Community climate change
adaptation facilitation: Manual for
facilitation of climate resilient
agriculture for smallholder
Report to the
Water Research Commission
Report is submitted as one of a set for “Climate Change Adaptation for Smallholder farmers
in South Africa: An implementation and decision support guide”
WRC Report No.TT (WRC will insert)
WRC Set No.
(ISBN (WRC will insert)
Water Research Commission
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firstname.lastname@example.org download from www.wrc.org.za
The publication of this report emanates from a project entitled Collaborative knowledge
creation and mediation strategies for the dissemination of Water and Soil Conservation
practices and Climate Smart Agriculture in smallholder farming systems. (WRC Project No.
ISBN: (WRC will insert)
ISBN Set No: (WRC will insert)
Printed in the Republic of South Africa
© WATER RESEARCH COMMISSION
This report has been reviewed by the Water Research Commission (WRC) and
approved for publication. Approval does not signify that the contents necessarily reflect
the views and policies of the WRC, nor does mention of trade names or commercial
productsconstitute endorsement or recommendation for use.
The following individuals and organisations deserve acknowledgement for their invaluable
contributions and support to this project:
Chris Stimie (Rural Integrated Engineering RIEng)
Dr Brigid Lettyand Jon McCosh (Institute of Natural Resources – INR)
Nqe Dlamini (StratAct)
Catherine van den Hoof (Researcher)
Dr Sharon Pollard, Ancois de Villiers, Bigboy Mkabela and Derick du Toit (Association for Water and
Hendrik Smith (GrainSA)
Matthew Evans (Web developer)
Marna de Lange (Socio-Technical Interfacing)
MDF internsand students: Khethiwe Mthethwa, Samukhelisiwe Mkhize, Sylvester Selala, Palesa
Motaung and Sanelise Tafa
MDF board members: Timothy Houghton and Desiree Manicom
PROJECT FUNDED BY:
REFERENCE GROUP MEMBERS
Prof S MpandeliWater Research Commission
Dr S Hlophe-Ginindza Water Research Commission
Dr L NhamoWater Research Commission
Dr O CrespoUniversity of Cape Town
Dr A MansonKZN Department of Agriculture andRural Development
Prof S WalkerAgricultural Research Council
Prof CJ Rautenbachpreviously of WeatherSA
Prof RE SchulzeUniversity of KwaZulu Natal
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Project funded by:..................................................................................................................................iv
Reference group members....................................................................................................................iv
Table of contents...................................................................................................................................v
Abbreviations and acronyms..................................................................................................................vi
2bringing together the methodological elements..............................................................................1
2.1Learning and Change.............................................................................................................2
2.2Social learning, knowledge mediation....................................................................................3
2.5Communities of practice.........................................................................................................6
2.7Participatory innovation development (PID)...........................................................................9
2.8Adding the elements together: coactive governance in a changing climate........................10
3.1Climate change adaptation..................................................................................................11
3.2Climate smart / resilient agriculture......................................................................................11
3.3Concepts of vulnerability and resilience...............................................................................14
3.4Smallholder farming in South Africa and CRA.....................................................................15
3.4.1Smallholder farming systems...........................................................................................16
3.5Local and traditional knowledge in CRA..............................................................................18
4Decision support processes..........................................................................................................19
4.1What goes into the CRA small scale farmer decision support system................................. 20
4.2How does the facilitator-farmer DSS work...........................................................................22
5How to facilitate the facilitator-farmer DSS...................................................................................23
5.1.1The baseline survey questionnaire..................................................................................23
5.1.2Example of a baseline survey..........................................................................................24
5.2Community level climate change adaptation analysis- outline of the 3 workshops..............26
5.3CCA workshop 1: Climate change analysis – impact and adaptive measures....................26
5.3.1Outline of the two-day workshop......................................................................................27
5.3.4Example of a CCA workshop1 process............................................................................38
5.3.5Prioritisation of Adaptive measures and practices...........................................................41
5.4CCA workshop 2: Prioritization of adaptation strategies and practices................................42
5.4.1Outline of CCA workshop 2..............................................................................................42
5.4.2Example of CCA workshop 2...........................................................................................44
5.4.3Seasonal weather predictions..........................................................................................47
Small Scale experimentation plan................................................................................................49
6Participatory impact assessment (PIA).........................................................................................49
6.2PIA workshop outline...........................................................................................................50
6.2.1Recap climate change impacts........................................................................................50
6.2.2Recap adaptive strategies/ practices...............................................................................51
6.2.3Practices: Recap five fingers and list all practices under each category.........................52
6.2.4What have been the changes or benefits from each practice?........................................52
6.2.5Expanding on practices....................................................................................................52
6.2.6Example of a PIA assessment outcome: Bergville KZN (2019).......................................53
6.3.1The individual climate change resilience questionnaire...................................................55
6.3.2Example of a resilience snapshot assessment for 12 participants in Bergville, 2019......57
ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
CCAClimate change adaptation
CoPCommunity of practice
CSAClimate smart agriculture
CSOCivil society organisation
CRAClimate resilient agriculture
SWCSoil and water conservation
DEADepartment of Environmental Affairs
DSSDecision support system
PIAParticipatory impact assessment
Community CCA Facilitation
1 PROJECT OVERVIEW
This facilitation manual is one of the outputs for a Water Research Commission research brief entitled
“Collaborative knowledge creation and mediation strategies for the dissemination of water and soil
conservation practices and climate smart agriculture in smallholder farming systems”, undertaken
between 2017 and2020.
The research objectives were defined as:
1.To evaluate and identifybest practice options for climate resilient agriculture (CRA) and Soil
and Water Conservation (SWC) in smallholderfarming systems, in twobioclimaticregions in
2.To amplify collaborative knowledge creation ofCRApractices with smallholder farmers inSouth
3.To test and adapt existing CRAdecision support systems (DSS) for the South African
4.To evaluate the impact of CRAinterventions identified through the DSS bypiloting interventions
in smallholder farmer systems, considering water productivity, social acceptability and farm-
5.To test visual and proxy indicators appropriate for a Payment for Ecosystems-based model at
community level for local assessment of progress and tested against field and laboratory
analysis of soil physical and chemical properties, and water productivity.
The design ofthe decision support system isseen as an ongoing process divided into three distinct
ØPractices:Collation, review, testing and finalisation of those CRApractices to be included.
This allows for new ideas and local practices to be included over timeandalso includes linkages
and reference to external sources of technicalinformation around climate change, soils, water
management, etc. and how this will be done.
ØProcess:Through which CRA practices are implemented at smallholder farmer level. This also
includes the facilitation component, communities of practice, communication strategies and
ØMonitoring and evaluation:Design and implementation of local and visual assessment
protocols for assessing implementation and impact of practices as well as processes used. This
also includes site selection and quantitative measurements undertaken to support the visual
assessment protocols and development of visual and proxy indicators for future use in
incentive-based support schemes for smallholder farmers.
This manual focusses on the process– the methodological and facilitation components of the research
2 BRINGING TOGETHER THE METHODOLOGICAL ELEMENTS
When engaging with smallholder farmers, the socio-cultural, economic and environmental complexities
of these farming systems need to be taken into account, explored, understood and managed. Any new
ideas and processes need to be facilitated inclusive of all socio-cultural, economic and environmental
aspects and in a setting of open dialogue and learning.
2.1LEARNING AND CHANGE
To engage in exploring the change infarming systems happening due to climate change andthinking
into the kinds of changes required to consciously adapt to these changes, requires both the process of
learning (including new ideas and information into the mix) and the process of doing (how to implement
and farm differently).
As adults, we learn best by doing. We retain the least information when we just listen to talks and
presentations or read. The diagram below provides a visual representation of how we best remember.
It also shows that combining learning andimplementation and working in groups are generally the most
effective ways to learn.
Learning Pyramid (Adapted from National Training Laboratories Bethel, Maine, USA) (Dale,E 1969)
Figure 1: The learning pyramid demonstrating retention of information in different learning scenarios
It is widely appreciated that information on its own does not lead to capability development andthat
education, training, knowledge dissemination and communication involving a range of knowledge
dissemination and mediation processes are required forinformation to translateinto action (Lotz-Sisitka
and Pesanayi, 2019).
There are severaldifferent ways in which to understand learning and behaviour change in adult learning
processes. These processes have been defined within the ambit of educational psychology butare a
useful tool in designing learning programmes for behaviour change.
Over the years, academics have proposed severaltheories to describe and explain the learningprocess
– these can be grouped into five broad categories:
5.Social and contextual
Behaviourism:Key behaviourist thinkers hypothesised that learning is a change in observable
behaviour caused by external stimuli in the environment (stimulus-response). The key principle of
behaviourism is the reward or punishment of a new behaviour, commonly described as the “carrot and
stick” approach to learning.
Cognitivism:Cognitivism replaced behaviourism as the dominant learning paradigm in the 1960s and
proposes that learning comes from mental activity such as memory, motivation, thinking and reflection.
Cognitivism focuses on the transmission of information from someone who knows (such as an “expert”
as opposed to facilitators) to learners who do not know.
Constructivism:From the constructivist perspective, learning is not a stimulus-response phenomenon
as described by behaviourism, rather, it requires self-regulation and the building of conceptual
structures through reflection and abstraction.The learner takes an active role in constructing her own
understanding rather than receiving it from someone who knows, learning through observation,
processing and interpretation.
Experientialism:One of the key theoristsofexperiential learning is David Kolb who developed an
experiential learningmodel, as opposed to a purer cognitive model which formally recognisedthat
people learn from experience and described learning as following a cycle of experiential stages
(observation, action and reflection).
Social and Contextual:In this approach, learning does not occur solely within the learner, but in the
group (or context) and community in which they work. Learning is a shared process which takes place
through observing, working together and being part of a larger group, which includes colleagues of
varying levels of experience, able to stimulate each other's development (Thompson, 2012).
Social learning is the most appropriate learning approach for working in complex community-based
2.2SOCIAL LEARNING,KNOWLEDGE MEDIATION
Social Learning Theoryis a theory ofthe learningprocess which combines elements of behavioural,
cognitive and constructivist approaches. Learning is not purely behaviouralbutis acognitiveprocess
that takes place in a social context.
Key tenets of Social Learning Theory(SLT)are as follows:
ØLearning can occur by observing a behaviourandby observing the consequences of the
ØLearning involves observation, extraction of information from those observations, and
making decisionsabout the performance of the behaviour (observational learning
ormodelling). Thus, learning can occur without an observable change in behaviour.
ØReinforcement plays a role in learning but is not entirely responsible for learning.
ØThe learner is not a passive recipient of information. Cognition, environment and behaviour
all mutually influence each other.
According to thesociocultural theory of education(an extension of SLT), learning is social; we learn
through interacting with others, through a meaningful exchange of ideas, concepts, and actions.
Knowledge is mediatedthrough dialoguing with the other(other members of the community,
stakeholders, facilitators, etc.). This process allows for the negotiation of meaning through dialogues
with others who have a different understanding of the topic. It allows for the interplay between different
sociocultural perspectives and the development of new understanding that can lead to different actions
andbehaviours, or stated in a slightly different way:
“Contemporary theories of learning and change indicate that forknowledge or information to
becomemeaningful,there is 1) a need forthe information to be related to the situation and
experience of theuser; and that this needs to 2) be mediated in context; in addition to 3)
providing new knowledge orinformation that can expand existing knowledge and/or practice”
(Lotz-Sisitka and Pesanayi, 2019).
The model proposed by Shaxson et al. (2012), which proposes a ‘continuum’ of knowledge
dissemination approaches, contexts and relations within a systems approach tolearning provides a
useful framework for project or programme design that incorporates social learning and change and
has recently beenused in the Amanzi for Food social learning network approach (Lotz-Sisitka and
Figure 2: Knowledge dissemination continuum from Shaxson et al., 2012
Here, this framework willbeused as a basis for building the methodological approach forinnovation
system developmentand decision support for implementation of CRA in smallholder farming systems.
The concept of agency, developed in the Social Sciences, can be considered as an aspect of learning
within this sociocultural context. This concept helps us to understand more clearly the interplay between
learning and doing.
Agencyis the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices and
decisions. Social structure is a combination of factors (such associalclass, religion, gender, ethnicity,
ability, customs, etc.) that determine, or limit anagentand their decisions.
The ways in which people understand their own relationship to the past, future, and present also make
a difference to their actions; there are cultural habits and ways of understanding one’s place in the world
that sustain identities, meaning and interactions over time. These differ between cultures and change
over time. Itis also possible for individuals within cultures to change their own understanding of their
role and their understanding of the world as more or less responsive to human imagination, purpose,
and effort. While repertoires are limited by individual and collective histories and may be somewhat
extensive and flexible, they do require a certain degree ofmanoeuvrability in order to assure the
appropriateness of the response to the situation at hand.
Habitual actions are largely unreflective (not thought about) and taken for granted, but are nevertheless
a form ofagency, as they involve attention and effort. People encounter problematic situations that
need imagination and judgement to solve and these situations provide for reflection and the analysis of
patterns that may in some contexts allow for greater imagination, choice, and conscious purpose
(Emirbayer and Mische, 1998).
But people do not merely repeat past routines, they are also the inventors of new possibilities for thought
and action.A certain increase in freedom andflexibility of action is possible, as one becomes more
conscious of one’s situation.“Experience in its vital form is experimental, an effort to change the given;
it is characterised by projection, by reaching forward into the unknown” (Dewey, 1981).
We draw upon past experiences (our own and that of others) in order to clarify motives, goals, and
intentions, to locate possible future constraints, and to identify morally and practically appropriate
courses of action.
After surveying possible scenarios of action, actors face the task of proposing solutions that will
adequately respond to their moral, practical and emotional concerns.Such resolutions will often attempt
to resolve several conflicts simultaneously and to incorporate different fields of intendedaction.They
may be put to the test in tentative or exploratory social interactions; interactions that may be
transformative in nature(Hays, 1994).
Even relatively unreflective routine dispositions must be adjusted in changing situations; and newly
imagined projects must be brought down to earth within real-world circumstances. Moreover, judgments
and choices must often be made in the face of considerable ambiguity, uncertainty, and conflict; means
and ends sometimes contradict each other, and unintended consequences require changes in strategy
By increasing their capacity for practical evaluation, actors strengthen their ability to exercise agency in
a mediating fashion, enabling them (at least potentially) to pursue their projects in ways that may
challenge and transform their societies (New, 2007).
This orientation toward action provides a powerful tool to respond to a rapidly changing world,
composed of increasingly complex and overlapping matrices of social, political, and economic relations.
If we cannot control the consequences of our interventions, we can at least commit ourselves to a
responsive, experimental, and deliberative attitude as we confront emergent problems and possibilities
across the variety of contexts within which we act.
From the previous sections, we have ascertainedthat involvement inany community, including rural,
and farming communities, is first and foremost a process of social engagement as well as a process of
research, exploration, understanding and trying out new ideas.
