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Decision and Policy Analysis Research Area – DAPA

CIAT Policy Brief No. 5 paves the way for participatory research on the costs of climate change adaptation

This week CIAT released its latest Policy Brief entitled Economics of Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change: Tools for Informed Decision-Making. The Brief provides a full review of the decision-making tools currently available to prioritize and identify the costs and/or benefits of climate change adaptation. It then makes the case for a new, novel approach to adaptation economic analysis built on a participatory cost-benefit framework called Social Return on Investment (SROI). CIAT-CCAFS recently piloted the SROI approach together with Oxford University in Kenya. The following is a blog entry describing the research, reposted from the CCAFS Adaptation blog.


REPOSTED FROM CCAFS BLOG – September 09, 2011

SROI Workshop Participants - Kochiel, Kenya

Choosing the best climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in agriculture can be a challenging task for decision makers and farmers alike. Given the many options available, it is important that scarce resources are used to support measures that are both cost effective and reflect the needs of communities vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. In July, CCAFS joined forces with Oxford University  and ViAgroforestry  to pilot a new way of identifying community appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies and determining their associated costs and benefits. The approach is built on a novel cost-benefit framework called Social Return on Investment (SROI).


SROI Interviews - Kochiel, Kenya

SROI is a participatory method for discovering the costs and benefits (economic, social and environmental) of an organization, policy or project. It uses focus groups and interviews with stakeholders to create visual Impact Maps that tell the story of how change is being created and how the impacts can best be measured – all from the perspective of those directly affected. SROI is fast gaining recognition for its successful use in measuring the complete social impacts of NGOs and government policies. This pilot in agricultural adaptation and mitigation provided a new context for SROI’s application. Two complementary activities took place; (1) A three day workshop for the community to self-identify appropriate adaptation and mitigation strategies and (2) individual interviews to measure the costs and benefits of those strategies.


The research team, representing CCAFS Theme 1 (Adaptation to Progressive Climate Change) and Theme 3 (Pro-Poor Climate Change Mitigation), Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute and ViAgroforestry’s Carbon Program, arrived in the village of Kochiel, Kenya in early July for the two week program. Oxford University brought considerable expertise in participatory research to the opening workshop, leading a host of activities aimed at understanding the community’s organizational structure, values, norms and aspirations.  The use of maps, collages, diagrams and challenge-response narratives allowed the participants to identify and rank the most appropriate adaptation and mitigation options for their community.  Steps for the implementation of those strategies were also identified during the workshop, including potential barriers and incentives for participation… READ THE COMPLETE CCAFS POST

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