Analyses of socio-economic and environmental effects of agroecological practices – a methodological guidance

Convincing farmers, decision makers and donors to invest in agroecology requires not only positive environmental impacts, but also the proof of short- and long-term economic returns. However, there is still a knowledge gap regarding direct economic effects of agroecology. Scientific evidence is needed to show the potential of agroecology. Agricultural, resource and environmental economics offer diverse analytical techniques to close this gap. However, the challenge is to choose a suitable methodology which, on the one hand, is practicable in a context where information and data are often limited but, on the other hand, is sophisticated enough to produce meaningful and reliable results.

To facilitate the process of evidence creation, HFFA Research GmbH was commissioned by the EU co-funded Global Programme Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security (ProSoil), a programme of German development cooperation implemented by GIZ, to develop a methodological guidance for project implementers such as GIZ staff and their partners. This is to accompany the preparation and implementation of such scientific analyses. It provides the framework for a common approach to conducting socio-economic analyses and ecosystem services valuations at ProSoil and similar programmes in development cooperation in the future.

By providing guidance on choosing an appropriate analytical design for generating economic evidence, this product aims to support agricultural and rural development programmes in advancing the agroecological transition to more sustainable agricultural and food systems.