EXPLANATION OF EVALUATION CRITERIA FOR NEW CA PROPOSALS
- Does the proposal particularly include on-farm research, where farmers or rural communities are lead or equal partners (in identifying research needs, planning/designing, implementing and evaluating various options or possible solutions). The research & development (implementation) process (e.g. experiments) should be designed within the context and goal of the project, e.g. collaboratively-managed and/or farmer-led experiments. Other appropriate (alternative) approaches and methodologies gleaned from the natural, economic and/or social sciences must be described and should support the on-farm R&D process. The applicant must describe how these methodologies will be applied to maximise project impacts (outputs and outcomes), of which the research and development of context-specific CA systems in the target area(s) is seen as an important outcome.
- The proposal should clearly indicate and describe the level of involvement of farmers and/or communities / stakeholders. Active involvement of farmer groups or communities is necessary, as well as the use of mechanisms, such as ‘innovation platforms’, to interactively engage key stakeholders, including farmers, as key partners. The proposal must clearly explain How and Who the project identify and involve as key stakeholders in promoting CA in the area.
- Does the proposal address all CA principles and practices appropriately / correctly with the emphasis on quality and innovative implementation?
CA principles and practices are:
x Continuous minimum mechanical soil disturbance
x Diversified cropping, including the use of crop rotations and associations, as well as cover crops
x Permanent organic soil cover
Other principles and technologies, or so-called Good Agricultural Practices (GAP’s), applied to compliment CA systems are:
x Integration of livestock
x Integrated soil fertility and acidity management
x Integrated pest and disease management (IPM)
x Integrated weed management (IWM)
- Has careful and quality thought (rationale) been given to prepare, motivate and structure the proposal and having content of high quality? Has the prescribed proposal format been used?
- Is there a clear and realistic chance (through well-founded projections, explanations and/or assumptions in the proposal) that the project will make a meaningful impact, including local adaptation and adoption of CA? Is the plan/ approach/ process/ philosophy / theory of action or change being proposed in the project clear and likely to achieve those impacts? In other words, is there a clear and convincing explanation of how the proposed project will achieve the following type of impacts: improve natural resources (the environment), involve, empower and build capacity (especially of farmers), inform decision-making and/or influence awareness, interaction, learning and practice by a wider group of farmers or organizations to benefit from the project, apart from the grant recipient itself.
- In the implementation of the project, what co-funding (cash or in-kind) and collaboration is envisaged with other institutions & programmes, with other (farmer) organisations / networks and/or wider?
- Applicants are assessed on their (group’s) longevity (permanency), recent activities, funding history and experience in successfully delivering projects of this nature. This is a measure of the capacity, suitability and ability of applicant(s) to manage contractual obligations under this CA programme and deliver results.
- Proof of realistic and well thought-through planning and use of resources leading to project implementation. A viable work plan with objectives, activities/tasks, expected results and roles / responsibilities of lead and collaborating partners. A realistic and detailed budget (allocated to specific activities/tasks and results). Evidence that the proponents can mobilize and manage the necessary resources to ensure the success of the project. Sound participatory monitoring and evaluation framework, activities and possible indicators for measuring progress and assisting with management towards proposed outcomes (e.g. changes in natural resources, awareness, attitude and behavior/practice). Collaboratively managed mechanisms and structures, such as innovation platforms, for example, where key stakeholders collectively plan, act, share, reflect, learn and adapt through interaction and social learning (communication and dialogue) are highly recommended as an important tool to manage project implementation, results and experiences.