Thematic evaluation of IFAD’s support for smallholder farmers’ adaptation to climate change

17 May 2023


The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) has conducted a thematic evaluation of IFAD’s support for smallholder farmers’ adaptation to climate change.

The evaluation focuses on the vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climate change. It takes stock of the progress made towards improving ongoing and future IFAD interventions to strengthen smallholder climate resilience in an environmentally sustainable manner.

The report found that IFAD’s experience with working with marginalized communities in the rural agricultural sector, which often faces adverse climatic and environmental conditions, has positioned it well to address the accelerating risks from climate change and to make climate change adaptation (CCA) a strategic institutional priority. IFAD’s approach to climate change adaptation is evolving and progressing in the right direction.  The Fund has demonstrated examples of climate interventions that helped improve the economic, climate and environmental resilience of smallholders. However, it needs to do more to learn from this experience, and lacks a clear conceptual framework to assess  smallholders’ climate resilience.

For the future, the evaluation recommends establishing a corporate conceptual framework for climate resilience to guide project designs, develop results frameworks and monitor project results. In addition, IFAD should expand its CCA guidance to go beyond “doing no harm” and to restore the environment while strengthening the economic and climate resilience of smallholders. The Fund should also ensure sustained organizational learning from operational experience to improve current and future CCA performance.


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