PICSA is informed by years of research with farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Research is an important part of implementing PICSA and informs the PICSA process from start to finish. This begins with scoping research, which focuses on the following three elements:
- National meteorology services – what capacity exists for production and analysis of locally-specific historical climate data?
- Existing service provision for farmers – what services already provide climate services to farmers?
- Agricultural and climate systems – what are the key agricultural practices, decisions, risks, and opportunities? How are these affected by climate and weather?
This research informs the selection of historical climate data, which is then used with farmers. It also guides the selection of stakeholders who will be trained in PICSA, as well as the crop, livestock and livelihood information that is used with farmers.
Evaluating PICSA is important to understand its impacts for farmers, and to inform future improvement. This typically involves a quantitative survey with a random sample of farmers trained in PICSA. The survey is then followed by more detailed qualitative case studies with individual households. The Evaluation page contains more detail on evaluating PICSA.
Research on PICSA
Several ongoing research projects are also being conducted on PICSA. These include:
- Cross-country comparison on the effects of PICSA on farmer innovation – This study draws together qualitative data from four different countries where PICSA has been implemented, to explore how and why PICSA affects farmer innovation processes.
- Assessing the effectiveness of adapting PICSA to Bangladesh – This research combines qualitative and quantitative data from evaluations with observations made whilst adapting PICSA for Bangladesh. It explores how effectively PICSA has been adapted to the Bangladeshi context
- Studying the effects of PICSA on agricultural extension services – This study uses data from Ghana and Malawi to understand how PICSA has affected the delivery of agricultural extension services to farmers.
- Sustainability and scaling of PICSA in Latin America – This ongoing PhD study explores the effects of PICSA, as well as opportunities for long term sustainability and scaling in Latin America.
Research on the PICSA approach has been published in several high-profile climate services journals. A full list of PICSA publications is available on the Publications page.