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Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area – DAPA

CCAFS Gender Team Launches New Field Manual

(Written by Taryn Devereux)

The CCAFS gender team at CIAT is glad to announce the publication of a new field manual: “Manual de las medidas de adaptación al cambio climático practicadas por los campesinos de Asocampo de la cuenca Río Las Piedras, Cauca Colombia: Un resumen visual de las medidas de adaptación local frente al cambio climático y el trabajo y la investigación en el campo” (“Manual of the Measures of Climate Change Adaptation Practiced by the Campesinos of Asocampo in the Río Las Piedras Watershed of Cauca, Colombia: A visual summary of local adaptation measures to climate change and the work and research in the field”). 

Credit: Mariola Acosta

Credit: Mariola Acosta

The manual is a compilation of nineteen different agricultural practices for adaptation and mitigation carried out in the Río Las Piedras watershed region. Many of the practices are already being implemented on farms in the region, while others have been identified by the campesino community as suitable and potentially beneficial to agricultural production. The manual is intended to be a dynamic field instrument for researchers, local extension agents, farmers and others to spread information about these practices, and highlight the respective advantages and disadvantages of each practice from the perspective of the local farmers.

The premise for the manual came about during a case study field research project in Popayán (Cauca Department of Colombia) this past summer. A team of three visiting researchers from CIAT designed and implemented a pilot questionnaire to collect gender sensitive information related to productive activities, resource use and decision-making in the region. The team also looked at the community’s access to information, and awareness and use of different agricultural practices by men and women. The idea for the manual was born through a suggestion from another CIAT researcher, Caitlin Peterson, who recommended using visual images when asking the farmers about their knowledge of different adaptation and mitigation practices.

The editors, Taryn Devereux and Mariola Acosta, sought to leave something tangible behind with the community, and developed the idea of a field manual that would compile the information collected during the field research in a way that would be useful to ongoing and future research and development efforts related to climate-change adaptation and mitigation. Therefore, it was important to develop the guide in close collaboration with the local community. Numerous drafts were edited with feedback from various farmers, extension agents and representatives from Asocampo – the local campesino farmers’ association – who took ownership of the project and helped the editors tailor the format, language and content of the manual so that it could be well understood by local farmers. Their feedback was invaluable to the process and without their help the manual would not have been possible.

Credit: Mariola Acosta

Credit: Mariola Acosta

The editors would also like to thank Jennifer Twyman, who served as their in-country supervisor during their graduate research and made this manual and their master’s research project possible. Many thanks also to the CIAT corporate communications team for helping to polish and produce the final product.

A PDF version of the manual is available here:


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