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World Agriculture Watch

The WAW methodological framework

Core variables and indicators

WAW has compiled a core set of variables and indicators to determine and describe family-farm assets and performance, including questionnaires for collecting data at farm and household level.

Based on these core variables and indicators, it can provide:

  1. Guidelines for developing national and regional farm typologies, ranging from subsistence and family business farms to corporate and industrial farm holdings;
  2. Methodology to undertake farm typology and a participatory forum for discussing typologies with stakeholder focus groups at national, regional and local level;
  3. Methodology for selecting reference farms for close monitoring;
  4. Tools to organize the monitoring of selected farms, including feedback from and discussions with farming families. These tools are aimed at bolstering farmers' organizations and strengthening support services for family farmers.

Farm outcomes can be grouped according to the three pillars of sustainable development: economic (largely revenues, including the self-provision of food), social (living conditions and participation in various organizations) and environmental (the way in which natural resources are managed as part of crop-production and livestock activities).

Capturing family farm operations in all their diversity

The above tools are useful for characterizing the diversity of family farm operations, whereas typology characterizes farms based on their assets and their revenue performance (poverty). Combined, they allow farmers’ organizations and development agencies to tailor investments and adapt them to the capacity and needs of the various farm types.

The tools provided by WAW cover diverse operational scales, ranging from farm level to regional and national level. These tools strengthen the capacity of national stakeholders according to their level of responsibility.  

The whole process is participatory, which requires both time and resources, but it strengthens national ownership and includes a strong capacity-development component.