MAINSTREAMING CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION
SESSION 5: LIVELIHOODS CAPACITY ASSESSMENT (STEP 4)
To understand how to carry out a Livelihoods Capacity Assessment. This tool will
help participants to understand which livelihoods assets and which policies or
institutions are can be drawn on in order to cope with or recover from hazards.
This will provide some insights into ways in which to strengthen livelihoods in
order to respond to the livelihoods vulnerabilities explored in the Livelihoods
Vulnerability Assessment and to reduce impact of hazards in the community.
SLIDE – Capacity assessment
• Capacity relates to the full range assets that enhance people‟s ability
to reduce their vulnerability, i.e. which enable them to cope with,
withstand, prevent, prepare for or recover from the impact of a
• The livelihoods capacity assessment identifies the existing strengths
within the community (or group) based on the assets they have
available to them or can mobilise.
• Assets include financial, natural, physical, human and social
• They include skills, knowledge, organisations and attitude as well as
physical and natural resources.
Capacity assessment stresses the positive and seeks to identify how people usually
deal with adverse circumstances. Even the weakest members of a community have
useful skills or resources which are valuable when coping with shocks and stresses.
The ability to access knowledge and information and the opportunity to learn new
skills are often overlooked when assessing capacities. The availability and short-
comings of seasonal crop forecasts have been discussed. Now that AGRITEX, in
conjunction with the Met Office, will have up to date information on climate trends,
farmers will have access to advice on meteorological (weather) information that
guides their decision making.
People live in fragile environments may have developed ways of “riding out” periods
of stress. These are known as coping strategies. Coping mechanisms can include
defensive actions, active problem solving and ways of handling stress. Following the
A Training Manual on Use of Climate Information and Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment for
Agricultural Extension Staff in Zimbabwe