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Monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) in farmer field schools on food security and adaptation to climate change: pilot testing of a framework in Malawi

Version 1 (18 July 2023)







van den Berg, H., Chikomola, A., Bondo, A. et alMonitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) in farmer field schools on food security and adaptation to climate change: pilot testing of a framework in Malawi. Food Sec. (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12571-023-01386-0


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    This document focuses on the implementation phase of farmer field school (FFS) programmes and provides guidance and tools that will help farmer field schools to bring about the change expected by the programme and the communities it supports, by setting up a robust monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) system. It also introduces impact assessment as an integral management function linked to monitoring, evaluation and learning in FFS programmes. It is aimed at project and programme designers, managers and staff involved in planning, monitoring, evaluation and learning of project/programmes with a farmer field school component. It also targets those who will be involved in the initial design, planning, follow-up of monitoring, evaluation and learning and impact assessment to improve programme implementation. The document outlines background information and tools to help ensure that implementation of FFS programmes will lead to the anticipated outputs, outcomes and impacts, by setting up a robust MEL system and impact assessment methodology/framework for the improvement of ongoing FFS projects and programmes and the design of new ones.
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    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) developed this guidance note to assist FFS master trainers and facilitators bring about climate change adaptation in FFS. The guide provides key information on how the climate is changing, and how these changes are impacting the agricultural (crops and livestock), aquaculture and agroforestry systems of smallholder farmers. The note provides guidance to FFS practitioners so that they can better work with individual farmers and communities – using a “climate change lens” – in identifying, testing and adapting new practices that respond to changes and variability in local weather. The guide is not intended as a textbook on climate change but is prepared for easy understanding of basic concepts of climate change to support the interpretation of climate information in specific farming contexts and steps that FFS facilitators “must know” in starting FFS programmes that respond to climate change challenges.

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