Outcomes interlinked with 5 indicators of success

Increased adoption of regenerative practices by smallholder farmers: For this outcome a participative approach to decision-making and learning is taken. Peer-to-peer learning and support will be central. Building on existing social structures and making trainings needs-based, increases the likelihood that farmers will chose to be part of trials. The focus of outcome 1 is providing farmers with access to knowledge and training, areas that are often mentioned by farmers as main barriers to being able to implement practices .REALMS will work with local extension services and other service providers where possible. It is assumed that when peer-to-peer and needs-based learning are effective, in combination with increased access to affordable services under outcome 2, increasing numbers of farmers will choose to adopt regenerative practices. Although this assumption is not well researched, the approach does address underlying factors for willingness to adopt as well as main barriers to successful adoption of new practices by farmers. In other East-African SNV projects this connection between local SMEs and farmers have worked successfully (TIDE, KMDP). When adoption leads to economic benefits, such as reduced inputs, increased yields, better prices or increased soil quality, farmers will continue to practice regenerative agriculture. The connection between economic benefits and continued adoption of practices will be part of the REALMS learning agenda. Special attention will be provided to women and youth farmers, to ensure they are not only included in trainings, but are also able to benefit and possibly take leadership positions in trainings. This also calls for sensitisation of wider farmer study groups.

Three Key Indicators of Success of Outcome 1:

KPI 1: Increased number of farmers adopting regenerative farming solutions,

This KPI will track the number of farmers taking part in project activities that have moved to the adoption of regenerative farming solutions demonstrated by and included under REALMS activities. To further understand what they have adopted and to what extent they apply the particular practice, additional quantitative indicators (to be formulated in the project logframe) will look at (i) which solutions they have adopted and how many (from a provided list of pre-approved regenerative solutions), (ii) the number of hectares to which the solution is applied and (iii) the extent to which farmers intend to continue using these solutions for the next season.Moreover, it is envisioned that in addition to these quantitative KPIs, the REALMS logframe will include a qualitative KPI focusing on the reasoning for (dis)continuing the use of regenerative solutions, as this links to the key hypothesis of REALMS that farmers will continue to apply regenerative agricultural practices because they derive benefits from them. Appropriate qualitative methods could be interviews, focus group discussions and/or At inception phase, the target for KPI1 will be set. From experience, we estimate this number of farmers to likely be 50-60% of the total number of farmers reached. However, the baseline will provide sufficient information on the farmers we work with to be able to make an informed target. At inception phase, we will also decide on the cut-off point for the number of solutions we would expect farmers to apply. For SNV corporate harmonised indicators (standard indicators all projects need to report to), the minimum number of climate smart practices per farmers is set to 2. However, this will also depend on the kind of solutions that will be offered as some will require more investment (time, money) from a farmer or are more difficult to apply than others.

KPI 2. Number of hectares of farmland under regenerative solutions (disaggregated by: with and without improved soil organic matter), incl. as a percentage of total hectares of farmland reached,

This KPI will focus on assessing the number of hectares with increased soil quality due to the application of regenerative solutions. It will do this by looking into soil organic carbon that can be measured via testing soil samples. According to the IPCC (2006): “land use and management typically has a larger impact on organic compared to other soil components. Therefore, given the relatively short duration of the project, it makes sense to focus on soil organic carbon. The IPPC (2006) has developed recommended methodologies that can be applied.  This will need to be further elaborated on with potential partners in the project, as the level to which this can be done depends on their capacities and the extent to which farmer groups could be included in the measurements and interpretation of results.

At inception phase we will be able to set a target for KPI2. The baseline will provide sufficient information on the average size of farms to be able to make an informed target.

KPI 3. Number of farmers that experience economic benefits by applying regenerative solutions,

This KPI will focus on the extent to which farmers experience economic benefits from applying regenerative solutions. Specifically, regenerative solutions are expected to lead to a reduction in costs of inputs (such as chemical fertiliser, pesticides), while being able to maintain or increase yields, profits and income. All other things remaining equal, this should lead to increased income. This KPI will assess the relationship between economic benefits (reduced input costs, increased yields) and the application of regenerative solutions by testing for statistically significant relations via regressions. This will allow to control for the influence of potentially other significant characteristics, such as socio-economic variables and location. The quantitative analysis can be triangulated and enriched by the qualitative data collected under KPI 1.

