Managing climate risks to smallholder agriculture in northern Ethiopia: Second phase of evaluation of the R4 program

Lead PI: Dr. Malgosia Madajewicz

Unit Affiliation: Center for Climate Systems Research (CCSR)

Unknown start date - Ongoing
Africa ; Tigray, Ethiopia
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The project investigates how an innovative, integrated risk management program, the R4 Rural Resilience Initiative (R4), is impacting food and livelihood security among smallholder farmers in the northern state of Tigray in Ethiopia. R4 reaches over 28,000 smallholder farmers in Ethiopia and Senegal. The program integrates four risk management strategies: improved management of natural resources and diversification of livelihoods (risk reduction), weather index insurance (risk transfer), microcredit (prudent risk taking), and savings (risk reserves). The objective of the evaluation is to examine the progress of R4 toward the main goals of increased food and income security from 2012 to 2016. The evaluation serves three purposes: (1) learning how the program is working, who is benefiting, who is not, why, and what can be improved; (2) presenting evidence of program impacts to funders; (3) sharing the knowledge created by R4 about managing risks in smallholder agriculture with development practitioners and the academic community to foster the broad use of that knowledge.

OUTCOMES: (1) Evaluation of the impacts of the R4 integrated risk management program for smallholder farmers in Ethiopia that details program impacts and lessons for managing risks in drought-prone smallholder agriculture. (2) Collected primary panel household data that document inputs into production, yields, use of risk management strategies, and socio-econopmic characteristics of smallholder farming households in Tigray. The data built on a prior data collection effort, yielding a panel data set that spans 6 years.


Oxfam America


Oxfam America


Madajewicz, M., A. Tsegay, R. Lee (2017) Managing risks in smallholder agriculture: The impacts of R4 on livelihoods in Tigray, Ethiopia. Oxfam America Evaluation Report.

DATASETS: 1) Primary household panel data that document production inputs, yields, risk management strategies, coping strategies, and demographic and socio-economic characteristics in a stratified random sample of smallholder farmers in Tigray, Ethiopia. The data cover the same sample of households at 5 points in time, over 7 years. 2) Transcripts of focus group discussions with smallholder farmers in Tigray, Ethiopia that discuss challenges to production, risk management strategies, and approaches to coping with shocks.


index insurance agriculture smallholders risk management climate risk


Sustainable living