2.1 The Intervention
The efforts to improve adaptation M&E reported here were part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Research Program CRP7, on climate change
, agriculture and food security (CCAFS), a strategic collaboration between CGIAR and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP). The over‐arching objectives of CRP7 are: (1) to identify and test pro-poor adaptation and mitigation
practices, technologies and policies for enhancing food systems, adaptive capacity and rural livelihoods; and (2) to provide diagnosis and analysis that will ensure cost-effective investments, the inclusion of agriculture in climate change
policies, and the inclusion of climate issues in agricultural policies, from the sub-national to the global level in ways that benefit the rural poor (CGIAR 2011).
The program encompasses four research themes, being addressed from 2011 to 2015, designed to enhance adaptive capacity in agricultural, natural resources management and food systems, thereby leading to improvements in environmental health, rural livelihoods and food security through diverse trade-offs
and synergies. The four themes are: (i) adaptation to progressive climate change, (ii) adaptation through managing climate risk, (iii) pro-poor climate change mitigation
, and (iv) integration of decision-making processes.
Research and development
activities under this CCAFS program were place-based and undertaken at several spatial levels within so‐called “target regions”. West Africa region was one of the places where the research and development activities were undertaken in five countries: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Senegal. A participatory action research (PAR) approach (led by the International Center for Research in Agroforestry, ICRAF, in collaboration with the five countries’ national agricultural research systems) was used to promote agricultural technologies (assisted natural regeneration, composting, tree planting, etc.), practices, policies and capacity enhancement (on-farm application trainings) for adaptation to progressive climate change
. The participatory
action research has contributed to the CCAFS’s planned 5-year output, as stated in the Research Proposal (CGIAR Research Program 7 2011; output 1.1.1): “Development of farming systems and production technologies adapted to climate change conditions in time and space through design of tools for improving crops, livestock, and agronomic and natural resource management practices.”
Parallel to this participatory action research on adaptation, a capacity enhancement action on planning, monitoring
of climate change
adaptation (led by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN, in collaboration with the five national agricultural research systems) was conducted. Thus, prior to the development
of the M&E plan, vulnerability assessments were conducted and adaptation actions planned in a participatory
action research framework (Somda et al. 2014). Four of the five West African countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger and Senegal) were involved in the participatory action research of the CGIAR’s CCAFS program.
2.2 The Monitoring
and Evaluation Approach and Technique
The framework for monitoring and evaluating adaptive capacity was developed based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB) by Ajzen (1991), which proposes a model that can help efforts to measure the effectiveness of interventions designed to guide human actions. It has been applied to adaptation M&E because adaptation requires technological and/or behavioral changes that are consistent with the sustainable livelihood framework (IPCC 2014a). Hence, climate change
adaptation interventions are designed not only to implement adaptation actions, but also to change behavior at individual, household, community, country and international levels. The TPB holds behavior to be an outcome of competing influences balanced and decided upon by the individual. Direct influences are the behavioral intentions, which are also influenced by attitudes towards the interventions, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control. It should be noted that the TPB helps efforts to identify cognitive targets for change, rather than offering suggestions on how these cognitions might be changed (Hardeman et al. 2002; Morris et al. 2012).
In this project, researchers, governments and NGOs’ extension officers and stakeholder communities’ members were convened in workshops to plan the adaptation M&E, with the intention to use the most significant change technique. These workshops allowed stakeholders in each country to discuss various domains where intentional changes of behavior of participants in the planned field adaptation activities were expected, and plan M&E activities accordingly. Stakeholders in each country were asked to identify domains of their lifestyles that would change if the CCAFS program was successful. The identified domains of change were deliberately left fuzzy to allow people to have different interpretations of what constitutes a change in that area (Davies and Dart 2005). Table 14.1 summarizes the M&E plans that emerged from the countries’ workshops.
predefined domains of changes are inevitably context-specific, reflecting expectations regarding focal communities’ likely changes and evolution during adaptation-intervention cycles. However, communities in different contexts or locations may often share similar domains of change. Hence, using predetermined domains of change should be considered advisable rather than compulsory. Furthermore, changes that have occurred outside predefined domains should also be collected (i.e. identified and characterized) for learning purposes in order to improve future adaptation action M&E.
Purposive sampling was then used to collect individual level stories of changes through interviews. The sample size for individual interviews was kept small for experimental reasons. Purposive sampling was preferred to random sampling because the ultimate objective of our adaptation M&E was to learn from stories of changes, and ultimately move agricultural extension practices more towards success and away from failure. However, to improve the validity and reliability of the purposive sampling, discussions were conducted to collect stories of changes of male and female groups of farmers.
The most significant change technique (Davies and Dart 2005) was used to collect stories of changes of both individual farmers and gender-based groups. The technique is not based on predefined performance indicators
, but on “field-based stories” that give meaning to people’s reality and effects of projects on that reality. It allows the story tellers (individuals or groups) to describe what has happened in their lives and practices (particularly, in this project, the way they farm) in conjunction with the participatory
action research adaptation action. Scientists from the respective countries’ national agricultural research systems collected the stories of change.
The collected significant stories were subjected to participatory
processing, in which characteristics of behavior changes in the stories were counted, and then the most significant changes were selected, substantiated and validated. To select the most significant changes participants read the stories one by one and discussed the characteristics of changes described by the individuals or gender-based groups. The substantiation involved field visits and triangulation processes including discussion with resource persons and groups in the communities to ascertain whether behavioral changes noted in the stories had effectively occurred. Such substantiation has two objectives: (i) to verify the effectiveness of the occurrence of the change characteristics with the story tellers, other community members and fieldworkers who have worked with the selected communities, (ii) to gather additional data to complement information obtained during the story collection step.
The characteristics of behavior changes were counted by extracting all identified characteristics in the collected stories, then calculating their frequencies of occurrence, in terms of the percentages of people whose stories included them. This also allowed the identification of domains of life where changes had been induced in the selected communities by the participatory
action research of the CCAFS program. In this chapter we have chosen to present frequencies of occurrence of behavioral change characteristics, but not the selection and substantiation results (which can be obtained from the authors on request).