Climate resilience is being enhanced through the Send a Cow approach which focuses on the individual / household and group levels. A wide range of technical, social, financial and organisational measures resulting from Send a Cow’s work were identified which have contributed to strengthening farmers’ climate resilience. Using such measures in an integrated, knowledge-based/ learning-by-doing manner is providing an effective approach to addressing the different aspects of climate resilience (shocks, variability, longer term gradual change) while making a positive if small contribution to mitigation.

Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich

How can African smallholder farming families survive shocks and stresses such as drought and climate change? And how are agencies such as Send a Cow helping them do so?

Send a Cow’s report Building Resilience explores how our work enables vulnerable families and groups to bounce back from the many challenges they face, particularly the effects of increasing climate change. It is based on extensive independent research, and is intended to share learning and stimulate debate.

It shows how:

  • Smallholder farmers become resilient by building their capacity across the board. Send a Cow’s broad, adaptable, holistic, knowledge-intensive approach is key.
  • Their journey to resilience begins in the home. Both men and women benefit, with both genders adopting technical measures. 
  • They become resilient by sharing and grouping together with those around them. Their community groups are key, and in times of shock they redouble the efforts they put into their groups. In fact, 55% of groups emerge from shocks stronger than before, and 41% bounce back.
  • They could develop their resilience yet further by building links and taking action in their wider community – and beyond. Send a Cow could look to operate on a community level, and farmers trained by us could use their valuable skills to become leaders within their community.

Below you can download our Building Resilience report, as well as the full studies upon which it is based (redacted to protect the privacy of interviewees).