Vital Signs - Technical Support for the Africa Monitoring System

Lead PI: Cheryl Palm

Unit Affiliation: Agriculture & Food Security Center

April 2012 - September 2015
Africa ; Sub-Saharan Africa ; South Africa
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The Agriculture and Food Security Center (AgCenter) is collaborating with Conservation International and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa to set up a holistic system for monitoring agriculture, the environment, and human wellbeing (The Africa Monitoring System), which will provide tools to ensure that agricultural development does not degrade natural systems and the services they provide. It will also fill a critical unmet need for integrating measurements of agriculture, ecosystem services, and human well-being by pooling real-time and multi-scale data into an open-access online dashboard that policy makers will be able to use and customize to inform decision making.

OUTCOMES: Create an Integrated Monitoring System for Ecosystem Services in African Agriculture Landscapes, the system is intended to be rolled out globally. The System will be developed in close collaboration with policy makers and donors and will provide metrics, quantitative measures and synthetic, decision support indicators to ensure that agricultural development improves the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, conserves natural systems and services they provide, and restores the ecosystem services in degraded agricultural landscapes they provide and restores. Implementation of the monitoring system in five regions of sub-saharan Africa (Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia and two additional regions).


Conservation International


Gates (Bill and Melinda) Foundation


Conservation International, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) South Africa


human wellbeing ecosystem services open-access food ecology and nutrition policy protection of natural systems agriculture


Stewardship of the planet