Livelihood/Food Security-CLD Articles & Abstracts

Livelihood/Food Security-CLD Article References & Abstracts

Sohel Ahmed, Edwin Simiyu, Grace Githiri, Alice Sverdlik and Shadrack Mbaka. 2015. “Cooking up a storm Community-led mapping and advocacy with food vendors in Nairobi’s informal settlements.” IIED Working Paper, IIED.

Abstract: Food security is rarely prioritised in African cities, and food vendors are similarly ignored or stigmatised, despite providing a range of affordable, accessible meals. Furthermore, past research and urban policies usually overlook food hawkers selling inside informal settlements. Based on participatory research in Nairobi, this paper aims to address the invisibility of vendors in informal settlements and to inform more appropriate, inclusive urban food security strategies. Balloon-mapping and other novel mapping techniques were combined with focus group discussions to explore vendors’ practices, challenges, and opportunities for promoting food safety. Our detailed maps, vivid narratives, and community-led strategies may cook up a storm that can create safer foods and more secure livelihoods, with benefits extending across African informal settlements.

Miguel A. Altieri, Fernando R. Funes-Monzote, and Paulo Petersen. 2012. “Agroecologically efficient agricultural systems for smallholder farmers: contributions to food sovereignty.” Agron. Sustain. Dev. 32: 1–13. DOI 10.1007/s13593-011-0065-6.

Abstract: The realization of the contribution of peasant agriculture to food security in the midst of scenarios of climate change, economic and energy crisis, led to the concepts of food sovereignty and agroecologically based production systems to gain much attention in the developing world in the last two decades. New approaches and technologies involving application of blended modern agricultural science and indigenous knowledge systems and spearheaded by thousands of farmers, NGOs, and some government and academic institutions are proving to enhance food security while conserving agrobiodiversity soil and water resources conservation throughout hundreds of rural communities in the developing world. Case studies from Cuba, Brazil, Philippines, and Africa are presented to demonstrate how the agroecological development paradigm based on the revitalization of small farms which emphasizes diversity, synergy, recycling and integration, and social processes that value community participation and empowerment, proves to be perhaps one of the only viable options to meet present and future food needs. Given the present and predicted near future climate, energy and economic scenarios, agroecology has emerged as one of the most robust pathways towards designing biodiverse, productive, and resilient agroecosystems available today.

Mario Anabieza, Marivic Pajaro, Gonzalo Reyes, Fernando Tiburcio, and Paul Watts. 2010. “Philippine Alliance of Fisherfolk: Ecohealth Practitioners for Livelihood and Food Security.” EcoHealth 7: 394–399. DOI: 10.1007/s10393-010-0334-x.

Abstract: Pamana Ka Sa Pilipinas (Pamana) is a grassroots fisherfolk alliance of Philippine Marine Protected Areas with more than 6,000 individual fisherfolk and their 30,000 family members. Access to food, education, and health services for Philippine fisherfolk families is directly dependant upon the fish harvest and related health of the marine environment. Pamana represents a unique ‘‘ecohealth’’ strategy, linking the health of coastal people and that of their surrounding marine ecosystem. Pamana’s activities are viewed by both their membership and barangay (village) health workers as a contribution to nutritional and community health. The alliance has developed an approach to the empowerment of fisherfolk that has led to improvement in health, food security, and nutritional status of their communities. The development of Pamana provides a model for building capacity in other fishing- and resource-based cultures, through engagement and empowerment. In less developed countries, grassroots initiatives, such as Pamana, may be the only solution for sustainable fisheries contributions to food security, given the challenges of fisherfolk poverty, environmental degradation, and limited finances.

Archer, Diane. 2012. “Finance as the Key to Unlocking Community Potential: Savings, Funds and the ACCA Programme,” Environment and Urbanization 24, no. 2: 423–40. doi:10.1177/0956247812449235.

