed and integrated in donor strategy and proposal development processes. Donors recognize their limitations and are seeking to modify them accordingly. There is certainly room for improvement, whether that be in facilitating the incorporation of relevant climate data into screening tools (to reduce the human effort required), ensuring that users are well-trained and oriented into climate screening for agriculture in order to reduce the impact of subjectivity on screening outcomes, and so on. That being said, informants were clear that there is not a need for more tools - but guidance and resources to support users in making more effective use of what exists. There is a need to generate additional evidence for the synergies to be derived from doing adaptation, mitigation and development together as well as to proactively communicate the importance of the paradigm shift embodied by this approach to agriculture. Additionally, there is an opportunity to assist donors through the development of guidance resources related to agriculture, to the appropriate and realistic use of climate information as well as more general information about no-regrets approaches to rehabilitating degraded lands and working with farmers in the context of climate variability and change when information is limited and the future is uncertain.