Towards a Shared Approach for Smallholder Performance Measurement: Common Indicators and Metrics

This paper presents an aligned yet customizable framework of indicators for measuring farm-level sustainability in smallholder agricultural supply chains. These indicators are proposed primarily in the context of performance measurement, but can also be useful for more in-depth impact evaluation studies. The proposal is not for one single common set of indicators, but rather for using the same indicators when asking the same types of questions at the farm and household level. The authors argue that using the same indicators when asking the same questions in smallholder supply chains will increase comparability across data collection efforts and ensure that the community is building on the common understanding of how to gather credible, affordable, and useful data that facilitates learning.

The ideas presented here are drawn from recent fieldwork of food and beverage companies, standards organizations, NGOs, and development agencies, and were synthesized as part of a community of practice led and facilitated by Sustainable Food Lab. This community is co-led by a committee of practitioners from the Committee on Sustainability Assessment (COSA), the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling Alliance (ISEAL), The IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative, Rainforest Alliance, the Ford Foundation, the Center for Development Innovation at Wageningen (CDI), Nestlé, Root Capital, Mars Inc., and Sustainable Food Lab. The work is funded by the Ford Foundation and the IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative.

For more information, contact Emily Shipman at [email protected] January 2016

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