A Practitioners Guide to Developing a Performance Measurement Approach

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Small-­‐scale  farmers—whose  output  supports  a  population  of  roughly  2.2  billion  people  worldwide—manage roughly 85% of the world’s farms. And every day, companies trade with these farmers in a wide variety of products. As companies seeks more transparency through  complex  supply  chains  and  invest  together  with  development  and  financial  organizations, there is more and more interest in tools and approaches to gain insight into the sustainability and livelihoods of farmers.

Over the past years, with the support  of the Ford  Foundation, the Sustainable Food Lab  has convened a learning community focused on sharing the learning and challenges associated  with  performance  measurement  in  small-­‐scale  producer  systems.  This  community consists of a number of M&E practitioners from companies, and NGOs working  with  smallholder  farmers  in  developing  countries.  Members  of  the  community  include individuals from the Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), the International  Social  and  Environmental  Accreditation  and  Labeling  Alliance  (ISEAL),  the  Center for Development Innovation at Wageningen (CDI), Rainforest Alliance (RA), and many others.

This guide summarizes years of work to build consensus on why we undertake performance  measurement,  and  how  we  do  so  effectively  and  affordably  in  a  credible  way. This guide is intended to illustrate that there is an easy and credible path for performance measurement in smallholder agricultural supply chains, and to lie out that path so that practitioners may design their own performance measurement approach.

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