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Climate change has and will continue to significantly impact rural communities around the world. In particular, as weather patterns become increasingly unpredictable, farmers struggle to support regular crop yields. In order to address the effects of climate change on agriculture around the world, IIRR is supporting research into and implementation of Climate Smart Villages (CSVs).

Adverse weather conditions and other climate-related concerns contribute to unpredictability in terms of mechanization, pests and diseases, and market prices. These factors threaten the livelihood of smallholder farmers around the world, and particularly in the global south. IIRR recognizes the vitality of these farmers, who produce over 80% of the food we consume, and seeks to contribute its CSV initiative in order to:

  • Create a new revenue stream for rural communities by helping them grow and monetize mung beans and implement holistic interventions to promote gender equality
  • Diversify farmers’ livelihood and add more nutrients to diets
  • Sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes
  • Reduce and/or remove greenhouse gases emissions, where possible
  • Advance progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Recent CSV Programs’ Highlights

Farmers in 37 Cambodian villages progressed from earning less than US$100/month to earning up to US$250/month

Increased agricultural yields by over 300% to help farmers combat food insecurity and increase incomes

Helped 358,430+ participants save in 12,453 newly established credit and savings groups. Notably, 76% of participants were women and 43% were youth.

The CSV initiative supports a number of IIRR’s priorities and working themes. Our integrated 5-pronged approach empowers smallholder farmers to improve their livelihoods, lift themselves out of poverty, and be pioneers in the global fight against climate change.

Focus Area: Regenerative Agriculture

  • Statistical Basis: A recent academic study indicated farms with regenerative practices were 78% more profitable than those with only conventional practices.
  • Intervention Components: Regenerative Agriculture interventions include soil sensing, input optimization, carbon sequestration, innovation fund (R&D), community support facility, traceability enhancement, product safety promotion, and mechanization support.
  • Recent Programs: Some of IIRR’s recent programs in this focus area include the Improving Livelihoods project in Cambodia and the CSV Platforms for Adaptation to Climate Change programs in Southeast Asia.

Focus Area: Nutrition

  • Statistical Basis: A 3-year research project in the Philippines funded by International Development Research Centre (IDRC) showed that supplementary feeding of malnourished schoolchildren using a combination of iron-fortified rice and indigenous vegetables sourced from school gardens helped significantly improve their nutritional status.
  • Intervention Components: Nutrition interventions include bio-intensive school gardening, supplementary feeding of underweight children in schools and local communities, nutrition education, promotion of agro-biodiversity conservation of nutrient-dense, and climate hardy indigenous vegetables.
  • Recent Programs: Recent IIRR programs in this focus area include the Bio-Intensive Gardening Project in Zimbabwe and the Integrated School Nutrition Model in the Philippines.

Focus Area: Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

  • Statistical Basis: Research commissioned by Aktion Deutschland Hilft (German Relief Coalition) on the benefits of disaster risk reduction programs in 2016 found that in 102 of the 117 case studies considered, the expected benefit-cost-ratios had values greater than one.
  • Intervention Components: DRR interventions include a systematic approach to managing natural disasters, capacity building to enhance disaster preparedness such as forest fires, floods, and droughts, construction of flood defenses, planting trees to stabilize slopes, land-use optimization, and promotion of strict building construction methodologies.
  • Recent Programs: IIRR programs in this focus area include Peatland Conservation in the Philippines and the NGO Disaster Preparedness project in Asia.

Focus Area: Education Capacity Building

  • Statistical Basis: A study with a sample of 125 grassroots organizations that participated in capacity-building events over a five-year period indicated that investments in these small nonprofits do make a difference. It concluded that participating organizations were more likely to engage in planning, use evaluation strategies, and have grant writing knowledge and awareness of opportunities.
  • Intervention Components: Education capacity building interventions include training courses and research seminars for local NGOs, institutional plan development for financial education, microbusiness management, and community organization, climate-oriented training, promotion of healthy eating, and capacity building of smallholder farmers.
  • Recent Programs: Recent IIRR programs in this focus area include the Project for Financial Inclusion in Rural Areas (PROFIRA) in Uganda and the Regional Economic Development project in Cambodia.

Focus Area: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)

  • Statistical Basis: A research publication by WHO showed that all water and sanitation improvements were found to be cost-beneficial, and this applied to all world regions. In developing regions, the return on a US$1 investment was in the range of US$5 to US$28. Even under pessimistic scenarios, the potential economic benefits generally outweighed the costs.
  • Intervention Components: WASH interventions include WASH training and promotion, facility development and maintenance, and provision of cleaning materials or educational materials for WASH in schools.
  • Recent Programs: IIRR programs in this focus area include the Child Development Centres project and the WASH project, both in the Philippines.

Gender Lens

  • Gender lens is an integral theme of IIRR’s CSV interventions. IIRR aims to promote gender equality by giving women equal opportunities as men to be economically, socially, educationally, and occupationally empowered.
  • As a part of this gender lens, IIRR aims to
    • Promote equal representation of men and women in all programs and more importantly in the decision making, access to, and control of resources
    • Give greater attention to women in cross-cutting areas such as WASH and nutrition
    • Integrate women in the production and implementation of disaster risk reduction plans, which are often considered to be men’s domain
    • Ensure education (capacity building) programs are gender-sensitive in content and materials used
    • Collect gender data for all programs and utilize the information for planning, implementation, evaluation, and reporting on CSV interventions.