Key principles of engagement resonatewith thepreviously discussed concepts of learning processes
and agency and can be summarised as follows:
COLLABORATION: Researchers and community members co-createthe intervention.
Assessment of need,design of intervention and evaluation are done together, with community inputs
carrying weight. Collective self-determination should be the basis ofneeds assessment. This requires
flexibility as the intervention may take new directions not initially envisioned by researchers.
INCLUSION: Everyone who has a stake in the intervention hasa right to participate inprocesses
and decisions. Efforts are made to ensure no one who has stake is excluded from participationor
decision making on the basis of any demographic or socio-political factor. Work for diversity. The
research team will not default to working with visibleor influential players. The vulnerable, marginalised,
least vocal will be actively included. Be aware of how power is recognised, structured and shared in a
SAFETY: The process and intervention are conducted in a way that is safe for all participants.
This includes the spaces chosen for meetings, the design of processes and interactions (e.g. how small
groups are set up), the design of learning tasks (begin with simple, clear tasks). Allow small groups to
find their voices. Establishing competence and experience contributes to safety. Make space for
informal interactions where views or needs can be expressed in safety.
RESPECT AND BUILD ON LOCAL AND TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE: People are experts in their
own context and what they know is the foundation for new engagement. The research team must
become thoroughly acquainted with the community: culture,social networks, economic conditions,
demographics, history ofother interventions – and respond to the realities and dynamics that exist.
MUTUALITY AND EQUALITY IN LEARNING: Everyone already has knowledge and experience,
everyone will learn.Everyone’s prior knowledge is taken into account; life experience is used as the
basis for relating to new knowledge, attitudes or skills. Researchers and participants are equals; all are
learners. Peers challenge and mentor each other. Aim for both individual and collective learning and
PRAXIS: Learning is structured through active doing and reflecting.Learners consider new
content (skills, knowledge, attitudes) and recreate them to fit their context, then try it and reflect on how
it works. Learning happens with the mind, emotions and muscles. Passive learning teaches passivity.
The process, not only the outcomes, are important.
BUILD A CULTURE OF OPEN DIALOGUE:Encourage expression of different opinions and value
minority views and individual insights. Talk transparently about power dynamics.
FLEXIBILITY:The research, programmes, projects and interventions must serve the wellbeing of the
community and the environment, not the other way around. They should be structured with reflective
processes that allow them to be reshaped as needed as a clearer perspective unfolds.
TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY:Work fora culture where researchers and community
members operate with transparency and are accountable for their roles and actions. Work for aculture
of accountability to oneself for realising one’s aims in the process.
BUILD FOR THE LONG TERM: Build into the intervention mechanisms to sustain collaborations over
the long term and work to mobilise community assets to this end; as collaborations matureand grow,
their ability to address complex and long-range issues alsogrows.
2.5COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE
Communities of Practice (CoPs) isa progressive theory of knowledge management, knowledge
creation and learning – knowledge mediation.It is a type of contextualised learning, proposing that the
learning process of an individual is much more than the cognitive process of acquisition of skills and
knowledge but situated in a social context, and it is through participation in the social context that the
learning process occurs(Lave andWenger, 1991).
It thus depends on a group of people, contextually defined, who share a common interest and a desire
to learn from and contribute to the community with their variety of experiences. Stated more simply, the
primary purpose ofa CoP is to provide a way for practitioners to share tips and best practices, ask
questions of their colleagues, and provide support for each other.
Work on large, complex projectsgoesbeyond the knowledgeof one person to require the knowledge
and skills of people from different disciplines. They need to coordinate their activities and synthesise
their knowledge. Cross-disciplinary team participation requires an ability to negotiate team process and
participate in decisionmaking (Poggenpohl, 2015).It moves from primary experience through refined
reflection to explanation; moving from the tacit to the explicit.
For example, both research andpractice can develop theory, theory needs to be proven through
practice, practice can flagneeds for research, research can overthrow theory, and research can
improve the performance of practice. Research, theory, and practice are not isolated activities, but are
Figure 3: The relationships and interplay between research, theory and practice
Communities of practice are important because they:
ØConnect people who might nototherwise have the opportunity to interact, either as frequently
or at all;
ØProvide a shared context for people to communicate
and share information, stories, and personal
experiences in a way that builds understanding and
ØEnable dialogue between people who come together
to explore new possibilities, solve challenging
problems, and create new, mutually beneficial
ØStimulate learning by serving as a vehicle for
authentic communication, mentoring, coaching, and
ØCapture and diffuse existing knowledge to help people improve their practice by providing a
forum to identify solutions to common problems and a process to collect and evaluate best
ØIntroduce collaborative processes to groups and organisations as well as between
organisations to encourage the free flow of ideas and exchange of information;
ØHelp people organise around purposeful actions that deliver tangible results; and
ØGenerate new knowledgeto help people transform their practice toaccommodate changes in
needs and technologies.
To design or setup a CoP the following steps to develop a well-defined purpose linked to the needs
and potential benefits to members, are required:
1.Developing relationships: Interactionwith and developing ofawider network of peers working
with a process of building trust, reciprocity, mutual respect and commitment.
2.Developing practice:Practice evolves with thecommunity as a collective product, becomes
integrated into members’ work and organises knowledge in a way that reflects practitioners’
perspectives. Successful practice development depends on a balance between the production
of ‘things’ like documents or tools and deep learning experiences for community members.
3.Carrying out tasks and projects:Small group projects, sponsored by the community, help
members create personal relationships and also provide a way to produce the resources for
developing the practice: cases, effective practices, tools, methods,articles,lessons learned,
databases, learning tools and aids, modelsand the like.
4.Creating new knowledge:Members go beyond current practice to explore the cuttingedge of
the domain, to innovate. Community may redefine its boundaries and membership and foster
boundary-crossing, possibly working with people from other communities to explore emerging
technologies, practices, and ideas.
Essential elements of a CoP:
- Share experiences and know-how
- Discuss common issues and interests
- Collaborate in solving problems -
analyse causes and contributing factors
- Experiment with new ideas and novel
- Capture/codify new know-how
- Evaluate actions and effects
Actions for the CoP are based on the premises of inquiry, design, activities, communication, interaction,
learning, knowledge sharing, collaboration, roles and social structures and piloting and roll out of the
Examples ofCoPs are learning groups, innovation platforms, forums, networks and research and
Methodologies for agricultural development and research have been designed to incorporate the
concepts of social engagement, learning, experimentation and agency into the process.
Theinternational development community is giving increased attention to agricultural innovation
processes and systems that lead to outcomes at scale. Inclusive multi-dimensional and multi-
stakeholder learning processes are seen as important. Smallholder family farmers become more central
in the design and implementation of research processes as partners in planning and implementation
processes(Kruger andGilles, 2014).
Key trends in Participatory Agricultural Development thinkingshow a movement or change from:
ØIncreases in production to improvement in local livelihoods;
ØTechnology transfer to local innovation development;
ØBeneficiaries of projects to influential stakeholders within programmes;
ØTechnology transfer to co-development of innovation systems;
ØFunctional participation to empowerment; and
ØApplied and adaptive research to strategic and pre-adaptive research.
Global experience shows that new ways of thinking about and doing agricultural research and
development are required. The basic paradigm shift is one of moving away from the idea that research
and development is a process of generating and transferring modern technology to farmers. And then
moving towards seeing the idea as an inclusive multi-dimensional learning process that:
ØWorks from a holistic perspective that includes biophysical, socio-political and economic
perspectives in agriculture AND natural resource management;
ØDraws upon diverse sources of knowledge – from local to global;
ØProvides for meaningful participation of user groups in the process of investigating improvements
in local situations; and
ØBuilds synergy between local capacities, resources and innovations by
oProviding decision support tools and information that enable varioustypes of users to make
strategic choices and actions;
ØWhich results in a wide range of knowledge products(technologicalthrough to socio-political) for
generating, sharing, exchanging and utilising knowledge.
Now, concepts such as strategic and pre-adaptive participatory research become important as does
the idea of best practice scenarios and options and the mainstreaming of cross-cutting issues and
themes. In many ways, these concepts are still in a developmental phase and are not yetintegral to
existing institutional and research cultures.
The development of methodological frameworks and processes toencompass the above themes and
goals has followed two broad tracks/lines depending, to an extent, on the type of institution at work and
their overall aims –namely, Participatory Action Research (PAR) and Participatory Innovation
Development (PID) (Brock andPettit, 2007).
2.7PARTICIPATORY INNOVATION DEVELOPMENT (PID)
Participatory Innovation Development (PID)is an approach to learning and innovation that is used
in international developmentinprojects and programmes relating tosustainable agriculture. The
approach involves collaboration between researchers and farmers in the analysis of agricultural
problems and testing of alternative farming practices.
It hasdeveloped out of methodologies such as Farming Systems Research and Extension, PRA
(participatory rural appraisal),PLA (participatory learning and action)and Indigenous Technical
Knowledge Systems and incorporates further methodologies such as Farmer Field Schools.
This approach enables the research and development community to respond to locally defined
problems andto find solutions that build upon local knowledge and are consistent with local resources
and contexts. Moreover, by involving farmers as the users of the research process, it is more likely that
farmers would share and use (new) knowledge.
Local innovation in agriculture and natural resource management go beyond technologies to socio-
organisational arrangements such as new ways of regulating the use of resources, new ways of
community organisation, or new ways of stakeholder interaction. The term Participatory Innovation
Development (PID) embraces this broaderunderstanding of joint research and development and is now
being used alongside, orin place of PTD (Participatory Technology Development). It is a process in
which farmers and other stakeholders engage in jointexploration and experimentation leading to new
technologies or socio-institutional arrangements for more sustainable livelihoods. This action-oriented
approach promotes engagement in a process that strengthens the capacities of agricultural services to
support community-led initiatives (Hartmann, 2009, Wettasinhaet al., 2009).
The following statement in a recent publication in the agricultural development and extension field, sums
up the imperative for working with these approaches:
“Scientists are being challenged to re-consider that their role in technology development is through
innovation and a complex process involving a reorganization of socialrelationships, not just technical
practice. In this context, technology shifts from something to be applied to something leveraged for
networking and organizing. To ensure the future, the idea of sustainability as a dynamic process rather
than an endpoint offers a route for understanding and engagement between research, policy and
personal spheres. For both research and extension agendas; in considering traditional agriculture in
the context of economic development we have to create thecapacity to co-operate in a way that opens
up the possibility of social change; a way of interacting that preserves and creates new forms of social
cohesion.Researchers will come to understand that attitude, environment and relevant issues, not
specific tools, achieves participation”(Caisteret al., 2012).
Figure 4: The interplay between researchers, facilitators and farmers, indicating associated methodologies
Farmer to Farmer
PAR (Participatory action research)
PRA/PLA (Participatory rural
appraisal/participatory learning and
Farming systems research
Farmer participatory research
FFS (Farmer field schools)
Farmer-led innovation builds on the PID concepts to include local innovations into the system and
describes the interactionbetween local communities and outside facilitators, as:
ØGaining a joint understanding of the main
characteristics and changes of that particular
ØDefining priority problems;
ØExperimenting locally with a variety of options
derived both from indigenous knowledge … and
from formal science;and
ØEnhancing farmers’ experimental capacities and
farmer-to-farmer communication(Wettasinha, et
al.,2009, Rai and Shrestha, 2006).
The text box alongside provides an example of steps
that can be followed to implement a farmer-led
2.8ADDING THE ELEMENTS TOGETHER:COACTIVE GOVERNANCE IN A CHANGINGCLIMATE
The concept of coactive governance is borrowed from industry, where it is being developed to manage
service relationships.This new way shares strategy and responsibility between the client and provider
equally and allows an innovation environment to flourish. Implementing collaborative models in
enterprise environments requires organisational readiness – that is, willingness – to adopt a different
working attitude that accepts change as a condition, rather than an event (Batty, 2017).
In this process we need to combine and synergise the way people learn, what they learn and how they
incorporate this learning into changing their practice into a coherent model that can support an individual
farmer’s decision-making process about which adaptive practices to implementin their context and
3 CLIMATE CHANGE
There is ample evidence of national and local changes in the temperature and rainfall climatology of
South Africa over at least the past five decadesand a high probability that these changes will increase
in the coming decades:
•Mean annual temperatures have increased by more than 1,5 times the observed global average of
•Maximum and minimum temperatures have been increasing annually and in almost all seasons;
•Hot and cold extremes have increased and decreased respectivelyin frequency, in most seasons
across the country, particularly in the western and northern interior;
•In almost all hydrological zones there has been a marginal reduction in rainfall for the autumn
months. Annual rainfall has not changed significantly, but an overall reduction in the number of rain
days implies a tendency towards an increase in the intensity of rainfall events and increased dry
spell duration; and
•Extreme rainfall events show a tendency towards increasing frequency annually, and especially in
spring and summer, with areduction in extremes in autumn(DEA, 2013).
Given South Africa’s present trajectory and already alarming increase in averagetemperatures, the
predictions of strongly increased drought, increased rainfall variability and strongly increased extreme
rainfall events into the future are all but guaranteed.
A summary of the farmer-led innovation
1.Getting started (getting to know each
2.Joint analysis of the situation – the
problems and opportunities.
3.Looking for things to try to improve the local
4.Trying them out in community-led
5.Jointlyanalysingand sharing the results.
6.Strengthening the process, often through
improving local organisation and linkages
with other actors in R&D, so that the
innovation process will continue.
Climate change impacts on South Africa are likelyto befelt primarily via effects on water resources,
with increased evapotranspiration, run-off and soil erosion and reduced surface and underground water
reserves.Significant trade-offs are likely to occur between developmental aspirations, particularly in
terms of the allocation between agricultural and urban-industrial water use, linked to the highcosts of
enhancing water supply(DEA, 2017).
With regard to the impact of climate change on food security in Southern Africa, the IPPC (IPCC, 2014)
makes the following predictions:
•Maize-based systems, particularly in Southern Africa, are among the most vulnerable to climate
change withpredictedyield losses for South Africa and Zimbabwe in excess of 30%;
•Loss of livestock under prolonged drought conditions is a critical risk given the extensive rangeland
inSouthernAfrica that is prone to drought;
•Groundwater recharge may also be significantly affected by climate change in areas that receive
less than 500 mm per year.
3.1CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION
Smallholderfarmers and pastoralists in particular are being especially hard hit by these changes. Many
of these small-scale producers are already coping with a degraded natural resource base. They often
lack knowledge about potential options for adapting their production systems and have limited assets
and risk-taking capacity to access and use technologies and financial services(SARVA, 2013).
Climate change is intricately linked to almost all facets of our society, particularlysocio-economic
progression as resources such as water, feedstock intheform offoodandfibreand biodiversity,
amongst others, determine the production potential of many sectors of the economy, which in turn affect
human development aspirations of the country.
