Guidance + Tools

Towards a shared approach for smallholder performance measurement

Common indicators and metrics

Published by
Sustainable Food Lab

This paper presents a framework of indicators for measuring farm-level sustainability in smallholder agricultural supply chains. These indicators are proposed primarily in the context of performance measurement, but can also be useful for more in-depth impact evaluation studies. The proposal is not for one single common set of indicators, but rather for using the same indicators when asking the same types of questions at the farm and household level. The authors argue that using the same indicators when asking the same questions in smallholder supply chains will increase comparability across data collection efforts and ensure that the community is building on the common understanding of how to gather credible, affordable, and useful data in smallholder chains.

The ideas presented here are drawn from fieldwork of food and beverage companies, standards organisations, NGOs, and development agencies, and were synthesised as part of a community of practice led and facilitated by the Sustainable Food Lab.