Abstract: This paper describes how the Asian Coalition for Community Action (ACCA) programme seeks to use finance to augment community-driven development processes in 19 nations and enable their scaling up to the city and national levels. The lack of accessible and flexible finance is a key stumbling block for the majority of community development processes in Asia. The paper begins by examining how this programme approaches the issue of finance in the wider context of community-driven upgrading, and elaborates the role that community networks can play in encouraging collective activities. It then explains how community finance leads to the establishment of community development funds (CDFs), financial platforms made up of contributions from different sources, including community savings, ACCA seed funds and contributions from local/ national government or other actors. These both encourage collaboration and increase the scale of what can be done. The paper gives examples of how CDFs can operate at different levels: locally, between groups of communities with shared problems and goals; on a citywide scale (107 citywide funds are now in operation); or at a national level, as in the Philippines, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.

Jo Barraket, Robyn Eversole, Belinda Luke, Sharine Barth. 2019. “Resourcefulness of locally-oriented social enterprises: Implications for rural community development.” Journal of Rural Studies, Volume 70, 2019, Pages 188-197,

Abstract: Entrepreneurial theories of resourcefulness consider the ways in which organisations generate value in resource-constrained environments. While rural communities often face resource constraints, few studies of rural social enterprise have considered the resourcefulness practices of these organisations in detail, or the ways in which these practices in turn inform community development activities of social enterprises. The small but growing body of literature about rural social enterprise has also rarely offered comparative insights of rural and urban experience. This paper examines the resourcefulness practices of small to medium rural and urban social enterprises and their effects on community development. Based on a comparative case study of 11 social enterprises in Australia, we find that rural social enterprises make relatively greater use of the financial and physical assets accessed through networks within their communities, while urban social enterprises make greater use of assets available through corporate relationships and structured philanthropy. Similar to other studies, we find that networks play a particularly significant role in accessing and leveraging resources; however, our findings identify types of network use that have not been previously identified in the resourcefulness literature. The study also finds that organisational resourcefulness is extended outward to a focus on resourcing communities by social enterprises, playing out in different ways in rural and urban contexts. Our research extends thinking about the resourcefulness of rural social enterprise and its role as a community development actor.

Karie Boone and Peter Leigh Taylor. 2016. “Deconstructing homegardens: food security and sovereignty in northern Nicaragua.” Agricultural Human Values 33: 239-255. DOI 10.1007/s10460-015-9604-0.

Abstract: Development scholars and practitioners are promoting food security, food sovereignty, and the localization of food systems to prepare for the projected negative impacts of climate change. The implementation of biodiverse homegardens is often seen as a way not only to localize food production but also as a strategy in alignment with a food sovereignty agenda. While much scholarship has characterized and critiqued food security and sovereignty conceptualizations, relatively little research has examined people’s lived experiences in order to test how such theoretical visions play out on the ground in farming communities. Based on a case study of four coffee cooperatives in northern Nicaragua, we examine a non-governmental organization (NGO)-supported project promoting food security and sovereignty through development of homegardens. We ask: To what extent are homegardens an effective strategy to reach food sovereignty? And, why may farmers be resistant to changing their food production and consumption strategies to embrace biodiverse homegardens when they improve food security? We discuss characteristics of agroecological homegardens, the distinctions between food security, food sovereignty and dominant discourses of development, the history of food sovereignty in Nicaragua, and farmer perspectives on homegarden implementation. Despite historic critiques, NGOs are poised to facilitate the transformation of food and agricultural development by employing counter development strategies, a necessary step if homegardens are to be successful in the long term. To conclude, we propose some strategies NGOs and communities might pursue to move forward with homegardens as a food sovereignty strategy. This research suggests that a food sovereignty approach still rooted in mainstream development models faces significant obstacles to moving beyond food security and into a farmer-led food sovereignty agenda.

Boonyabancha, Somsook. 2001. “Savings and loans; drawing lessons from some experiences in Asia.” Environment and Urbanization – ENVIRON URBAN. 13. 9-21. DOI 10.1630/095624701101285829. 