In South Africa, emphasis is being placed on the development of policies and strategies for climate
change mitigation, albeit slowly, with a much smaller focus on adaptation.Nonetheless, processes such
as collaborative, participatory research that includes scientists and farmers, strengthening of
communication systems for anticipating and responding to climate risks, and increased flexibility in
livelihood options which serve to strengthen coping strategies in agriculture for near-term risks from
climate variability, provide potential pathways for strengthening adaptive capacities for climate change
The IPCC defines adaptation as the “adjustments in human and natural systems in response to actual
or expected climatic stimuli or effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities”(ibid.).
Planned adaptations to climate risks are “most likely to be implemented when they are developed as
components of(or as modiﬁcations to) existing resource management programs or as part of national
or regional strategies forsustainable development”(ibid.).
3.2CLIMATE SMART /RESILIENT AGRICULTURE
In 2010 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) presented its response to climate
change; an approach it has termed Climate Smart Agriculture – CSA (FAO, 2013).In this study, the
research team opted to use the term Climate Resilient Agriculture (CRA), to clearly situate the practices
promoted here within the agroecologicalsphere,rather than the technological and internet of things
spheres, which are also considered climate smart under the broader definition.
According to the FAO, “(e)nhancing food security while contributing to mitigation ofclimate change and
preserving the natural resourcebase and vital ecosystem services requires the transition to agricultural
production systems that are moreproductive, use inputs more efficiently, have less variability and
greater stability in their outputs, and are more resilient to risks, shocks and long-term climatevariability.
More productive and more resilient agriculturerequires a major shift in the way land, water, soil nutrients
and genetic resources are managed to ensure thatthese resources are used more efficiently” (ibid.).
CRAcontributes to the achievement of sustainable development goals. It integrates the three
dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental) by jointly addressing
food security and climate challenges. It is composed of three main pillars:
1. Sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes.
2. Adapting and building resilience to climate change.
3. Reducing and/or removing greenhouse gases emissions, where possible.
This approach aims to strengthen livelihoods and food security, by improvingthe management and use
of natural resources and adopting appropriate methods and technologies fortheproduction, processing
and marketing of agricultural goods. Theapproachis entirely compatible with the idea that CRA
practices are essentially good developmentalagricultural practices, applicable in and suitable for a wide
range of contexts(ibid).
Climate Smart Agriculture is the overarching approach(shown in the diagram below)that has been
used to inform this decision support process for smallholder farmers. All CSApracticeshave the
potential to directly benefit farmers and increase food production in the communities as a whole,
irrespective of any climate change predictions. However, they also have the capacity to buffer farmers
against any increases in temperature or changes in rainfall quantities and patterns occasioned by
Figure 5: The FAO concept of CSAas an overarching approach to sustainable development (Arslan, 2014)
The FAO characterises CSAas an approach that:
1.Addresses the complex interrelated challenges of food security, development and climate
change and identifies integrated options that create synergies and benefits and reduce trade-
2.Recognises that these options will be shaped by specific country contexts and capacities and
by the particular social, economicand environmental situation where it will be applied.
3.Assesses the interactions between sectors and the needs of different involved stakeholders
From farm-based to comprehensive development concepts
planning and policies
Climate smart agriculture
4.Identifies barriers to adoption, especially among farmers and provides appropriate solutions in
terms of policies, strategies, actions and incentives.
5.Seeks to create enabling environments through a greater alignment of policies, financial
investments and institutional arrangements.
6.Strives to achieve multiple objectives with the understanding that priorities need to be set and
collective decisions made on different benefits and trade-offs.
7.Prioritises the strengthening of livelihoods, especially those of smallholders, by improving
access to services, knowledge,resources (including genetic resources), financial products and
8.Addresses adaptation and buildsresilience to shocks, especially those related to climate
change, as the magnitude of the impacts of climate change has major implications for
agricultural and rural development.
9.Considers climate change mitigation a potential secondary co-benefit, especially in low-income,
10.Seeks to identify opportunities to access climate-related financing and integrate it with
traditional sources of agricultural investment finance (FAO, 2013).
The FAO’s description of CSAmakes it clear that appropriate technologies that have been developed
under different agricultural regimes can be entirely compatible with the broad concept of CRA. The
approach here isto work directly with smallholders in local contexts to improve practices and synergise
across sectors. The emphasis is thus at farm/household level.Here CRAaims to improve aspects of
crop production, livestock and pasture management,natural resource management,as well as soil and
water management as depicted inFigure 6, below.
Figure 6: Household-level implementation of CRAintegrates across sectors (adapted from Arslan, 2014)
3.3CONCEPTS OF VULNERABILITY AND RESILIENCE
Vulnerability is a function of two factors:
ØFirst, impact (exposure and sensitivity of exposure to climate change, in turn):
oExposure – refers to the extent to which a system is impacted by climate change,
oSensitivity – refers to how affected the system is after the exposure.
ØSecond, adaptive capacity – the ability of the system to avoid potential damages, take
advantage of opportunities and cope with the consequences of damages. It can also be framed
as the capacity of people in a given system to influence resilience.
Resilience isthe ability of a system to anticipate, absorb, accommodate or recover from the effects of
an extreme climate event in a timely and efficient manner.
Contextual vulnerability is locally focussed, considers the present as the departure point and considers
socio-economic dimensions of vulnerability as a basis for assessing future vulnerability. This is largely
a participatory process as opposed to modelling approaches that are applied at programme and policy
scales. Vulnerability and adaptation needs are contextualised withinthe local context and will include
factors that are not necessarily directly linked to climate change or CRA.
Vulnerability and resilience frameworks are different in key aspects (FAO, 2013).
The vulnerability approach tends to:
ØBe oriented towards research on hazards and risks.
ØBe centred on people and more translatable to application and policy outcomes.
ØConduct assessments for single spatial scale and ‘snapshots’ in time.
ØBe less focused on ecological and environmental aspects.
ØAssess present and future vulnerability from past information.
The resilience approach, on the other hand tends to:
ØBe oriented towards ecological sciences.
ØBe more focused on complex interactions, feedbacks and processes of social-ecological
ØBe conceptual and not easily translatable into practice.
ØAssess one particular system and can often not be generalised for wider application.
ØProduce more dynamic assessments (but with present methodological difficulties in measuring
ØBe less focused on the social aspects of social-ecological systems.
ØAssess more positively future needs by building on present assets.
However, more recently, resilience frameworks are placing more emphasis on social systems (moving
towards a social-ecological system framework), while vulnerability frameworks are including more
environmental factors and are thus becoming more alike. Nevertheless, both frameworks are connected
through adaptive capacity assessments (FAO, 2013). Ultimately, the effect of any CRAintervention
should contribute simultaneously to reduced vulnerability and increased resilience.
Vulnerability of livelihoods is determined by the capacity of communities to replace a negatively affected
production system with one which would prevent losses in income, sustain subsistence production or
supply food to markets. Vulnerability assessments characterise areas that have low livelihood
resilience, allow for the identification of vulnerable subsectors in the community (e.g. elderly, women,
youth) and provide the basis for developing strategies to increase the resilience of livelihoods to climate
change (FAO, 2013).
A useful toolkit has been developed bythe CGIAR/CCAFS (Ulrichs, Cannon, Newsham, Naessand
Marshall,2015). This vulnerability assessment toolkit for assessing community-level potential for
adaptation to climate change canbe used to understand the interrelations between climate impacts,
food systems and livelihood strategies at the local level. It applies a multidimensional view of the
vulnerability of livelihood strategies to climate change, with a focus on differentiated access and
entitlements to livelihood resources and food for different groups within the community (often
determined according to gender, ethnicity and socio-economic class). It is based on a concept of five
(5) Dimensions of Vulnerability (DoV), illustrated in the following figure.
Figure 7: The 5 dimensions of vulnerability (CGIAR/CCAFS, 2015)
For each of these vulnerability dimensions, a setof criteria and indicators can be developed to
benchmark the baseline conditionsin a locality. A wide range of participatory approaches, techniques
and practicesare available and include, for example: transect walks, village mapping, historical
timelines and climate trends, well-being ranking,seasonal calendars, ranking of livelihood strategies,
chaining farming practices and crops, climaterisk and coping mechanisms matrix, food system analysis
and institutional mapping and Venn diagrams.
3.4SMALLHOLDER FARMING INSOUTH AFRICA AND CRA
Development in South Africa is inextricably tied tomassive challenges rooted in both the past and in
the future. In the past, colonial appropriation and control of accessto resources was taken todisastrous
extremes through the policies of apartheid; 25years into democracy, poverty and dispossession still
plague us. At the same time, problems anticipated in the future already loom large: South Africa as a
water stressed country can expect to face particularly difficult challenges in terms of food security due
to the increased temperatures and pests and decreased water access anticipated to result from climate
About 2,5 million households (15,6%) were involved in agricultural activities in South Africa in 2017.
Most of these households arefound inLimpopo (25%), Eastern Cape (20%) and KwaZulu-Natal (20%).
They are mainly headed bywomen(52,8%) and mostly involved in the production of fruits and
vegetables (53,4%), grain and other food crops (51,8%), as well as in livestock (47,1%) and poultry
(35,3%). The main source of income for these households issocial grants. Furthermore, most
households involved in agricultural activities do soto supplement food for the household(43,7%)
Poverty levels in the rural areas of South Africa aredifficult to assess and are now believed to be a lot
higher than the officially recorded level. Indigency, as recorded by municipalities, is around 22% of
households, meaning that these households earn less than R3200/month (7 household members). In
2015,over half of South Africa’s population (55,5%) lived in poverty; below the poverty line – for which
the upper bound poverty line was R1183.00per person in 2018. This percentage is slowly increasing
every year. Poverty is highest in the provinces with the largestrural populations– the Eastern Cape,
Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal (Africheck, 2018).Women-headed householdsare more vulnerable to
Within the smallholdersector, there are distinctions based on access to land, resources and agricultural
activities pursued. The table below provides a typology offarming in South Africa, as an illustration of
Table 1: The agrarian structure of South Africa (Cousins, 2016)
Top 20% of large-scale commercial
farmers onprivate land; almost all are
Sophisticated, specialised, capital-intensive
farmers, producing for export or for agro-
processing and large retailers; produce bulk of
produce, perhaps as much as 80%
Medium- to large-scale commercial
farmers on private land; almost all are
Some farmers succeed, some struggle, some
are unable to earn a living from farming alone
Small- to medium-scale commercial
farmers on private land; mostly white,
Many cannot survive from farming alone;
includes hobby farmers
Small-scale black capitalist farmers in
communal areas and in land reform
Many farmers earn income from off-farm
incomes and businesses in addition to farming
Market-oriented black smallholder farmers
in communal areas and land reform
contexts, supplying tight value chains
(e.g. under contract)
Many grow fresh produceunder irrigation,
others are livestock producers, and a few
engage in dryland cropping
Market-oriented black smallholder farmers
in communal areas and land reform
contexts, supplying loose value chains
Many grow fresh produce under irrigation, and
others are livestock producers. Few depend
wholly on farming.
Subsistence-oriented smallholder farmers
growing food for themselves and selling
2 million -
Most crop production takes place in homestead
gardens, some of which are quite large.
Occasional livestock sales by some.
Smallholder farming systems
Within smallholderfarming systems people practice a mixed farming approach and use available natural
resources in the commonages. Access to resources (land, water and natural resources) depends to an
extent on whatand how much is available and on the local arrangements that are in place,which are
managed through the traditional and local authorities. In theory,everyone has access; in practicethis
translates to those who can leverage resources through individual influence and resourcefulness.
Mixed farming in communal tenure areas consists of homestead plots, fields and communal grazing for
Homestead plots,as the word indicates,are situated around the farmers’ homes and range in size
from around 500 m2to around 0,5ha. These plots may or may not be fenced and in the more formally
planned villages will have some access to a municipal supply of water. Watersupply, however, is
severely restricted in most cases to the municipal allocation of 20 litres per person per day – and only
if that water is available. Shared, communal standpipes outside people’s yards are the most common
form of access to water. This means that around 90% of smallholdersonly have access to as much
water as they can carryto their homes on any given day. This water is used primarily for household
needs. This means that dryland cropping is still common even within homestead plots and that more
intensive productive activities such as vegetable and fruit production and rearing of small livestock
usually is done only if additional sources of water can be accessed, either through the municipal
systems, which is not common, or through access to springs and streams nearby. A very limited number
of individuals have their own boreholes.
Fieldsare generally allocated to individuals and are often not in direct proximity to the homesteads.
Sizes range from 0,1-5 ha, averaging around 1ha in size. Historically these have been used primarily
for field cropping grains (maize, sorghum, millet), pumpkin species and legumes (sugar beans). Fields
may be fenced or unfenced and are worked by hand or by payingfor private or government-based
mechanisation services. At this scale, a fewgroup projects exist in communal tenure areas and in some
cases, projects run by government and non-government organisations have included irrigation options.
A very small percentage (around 1-5%) of individuals have set up theirown irrigation systems.
Communal grazingis managed on a village level and livestock are allowed to graze in and around the
villages and fields in winter months and adjacent veld, bush and hillsides during summer. Individual
smallholders often have kraalsfor their livestock and pay towards herding and dipping systems for their
livestock. Mostly these systems apply to cattle and sheep. In the past goats were not herded, but due
to increasing pressure on grazing areas and conflicts related to livestock destroying crops and gardens
this is becoming more common. Rangeland management is notoriously difficult in these communal
tenure areas and the quality and quantity of grazing appears to be in an almost continual decline.
Systems for fodder production, supplementary feeding and rotational grazing are not widespread.
Natural resourcesare harvested extensively for firewood, thatch, reed and grass crafts, food (e.g. wild
leafy greens) and medicinal purposes. Very few systems for control, management and regeneration of
natural resources are currently in place and in addition wide scale poverty and population pressure in
the communal tenure areas have led to overuse of resources and denuding of the commons.
In the author’s experience, access to water for both household and agricultural purposes is considered
the main limiting factor by smallholder farmers. The figurebelow outlines the typical average monthly
water demand of a household. Mosthouseholds receive around one fifth of this allocation of water.
Figure 8: Household water requirements and access (Kruger, 2016)
18.104.22.168Climate change impacts on smallholder farming systems
The more extreme weatherpatternswith increased heat, decreased precipitation and more extreme
rainfall events, increase of natural hazards such as floods, droughts, hailstorms and high winds that
characterise climate change place additional pressure on smallholder farming systems andMDF has
found that thishas already led to severe losses in crop and vegetable production and livestock mortality.
