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Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification

Sustainable Intensification Assessment Framework

The Sustainable Intensification Assessment Framework provides a set of indicators organized into five domains considered as critical for sustainability, namely productivity, economic, environment, human condition and social domains. The primary purpose of the Sustainable Intensification Assessment Framework is to strengthen researchers’ ability to holistically assess the performance of an innovation in terms of the direct and indirect consequences within and across domains. The indicators listed address smallholder farming contexts where agricultural production is closely linked with development goals such as alleviating poverty, avoiding land degradation, increasing food security and nutrition security, and supporting women’s empowerment.  Ideally, this framework will support the assessment of sustainable agriculture intensification innovations through interdisciplinary, and iterative co-learning approaches. The framework is not designed for project evaluation, though it can contribute towards that goal.

There are two primary documents to support the use of the Sustainable Intensification Indicator Assessment Framework:

  1. The Guide for Sustainable Intensification Assessment Framework: The guide provides an overview of the framework of indicators and includes a recommended process for indicator selection and identification of tradeoffs and synergies.

  2. The Sustainable Intensification Assessment Methods Manual: The methods manual provides a detailed summary of the steps needed for data collection and estimation for each of the metrics provided in the framework. For most metrics, there are several data collection methods provided and a description of the strengths and limitations of each method.

Supplementary files provide additional support for the use of the indicator framework:

  • The SI Toolkit is an interactive method to assess your research in sustainable intensification and adapt your practices to achieve the best possible outcome for all parts of a smallholder farmer’s system.
  • The radar chart generator can be used to visualize the output of multiple indicators.

If you would like to be added to the SI Assessment Framework listserv for updates and for the ability to share examples of using these tools, please click the link below.