Work Package 2: Evidence-based agroecology assessments

Contacts: Chris Dickens (IWMI), Matthias Geck (CIFOR-ICRAF) 

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Published documents define the environmental, economic, and social context of agricultural and food systems as well as application of the 13 agroecological principles in each ALL. Starting in 2022, an assessment of these contexts involved a review of peer-reviewed and grey literature as well as stakeholder consultations in the project inception phase. In selected ALLs, key-informant interviews and focus group discussions supplemented the available information. The resulting context assessment documents represent a body of evidence-based knowledge that is highly relevant for any agroecology initiative in the eight countries and globally. 

The Holistic Localized Performance Assessment (HOLPA) tool was developed as planned with three components: (1) a context module describing the socio-ecological context of farms and households, (2) a module considering integration of the 13 agroecology principles on farms, and (3) the holistic performance of farms. The performance module has two parts: (1) a set of global performance indicators that capture agricultural, economic, environmental, and social outcomes in any food system and (2) the local indicator selection process (LISP), in which local food system actors co-design agroecological performance metrics. Based on a review of assessment frameworks, 17 global key performance indicators under four performance themes were selected in consultation with researchers and domain experts. Indicators reflecting local interests and aspirations were selected through a three-step participatory approach. With its global and local indicators, HOLPA can be applied across diverse farming contexts and agroecological activities – from organic farming to value chain innovations. Local performance indicators have been selected in 15 communities across seven countries and incorporated into the HOLPA tool. Data collection via HOLPA continues across ALLs, with more than 800 households surveyed to date. Results from HOLPA will be analyzed in 2024, providing key evidence needed to support agroecology transitions in different contexts around the world.

Figure 1: The HOLPA framework


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