AICCRA / Kelvin Trautman, KANDS Collective

Regional workshop: Capacity building on CSA assessment and prioritization tools and formulation of CSA projects in West and Central Africa

The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT (ABC) through AICCRA and CORAF in collaboration with the World Bank Food Systems Resilience Program (FSRP) is hosting a regional workshop to build the capacity of stakeholders in West and Central Africa on tools and methods for evaluating climate-smartness of agricultural technologies and CSA prioritisation and formulation of CSA Projects. Participants include researchers from the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) and the members of the CSA Alliance in West and Central Africa.


The CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in West Africa and CORAF have collaborated over the past decade to carry out numerous efforts at regional and national levels, bringing together researchers and policymakers to revitalize a genuine mutual commitment to addressing the challenges of climate change. Building on this work, AICCRA (Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa) is supporting CORAF to take this agenda forward and provide technical support on foresight analysis and support scaling of climate-smart agriculture technologies in the region.

The AICCRA project is helping to build a climate-sensitive African future driven by science and innovation in agriculture. It is led by the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT and supported by a grant from the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA). AICCRA works to increase access to climate information services and smart agricultural technologies for millions of smallholder farmers across Africa. AICCRA investments are concentrated in six anchor countries namely Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, and Zambia with the implementation of four components (i) Knowledge Generation and Sharing, (ii) Strengthening Partnerships for Implementation, (iii) Validation of Climate Smart Agriculture Innovations through Pilot Projects and (iv) Project Management. The sub-regional component of AICCRA in West Africa is implemented through the creation of multi-stakeholder partnerships of existing scientific and educational networks and centers to achieve results that cannot be achieved easily, if at all, by engaging with individual partners at the national level.

The West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) works to contribute to a sustainable reduction of poverty and food insecurity in West and Central Africa. To achieve this goal, CORAF is working to increase economic growth generated by agriculture and to improve the agricultural research system of the sub-region. The Strategic Plan 2018-2027 focuses on 4 Priority Intervention Domains: (i) Agriculture, food, and nutrition security, (ii) Policy, institutions, markets, and trade, (iii) Gender, youth, and social equity; and (iv) Knowledge Management and Foresight.

The Food System Resilience Programme (FSRP) is a flagship regional investment program aimed at strengthening the resilience of the food system in West Africa through a strategic regional approach. The program funds investments in three mutually reinforcing thematic areas: (i) Digital advisory services for the prevention and management of agricultural and food crises; (ii) Sustainability and adaptability of the productive base of the food system (sustainable land and watershed management, agro-ecological approaches); and (iii) Market integration and trade (regional staple food value chain development). Sub-component 1.1 of this program aims to strengthen national and regional research centers in several areas such as biotechnology, bioinformatics, prospective analysis, CSA, and its tools. Sub-component 2.1 aims to promote access to and the exchange of appropriate technologies between countries to encourage their adoption and scaling up. Component 2.2, which deals with integrated landscape management, places particular emphasis on the scaling-up of climate-smart technologies.

However, most actors involved in improving the resilience of food systems are still unaware of what makes a technology climate-smart, and this limits the choice of these technologies. Indeed, the practices and technologies that could potentially be used in AIC require prior assessment before they can be used in projects and programs. Validating the climate-smart characteristics of these AIC options necessarily requires a rigorous assessment of them. There are scientifically proven tools and methods that can be used to carry out these evaluation activities. Efforts to adapt these methodologies to the context of AIC exist, but very few of them are known and used by technicians and other stakeholders. Similarly, it is essential to improve the capacity of players in the drafting of pro-CIA projects/programs. 

The Alliance Bioversity and CIAT through the AICCRA project in collaboration with CORAF and the FSRP program are organizing two regional training workshops (one in West Africa and a second in Central Africa) on the development of CSA projects and the use of tools and methods for assessing the climate-smartness of agricultural practices and technologies. This regional workshop in West Africa is the first in the series.


The main objective of this training is to help build the capacity of actors in national agricultural research systems (NARS) and CSA Alliances to develop CSA projects and use tools and methods to assess the climate-smartness of potential AIC practices and technologies.

Specifically, this will involve:

  • Facilitate the exchange of knowledge between actors from NARS and pro-CSA Alliances on their experiences in drafting projects and evaluating CSA options, as well as their use in their daily activities,
  • Capacitate stakeholders in the development of CSA projects and the use of tools and methods for assessing the climate-smart characteristics of potential CSA practices and technologies in West and Central Africa,
  • Stimulate or promote the use of the knowledge acquired in developing bankable projects.

Methodological approach

The main points to be covered during this training workshop include:

  • Module 1: Basic concepts in climate-smart agriculture for more resilient farming systems.
  • Module 2: Understanding climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and acting for a more resilient agricultural system.
  • Module 3: Methods and tools for assessing the climate-smartness of agricultural practices and technologies.
  • Each of the methods will be dealt with in sub-modules: for example, systematic review methods, meta-analysis of data, CCAFS tool, etc., with particular emphasis on the practical aspects of handling the tools.
  • Module 4: Techniques for designing and writing CSA projects and specific considerations in CSA projects implementation.

Expected results

At the end of this training workshop, the following results are expected:

  • The basic theoretical and technical concepts of climate-smart agriculture are revisited and mastered by the participants.
  • Participants' experiences in developing projects in their countries are capitalized and shared.
  • Participants understood and mastered technics for developing pro-CSA projects.
  • Participants have mastered the methods and tools for evaluating agricultural CSA technologies and innovations.
  • Ideas for validating the acquired knowledge are identified and shared with the participants.

Participants' profile

The workshop participants will be:

  • Members of the CSA-Alliance West Africa
  • Representatives of NARS (researchers and technicians)
  • Researchers and technicians in charge of managing the FSRP project at the country level
  • The trainers: the recruited principal trainer and the CORAF-ABC team