Abstract: This paper describes the role of community-managed savings and loan schemes in poverty reduction and how these are best supported by external agencies. It draws particularly on the last ten years work of the Thai government’s Urban Community Development Office including how the 1997 financial crisis and the difficulties this brought to low-income savers was turned into an opportunity to rethink how to support savings groups. Community savings and loan schemes bring people together, helping them learn how to develop and manage their own resource base. They reduce individual vulnerability by providing an immediate lending facility the poor can access. They strengthen community processes so that other key issues can be addressed – for instance, developing plans for housing and negotiating with external agencies for land and infrastructure. If savings groups are supported to learn from each other (through community exchanges), networks develop, creating stronger, larger groupings of the urban poor with a greater capacity to negotiate with external agencies and develop a common fund. The possibilities for collaboration with government increases greatly as these networks demonstrate cheaper, more effective ways of addressing housing problems. Thus, community savings and loan schemes can reduce the poor’s exclusion from formal political and financial systems by providing a bridge between these and the informal systems from which most of the poor draw their living. They can also become the means by which the urban poor obtain good quality, well-located, secure housing with basic services, without the need for large subsidies.

Alex Franklin, Julie Newton, and Jesse C. McEntee. 2011. “Moving beyond the alternative: sustainable communities, rural resilience and the mainstreaming of local food.” Local Environment 16, No. 8: 771 –788.

Abstract: Socially desirable outcomes such as community cohesion, diversity and social mixing are key features of the sustainable communities discourse. However, this aspect of the sustainable communities policy agenda remains under-researched. This paper uses the case of a community food initiative (Stroudco, located in Stroud, UK) to review some of the challenges faced in incorporating these social goals into wider (community led) sustainability initiatives. In particular, we explore the tensions that arise between the three core facets of sustainability – the social, the environmental and the economic –when they are brought together at a community level. Although Stroudco was established with the aim of bridging diverse communities and broadening the cross-section of people consuming local food, to date this remains a significant challenge. The case of Stroudco provides an insight into some of the difficulties encountered by local initiatives that attempt to operate across a range of social groupings while also overcoming cultural differences about the value of local food. It also raises important questions about the social geographies of resilience which community sustainability initiatives are able to support.

Zahir Irani and Amir M. Sharif. 2016. “Sustainable food security futures: Perspectives on food waste and information across the food supply chain.” Journal of Enterprise Information Management 29, No. 2: 171-178. DOI 10.1108/JEIM-12-2015-0117.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to signpost the genesis of food security and associated factors such that organisations, enterprises, policy makers and interested stakeholders can seek to explore and understand this important societal issue. The challenges that food security poses are eclectic in nature and cut through country, society, organisation and individual boundaries. Only through identifying these factors – hence identifying underlying factors of food waste and usage of information within food supply chains to untangle them – can we adopt enterprise interventions in order to initiate and mitigate food security risk.

Design/methodology/approach – As a viewpoint piece, there is no empirical work to report in this paper. An exploratory review of the literature has allowed for the extraction of food security concerns that need the attention of stakeholders across the enterprise to ensure robust food supply chains can be are created, maintained and sustained through a better understanding and usage of information, knowledge and data.

Findings – This paper articulates six constructs that underpin the challenges of establishing food security. It is suggested that information relating to factors may support decision-makers within communities, organisations and enterprises to better understand these factors that then contribute towards enhanced food security. Relevant strategies or policies can then emerge and be developed such that strategic as well as operational interventions can be prioritised across national, regional or industry level. Underpinning the above, the waste within and across the food supply chain contributes to the six factors, also highlighting where additional focus may need to be applied to sustain food supply chains.

Research limitations/implications – This paper is a position paper that does not offer factual insight but rather highlights a direction of thought that others can consider exploring as part of wider research agendas in the topical area where enterprise, organisational, and information-based contributions may support the development of strategy-led food security policy.

Practical implications – This paper provides reassuring insights that will help decision and policy makers assemble their thoughts when it comes to prioritising their communications and interventions amongst organisational/enterprise-level stakeholder groups involved in food security and food supply chain contexts.