A significant proportion of smallholders have abandoned agricultural activities and this number is still
on the increase. Smallholders are generally not well prepared for these more extreme weather
conditions and experience high levels of increased vulnerability as a consequence (Mandersonet al.,
It is becoming clear that climate change will have drastic consequences for low-income and otherwise
disadvantagedcommunities. Despite their vulnerability, these communities will have to make the most
climate adaptations (Fentonet al., 2015). It is possible for individual smallholders to manage their
agricultural and natural resources better and in a manner that could substantially reduce their risk and
vulnerability generally and more specifically to climate change. Through a combination of best bet
options in agroecology, water and soilconservation, water harvesting, conservation agriculture and
rangeland management, a measurable impact on livelihoods and increased productivity can be made
3.5LOCAL AND TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE IN CRA
Most ofthe CRApractices the project wasconcerned with werequite site specific, which madelocal
and traditional knowledge extremely relevant for implementing such practices at a ground (community)
level. It should be acknowledged that some of the CRApractices correspond with many existing local
practices. Localand traditional knowledge is deeply embedded in many communities and the
associated practices are considered cost effective and easy to scaleoutto other communities.
The literature indicates that for adoption of CRApractices to be successful theyshould be built on
existing local and traditional knowledge (FAO, 2013). However, localunderstanding of the practices
and reasons to take up a practice often differfromthosein the scientific domain. It is important for
development practitioners and researchers to have some understanding of the local and traditional
knowledge to allow better implementation of improved practices (e.g. CRApractices). Building links
between scientific information and local and traditional knowledge presents a potential opportunity for
developing a holistic approach fordealing with the negative impacts ofclimate change at community
level. The Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD) is implementing a programmeto
increase resilience in the Olifants River Basin– theapproach, involving systemic social learning, is one
example of this (Krugerand Selala, 2017) (AWARD, 2017).
It is important to note that the depths of such knowledge and the implementation of such practices vary
considerably between communities in different areas across South Africa. In areas with a long
continuous tradition of indigenous agricultural practices, such knowledge is strong,and the practices
well understood. Such areas include much of Limpopo Province, and the coastal sections of the former
Transkei homeland in the Eastern Cape Province, historically inhabited by the amaPondo and
amaThembu clans. However, in many other areas – such as those to which people were forcibly
relocated during the establishment of the former homelands – there is not such a long continuous
tradition and many of the farming practices have been derived from people’s acquaintance, often as
farm labourers, with the conventional agriculture practiced by the white commercial farmers. Even in
these areas, however, it is possible to find traditional practices such as matamo –construction of small
ponds, or gelesha– ripping the ground to improve infiltration, prior to planting (Dension and Manona,
Communities are already needing to use local, traditional and indigenous knowledge to help cope with
the negative impact of climate change. This includes knowledge of food preservation techniques (e.g.
fermentation and sun drying), knowledge of indigenous plants (e.g. for use in natural pest control), seed
selection to avoid drought, and disease control in livestock. The list below shows some other local and
traditional practices which correspond with CRAprinciples and practices:
ØSeasonal weather forecasting (use of shift in seasonal migration ofbirds as an indicator for
ØSelection of seed to avoid the risk of drought and pests.
ØWater harvesting techniques (e.g. roof water harvesting).
ØUse of ash for seed preservation.
ØSoil and water conservation using planting basins, furrows and ridges.
ØUse of sunken and raised beds to accommodate for water holding capacity and soil types.
ØMixed cropping or intercropping and diversification.
ØUse of supplementary feed for livestock.
ØPreservation of pasture for use by young, lactating and sick animals in cases of drought.
ØTranshumance to avoid risk of livestock loss.
ØCulling of weak livestock for food.
ØDiversification in the herd to survive climate extremes (Kruger and Selala, 2017).
CRAmay provide a valuable opportunity to revive localand traditional knowledge and practices, as
they have considerable potential for amelioration of some of the negative impacts of climate change on
4 DECISION SUPPORT PROCESSES
Thisproject aims to design a framework of methodologies, associated processes and a selection of
best bet practices, informed by the issues that have been discussed, which can be used to assess,
implement and monitor likely local CRAstrategies.The practicesthemselves are discussed in the
Within the climate change community, decision support systems for climatesmart agriculture options
at a local level have thus far been designed in top-down processes– using climatic, geographic and
demographic databases and information to select a range of appropriate practices on regional levelas,
for example, through USAID,Care InternationalandFAO. Generally,a DSS is currently seen as a
computer, or perhaps more saliently, internet-based system, which enables large amounts of diverse
information to be analysed for managers to reach rational decisions.
A recent reviewdiscusses the different types of models presently available and along with equation-,
agent and geographic-based models, discusses more participatory models as well (Nay, Chu,
Gallagher andWright, 2014).Their conclusion is that it is advisableto adopt approaches incorporating
both technical and social componentsin a DSS.
TheConsultative Group forInternational Agricultural Research (CGIAR) hasdeveloped adecision
support system for identifying appropriate CRApractices– described as a set of filters for evaluating
CRAoptions and establishing CRAinvestment portfoliosfornational and sub-national decision makers
donors, NGOs, and implementers(CGIAR, 2017).
Here, however, we focus the decision support process on a bottom-up approach, where individual
farmers in a locality make decisions regarding the ‘basket’ of CRA approaches and practices most
suited to their specific situation. To do this in a way that also includes the concepts of social learning,
innovation and agency, the following decision support concept has been developed.
4.1WHAT GOES INTO THE CRASMALLSCALE FARMER DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM?
Using a systemic approach and social learning from a socio-ecological perspective, the model consists
of a number of layers of input parameters or filters used to define a basket of best bet CRA options for
a specific smallholder farmer, using a combination of participatory processes linked to technical
The process is designed to also support and assist the facilitator in their decision making, in support of
the smallholder farmers; meaning that the facilitator accesses information such as the basic climate
change predictions for the area, the agroecological characteristics, including rainfall, temperature, soil
texture, etc.) and an initial contextualised basket of CRA practices from which to negotiate prioritised
practices with farmers. Practices are thus chosen by both facilitators and farmers.
Figure 9: The small-scale farmer decision support system
The model isdesigned primarily asa participatory and facilitated process at community level. In support
of this process a computer-based model can be used alongside this methodology to provide further
information and decisions support to the facilitator. It is also possible for farmers to access this model
independently to derive an initial basket of CRA practice options for themselves.
The computer model information flow is designed as shown in the figure below and follows the same
basic steps as the facilitated model shown in Figure 9, above.
PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT: Climate and
geographicalparameters, GPS coordinates,
agroecological zones, soil texture, slope and soil
organic carbon content
PRACTICES: Database ofCRApractices including: managing
available water, improving access to water,controlling soil
movement, improving soil health andfertility,crop management,
integrated crop-livestock management, veld management and veld
Figure 10: The computer-based model for the smallholder DSS
In our case the set of criteria(proxies used as indicators for the complex reality)that helps to make
informed decisions on management practices are:
ØThe current farming systems: gardening, field cropping, livestock production and natural
resource management (NRM) (including trees);
ØThe physical environment:agroecological zone, soil texture, slope and organic soil carbon;
ØThe socio-economic background of the farmer: demographic information (gender, household
head, age, dependency ratio), level of education, sources of income (unemployment vs.
external employment, own business, grants, farm, etc.), total income, access to services,
infrastructure, technology (electricity, water – tap, borehole, rainwater harvesting, etc.),
irrigation (buckets, standpipes, etc.), fencing and farming tools (hand vs.traction/other), social
organisation, market access (formal vs. informal), farm size andfarming purpose (food vs.
Besides this, the resources and related management strategies as well as a list of practices need to be
provided as inputs into the system. All information, except the physical environment, i.e. climate, soil
and topography, and the resources and management strategies, are derived through the use of a range
of participatory processes. Data on the physical environmental conditions have beentaken from
datasets freely available online. This information can, however, be customised by the DSS user in case
more appropriate information is available for the specific farmer concerned.
For the facilitator-farmer DSS the resources and related management strategies are discussed and
negotiated in the participatory process. For the computer-based or individual farmer DSS these are
provided as input into the model using the frameworkshown below.
Figure 11: Resources to manage and their associated management strategies
The practices have been identified by both farmers and South African development experts, as well as
desk top reviews.
4.2HOW DOES THE FACILITATOR-FARMER DSSWORK?
In effect, the DSS discussed above is a way of providing and making sense of information. This
information is contextualised in a social learning system (a group of people learning and implementing
together) using the framework shown in Figure 12, below.
Local good practice
experimentation to test
CoPs and innovation
Best practice options
Impacts of climate
Introduction of new
practices and ideas to try
Benchmarking for visual
Learning and mentoring
Assessment of outcomes
Facilitator-Farmer Decision Support System
Figure 12: A systemic view of thefacilitator-farmer DSS indicating associated activities and processes
The DSS thus incorporates the whole system of social learning and innovation, in an iterative process
that can lead to social change and agency in climate change adaptation, as depicted in Figure 13,
Figure 13: Social learning, innovation and building agency is an iterative process that includes careful monitoring
5 HOW TO FACILITATE THE FACILITATOR-FARMER DSS
An assumption made is that entry into a community has already been made and that it is possible to
arrange a community level meeting for interested participants.
This meansthatan introductory workshop explaining theprocesswould need to be held first, before
launching into the short series of threeclimate change adaptation (CCA) workshops. The intention of
these workshops is also to create and strengthen the learning group, to enable the social learning
process to unfold.
In addition, a baseline survey is important to understand the existing conditions in the locality. These
baselines also provide the information for the individual DSS process in terms of the environmental
conditions and vulnerability criteria for the individual (socio-economic criteria and typology).
Generally, this is done during the firstCCA workshop when individual household visits are undertaken,
but can also be a stand-alone exercise conducted at the beginning of a CRA intervention.
The baseline survey questionnaire
Indicators: qualitative and
output, outcome, and
Members of social
e.g. savings group, learning
No. of adults in household
No. of children
Income sources (grants,
other – specify)
Type of grant/s– add in no.
Child Support Old AgeFoster care
Scale of operation
Water (list– tick
Other livelihood activities
Training and advice
(name sources of support)
Example of a baseline survey
The responses to these questionnaires can be captured onan excel sheet and coded to summarise
information from a number of different participants and get anindication of the‘profile’ of the participants
involved. Below are two bar charts summarising information for 41 participants across sevenvillages in
KZN, EC and Limpopo asan example. The charts summarise the livelihoods and resource indicators
Figure 14: Socio-economic baseline information from a survey conducted for 41 participants (April 2019)
Figure 15: Access to resources, indicated as a percentage for 41 participants (April 2019)
0,1 - 1 ha
No other livelihood activities
Traction; incl animal
Training and advice
Baseline information: Access to resources (N=41)
School gardening group
No of adults in HH
No of children
Income from veg sales
Income (in R1000.00) - unemployed
Income (in R1000.00) - employed
Baseline information: Socio-economic (N=41)
5.2COMMUNITY-LEVEL CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION ANALYSIS–OUTLINE OF THE 3
In these community-level workshops/dialogues facilitation tools have been designed that can assistin
the analysis. Different tools have been designed for the following explorations/workshop activities:
differentiatingbetween weather and climate change, unpacking changes in the environment and
livelihoods, assessing those most affected by climate change, exploring impacts of climate change and
exploring current practices and adaptations already being implemented to respond to these changes.
Below is a chronology of steps or processes to be undertaken at community level, assuming there is
already some levelof relationship and interest. These stepswork towards building a CoP/learning
ØUnderstanding climate change and impact (academic understanding, community
ØClimate change and agriculture (farmers’ roles and responsibilities, current
ØChanges, reasons and responses (what are we doing already, what do we think we can do that
will help, willingness to change).
ØDiscussions around change (most important problems,what do we foresee in the future based
on what we are doing, effectiveness of our adaptation responses).
ØWho do we want to work with? (Outside organisations, local institutions, learning groups, other
community organisations?Are therenew relationships or new ways of working together that
ØIs anyone doing new and interesting things? (Local innovations to consider – what has been
tried and how well has it worked?)
ØIntroduction of practices:
oReality map (present agricultural practicesand impact).
oWalk-about in village.
oDesktop review for appropriate practices orresearch practices suggested by
oFocus group discussions.
oPrioritising (defining criteria).
oPractices that mostly matchcriteria (short visual introductions for likely doable practices
in the area; introduce about fivepractices – facilitator’s judgement call). Link to local
oRanking exercise linking criteria to practices.
oLearning group members choose practices they would like to implement or experiment
with. This could mean:
§Subgroups dealing with different topics (e.g. gardens, fields livestock).
§Whole learninggroupdoingpractices in succession(e.g. start with gardens
§Defining a chronology of activities (e.g. start with trench beds and mulching,
then implement diversion ditches and stone bunds, etc.)
§Individuals choose an initial set of fivepractices, for example, and then upon
review decide how to build on that in a following season.
oImplementation, training and mentoring, demos, cross visits, specialists (sources of
expertise), lead farmers.
oMonitoring and review.
5.3CCAWORKSHOP 1:CLIMATE CHANGE ANALYSIS –IMPACT AND ADAPTIVE MEASURES
This workshop runs over a period of two days.
Facilitation steps proposed are as follows:
1.Contextualisation:Natural resources (facilitators need to look atprovincial climate change
databases before the workshop and discuss with people how these will affect them). Facilitation
tools for this exercise include: A4 impact pictures or a PowerPointpresentation – of floods,
droughts, erosion, declining natural resource base, declining yields, etc.).
2.Look at the difference between variability in weather and climate change. Facilitation tools for this
exercise include: a climate change role play.
3.Exploration of temperature and rainfall and participants’ understanding of how these are changing.
Facilitation tools for this exerciseinclude: seasonal diagrams on temperature and rainfall – normal
and how these are changing.
4.Timeline in terms of agriculture. Facilitation tools for this exercise include: livelihoods andfarming
timelines – assessment of past, present and future.
5.Reality Map:Changes (in natural resources), impacts (of changes), practices (past, present,
future) and challenges/responses.Facilitation tools for this exercise include: the climate change
impact mind mapping exercise.
6.Current practices and responses (effectiveness of responses). Facilitation tools for this exercise
include: outlining adaptive measures onmind map and doing matrix ranking exercise for different
Using these facilitation steps, a workshop process has been designed and tested. Below is a summary
of the workshop outline followed by short descriptions of the facilitation tools.
Outline of the two-day workshop
Community level climate change adaptation exploration workshop outline
In pairs, take 5 minutes to
talk to each other. Then
introduce each other to the
group. Choose a person you
don’t know well (both team
and community). Include
name and surname, farming
activities (garden, field,
resources), income from
Depending on the size
of the group, this can
take a longtime. If time
is short, then just do a
quick round of
Attendance register– with
columns for farming enterprises
(so that each participant cantick
what they do)– in English and
Zulu/Pedi. Name tags, stickers,
Purpose of the
Introduction of the
organisation/s and purpose
of this workshop– link to
already ongoing activities if
possible and introduce
visitors and other
Talk to CC
adaptation from us –
we mayneed to
change how we do
things and what we do
too.This w/s is to help
us explore options for
Flip stand, newsprint, kokis,
extension cables, plugs &
double adaptors. Black refuse
bags and masking tape (for
blacking out windows), camera
– and one person to undertake
to take photos throughout the
day. Extra batteries for camera
and sim card.
