CBA Bolivia: Participatory Adaptation Learning to Reduce Food Insecurity in Ancoraimes (Plan Int'l)

Introduction

In the Anocoraimes Municipality of Bolivia, variations in meteorological patterns such as temperature changes, rainfall, frost occurrences, and hailstorms directly affect natural resources and the area’s agricultural production, jeopardizing residents’ food security. Additionally, overgrazing of livestock exerts pressure on native grasslands, which are further threatened by scarce rains and higher temperatures. Unpredictable weather and a shorter rainy season cause a deficit at the start of the agricultural cycle, causing lower vegetative cover, water and wind erosion, soil fertility reduction, and greater pest and disease damage.

This Community-Based Adaptation project takes a participatory approach to reducing food insecurity in three communities of the Ancoraimes Municipality. By developing new technologies, diversifying production, teaching the community which social and environmental factors threaten their productive systems, and how are they linked to climate change, it aims to reduce food insecurity in the target populations.

* This project is part of Bolivia's Community-Based Adaptation portfolio. *

Project Details

The communities of Cajiata, Turrini Centro and Inca Caturapi in the Anocoraimes Municipality of Bolivia are largely dependent upon their agricultural production, which consists of potatoes, barley, faba beans, green peas, onions, and tarwi, along with various livestock. This variety of production exists despite the restraints and limits imposed by climatic conditions and the physiographical conditions of the terrain.

Local communities think that the weather is less and less predictable; the reduction of the rain season provokes a deficit at the beginning of the agricultural cycle, causing losses of vegetable cover, water and wind erosion, soil fertility reduction, and greater occurrences of pests and plagues in crops. All of these effects will be exacerbated by climate change and the increasing use of agrochemicals, greatly complicating agricultural production. In addition, traditional livestock production creates a strong pressure on native grasslands due to overgrazing, an effect which will only be magnified as temperatures rise.

These communities perceive variations in meteorological patterns (temperature changes, rainfall, frosts’ occurrences and hailstorms), and plan their production techniques accordingly. However, there is no perception, nor consciousness, of their degree of true vulnerability in the face of climate change. They have yet to identify any possible adaptation measure to face these challenges.

This project aims to generate skills and knowledge that will reduce food insecurity vulnerability among local families. To do this, successful agricultural practices inspired by experience will be implemented, and results will be diffused through awareness-raising, peer-to-peer farmer training, and “learning by doing”. The project will succeed in promoting adaption to climate change if it results in better agricultural and livestock production planning that reduces the risks related to climatic factors. Greater diversification of agricultural and livestock production will enable inhabitants to suffer fewer negative climate change impacts, ensuring greater economic and social stability.

 

Climate-Related Hazards Addressed: 
Level of Intervention: 
Key Collaborators: 
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Farmers; Rural Families
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
Plan Internacional Inc. - Bolivia
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
The GEF Small Grants Programme
UN Volunteers
Project Status: 
Completed
Location: 
Rural
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
$35,000
Co-Financing Total: 
Plan Internacional Inc. Bolivia: $17,500; Indigenous Municipal Government of Ancoraimes: $17,500; Communities (in kind): $5,000

Key Results and Outputs

Result 1. Communities are better equipped to develop local strategies and interpret bio-indicators as well as data that allow them to anticipate possible damages to agricultural systems as a  result of climate change.

This result aims at generating an evaluation methodology on local damages, revaluing the use of local or traditional knowledge of bio-indicators in agricultural and livestock production, and scientifically bolstering this information with data gathered in a local meteorological station. With this data, local decisions and agreements can be made that aim at reducing the risks faced by agricultural and livestock productions.

Result 2. Households diversify their agricultural production by using better-adapted varieties and species.

Diversification will enable the families to have a more diverse food supply. They will also conserve and sustainably manage soils through a system of integrated crop management, using techniques such as crop rotation, use of solid and liquid fertilizers, and cover crops, along with other agroforestry techniques.

Result 3. Boys, girls, adolescents and their families will improve their knowledge and understanding of Adaptation to Climate Change, Resilience and Climatic Risk.

Bearing in mind that climate change undermines human rights, it is proposed that children, adolescents and their families learn and understand more about Adaptation to Climate Change, Resilience and Climatic Risk. Targeted and appropriate awareness-raising campaigns will help to achieve this goal.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation for community-based adaptation is a new field, and the CBA project is piloting innovative approaches to evaluating the success of locally-driven adaptation projects, and generating lessons to inform ongoing practice.

Key considerations in M&E for CBA include:

  • Grounding M&E in the local context: M&E for CBA should avoid overly rigid frameworks, recognizing community heterogeneity and maintaining local relevance
  • Capturing global lessons from local projects: CBA projects are highly contextualized, but lessons generated should be relevant to stakeholders globally
  • Incorporation of both quantitative and qualitative indicators: to ground projects in tangible changes that can be objectively evaluated, and to capture lessons and case studies for global dissemination

To these ends, the CBA project uses three indicator systems: the Vulnerability Reduction Assessment, the Small Grants Programme Impact Assessment System, and the UNDP Climate Change Adaptation Indicator Framework.

The Vulnerability Reduction Assessment (VRA)

The VRA is a question-based approach with the following aims:

  • To make M&E responsive to community priorities
  • To use M&E to make projects more accountable to local priorities
  • To make M&E capture community ideas and local knowledge
  • To gather community-level feedback to guide ongoing project management
  • To generate qualitative information
  • To capture lessons on specific issues within community-based adaptation
  • To generate case studies highlighting adaptation projects

The VRA follows UNDP's Adaptation Policy Framework, and is measured in a series of meetings with local community stakeholders. In these meetings, locally-tailored questions based on standard VRA questions/indicators are posed, and the community assigns a numerical score on a 1-10 scale for each question. Progress is evaluated through changes in scores over the course of implementation, as well as through qualitative data collected in community discussions surrounding the exercise.

UNDP has developed a Users Guide to the VRA (Espanol) (Francais) as a tool to assist practitioners to conceptualize and execute VRA measurements in the context of CBA projects.

The SGP Impact Assessment System (IAS)

The CBA, being a project of the GEF Strategic Priority on Adaptation, aims to increase the resilience of ecosystems and communities to the impacts of climate change, generating global environmental benefits, and increasing their resilience in the face of climate change impacts. To this end, the CBA projects use the SGP's impact assessment system for monitoring achievements in GEF focal areas (focusing primarily on biodiversity and sustainable land management).

The IAS is composed of a number of quantitative indicators which track biophysical ecosystem indicators, as well as policy impact, capacity development and awareness-building.

UNDP Climate Change Adaptation Indicator Framework

CBA projects also track quantitative indicators from UNDP's adaptation indicator framework, corresponding to the thematic area on natural resources management. More information on UNDP's indicator framework can be found on the UNDP climate change adaptation monitoring and evaluation website.

 

This description applies to all projects implemented through UNDP's Community-Based Adaptation programme. Specific details on this project's M&E will be included here as they become available. *

Contacts

Plan International
Mr. Juan Felipe Sánchez
Country Director
UNDP
CBA Project Management Unit