Self-evaluation and Holistic Assessment of climate Resilience of farmers and Pastoralists (SHARP)

Climate-related changes affect the lives of millions of farmers and pastoralists every year. The need to build resilient communities, able to adapt and to withstand new climate conditions is crucial. For this reason, in 2014, FAO has developed the Self-evaluation and Holistic Assessment of climate Resilience of farmers and Pastoralists (SHARP) tool. In synergy with a number of partners, SHARP supports projects in improving the resilience of farmers and herders as to safeguard their way of life, preserve their local indigenous knowledge and improve the livelihoods of their communities. A technical review of the tool was conducted in 2017, resulting in an improved tool: SHARP+

Resilience, a key concept

Based on Cabell and Oelofse (2012) 13 agroecosystem's resilience indicators, the SHARP+ tool is a holistic assessment of farmers climate resilience at the household level, which aims to identify aeras of weak resilience and providing a baseline upon which changes can be made. SHARP+ defines resilience as the ability of a system to recover, reorganize and evolve following external stresses and disturbances (Choptiany et al. 2015)


SHARP+ is both a learning tool as well as a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tool.

It fills a void in farm system resilience assessments carried out in using a holistic, integrated, inclusive and scientifically sound approach.

The assessment therefore covers socioeconomic, environmental and agronomic aspects of the farming system and the household. In addition, information on household dietary diversity index and intra-household decision making process is also collected.

The tool offers :

  • Key data on the farming system and the household to better understand the context;
  • Digital data and geo-referenced information allowing further statistical analysis to identify causal links between household and farm organisation and resilience;
  • Resilience score and identification of vulnerabilities to identify solutions and strengthen farmers' resilience to climate change;
  • Ranking of priorities for building climate resilience, according to the perceived priorities of the farmers surveyed.

The tool can therefore be very useful to identify the aspects of the farming system in need of intervention and inform the design of projects activities, to monitor and evaluate the resilience and adaptive capacities of the involved population and to support the development of Farmer Field Schools.

Partners and donors