– discuss impacts
related to CC
Use a series of impact
pictures– from the local
situation. Include the 5
categories (and describe
them to the group)– water
efficiency and access), soil
control, fertility, health),
crops, livestock and natural
either PP or printed on
A4 to facilitate
dialogue (or both).
PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
activities as they
what they are now
and what may
happen in the
future if the
SMALL GROUPS (5-10
discussion on farming
activities (include the 5
categories)– prompt for all
five and keep conversation
focussedOR facilitate a
shorter plenary discussion
on how things are changing
(if time is pressing)
Important tonote and
record any discussions
around changes and
things people are
already doing to
changes – also where
they are not surewhat
Small groups: each needs a
facilitator and recorder
Fruit (apples, oranges, biscuits, juice and water, paper cups (lots) and plates… Generous
helpings - and lots of juice if it is hot. Find someone to overseefood and refreshments,
while the rest of the workshop continues.
CLIMATE CHANGE PREDICTIONS
predictions for the
Present to group – using
flipchart or PowerPoint –
keep it simple with brief bold
statements that can be
concepts of certainty – and
CC scenarios –
unmitigated, neutral and
Role play: phone
conversation – weekend
visit for weather, relocating
to an area for
Check in with
participants how they
difference from the
SMALL GROUPS: (5-10
discussion on temperatures
for each month of the year–
in a normal year and then
discuss how this is changing
and going to change. Start
with the hottest month and
then the coldest month as
Do temperature first or
ifthe group is small
and works quickly
include rainfall on the
Easy-to-use kebab sticks
bought from supermarket for
this. Small groups: each needs
a facilitator and recorder.
Impact of CC
SMALL GROUPS: (5-10
discussion – MIND MAP of
livelihoods and farming
impacts (using the 5
categories) using hotter
(drier) as the starting point.
LINKAGES between cards
on the mind map – make
arrows (and include more
cards if need be and discuss
– e.g. hotter soils, lead to
Prompt for social,
as well if these don't
come up in the
Small groups: each needs a
facilitator and recorder
poor germination leads to
poor yields lead to hunger)
things that people know,
have changed, have tried
and/or are trying, to deal
with the changes. Use
different coloured cards to
attach these solutions to the
mind map. If participantsare
statements into a positive
outcome and ask what
actions are possible.
Also make a separate
list on newsprint of
names of people trying
things plus the
innovation they are
trying (this isto
visits on day 2)
The cards need to be written in
local language with smaller
translations in English written in
on the cards as well (to avoid
the need for later translations)
REPORT BACKS: of
PLANNING FOR DAY 2:
choose 3-4 participants for
household visits and ask for
a small group of other
interested individuals to join.
Decide on venue and time
(12 noon) for continuing with
Households to be
Otherwise drive these
around and meet for
focus group thereafter.
Rapporteurs need to be chosen
from the group to summarise
the solutions in the report backs
LUNCH:Local catering groups to provide meals - ~R45 per head (rice and stew with one veg, or something
To look at local adaptations
To assess the household
To start to elucidate criteria
people use to make choices
Use questionnaire and
fill in through semi-
Questionnaires to contain the
• Head of household
• No. of adults
• No. of children (dependency
• Income sources
• Level of income
• Scale of operation: 0,1-1 ha,
1-2 ha, >2 ha
• Farming activities: gardens,
fields, livestock ,trees
• Market access
• Other activities
• Water access
• Knowledge and skills
• Literacy rate
• Social organisation
Team meets in evening (BEFORE DAY 2) to discuss mind maps and lists of solutions and choose a range
of practices from the database to present (5-10). Also, summarise criteria that came from the household
Packed tea for on-the-go to share with household members.
Recap and summary of day
1. Introduce a selection of
new practices –PowerPoint
and A4s (chosen the night
before by facilitation team to
match the general sense of
what participants need
ideas for or what they are
trying (to improve upon
those). Provide descriptions
and get questions and
Select the 5-10
and make sure there
are 3-4 copies of the
A4s for the small
groups and/or a
presentation – record
Sets of practices (A4s),
In plenary, present criteria,
discuss with group and add
more (prompt for criteriato
relate to 5 categories (e.g.
saving and using water well,
increasing access to water,
improving organic matter,
increasing soil health,
resources, etc.) along with
criteria like cost, labour,
Choose 5-7/8 criteria
criteria can be
summarised from two
Flipchart, newsprint, kokis
SMALL GROUPS: Choose
a selection of practices from
their own suggestions and
new ideas presented (5-10)
and assess them using the
criteria chosen in a matrix
Let the group decide
for each square using
a scale of 0-2 where 0
= bad or little, 1=OKto
medium and 2 = a lot to
Newsprint, kokis. Small group
facilitator and recorder.
Each individual choses their practices. Set up
sessions in the coming months to refine choices
and start on demonstrations and training in
implementationof practices and farmer
experimentation. Choose 'volunteers' for
joint/group experimentation per site.
Put togethera list for each small
group for each individual to
record their name, surname, tel
/cell phone and practices
LUNCH:Local catering groups to provide meals (rice and stew with one veg, or something similar)
CLIMATE CHANGE PREDICTIONS:
1-4 degrees Celsius
For every month of the year
Similar amount of rain but over a
shorter period(fewer rainy days per
This will lead to an overall
drying effect in the
Greater intensity of rainfall
More rain in spring and or more rain in
Greater frequency of droughts under scenarios 1 and 2
Scenario 1 – Business as usual
Scenario 2– Stabilise emissions
Scenario 3– Reduce emissions
Greater frequency of extreme rainfall events under scenarios 1 and 2
22.214.171.124The weather and climate roleplay
Requirements:Two co-facilitators prepare a small role play of a telephone conversation
Aim:To explore as a group the difference in concepts of weather and climate.
Activity: A small role play of a telephone conversation is prepared and presented (no more
than 5 min.) in two parts – one where a conversation about the weather is presented and the
second, a short conversation about climate. The group is asked how this conversation shows
the difference between weather and climate and what they think it means.
1.The facilitatoropens the session by acknowledging how most of us have now heard stories of
‘climate change’, what it is, what it concerns. It can be very confusing. Therefore, it is important to
create an understanding of what climateisand how it is different from weather.
2.The facilitator introduces the concept ofweather, as the familiar concept we encounter every day
and consider in short timeframes, e.g. we can’t know what the weather will be like in a month’s time,
but we can have a pretty good idea what the weather will be like tomorrow.The facilitator then
introduces the telephone role play around the weather and two co-facilitators do a quick roleplay.
a.Co-facilitator A: [Calling] Hi Phindile!
b.Co-facilitator B: Hi Itumeleng.
c.Co-facilitator A: I am going to visit you in [village name] for the weekend. What is the
weather like? What should I wear?
d.Co-facilitator B: It’s going to be a bit cold this weekend, so bring a warm jacket, some jeans
3.The facilitator introduces the concept of climate, noting that it is the patterns of temperature and
rainfall over a long period of timeand again introduces the telephone role play:
a.Co-facilitator A: [Calling] Hi Phindile!
b.Co-facilitator B: Hi Itumeleng.
c.Co-facilitator A: I’m really looking forward to moving to [village name]. I’m currently sorting
out my packing. What kind of clothes should I pack seeing that I will be living there for at
least the next few years? What are your summers and winters typically like?
d.Co-facilitator B: Well, we have long, hot, wet summers so pack lots of T-shirts and an
umbrella. The winters aren’t that cold though. So, no need for a lot of thick jackets.
4.The facilitator asks for comments from participants about what they saw and how they understand
the difference between weather and climate.
126.96.36.199Climate impact overview in pictures
This is a session where the facilitator provides the context for the process of working in climate change
adaptation and discusses with participants someof the impacts of climate and climate variability on
their environment. It is best to collect photographs relevant to the participants and the locality, where
they can easily recognise their area.
Below are a few examples.
188.8.131.52Seasonality diagrams for temperature and rainfall
Requirements:A1 newsprint paper, kokis and a selection of thin sticks that can be broken into
different lengths easily. One can buy kebab sticks from a local supermarket if it is difficult to
collect thin, straight sticks in the area.
Aim: To explore participants’ experience of a changing climate.
Activity: To explore with participants their understanding of rainfall and temperature in a
typicalyear in their area and then to overlay on this typical year the changes they have been
184.108.40.206.1Temperature Seasonality Diagram
1.Participants break into small groupsof 5-10 participants.It will be very helpful if participantsarein
groups with others who work/live in the same area they do. This is because rainfall patterns and
temperature can differ quite substantially from area to area.
2.Temperature chart for a typical year:
2.1.The facilitator draws a y-axisand an x-axis on a blank flipchart, and asks the
participants:How many months are there in the year? Can you please write down the months
evenly spaced along this line (indicating the x axis)?
2.2.The facilitator begins to discuss temperatures by asking the following: In this area
where you work/live, which month is typically the hottest month? Which month is typically the
2.3.The facilitator asks participants to use the sticks to represent the temperature, using a
short stick to indicate the coldest month and a long stick to indicate the hottest month.All other
months fall between the shortest and longest stick.
2.4.Continue withthe process byguiding participants to put in sticks to represent the
temperatures of the other months. For example, ask:Is January hotter than February but cooler
than December? If so, then January will have a longer stick than February, but a shorter stick
than December, correct?
ØThe chart should reflect a typical year, and not necessarily the past/current year.
ØThe chart does not have to be perfectly accurate (e.g. actual measurements of ˚C). Rather,
it is based on the impressions and lived experiences of participants. Here, we are using
sticks to indicate the relative difference of average temperature between months.
ØThere are no right or wrong answers, even when there are disagreements.
ØAll participants should reach an agreement that the chart now roughly represents monthly
temperatures in a typical year in their area. Some may not agree at all. Acknowledge this
difference butask them if it would be okay to accept thechart asis just for the sake of going
through the exercise.
3. Temperature chart under climate change:
3.1.Participants can be asked how much the temperature is increasing in each month and
this can be addedby drawing in a line with koki above the stick for eachmonth. If the
participants are not confident here, then thefacilitator demonstrateshow the temperature
increases for all the months (i.e. it gets hotter). Note that the approach is that of ‘show-and-tell’
instead of asking prompting questions.
Note: This part of the exercise shows in a tangible way what it would look like if theaverage temperature
increased for all seasons. Again, this additional length does not need to be super accurate. As long as
it demonstrates that when we speak about
“average temperatures increasing by 2˚C”, this
means that every month will likely be a bit
On the right is an example of a temperature
seasonal diagram produced in Limpopo
(AWARD AgriSi programme, 2018)
220.127.116.11.2Rainfall seasonality diagram
1.Rainfall chart for a typical year:
This chartfollows the same processas the one
produced for temperature; where the months
are written on the x-axis and the amount of
rainfall for a typical year is depicted with different lengths of sticks.
2.Rainfall chart under climate change:
2.1.The facilitator introduces climate change by giving the following explanation: Climate
change can mean various changes to the rainfall. One possible change is the timing of rainfall
being shifted later. For example, some of the rain in October/November may only come in
December… (Whileexplaining this,facilitator takes the stick, for example,November, and
breaks a piece off to add to December)…and the rainy season may end earlier(while
explaining this, facilitator takes the stick, for example,April, and breaks a piece off to add to
March, or removes it entirely if there is no rainfall).
2.2.The facilitator asks the following question: How do these changes affect the pattern of
rainfall? And explains furtherthatthe rainfall amount for the year may stay the same, but it is
concentrated in fewer monthsand another possible change isthat there could be more rainfall
(while explaining this, the facilitator adds a bar to the month where rainfall is likely to have
increased, to lengthen the sticks, similar to what was done with temperature).
2.3.The facilitator wrapsup this part of the activity by stating: With rainfall, there aremultiple
ways that it can change. This presents a special challenge. Why? Because we have to consider
multiplescenarios instead of one. Forexample, we need to address both dry periods and
ØThis exercise should show how rainfall patterns and distribution canchange and not necessarily
just the volume of annual rainfall. For example, demonstrate how rainfall can be concentrated
into fewer months with more extended dry periods between ‘wet’ seasons.
ØUse words like “could” or “likely” instead of “will”.
ØRemember that we are not trying to communicate an accurate prediction here (i.e. “this is how
your rainfall will decrease in the future”). Rather, we are trying to demonstrate how rainfall
patterns could change from how they are now.
ØIf participants ask if climate change will “cause more drought and/or floods” or
“increase/decrease rainfall”, then you can say at a global level, warmer climate is expected to
increase extreme eventssuch as droughts and floods, but these changes may not happen
everywhere in South Africa because it has very diverse climate.
On the right is an example of a rainfall seasonal
diagram produced in Limpopo (AWARD AgriSi
programme, 2018). Note that the rainfall under
climate change is likely to increase in some of
the summer months, decrease in winter months
and that a longer period without rainfall is likely
(the red line stretching from April-September).
As groups complete their charts, these are
pasted onto the wall for all to see. When the
charts are completed, the facilitator asks: We’ve
talked about what climate change could look
like, how it can change what we now see as a
‘typical year’ regarding temperature and rainfall.Reflecting on this, how do you think this change will
impact you and your work?
With this question, the facilitator leads the group into the next activity.
18.104.22.168Timeline of farming activities
Requirements:A1 newsprint paper and kokis.
Aim:This exercise is designed for participants to explore their farming practices andhowthese
have changed over time, as well as trends into the future. This exercise helps to unpack trends
in farming, issues with management practices and to pinpoint areas where immedaite activity
Activity: Brainstorm in plenary, with recording undertaken by the facilitator.
1.The facilitator asks: In the past (10-20years ago) what did your farming look like? What did you
do? How did you live?And records a summary of the responses on newsprint.
2.The facilitator then asks: And now in the present what does your farming look like? What has
changed?And records a summary of the responses on newsprint.
3.And then the facilitatorasks: If these changescontinue what will farming and your lives look
like in the future (10-20yearsfrom now)?
ØThe facilitator needs to dig deeper into some of the issues coming up and ensure that the group
as a whole participates and remains engaged in the conversation. If, for example, a participant
makes a statement such as “Now there is less grazing for cattle”, the facilitator needs to probe,
and ask why – are there more cattle? Has the quality of grazing changed? Has grazing reduced
due to climatic conditions? Is there less access to grazing areas? and so on.
ØIt is important to elucidate and clearly show trends that are taking place and, with the help of
participants, to understand if such trends are negative or positive and whether a change in
practices can ameliorate such trends.
Example: Timeline for environmental and farming conditions for Madzikane, Creighton, KZN, 2019.