Social implications – This paper has highlighted the need for more research around the human and organisational factors that are identified as both underpinning the need for food security and, as drivers of waste throughout the food supply chain. Indeed, there is further work needed to highlight the inter-relationships that exist and, which then feed into resulting interventions.

Originality/value – To raise the importance of food security amongst differing stakeholder community groups at the organisational and enterprise level.

Joseph Kangmennaang, Rachel Bezner Kerr, Esther Lupafya, Laifolo Dakishoni, Mangani Katundu, and Isaac Luginaah. 2017. “Impact of a participatory agroecological development project on household wealth and food security in Malawi.” Food Sec. 9: 561–576. DOI 10.1007/s12571-017-0669-z.

Abstract: This paper presents the impacts of a participatory agroecological development project on food security and wealth levels. The Malawi Farmer to Farmer Agroecology project (MAFFA) encourages farmer experimentation, community involvement and farmer-to-farmer teaching on agro-ecology, nutrition and gender equity. Recent international assessments of agriculture have highlighted the urgent need for changes in farming practices in Sub-Saharan Africa, due to land degradation, high levels of food insecurity and anticipated climate change impacts. Agroecological approaches have shown great potential to address these multiple needs. Using a longitudinal panel survey data and propensity score matching to account for selection bias in project participation, we analyzed the impact of the project on household income and food security in Malawi in 2012 (Wave 1 = 1200 households) and in 2014 (Wave 2 = 1000 households). We used the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) for impact evaluation. Estimates of average treatment-effects using difference in difference methods showed that participating in MAFFA has led to a significant increase in household wealth (β = 3.54, p = 0.01) and a large reduction in food insecurity (β = −3.21, p = 0.01) compared to non-participants, after 2 years, even after accounting for covariates and selection bias. These results indicate that agroecological methods combined with farmer led knowledge exchanges can be welfare enhancing, both in terms of food security and in terms of income for family farm households. Agroecological approaches should be promoted through upscaling of farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchanges, community involvement and attention to nutrition and social equity to enhance farmer learning and household welfare benefits.

Charles P. Martin-Shields, Wolfgang Stojetz. 2019. “Food security and conflict: Empirical challenges and future opportunities for research and policy making on food security and conflict.” World Development, Volume 119, 2019, Pages 150-164,

Abstract: During the previous decade, there has been an increased focus on the role of food security in processes of armed conflict, both in the academic and policy communities. While the policy community has pushed forward with new programs, the academic debate about the causal linkages between food security and conflict remains contested. This article examines the endogeneity that characterizes the coupling between food (in)security and conflict and makes three contributions. First, we define conflict and food security using the Uppsala Conflict Data Program and the FAO databases, and illustrate how intervening factors influence the relationship between conflict and food security at the micro and macro levels. Second, we provide a comprehensive review of the literature on the linkages between food security and conflict, focusing on findings that account for endogeneity issues and have a causal interpretation. Third, we highlight key data issues related to conflict and food security, and chart ways forward to collect new and better data that can help to fill existing academic gaps and support policymaking.

Hannah Nel. 2015. “An integration of the livelihoods and asset-based community development approaches: A South African case study.” Development Southern Africa 32, no. 4: 511-525.

Abstract: This study provides an integrated framework and practice model of the sustainable livelihoods (SL) and the asset-based community development (ABCD) approaches. A household survey of a rural village in South Africa is used as a basis of analysis to demonstrate the application of the integrated approach. The results elucidate the vulnerability of the people and a range of interlocking and multi-dimensional factors contributing to poverty in the community. The results also show people’s assets, capabilities and activities which enable them to cope and survive despite constraints and shortcomings. It was found that the integrated SL/ABCD framework is a useful framework to understand the strengths of a vulnerable community in order to plan and implement sustainable community development strategies.

Vanna Nuon and Wenresti Gallardo. 2011. “Perceptions of the local community on the outcome of community fishery management in Krala Peah village, Cambodia.” International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology 18, No. 5: 453-460. DOI: 10.1080/13504509.2011.584199.

