Climate Smart Agriculture: Enhancing capacities for a country-owned transition towards CSA

Climate-smart transformation of food and agricultural systems is a knowledge-intensive and innovative process. It is also a multi-sector, multi-actor and multi-level process that addresses complexities across biophysical, technical and socio-economic levels. How will this gradual and complex transformation be achieved? Who will own and drive this transition process at country level? How can the transformation become country-owned, sustainable, scaled up and scaled out? What are the national and subnational capacities across people, organizations, institutions, networks and policies that need to be enhanced and how will countries be supported in this process?

Open to find out more.

Webinar- Organizational and Institutional Capacity Enhancement to Integrate Agriculture into National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) to address Climate Change

Holistic human and institutional capacity development is required to integrate Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry within National Adaptation Planning (NAPs) to address Climate Change.

To provide practical guidance to country stakeholders, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) organized a webinar aimed to demonstrate how effective institutional and individual capacity development approaches can be integrated during the formulation and implementation of the NAPs.

FAO’s presentation focused on enhancing Organizational and Institutional capacities.

Webinar Recording: (

Key Messages:

  • Effective capacity development equals good development practice to achieve more country-driven, impactful and sustainable results.
  • Effective capacity development deepens country ownership, enhances technical and functional capacities, and is to be enhanced interdependently across 3 systemic capacity development dimensions:
    • individual capacities (e.g. skills and knowledge);
    • organizational capacities (e.g. coordination, mandates, multi-stakeholder processes);
    • enabling environment (e.g. governance, policies and legal frameworks).
  • Capacities need to be jointly assessed with stakeholders, appropriate interventions jointly designed and results jointly tracked to maximize ownership, ownership and mutual accountability
  • Capacities can be enhanced through a range of interventions beyond training such as strengthening multi-stakeholder platforms, coordination mechanisms, policy alignment etc.
  • Enhancing organizational and institutional capacities for NAPs needs to be cross-sectoral, multi-scale (from local to national) and multi-actor (involving e.g. private sector, NGOs) with particular attention to strengthening horizontal and vertical coordination mechanisms as well as multi-stakeholder / actor platforms.

Effective Integration of Agriculture into National Climate Change Adaptation Plans (NAPs) through Holistic Capacity Development approaches

How can Agriculture be effectively and more sustainably integrated into National Climate Change Adaptation Plans (NAPs)?

Good, effective and holistic smart human and institutional capacity development approaches can make a contribution towards this aim. The presentation and workshop conducted with 8 countries during the global meeting at the FAO in Rome, April 6th 2016 on “Integrating Agriculture into National Adaptation Plans (NAPs)” as part of the UNDP – FAO NAPs Programme illustrates a few pathways.

Presentation: “Capacity Development for Effective Integration of Agriculture into National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and Sustainable Implementation”  (


Smart, systemic and sustainable capacity development for effective national implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Who will own and lead the national implementation process of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

In line with development effectiveness principles, the proposal is to take a smart, systemic and sustainable capacity development (human and institutional) approach to enable transformative, country-driven and impactful implementation of the SDGs.

A smart and systemic capacity development approach interdependently strengthens:

  • individual capacities (e.g. knowledge, skills and competencies),
  • organizational and institutional capacities (e.g. performance of organizations, cross-sectoral multi-stakeholder coordination mechanisms) as well as
  • the systemic capacities (e.g. the enabling environment such as sound regulatory and policy frameworks, effective governance, institutional linkages, networks and enhanced political commitment and will).

Concretely, this means jointly with stakeholders:

(a) assessing capacity strengths, needs and priorities

(b) define and design contextualized capacity development interventions and

(c) define meaningful results and track progress.

Practical tools, methods, approaches and experiences are available by a variety of development actors, including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

In sum, it will take “two-to-tango” for effective SDGs national level implementation- coherent and coordinated approach among development actors as well as capacities and commitment by developing countries.

A smart, systemic and sustainable  capacity development approach in line with development effectiveness principles can make a tangible and meaningful contribution towards this aim.

Disclaimer: This is a contribution to the United Nations Open Consultation on Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is a personal opinion with reference to institutional approaches on effective capacity development approach of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)


Measuring Capacity Development: What and How: Chapter 3 in “FAO’s Learning Module 2- Approaches to Capacity Development in Programming”

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2015, author 

How can human and institutional capacity development (CapDev) interventions be tracked more effectively?

Intended for policy makers and development practitioners, this chapter provides guidance with practical tools on how to

(a) track CapDev results using results-based management and alternative techniques

(b) define appropriate CapDev objectives, outcomes, outputs and indicators and

(c) monitor and evaluate CapDev results.

Note: Authors of the original chapter are Mariagrazia Rocchigiani (FAO) with the support of Mohan Dhamotaran (InWent).

Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships, Processes and Diplomacy at Global Policy Level- A study of the United Nations Working Group on Internet Governance

Diplo Foundation, Geneva, March 2007

This case study identifies universal lessons learned about multi-stakeholder partnerships, multi-stakeholder processes and multi-stakeholder diplomacy at the global policy level through a participatory methodology with expert interviews and an online electronic survey.

More specifically, the study aims to

• provide a detailed evaluation of the innovative, multi-stakeholder United Nations Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) aimed to contribute to a more inclusive Internet Governance regime and Information Society

• strengthen the understanding of multi-stakeholder partnerships and to the application of Information and Communication Technologies for Development, focusing on the enabling environment that facilitates universal and affordable access to the information society

• offer insights into modes of professional interaction between stakeholders through principles of “multi-stakeholder diplomacy”

• test a slightly contextualized multi-stakeholder partnerships methodology developed by the Overseas Development Institute

Capacity Development for Climate Smart Agriculture

Complementing and building on the previous modules of the Climate Smart Agriculture Sourcebook published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), this chapter (Module 17) addresses the overarching question on how the transition towards climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices can be achieved.

Key Messages:

• Making agricultural production and management systems climate-smart is a knowledge-intensive process requiring a comprehensive capacity development approach of all stakeholders that builds on sound assessments of country needs across the individual, organizational level and enabling environment capacity levels.

• Due to the uncertain and dynamic nature of climate change impacts, a transition towards climate smart agriculture requires socio-institutional learning processes with a strategic approach to skills development for climate-smart agriculture at country level

• Agricultural innovation systems with public and private research, extension and advisory services play a key role in supporting the transition towards climate-smart agriculture by generating, documenting, blending and sharing indigenous and scientific knowledge, facilitating learning processes and network-based development and innovation.

• In order to improve policy coherence and effectiveness, strengthen local institutions and mainstream CSA into national policies and programmes, it is important to create inclusive, gender sensitive spaces that promote multi-stakeholder dialogue about CSA, such as cross-ministerial roundtables, multi-stakeholder platforms for strategy development and efforts to coordinate regional bodies.

• Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), participatory Communication for Development (ComDev) approaches and knowledge sharing methods are important vehicles to improve access to information and knowledge, facilitate dialogue between stakeholders, and trigger learning across levels with knowledge networks and platforms to provide a venue where the diverse actors can connect.