Increasingly hot temperatures
during summer months
Temperatures will continue to increase, drying
out vegetable plants (tomatoes, green peppers)
Longer rainy season
Shorter rainfall season and
Less rain and no rainfall in some seasons
Frequent and stronger winds that
wreck peoples’ homes
Less water infiltration in soil
Increased yields as a result of
sustainable agriculture practices
Yields will decrease if farmers do not act
against climate change
No tillage and less use of tractors
No tillage and hand planting
No livestock control and regulation
Fencing of farm fields to control livestock
Mixed cropping and intercropping
Use of pesticides and herbicides
Increased use of pesticides and herbicides
Soil erosion due to
Increasing incidences of floods
that lead to washing away of
Vast and increasing soil erosion that may lead
to farmers’ inability to farm
Large farm fields
Smaller farm fields
Even smaller farm fields
22.214.171.124Climate change impact mind mapping
Requirements:A1 newsprint paper, kokis, and a selection of squares of different coloured
Aim:This exercise is designed for participants to explore all the impacts on their farming
systems and livelihoods as a starting pointto beginning to identify potential adaptive measures.
Activity: Brainstorm in a small group all impacts (including individual, social, economic, health,
environment, farming, etc.)and potential adaptive measures, both those participants are
already using and those they are thinking about.
1.Participantsare divided into small groups (maximum 8 participants). To start the mind mapping
exercise one key entry pointis chosen – usually in the South African context, increased temperature
is a good option and something that almost everyone has already experienced.
2.The facilitator asks: We’ve talked about what climate change couldlook like, how it can change
what we now see as a ‘typical year’. Reflecting on this, how do you think increased temperatures
could affect your lives and farming?Participantsare given a few minutes to write/draw these
impacts on the yellow cards.
2.1.The facilitator asks each participant to choose their top 5 impacts, the 5 impacts that are most
important to them.
2.2.Each participant is given the opportunity to describe one impact and why it is important to them.
After each description, they place the card on the flipchart (butdo not yet arrange or draw links
between the cards).
2.3. Continue to go around the group until all participants have described their top 5 impacts.
3.With all impacts now on the flipchart, briefly discuss these impacts while arranging impacts
according to how they are similar orare linked. Arrange the cards accordingly, but do not yet draw
4.If there are concepts that were missing in what the participants described, ask the participants to
write out those concepts on additional cards, one concept percard. The facilitator can referto the
impact pictures presented earlier to jog participants’ memories and to include as many different
aspects as possible. For example, the facilitator asks about drought and/or floods – what are the
impacts linked to this? Orwhat are impacts linked to denuded soil and grazing areas? And so on.
5.The facilitator asks participants to describe the linkages between the impactsand draws inthese
linkages to elaborate on causes (e.g. what caused what).
6.Exploration of potential adaptation actions: The facilitator asks: Looking atthe cards, can you
think of actions to cope with or adapt to these threats? Or are there actions or measures that you
have already been taking? Write these ideas down on cards, one idea per card (use a different
colour paper than was used for the impacts). Another potential question could be: How can you
change the management of a resource suchas water, soil, veld, to ensure that it remains a good
ØThis exercise works quite well for groups where they have already been implementing certain
interventionsrelated to increased soil and water conservation and sustainable farming
practices. If a project is already underway, part of the climate change introductory discussion
should refer to practices that have been introduced thatcould be considered adaptive
measures, e.g. mulching, efficient irrigation, crop diversification, and so on.
ØIf participants come from a group or an area where they have not thought about this before, the
initial list of suggested adaptive measures may be quite short. They may also say that they do
not have any ideas butmay expect support from the facilitator and or government. Participants
are likely to believe that if they have more access to resources (more money, more seed, more
equipment for example) that they could adaptto the changes in climate. It is important for the
facilitator to acknowledge this, but to add that changes in how resources are managed are
equally if not more important than resources themselves.
6.1Each participant gets to present twocards and explain the actions, which threat the
actions address, and how the actions address the threat.
6.2 As additional conversation pieces, the facilitator can introduce the flooding and drought
pictures to discuss the additional complexity of extreme events.
6.3 At the end of this activity, the group takes a few minutes to decide what key point from
their discussion and which three adaptation actions they want their representativeto report
back on during plenary.
On the rightis the mind map produced by one
of the small groups in Sekororo, Limpopo
(2018). Blue cards show the impacts and
yellow and pink cards the potential adaptive
Participants mentioned impacts such as:
ØMore drought and floods.
ØHeavy winds and more storms.
ØIncreased veld fires.
ØScarcity of water– drop in boreholes and
rivers drying out.
ØDecrease in wetlands and natural
vegetation – specifically trees.
ØHaving to produce crops in smaller areas.
ØCondition of roads deteriorates rapidly.
ØMore wild animals moving into the homesteads.
ØSocial issues such as increased hunger, increased crime, lack of jobs, increased domestic violence, theft,
divorce, no money to pay lobola, increase in death rate.
ØThis is part of day twoof the firstworkshop. The idea is todo a transect walk through the village
or area to broadly ascertain from visual observation:
oGeneral environmental conditions in the area.
oAccess to resources and infrastructure.
oVulnerability of the people.
The household visits also provide an opportunity to conduct the baseline interviews (mentioned above)
and ascertain circumstances at household level.
In addition, these household visits are set up to showcase practices and local innovations that
participants are already undertaking.The ‘walkabouts’ are informal,conversations are recorded for later
summaries and photographs are taken to record the conditions in the area and the practices.
126.96.36.199Example of a walkabout with household visits in Sekororo, Limpopo (2017)
Summary ofdiscussions around CRA practices from a group of nineparticipants visiting 4-5 households
scattered across the village:
Practices weare already familiar with: mulching, trench beds, furrows and ridges, intercropping, planting
herbs, diversification (or different kinds of crops planted together), small dams, compost.
Further comments made by the group include:
ØMulching is done, but is not so popular, because of lack of materials.
ØEarth dams are dangerous for children.
ØRainwater harvesting tanks are expensive – we are using drip irrigation (secondhand from
ØHybrid seedsare expensive and problematicas seed cannot bekept, even though they have
given very positive results.
Practices gleaned from community walkabout: small earth dams, planting grass in eroded areas,
planting and keeping seed fromold and traditional crops such as shallots, cowpeas, as well as
indigenous greens such as cleome, using kitchen scraps in shallow trenches, compost pits, banana
circles, management of mango trees by some pruning, planting green beans under shade of trees rather
than sugar beans as the latter does not podwell in the shade, protecting litchis from birds using netting.
Participants learnt about pollination processes for mangoes. They did not know about male and female
flowers. They also said, “normally when we see brown patches on the mango leaves, we do not think
that this affects the fruiting”. With the age of the trees, quality and quantity of fruit deteriorates.
Local innovations. Above left to right: small dam, shallots grown and seed kept, banana circles with
compost and furrows and ridges for planting beans.
Example of a CCA workshop1 process
Severalworkshops were held across three provinces in sevenvillages, working with around 200
participants. The results have been summarised to provide a ‘snapshot’ of climate change impacts for
these three provinces.
Table 2: Summary of climate change impacts from CCA workshop 1, across three provinces (2017-2018)
Climate change impacts on livelihoods and farming
Less waterin the landscape–
streams and springs dry up,
boreholes run dry, soils dry
out quickly after rain
Less waterin the landscape–
streams and springs dry up,
boreholes run dry, soils dry
out quickly after rain
Less water in the landscape–
streams and springs dry up,
borehole run dry, soils dry out
quickly after rain
Dams dry up
Dams dry up
Dams dry up
Municipal water supply
becoming more unreliable
becoming more unreliable
Municipal water supply
becoming more unreliable
Need to buy water for
household use – now
sometimes for more than 6
months of the year
RWH storage only enough for
Soils becoming more
compacted and infertile
Soils becoming more
compacted and infertile
Soils becoming more
compacted and infertile
Soils too hot to sustain plant
Timing for planting has
Timing for planting has
Can no longer plant dryland
All cropping now requires
irrigation – even crops such as
Drought tolerant crops such as
sorghum and millet grow, but
severe bird damage
Heat damage to crops
Heat damage to crops
Heat damage to crops
Reduced germination and
Reduced germination and
Reduced germination and
Seeding of legumes
Seeding of legumes
Seeding of legumes becoming
Winter vegetables don’tdo
well – stress-induced bolting
and lack of growth
More pests and diseases
More pests and diseases
More pests and diseases
Loss of indigenousseed
Loss of indigenous seed
Less grazing; notenough to
see cattle through winter
Less grazing; not enough to
see cattle through winter
Less grazing; not enough to
see cattle through winter
More disease incattle and
heat stress symptoms
More disease incattle and
heat stress symptoms
More disease in cattle and
heat stress symptoms
Fewer trees; too much cutting
Fewer trees; too much cutting
Fewer trees; too much cutting
Decrease in wild animals and
Decrease in wild animals and
Decrease in wildanimals and
Increased crop damage from
wild animals such as birds
Increased crop damage from
wild animals such asbirds
Increased crop damage from
wild animals such as birds and
vegetables has decreased
No longer able to harvest any
resources due to scarcity
Increased population puts
pressure on resources
Increased poverty and
Increased poverty and
Increased poverty and hunger
Increased crime and reduced
Increased crime and reduced
Increased crime and reduced
Increased food prices
Inability to survive
Although many of the impacts are similar across the three provinces, the severity of these changes is
a lot more obvious in Limpopo, where comments like “we will all die”, “we will need to move from here
to the cities” and “it feels like the end of the world is coming” were not uncommon.
In all the provinces, but more so in KZN and Limpopo, people felt that they werebeing punished by
God for the disintegration of their social fabric. They mentioned that people no longer follow the old
rules or keep to their traditional beliefs and taboos,people do not care properly for their families and
immorality, violence and theft are all too common. There is thus a tacit understanding that these
social problems exacerbate their ability to survive well into the future.
Potential adaptive measureswerediscussed as an outcome of the impact mind map and participants
discussed in smallgroups possible practices and ideas which could help them adapt to the changes
and reduce the negative impacts of these changes.
Being practicallyminded, most of the participants moved straight from impacts to practices – so
strategies were not really discussed. Some of the groups had many ideas, some of which were gleaned
from working with support organisations and NOGs. Those groups where no external support was
availabledid not have many ‘new’ ideas, but focussed more on doing what they are currently doing
Below is an example of this discussion for Turkey in Limpopo (with limited external support).
Table 3: An example of potential adaptivemeasures from the Turkey (Limpopo) climate change dialogue process
Turkey CC workshop; December 2017
Description and linkages
Potential adaptive measure
Dams dry out, boreholes
provide less water, rivers dry
out, less rain
no jobs, poverty,
More boreholes, more dams, water
management, irrigation in evenings
and early morning, mulching, trench
beds (keep moisture in and soil cool)
Soils are hotter and drier,
drought, plants wilt, increased
Save plant residues for animals, buy
fodder, control pests on animals
Deforestation, fruittrees die,
livestock, wild animals die
Planting of new trees aftertree felling,
make use of paraffin stoves and
electricity, government involvement in
solving the problem
Early fruiting, trees wilt
Poor crop health
Rivers dry out, municipal
supply only once per week.
Boreholes dry out
Lack of education
NGOs and government to assist,
trench beds, mulching, save water in
dams, drip irrigation, irrigate in
evening, boreholes, greywater
Less grazing, seed shortage,
trees are removed, indigenous
animals are no longer there
Donations for/of seed.
Rather use paraffinstoves than
firewood. Only chop down mature
trees to allow others to grow, planting
trees. Government intervention.
Taking care of indigenous plants.
Plant fodder for livestock.
erosion, dry soils, sandy soils
Using crop residues and manure
Less or no food, health
problems, no jobs
Burning of buses,
Getting access to health care, parents
Setting up cooperatives for
government support, use animal
drawn traction– oxen and donkeys,
improvise, make our own tools, make
use of hand hoes
When thistable is compared to a community whichhas been involved in a support programme, such
as Sekororo, where Lima RDF have been running a food security and livelihoods improvement
programme, the differences in suggestions clearly indicate some ideas gleaned from the facilitating
Table 4: An example of potential adaptive measures from the Sekororo (Limpopo) climate change dialogue process
Sekororo CC workshop; November 2017
Potential adaptive measure
Plants wilt and die
Lack of grazing,livestock
Mulching, controlled grazing,reduce
stock, save/store fodder – leaves and
grasses for dry season
Rivers drying out,
boreholes drying out
Greywater, purification using moringa
seeds, water storage for dry season
Soil erosion (more
dongas), soil fertility
Deterioration of roads,
making access difficult
Planting in tyres, keyhole beds, tower
Lower yields, more
pests, veld fires,
reduction of indigenous
Natural pest and disease control,
mulching (but this can increase some
pests), intercropping,crop rotation,
use of multi-purpose plants (e.g.
Use the wild cucumber (yellow inside)
dry, grind and spray on crops to
control nematodes and soil pests.
Manage cutting of trees and plant
Plant in tunnels.
Lack ofgrazing, more
diseases, more damage
Livestock decreasing, not
Crime, murder and theft,
divorce, increased death
rate, no money to pay
Use of tunnels, plant heat-resistant
cultivars, irrigate in early mornings
Lack of water
No grazing,drying of
natural vegetation and
bushes, wilting of
plants, trees do not fruit,
extreme rains destroy
Food shortages, animals
die due to lack of grazing
Water harvesting, earth dams, grey
water and managementof existing
water, diversion furrows
Organic matter content
is low, dry soils, roots
are exposed, soil
Liquid manure, make use of animal
manure, trench beds and eco-circles.
erosion, also due to use
of mechanisation –
Plant sweetpotatoes to hold soil,
plant across the slope, plant
indigenous crops such as cowpeas.
Make use ofhands and oxen to plant
using conservation agriculture.
Loosen the soil to avoid waterlogging
and yellowing of plants.
destroyed in drought
Plant colourful flowers and plants to
attract pest predators and bees,
companion planting, making brews
Plant medicinal species in controlled
environments with the vegetables
More diseases and
poverty, food shortages,
schools are free)
No transfer of knowledge,
Plant herbs and vegetables,
entrepreneurship, job creation, plant
your own crops instead of always
Prioritisation of Adaptive measuresand practices
Based on the adaptive measures suggested, a selection of the CRA practices summarised as one-
pagers are introduced to each group. This process is easy for groups that have had some exposure to
agroecological practices and support in implementation and a lot harder where little outside support has
188.8.131.52Database of CRA practices
This database can be found as a separate document on the DSS website entitled “CRA practices” and
consists of 44 practices under fourheadings (soil management, water management, crop management
and livestock integration) and have all been tried out and assessed for resilience impact under
smallholder farming conditions.
In any situational analysis, the local smallholders are likely also to have their own ideas and specific
requests that should be added to the listof potential practices. These could include, for example,
requests for cropping calendars, specific crop types to try out and even practices such as biodigesters
or rainwater harvesting tanks.
184.108.40.206Criteria for selection of practices
Once an initialrough listof potential practices has been put together, participants spend some time
thinking through criteria they would use to prioritise implementation, based on the question “How would
you decide which of these practices to try out and use?”
