Mapping and Evidence Synthesis of Process Evaluations of Climate Adaptation in Food Production

African woman planting rice

Food security and environmental crises have become a major concern worldwide, particularly affecting vulnerable groups in the Global South. Small producers, such as farmers, fishers, agropastoralists, and pastoralists, must adapt their activities to adopt innovative, climate-smart practices to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.

Climate change and extreme weather events undermine the effectiveness of food production interventions, creating a strong need to better understand successful approaches to climate adaptation.

AIR's Collaboration with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation

AIR is collaborating with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) to synthesize evidence from process evaluations of climate-adaptive food production interventions. For this study, Norad commissioned AIR to conduct a systematic review of evidence from its key partners on how they are implementing climate adaptation in food production interventions.

The primary purpose of the study is to synthesize qualitative evidence from process evaluations, documenting the barriers and facilitators to successful implementation. The study specifically focuses on the following:

  1. What is the extent, nature, and quality of the existing evidence on the implementation of climate adaption in food production interventions undertaken by Norad’s food security partners?
  2. What types of issues do these evaluations aim to uncover, who are the target groups, and to what extent are indigenous groups and/or disadvantaged populations included?
  3. What works and what does not work for successful implementation (including implementation fidelity) of the climate-adaptive food production interventions?

To answer these questions, the study team is conducting a systematic database search, critical appraisal, mapping of identified process evaluations, and a synthesis of qualitative evidence that meets quality inclusion criteria.

Phase I of the study—including database search, quality appraisals, and evidence mapping—was completed in March 2023. Our study team identified 73 studies—the large majority of which evaluated interventions in sub-Saharan Africa—that met the inclusion criteria. Most studies targeted small-scale farmers and focused on crop production, with more limited evidence from the fisheries/aquaculture and livestock sectors.

After we complete the synthesis, we will apply the Confidence in the Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research (GRADE-CERQual) approach to assess how much confidence to place in each of our findings.