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Increased investment and business growth for local service providers: REALMS will identify local service providers such as SMEs and farmer organizations that could provide products, services and technologies (“solutions”) to support farmers with the implementation of regenerative agricultural practices. The private sector is an important partner in transforming practices, but from experience we know service providers need assistance to start proactively reaching out to farmers and getting out of their offices (KMDP, TIDE). REALMS will link local service providers to farmers with affordable solutions, opening up opportunities for increased demand. The assumption is that this demand from farmers will materialise, However, substantial increases cannot be expected until the solutions and practices have proved their added value to the farmers (year 2-3 of REALMS). To be able to support the potential for growing demand, as well as to investment in operations, service providers are assisted to develop bankable business plans. Dialogues with financial institutions are needed to increase awareness on the potential for growth in this area (experience SNV CRAFT). In addition, REALMS can contribute (small) co-investments (through its Innovation Fund) to lower risks for financial institutions and make initial investments more attractive. Increased demand in combination with increased investment opportunities will support businesses in enabling service providers to continue working with farmers for regenerative agriculture.

Key Indicator of Success of Outcome 2:

KPI 4. Number of SMEs with increased turnover from regenerative solutions, including as a percentage of the total number of SMEs reached,
This KPI will focus on the number of SMEs taking part in project activities that were able to increase their turnover on regenerative solutions. In SNV’s experience, companies are often willing to share information on turnover, rather than profits or profit margins, as the latter are sensitive information that could benefit competitors or attract unnecessary attention of other outsiders. In addition to turnover, the REALMS logframe will include quantitative indicators on (i) type of regenerative solutions sold, (ii) number of solutions sold and (ii) the extent to which businesses are considering to continue selling or expanding these services. Moreover, the REALMS logframe will capture the value of co-investments in SMEs by private sector actors to indicate the longer-term sustainability of results and the potential for growth.

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Improved enabling environment, favourable to market driven regenerative agriculture: For technology adoption to be successful, it is important that a conducive enabling environment is in place. In the case of REALMS this means policies and regulations that promote regenerative technologies and practices, establish minimum standards, enforce quality controls, prohibit malpractice, encourage access and ensure fair competition. Currently, these are not available yet in Kenya and Rwanda. To contribute to an improved enabling environment, REALMS will strengthen the capacities of local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to advocate for change. Learning from approaches in other SNV projects, particularly the Voice for Change Partnership Program, CSOs are critical in influencing policies and practices of the government and the private sector. Based on evidence, with the appropriate capacities and tools in place, CSOs can effectively create awareness and influence agendas.

Key Indicator of Success of Outcome 3:

KPI 5. Increased CSO influence on agenda setting in MSPs,
An important aspect of REALMS is to support advocacy efforts to promote regenerative agricultural practices. The overall goal is to move towards an enabling environment that is supportive of large-scale application of such practices. To achieve that, it is important that CSOs, through evidence-based advocacy, gain more influence on the agendas of MSPs, so that coordinated action can take place to develop, adjust or reinforce enabling policies and regulations. However, it is difficult to measure quantitatively the effects of advocacy, due to its influencing nature and the number of other forces and voices present, or to establish upfront how advocacy will attain expected results. SNV has learned from projects such as the Voice for Change Partnership programme that small changes are important steppingstones to achieve larger results. This requires capturing and analysing a wide variety of developments: from the number of times the topic is discussed at MSPs to the referencing of REALMS results under Outcome 1 and Outcome 2 by others, and actions taken by relevant stakeholders. We suggest to use Outcome Harvesting as an M&E method, as this requires the active involvement of advocacy partners (increasing their capacity to understand, analyse and use evidence) and allows for the tracking of small and large changes over time. Scoring rubrics will guide the project team to understand what level of changes are needed and when influence is considered to be increasing. This will be operationalised during inception phase.
In a similar way, REALMS will look at the improved collaboration between CSOs, government and the private sector in MSPs, as an additional indicator in the project logframe. This combination of Outcome Harvesting and scoring rubrics was used successfully in the Voice for Change Partnership project.

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Primary target group

  • 10,000 smallholder farmers: 5,000 in Kenya and 5,000 in Rwanda

Secondary target groups

  • 30,000 farmers beyond direct participants in the project
  • 11 national and sub-national governments
  • 10 to 12 civil society organizations
  • 20 agri-businesses
  • 10 farmer organizations
  • 3 knowledge and research organizations
  • 4 Multi Stakeholder Platforms