A few examples of such criteria are shown in the following small list:
ØAvailability of material.
ØIncreased water infiltration and water-holding capacity (water-use efficiency).
ØIncreased availability of water.
ØCosts (cost efficiency, cost-benefit).
ØLabour (labour vs. benefit).
ØCrop quality (germination, growth).
These criteria are then used to start a matrix ranking exercise. The criteria are placed along the top row
of the matrix and the practices are placed in the first column. Then a scale is decided upon with the
group. The scale can, for example, be from 1 to 3;where 1 means little or ‘bad’ and 3 means lots or
‘good’. Each practice is related to each criterion and given a score. For example, tower garden is related
to availability and then given a score, then eco-circles are related to availability of materials and so on.
An aspect to keep in mind when facilitating matrix ranking exercises, is that they work best in small
groups of up to tenparticipants. If the group is large, participants should be divided into small groups
to undertake this exercise.
Below is an example of such a matrix ranking exercise
Table 5: Matrix ranking exercise for an initial prioritisation of adaptive or CRA practices to try out (Ntabamhlophe,
Note: Categories such as cost and labour should be carefully considered – as one may be tempted to give a rating of 3 for high
cost – except that lower cost is ‘good’ in this instance and thus low cost=3 and low labour=3
Comments on the matrix from group participants:
ØEco-circles are the practice that most participants have tried.
ØUnderground tanksare not really done asthey are expensive and difficult to do. They do,
however, have a huge potential to make a significant difference.
ØSavings groups could be a way to help with the issue of money.
ØThe matrix is a very useful method for decision-making.
ØIt is good to do a number of different things.
ØThe more knowledgeable participants will help the others to try these practices.
This initial prioritisation is kept by the facilitators, so that it can beused to reintroduce thediscussion for
CCA workshop 2. The second workshop is often held some weeks after the first one and thus
participants need a ‘refresher’ in terms of what has beendiscussed already.
5.4CCAWORKSHOP 2:PRIORITISATIONOF ADAPTATION STRATEGIES AND PRACTICES
The aim of this workshop is to find an appropriate basket of practices for the participants to ‘pilot’ or try
out as experiments, to assess their value. The idea is to find practices that participants have immediate
energy and motivation to experiment with and also to build on practices to attempt to address some of
the large, more recalcitrant problems inthe area, such as lack of water and erosion.
The workshop consists of two broad activities:
1.Prioritisation of practices: Matrix, using farmer-level criteria for assessment (matrix ranking and
2.Planning of farmer experimentation,learning sessionsand implementation of practices (Individual
experimentation outlines, lists).
Outline of CCA workshop 2
Community-level climate change adaptation: Prioritisation and planning workshop outline
In pairs, take 5 minutes to
talk to each other. Each
person names one
practice they know or are
doing that is good for CCA
– a CRA practice, OR one
they would most like to try
Practices to be
summarised on a
Presentation and group
discussion on the SAEON
weather prediction maps
that are produced
quarterly to ascertain
usefulness to farmers as
a decision-making tool
Copies of the
each small group
Purpose of the
Introduction of the
purpose of this workshop
– reviewof understanding
of CC, impacts and
Introduction to CRA
report of 1st
workshop – use
the 5 categories
each. Use 2 PP
the day. Extra
detail – both
Divide into small groups –
for prioritisation matrix;
use five categories
water, crops, livestock).
Supply with cardswith all
writtenon them. They
then prioritise these in a
list under each category,
based on what to try first,
second and so on – make
sure the criteria used for
these choices are
recorded. Come back in
plenary, present and get
summarised for all small
cards with all
Fruit (apples, oranges, biscuits, juice and water, paper cups
(lots) and plates. Generous helpings, and lots of juice if it is hot.
Find someone to overseefood and refreshments, while the rest
of the workshop continues.
Demonstrations and learning
session on a
Presentation to group –
discussions, etc., then
in an appropriate garden
–preferably a household
garden. Choose 1-4
practices: e.g. trench bed,
mulching, liquid manure,
Facilitators to come prepared with
handouts and learning materials.
Also, materials for doing the
practical demonstrations such as
mulch, manure, seed, seedlings,
tools, and other, e.g. shade
netting, poles, graveland ash for
tower gardens –depends on
practices and must be planned for.
of practices for
After the demonstrations
make a list for individuals
to choose experiments to
try out. Headings are
participant writes their
name under the practices
they will try –one, a few,
Facilitators to discuss how an
experiment works – i.e. the farmer
compares the new idea to her
usual practice. For example, if she
doesa trench bed, she has to
make a new bed next to itthe
same size and in theusual way
and plant both in the same way on
the same day. This way she will be
able to see the differences in
growth and yield from her practice.
She needs to monitor how it is
going and report back to this group
what has happened.
Input on farmer
Group-based input to
discuss aspects of
choosing an experiment,
what to monitor, observe
Copies are made of the farmer-
level experimentation form and
individual farmerswork togetherin
small groups to outline their
LUNCH: Local catering groups to provide meals –~R45 per head (rice and stew
with one veg, or something similar)
Example of CCA workshop 2
This is a summary of a workshop that was held in Ezibomvini village, close to Bergville in KZN, in 2018.
CCA practices that are familiar to farmers
An introduction session over five minutes took place where farmers introduced each other and their
farming activities. Following is the summary of the results from the discussions:
ØThey use drip irrigation to retain moisture for a long time in the soil.
ØGrey water harvesting practice.
ØUse of cow manure.
ØWatering the garden before sunrise and after sunset.
ØBlue death as pest and disease control measure.
ØConservation Agriculture (CA)
oCA farmers receive more yields, the level of pests such as stalk borer and cutworm has
decreased. Farmers are saving on inputs.
Review of participants understanding of climate change
Farmers still remember the previous discussion on climate change and that the weather patterns have
shifted from what has been experienced in the past –the level of rainfall is now lower,and temperatures
are high. The increase in temperature has a negative impact on crop growth. There are stronger, hotter
winds, which dry the soil. Historically it was only windy in winter and presently it is windy throughout the
year. There are no wetlands anymore because of reduced rainfall and people building houses where
there were wetlands.
The impact of climate change on farmer’s livelihoods
•The outbreak of pests and diseases: Farmersare unsure how to solve the challenge of pest
outbreaks, such as aphids, termites and cutworm. Some farmers have ant infestations which
they control with Blue Death.
•Shortage of animal feed: Thehigh temperatures lead to dry conditions, so there is less
vegetation and therefore less available grazing for livestock in the grazing lands.
•Burning of grazing veld: Farmers have different reasons for burning the veld; some burn it to
dispose of the straw left after grazing so that the field will be ready for the following spring,
and some burn it for soil fertility and health purposes. At the end of the day, the burning of
veld leads to disease outbreaks in livestock. Participants said that previously their great-grand
fathers burned fire breaks to prevent fires from spreading, but nowadays men are lazy and do
not do that anymore.
•Scarcity of grazing lands: The population is increasing; more people are building houses
which has led to the building of houses in the grazing lands.
CRA practices that were suggested by farmers in the previous workshop
The following table outlines the practices and their categories.
Table 6: Suggested practices for farmers, categorised into the 5 primary themes
Natural pest and disease control
Underground water tank
Conservation ofwetlands and
Burying of disposable pampers
Reducing burning of grazing veld
Group prioritisation of practices
After the exercise of categorising the initial list of potential CCA practices, the group went on to the
matrix ranking exercise, now prioritising the practices that they specifically would like to try out. Due to
the drought conditions in the area, farmers focused on practices that would improve their access to
water andthe efficiency of water use in their farming. Due toharsh weather conditions farmers chose
tunnels as their second option. The following figure shows how farmers prioritised practices.
Individuals then indicate on a list of practices those they would undertake immediately; in this case
participants focused on trench beds, mixed cropping and mulching. In this example 20 of the 29
participants present chose to start with trench beds. An input is provided on farmer-level
experimentation and how farmers can use this process to make observations about the new idea
compared to their normal practice.
Another example, where the prioritisation of practices was done slightly differently is shown below. This
is for participants who belongto a learning network Imvoto Bubomi in the Eastern Cape.
Table 7:CRA Practices: Prioritisation by groups and individuals
Note: Groups in this case are the small groups in the workshop setting consisting of homesteadgardeners, cooperative
members and more commercial farmers.
Scale at which practice is
Homestead, Medium: <1
ha, Large: >1 ha)
Infiltration pits/banana circles
Close-spacing, intercropping, mixed
All – in different ways
Figure 16: Group prioritisation of a basket of CRA
options for Ezibomvini
Group priority in order of importance
1. Underground water tanks.
3. Trench beds.
5. Pest and disease control.
6. Mixed cropping.
8. Fodder crops.
9. Conserving wetlands and streams.
Rainwater harvesting (general)
What is perhaps most interesting about these outcomes isthe great difference between the practices
selected by the different groups,with only mulching being identified by all fourgroups, and only the
bucket drip and the combination close/mixed/intercropping practices by threeout of four. Essentially,
almost all the practices listed in the one-pager practices document were selected by one or another
The individual preferences recorded in the register were similarly diverse with a similar concentration
on (bucket) drip, mulching and close/mixed/intercropping. Swales, towergardens and tunnels were also
identified as being of specific interest to several participants. Only one participant identified large-scale
furrows and ridges and infield RWH as being of interest to them. Below is the table filled out by a
selection of the participants in choosing the practices they would want to experiment with for the
Table 8: Individual farmer-led experimentation choices; EC, Aug 2018
Learning workshops that can provide theoretical information and practical demonstrations of the
practices chosen can then be planned with the participants.Ideally, ongoing monitoring of the farmer-
level experiments need tobe undertaken and a review sessionheld at the end of the season to discuss
observations and learnings and plan for the following season’s experimentation.
Seasonal weather predictions
It is considered to be important to have reliable climate information locally available to smallholder
farmers. For this process, we accessed easily available information from the South African Weather
Services, called the ‘Seasonal Climate Watch’.The SAWS uses long-range forecasts and a coupled
modellingsystem to create quarterly predictions for rainfall and temperature for South Africa.
Below are examples of the maps produced.The following maps indicate the rainfall climatology for the
earlysummer (Dec-Jan-Feb),mid-summer (Jan-Feb-Mar) and the latesummer (Feb-Mar-Apr). The
rainfall and temperature climate arerepresentative of the average rainfall and temperature conditions
over a long period of time for the relevant three-month seasons presented here.
Figure 17: An exampleof rainfall prediction maps for December 2019-April 2020 (SAWS, November 2019)
Figure 18: Maps indicating the predictions for higher than normal (green) and lower than normal (brown) average
rainfall for December 2019 to April 2020 (SAWS, November 2019). The white areas on these maps indicate rainfall
patterns that are similar to the long-term averages.
Sets of maps were reproduced and used in a workshop setting with smallholder farmers, to work
together to learn to read and analyse the information from the maps and then to decide how that
information could be useful in their agricultural planning.
Smallholder participants in these discussions spoke to needing to know when to planttheirdryland
fields, as there is increased uncertainty due to large weather (rainfall and temperature) variability. They
wanted to be provided with planting dates, but upon discussion realised that the climate modelling
predictions are not a definitive answer, only a highly probable outcome for the season. They felt that
they could not take the risk of planning their cropping season according to these predictions and that in
effect such planning was similar to what they are already doing– planting when the rains start and
hoping for the best. They did indicate that it was useful to have a sense of what the upcoming season
would be like, but that it wasn’t much help forthem in terms of planning. The maps corroborated their
feeling that planting times are later, given the late onset of summer rainfalls.
The smallholder participants liked the idea of being able to have some local indicators, such as rain
gauges to help them make decisions, but did not feel confident about relying on information such as the
seasonal climate watch forecasts.
Farmer experimentation was introduced, explaining that the best way to learn is to do it and compare it
with whatever you are doing.Thus, the control becomes the ‘normal way’ and that is compared with the
new idea. It is important to try new ideas out on a smallscale to reduce risk. Decisions abouthow to
observe and measure the differences are made at the onset of the experiment and these observations
and measurements are recorded throughout the season, so that an informed decision can be made
about the potential benefits and challenges of the new idea.
Once an innovation (new idea) has been tried and established,that farmer may begin experimenting
with other innovations. At the same time, theymay teach others the innovations already implemented.
When technology is introducedslowly by overcoming limiting factors one by one,farmers have a
chance, not only to test, implement and share the innovations,butalso to build up strong circles of
knowledge amongst themselves.It also means that the role of thefacilitator is not to try toconvince
farmers to ‘adopt’ specific technologies and innovations but more to introduce new ideas/innovations
that farmers can try out for themselves and make their own decisions.
The following form is filled in by individuals, or groups of individuals in a workshop setting, to assist the
farmers to think through the aim, implementation and monitoring of their experiment.
Figure 19: Outline of a planning process for farmer-level experimentation
6 PARTICIPATORY IMPACT ASSESSMENT (PIA)
A specific framework for monitoring the impact of the CRA practices on livelihoods and vulnerability is
required to assess increased resilience. This framework works alongside the entire monitoring and
evaluation process, with activity, output and outcome indicators.
For this process, the PIA framework has been used to outline the indicators used at community level
and provide fora qualitative assessment of increased resilience by community members. A group
process has been designed and tested as has an individual survey instrument. Both will be reported on
In PIAs there are three basic questions:
1. What changes have there been in the community since the start of the project/process?
2. Which of these changes are attributable to the projects?
3. What differences have these changes made to people’s lives?
Small-scale experimentation plan
What is the problem?
What is the possible solution?
Why will this solution solve the problem?
How will I test this solution step by step?
What will I look for and what will I measure?
How will I measure the results or outcomes?
How will I compare my experiment to my usual way of farming?
Drawing of the experiment in the field.
Impact indicators measure changes that occur in people’s lives and can be qualitative or quantitative.
These indicators look at the resultof project activities on people’s lives. Ideally, they measure the
fundamental assets, resources and feelings of people affected by the project. Therefore, impact
indicators can include household measures of income and expenditure, food consumption, health,
security, confidence and hope.
Community impact indicators may be quantitative, such as income earned from crop sales, or
qualitative, such as improved skills, knowledge or socialstatus. Tracking changes in food availability,
income and expenditure can often be a useful way of measuring impact against community indicators
of impact and against coping strategies (Catley, Burns, Abebe, & Suji, 2014).
As impact measures change, there needs to be a starting point, or baseline from which the changes
can be assessed. There are different types of indicators in a socio-ecological system. Indicators need
to be chosen to be measurable.
Below is an example of a set of indicators which have been designed for this research process, which
shows the linkage between the vulnerability and impact indicators.
