Climate Smart Agriculture Sourcebook

Enhancing capacities for a country-owned transition towards CSA

Enabling Frameworks

Annex C1.1 Example of National Level climate-smart agriculture Rapid Capacity Assessment Questionnaire

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CD Dimensions

Capacity areas / Categories

A. Existing situation / Baseline

B. Actionable Recommendations for Improvement / Interventions

Enabling Environment

Policy level/regulatory framework and coherence between sectoral and cross-sectoral policies to promote the transition towards climate-smart agriculture

  • What supportive policies and other national strategies exist for climate change and agriculture (addressing mitigation, adaptation and land use change)? Note the name of the Policies or Regulations that exist, year of enactment, year of the most recent revision, current status and planned developments.
  • Do national climate change and/or agriculture policies define objectives, and priorities enabling the successful implementation of climate-smart agricultural practices?
  • Do the climate change and/or agriculture policies include outlines of measures for the implementation of climate change activities within the agricultural sector?
  • Do climate change and/or agriculture policies define the institutional set-up for the implementation of climate change activities within the agricultural sector?
  • Do climate change and/or agriculture policies define roles, responsibilities and rights for policy implementation?
  • To what extend are cross-sectoral policies (e.g. agriculture, environment, trade) harmonised and coherent to promote transition towards climate-smart agriculture?

Country commitment and accountability frameworks


  • Which international agreements in the realm of climate change has the country subscribed to?
  • To what extent are such international commitments in the area of climate change actively implemented?
  • To what extent and how does the country participate in international fora or debates on climate change?
  • How are political / societal commitment and support to climate change and climate-smart agriculture (both mitigation and adaptation) demonstrated?


Economic framework and national public sector budget allocations


  • Are there national sources of funding available to support the implementation of measures for climate-smart agricultural practices?
  • To what extent does the legislation reveal contradictions or areas of overlap in responsibilities among agencies involved in climate-smart agricultural practices?


Organizational/  Institutional

Cross-sectoral, horizontal and vertical coordination mechanisms for climate-smart agriculture policy formulation and implementation


  • To what extent and how do the concerned ministries / national agencies collaborate?
  • Is there a mechanism for ensuring coordination, information exchange and effective policy implementation among relevant ministries / national agencies? If yes, please clarify it.
  • Which ministries/agencies participate and at what level?
  • Are there clearly established intra-organizational coordination mechanism within relevant ministries / agencies for climate-smart agriculture policy formulation and implementation?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of such inter and intra ministerial / national agency mechanisms?


Mandates of key actors to support climate-smart agriculture practices


  • Which ministries/departments have the mandate to work on climate change and on agriculture/land use issues? Are their mandates clearly defined?
  • Which other important national and international institutions (multilateral, bilateral, civil society organizations (CSOs) and NGOs) exist in the country working on climate change and climate change/agriculture/land use? 


Multi-stakeholder / multi-actor linkages, networks, platforms and partnerships for climate-smart agriculture practices


  • What are existing multi-stakeholder / multi-actor coordination mechanisms, platforms, networks or partnerships in relation to climate smart agricultural practices?
  • How inclusive are the existing mechanisms / platforms, particularly women?
  • Are mandates, charter, standard operating procedures, decision-making mechanisms, monitoring procedures clearly defined?
  • To what extend do stakeholders / actors have the necessary functional and technical capacities to meaningfully participate in the discussions and decision-making processes?


Knowledge and information flows in support of climate smart agriculture


  • To what extent are existing policies and regulations on agricultural mitigation accessible (in printed, online formats, etc.) and easy to understand?
  • To what extent are the ministry staff, rural civil society and private sector knowledgeable about the existing legislation on climate change and agriculture/land-use change?
  • Are there mechanisms for knowledge sharing at the Ministry levels? 
  • Are staff of relevant agencies adequately informed on global climate change issues?
  • Which data is available at national level on emissions from the agriculture sector and more specifically on crops/livestock/agriculture production sectors for carbon/nonCO2/greenhouse gas inventories?
  • Which Tier level is used for carbon accounting? Does reporting of carbon stocks from the agriculture/land-use sectors take place?
  • Do any calculations at national level exist on the mitigation potentials of crops/livestock/agriculture productions sectors?


Individual/ Human

Job requirements, Tasks, and skills levels in main organizational actors


  • Are the ministry/department staff at central level adequately prepared to deal with climate change and specifically climate change/land-use change issues?
  • What is most needed at central level to improve knowledge and skills on climate change and specifically climate change/land-use change issues? (e.g. workshops on specific topics, training, guidebooks.)
  • What tasks are ministry / department staff currently performing in relation to deal with climate change and specifically climate change / land-use change issues?
  • What types of skills are needed at central level to integrate climate change concerns into agricultural policies? (e.g. to attend international climate change negotiations) 
  • Which types of skills are missing at national level to support data collection on emissions from the agriculture sector and support the national greenhouse gas inventories? 


Competency Development (technical and functional)

  • What types of learning opportunities and further education already exist and are needed to develop appropriate competences in the area of greenhouse gas accounting/climate change negotiations?

Operational Guidance for using the National Level Capacity Assessment Questionnaire: 

  • To maximize country ownership, the questionnaire is to be completed during a series of participatory stakeholder workshops with facilitated group work. Groups can be either separate by stakeholder to solicit stakeholder specific views or mixed groups to encourage cross-sectoral exchange, coordination and collaboration. Group work answers can be further complemented by follow-up interviews or expert survey. The role of a facilitator and trusted convenor is key to foster inclusive participation of and dialogue between all stakeholders.
  • Stakeholder Workshop 1: Start with Column A – Existing situation / Baseline to answer each question. Ideally, this should be consensus based. If pressed for time, it is recommended for the group to focus on 3-5 key issues per question. 
  • Based on Column A results, complete Column B on “Actionable Recommendations / Interventions” for each question. Again, if pressed for time, the group is to focus on 3-5 key issues per question. The findings are to be compiled in a synthesized report keeping a technical and policy-maker target audience in mind.
  • Stakeholder Workshop 2: The compiled findings are to be presented for stakeholder validation, a critical step in the process combining technical and policy maker / decision-makers validation. Questions to be asked during the facilitated group work ate (a) Agreement with the findings and (b) Anything missing and to be complemented. This session can be followed up with a more detailed road map / action planning to identify concrete next steps for improvement. Identified actions can be translated into specific results to track progress.

Source: Authors