Self-evaluation and Holistic Assessment of climate Resilience of farmers and Pastoralists (SHARP)
SHARP training in Virei, Angola (©FAO/Txaran Basterretxea)

Why a tablet application?

The use of tablets for recording information allows for maximum accuracy, flexibility and immediate results: several people can be interviewed at the same time and in a participatory manner in group settings and data collected can be easily shared with a central database. In addition, the application automatically generates a report containing a preliminary analysis of data collected - and offers the possibility to compare in real time the scoring and highlight the best or worst components of the farming or pastoral system in terms of climate resilience in order to engender discussions while in the field.

The following are among the advantages of using the tablet application to gather data: 

  • The option to interview multiple respondents at a time (up to 8 farmers/pastoralists in the current version of the application);
  • The possibility to store, in one single device, information and results from a wide number of people, e.g. communities, AP/FFS, countries, regions; 
  • The higher degree of flexibility with respect to paper-based surveys in switching between questions and respondents while administering the survey; this follows more naturally the flow of conversations with respect to the traditional question-by-question approach to interviewing;
  • The ability to ensure internal consistency between individuals' responses (i.e. number of family members remains consistent through subsequent questions) and standardization of some responses (e.g. drop down menus to select from);
  • The integrated data analysis and visualization tools that allow a first analysis of data directly within the tablet to be performed; this includes options to compare results across people (e.g. farmer vs. pastoralist; male vs. female) and to visualize data through charts and graphs that offer a quick impression of the resilience status of different households and individuals;
  • The option of sending data directly to a central computer server, where it can be stored securely and be analyzed more thoroughly or to transfer results to a laptop in the field.

The SHARP tablet application was developed over the past two and a half years, and has now been fully integrated in the administration of the SHARP survey in the field after testing in a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Next steps

Efforts are currently underway to establish a sound and standardized methodology for more thorough analysis of data gathered through SHARP field surveys at FAO Rome HQ level. Our vision is for SHARP to integrate household and community level climate resilience data with broader information on ongoing and projected changes in climate patterns. This will enable AP/FFS facilitators, local and national governments to name just a few, to inform farmers and pastoralists of best options (including agricultural and non-agricultural practices) for improving the resilience of their households and farming systems.