Table 9: Comparison of socio-ecological indicators used for vulnerability and resilience assessments
Economic: Income (types, amounts), savings (types,
amounts), markets (formal/informal)
Economic: Income (types, amounts), savings (types,
amounts), markets (formal/informal), access and sales
Social: Gender, household head, social organisations
Social: social organisations
Human: Education level, access to information
Human: Access to information (sources), knowledge
Physical: Access to water, electricity, equipment,
farming (gardens, fields, livestock)
Access to resources
Resources and infrastructure:Access to water,
Resources andinfrastructure: Improved access to
water, improved access to equipment, equipment
Farming activities: Gardens, fields, livestock,food
Increased farming activities: continuity, increased
productivity, increased food provisioning, increased
water use efficiency (RWH, access, availability,
efficiency), soil fertility and soil health
The resilience impact monitoring and assessment process has two components:
ØA focus group-based participatory impact assessment process.
ØA questionnaire-based individual interview process. These are called Resilience Snapshots, as
they are considered a measurement of change at a certain point in time (e.g. seasonally,
annually), but are not considered an endpoint as adaptation and building adaptive capacity is
an ongoing process.
These two processes are outlined below.
These workshops are conducted with smallholder farmer participants who have been involved in farmer-
level experimentation and implementation of CRA practicesfor a minimum of two to four seasons,
where a season is broadly defined as either winter or summer.
The intention is for the participants themselves to jointly develop the impact indicators that are
appropriate for them and then to use these indicators to analyse and assess the changes in their
Recap climate change impacts
Explore what people have noticed around climate change impacts and make lists under headings:
natural,physical, economic, human and social.
Group-level brainstorming of ideas; written on cards under theheadingsgiven, with arrows for increase
Recap adaptive strategies/ practices
ØWhat have people been doing to adapt to this, fix the problems, make things better?
ØWhat can be done? (first look at what has been done so far and then any further ideas of what
can be done).
ØElucidate adaptations for each category: natural, physical, economic human, social
Group levelbrainstorming: Write on different cards (those done and those thought of) and place next
to the impact, indicate with a * which of these have been facilitated or introduced (and by whom) – this
can be other farmers, projects, extension officers, etc.
220.127.116.11The five fingers tool
In addition to monitoring conducted by facilitators,a local framework for self and peer assessment and
monitoring of progress is employed using the ‘five fingers’ principles, as developed by AWARD
lower-Olifants-Catchment-2018-v3.pdf). Local criteria for assessment of each ‘finger’ (things we are
doing and changing) are developed alongside an easy scoring progress to track changes and progress.
This tool has been slightly adapted by MDF to accommodate the five thematic focus areas of the CRA
experimentation and implementation process namely:
ØNatural resource management.
ØPeople working together.
The sixthcategory (the whole hand) has been added in MDF’s work to accommodate the principle of
people working together(social agency and collaborative actions).
Practices: Recap five fingers and list all practices under each category
ØReintroduce the five-fingers concept and include a further category of the whole hand – which
is the social and personal.
ØWhich practices have been implemented(introduced and other)?Goaround the circle and each
person mentionwhat theyhavedone (productive, economic, social, personal actions) and what
theywould still like to try.
ØAdd these practices tothe five-fingers diagram. Make an A1 diagram ofthe five fingers and
then add practices on cards.
ØGo through practices recommended through the DSS. Use cards with ranked practices from
the DSS – describe and show the ones that people are not familiar with.
ØRank practices for next round of implementation. Rank the list of practices by a show of hands.
What have been the changes or benefits from each practice?
ØWhat changes have there been? Brainstorm changes and interrogate answers.
ØHow important are these changes to your lives? How do you decide? Which criteria would you
use to decide?
Do a matrix ranking: Changes (in columns), criteria (in rows) – use proportional piling, working
down each column by asking how important is this practice for the criteria? and comparing the
practices with each other (to an extent) as you go down the list. Theexercise is done in small
groups of 5-8 participants.
Below is an example of what the matrix could look like.
Other crops: potatoes, sweet
Saving for inputs
Expanding on practices
ØIntroduce new practices for each of the ‘five fingers’.
ØParticipants assess each practice (after deciding on criteria for how you decide this practice is
Eventually the whole exercise can be summarised in the matrix below.
Example of a PIA assessment outcome; Bergville KZN (2019)
Below, a few of the outcomes of a PIA process conducted for a CRAlearning group consisting of
participants from fivedifferent villages is summarised as an example.
18.104.22.168Participatory assessment of climate change impact
Table 10: Climate change impact assessed according to livelihoods indicators (Bergville, April 2019)
reduced flow in streams
and springs, boreholes
Increase in diseases
No progress here
Degradation of veld and
Severe erosion of roads
and damage to houses
by heavy rainfall
Water shortages at
Farming is done by
older people; the
younger people are
People don’t work
Livestock break into
fields and eat crops
Dongas are increasing in
number and size
Farming inputs and
services are very
drinking dirty water
leadership is no
More diseases in cattle,
requiring purchase of
medication and vaccines
and more deaths
from people building
there, overgrazing and
Contours in the fields,
that were made many
years ago have not been
erosion in the fields
Severe erosion due to
denuding of land,
followed by heavy rainfall
some conflict in
some ofthe learning
groups has reduced
More crop damage from
birds than before
SOME GENERAL ADAPTIVE MEASURES PROPOSED
- Rotational group saving forbuying and putting up fencing
- Small businesses
- Buying fencing
- Request support for fencing and ask for government support as well – although with the latter,
participants are aware thatgovernment support is unlikely
COMMENTS ON PLANTING DATES
- People who planted in November have struggled with lack of germination
- More germination for those who planted in December
- Spraying with Decis(pesticide against cutworms and stalk borer) helped with germination and
growth (more pests were present) and reduced eating of seed by birds
- A few participants even planted in January – and this worked quite well in this last season
- One participant in Thamela mulched her whole field and planted in November and has had
promising germination and growth from this
- Participants also noted that beans did not grow at all, but the cowpeas have done reasonably
well, even under these difficult conditions
It is difficult to make decisions about planting dates now that the climate is more unpredictable.
The importanceof crop residues to maintain soil moisture cannot be under-estimated.
Seeds don’t germinate
Extreme winds that
damage vegetation and
More veld fires
More pests in crops and
new pests that were not
present in the past
Fertilizer is ineffective in
hot, dry conditions
Planting times for crops
are changing in
There are small water
sources in some
which they refuse to
share with others
22.214.171.124Participatory assessment of Climate Resilient Agriculture practices
Participants described CRA practices they are using under the five fingers – soil, water, cropping
(gardening and field cropping), livestock and natural resource management. We decided to include a
further category – social agency, or what they described as people management.
Table 11: CRA practices implemented in the Bergville area; 2017-2019
Crop (garden and field)
Diversified crops in
gardens: beetroot, Chinese
cabbage, carrots, parsley,
Use of goat and cattle
Shade cloth tunnels
Canopy cover and
Beds: raised beds, trench
Diversified crops to
hold soil and prevent
Garden layout with
shallow furrows for
Tower gardens: fertility and
including management of
Limiting burning of
Intercropping and crop
Rainwater storage in
JoJo tanks and
Diversified crops in fields:
different varieties of maize,
sorghum, millet, legumes
(e.g. cowpeas, beans, Lab-
lab), cover crops
Use of DecisForte,
(Pyrethrins) for pest control
Buying JoJo tanks –
and negotiating with
water trucks to fill
Mixed cropping in gardens
126.96.36.199Participatory assessment of changes and benefits from CRA practices
This exercise consisted of a matrix ranking of practices farmers have used in the pastyear;
incorporating gardening, field cropping, livestock management, soil and water conservation and water
issues (access, availability). Impact indicators forthis exercise were developed in twosmall groups by
asking participants to outline how they make decisions about which practices to use and what changes
they would observe.
Below is a summary of the matrix for each of the twosmall groups. A process of proportional piling was
used for the scoring of each practice and indicator– where 100 counters were provided for each
indicator and the small group decided how these would be placed proportionally for each practice. In
this way participants can comment on more or less, and how much more or less. The outcome of the
exercise is quantifiable in terms of gauging percentages.
For this matrix the practices were conflated to encompass all specific practices within that category:
ØConservation agriculture: minimal tillage, soil cover, crop diversification.
ØSavings: village saving and loan associations, rotational saving in small groups towards specific
infrastructural needs, personal savings.
ØLivestock: fodder production, vaccinations, dipping, supplementation.
ØGardening: bed design (trench beds, eco-circles, raised beds, tower gardens, tunnels,
mulching,mixed cropping, crop diversification, inclusion ofherbs, infiltration pits andwater
ØCrop rotation: 3-4 crop rotations in field cropping.
ØIntercropping: grain-legume and graincover crop intercropping options in field cropping.
ØSmall businesses: agricultural and non-agricultural businesses, sale of snacks in schools,
sewing, baking, poultry production, maize milling, etc.
The impact indicators developed by this group are of particularinterest as they are multidimensional,
talking to at least two differentaspects for each indicator. Additionally, the exercise was run so that
each practice is compared with the other practices when considering one of the indicators or criteria.
This greatly increases the value and reliability of the scores provided by the group.
The overall impact on livelihoods (which is seen as the combination of the indicators chosen by the
group) is shown under the ‘total’ column. From this, the participants clearly consider the Conservation
Agriculture (CA) process as the most significant, followed by gardening, small businesses, savings and
livestock – in decreasing order.
The resilience snapshots are individual questionnaires that provide an in-depth assessment of the
impact of the implementation of CRA practices on a person’s livelihood. Proxy indicators for resilience
are built up from the interview.
Below, is an outline of the questionnaire.
The individual climate change resilience questionnaire
Comment: Percentage increase
(Amount in kg/tonnes,
of meals (for a family)
Increased water use
RWH, water holding,
water access, water
0=same or worse than before;
1=somewhat better than before;
2=much better than before
Income before (Av.
monthly in Rands)
Income now (Av. monthly
Food types (staples, veg,
No of times/
Comment: name new
options, e.g. which
1=social grants; 2=remittances;
3=farming income; 4=small business
Use of savings
1=food; 2=householduse; 3=education;
Activities in groups BEFORE–
Activities in groups
E.g. savings, church, learning groups, co-
ops, farmers associations, work teams,
selling, inputs, farmers centres water
Information used to choose
Information used to choose
E.g. other community members,
learning in groups, written info,
radio, facilitators, extension
Rate your mindset
SCALE: 0=less positive about the future; 1=the same; 2=more
positive about the future; 3=much more positive
Example of a resilience snapshot assessmentfor 12 participants in Bergville; KZN April 2019
Here the individual resilience assessments for 12 participants have been combined and summarised.
Summaries of the responses to specific questions are summarised in bullet points and tables.
188.8.131.52Learning and change
What have you learnt about dealing with CC and climatic extremes?
ØI have learnt that practices such as trench beds and CA providegood growth and yields, despite
difficult weather conditions. Also, these practices are cheap. We get more food than we did
before and will now be able to continue farming.
ØAdaptive practices like mulching help to deal with increased heat and water stress.
ØPractices such as trench beds, eco-circles, mulching and mixed cropping enable the soil to hold
moisture for longer and withstand the heat and dry spells.
What is your experience regarding the impact of CC on your life?
ØThis season we had drought; the beansdid not grow,and maize is stunted. I fearwewill not
have enough food.
ØCattle have been negatively impacted - more disease and deaths as grazing diminishes.
ØThe climate is changing: low rainfall during the planting season and high temperatures are
affecting farming activities.
ØI have not experienced climate change – I do not have water issues (participant in Midlands of
ØClimate change has destabilised our planting patterns and has created a lot of uncertainty about
planting dates for both summer and winter crops.
Do you share your knowledge and experiences with the learning group or community
ØYes, I talk to my neighboursabout the gardening practices, so that they can also try to
revive their gardens.
ØYes, I have talked to neighbours, some come and visit to see the garden and experiments
and some have even taken pictures.
ØYes, I talk to my neighbours and friends and invite them to the learning group sessions if
they are not members yet.
How do you share the knowledge gained with other members of your community?
ØDiscussions at savings meetings, at the springs when we collect water.
ØWhen people visit, I show them my garden.
What helps you to learn more about innovations and information?
Listening to other farmers’ experiences
I get motivated by other farmers’ work,get new ideas such as
planting potatoes in bags
By doing and experimenting in own
This helps me to know how good the practices are. I have tried
a no. of experiments and included my own ideas
Motivated by other farmers’ work and
Learnt about raised beds in Msinga
I find them useful because I always hear new information and
experiences from the facilitator and farmers
What new things have you added to your practices? How has it worked?
ØI have not tried anything else new, outside of the practices we were taught: CA, trench beds,
mulching, mixed cropping, RWH, greywater management, seedling production.
ØI have tried a u-shaped garden which helps to collect water, helping plants to grow better.
ØI have used some of the maize and sunflower seed I grew in the CA trials to feed my indigenous
chickens; this has helped for a better survival rate and even the ability to sell a few.
Impacts and lessons learnt
Impact and lessons
Feed of sunflower and
crushed maize seed
from own production
More chickens survive and grow
well making sales possible
Better growth and yield, increased
water holding,beds remain moist
during hot periods, beds hold
water for a long time, fewer pests
Fetched water from
communal taps and
Also,RWH and grey
water use (unfiltered)
Saves water and time in fetching
water to irrigate
Mulch (dry grass)
Mulch retains moisture, but can
Increased number and types of
New veggies and
There is demand in the village for
the new crops; kale, Chinese
cabbage, carrots. Moreand
different food for longer periods in
Short season for
planting, or no
planting due to lack
Grow crops in garden and in the
fields (sweet potatoes, potatoes)
Increased water holding and less
runoff, increased ability to
Increased availability of more
types of food
Increased soil health, feed
availability for livestock
Assessment of impact for CRApractices tried out using local indicators
Note: Scoring: -1 = worse than normal practice; 0 = no change; 1some positive change; 2 = medium positive change; 3= highly
Name of practice
Raised beds, with mulch
CA: intercropping, legumes,
Using goat manure
(composted in a kraal)
This table is a summary of the overall questionnaire (in this case for 12 participants combined).
Rating for increase
Increase in size of farming
Gardening – 18%
Field cropping – 63%
Livestock – 31%
Cropping areas measured, no. of livestock
Increased farming activities
Most participants involved in gardening, field
cropping and livestock management
For field cropping and gardening– autumn and
Increased crop diversity
Crops: 12 new crops
Practices: 8 new practices
Management options include: drip irrigation,
tunnels, no-till planters, JoJo tanks, RWH
Gardening – 72%
Field cropping – 79%
Livestock – 25%
Based on increase in yields
Increased water use
Access, RWH, waterholdingcapacity and
irrigation efficiency rated
Based on average monthly incomes
Increased household food
Vegetables – 7 kg/week
Food produced and consumed in the
Average of savings now undertaken
Increased social agency
Villages savings and loan associations and
Own experience, localfacilitators, other
farmers, facilitators, extension officers
More to much more positive about the future–
much improved household food security and
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