Abstract: Since fishery resources are regarded as an important source of income and food security, these resources need to be protected and conserved for sustainable use. To do this, the government of Cambodia has revised its policies, shifting management and responsibility to the local level. In response to government policy, Krala Peah village community fishery was established to manage resources within the area. The purpose of this study was to assess the outcome of community fishery management. Moreover, community fishery management was assessed through face-to-face interview and a participatory approach. The major findings of this study indicate that community fishery has led to a more equitable and efficient fishery within Krala Peah village. Although it has not led to improvements in fishing habitats and fish catch, it has reduced some factors that adversely affected sustainability. Furthermore, it has caused a reduction in illegal fishing, which was the main objective of the fishers.

Kameshwari Pothukuchi. 2004. “Community Food Assessment: A First Step in Planning for Community Food Security.” Journal of Planning Education and Research 23: 356-377. DOI: 10.1177/0739456X04264908.

Abstract: Community food assessments (CFAs) constitute a first step in planning for community food security. Community food security is a situation in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that also maximizes community self-reliance and social justice. Through a study of nine CFAs, this article discusses their common threads to planning, how a planning approach might strengthen CFAs, and what planners might learn from them. Four CFAs led by professionals with planning backgrounds employed spatial mapping techniques to analyze a variety of issues, explored more and diverse community-food linkages, used multiple sources and methods, envisioned a key role for community planning agencies, distributed their findings widely to a local and national audience of professional planners, and helped place planners in leadership positions of the national community food security movement. Implications of this study for planning education, research, and practice are discussed.

Cecilia Rocha and Rita Simone Liberato. 2013. “Food Sovereignty for Cultural Food Security: The case of an Indigenous Community in Brazil.” Food, Culture & Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research 16, No. 4: 589-602. DOI: 10.2752/175174413X13673466712047.

Abstract: The Cinta Vermelha-Jundiba (CVJ) village represents a unique case in Brazil. For the first time in history, an indigenous group composed of individuals from different ethnic backgrounds (Pankararu and Pataxó) united and proposed to buy land. The singularity of the case is not that different indigenous peoples got together to create a new life, but that they decided to purchase land. Exploring the concept of “cultural food security,” this paper addresses issues of settlement and belonging using indigenous views of food relations and practices as the members of the CVJ village work towards “re-grounding” their homes in a new environment. It proposes that, in this unique experiment in indigenous community building, the decision to purchase land led the way for the CVJ people to assert their food sovereignty, preserve their identity and achieve food security.

Diaminatou Sanogo, Badiane Yacine Ndour, Moussa Sall, Katim Toure, Mouhamadou Diop, Baba Ansoumana Camara, Ousmane N’Diaye, and Djibril Thiam. 2017. “Participatory diagnosis and development of climate change adaptive capacity in the groundnut basin of Senegal: building a climate-smart village model.” Agric & Food Secur. 6, No. 13 DOI: 10.1186/s40066-017-0091-y.

Background: Up to now, efforts to help local communities out of the food-insecurity trap were guided by researcher (or other actors)-led decisions on technologies to be implemented by the communities. This approach has proved inefficient because of low adoption of the so-called improved technologies. This paper describes the strategic approaches to the development of a climate-smart village (CSV) model in the groundnut basin of Senegal. A CSV model is a participatory integrated approach using climate information, improved context-based technologies/practices aiming at reaching improved productivity (food and nutrition security), climate resilient people and ecosystem and climate mitigation. In this study, participatory vulnerability analysis, planning adaptation capacity and participatory communication for development were implemented, putting people affected by the impacts of climate change (CC) at the center of the approach. Four interdependent groups of activities/domains, namely—local and institutional knowledge, use of climate information services, development of climate-smart technology and local development plans, were covered. It was emphasized, how all this taken together could create improved livelihoods for women, men and vulnerable groups.

Results: The approach made it possible to involve local people in the decision-making process for the development of their adaptation capacity to CC. It also helped to set up an overall land management process by identifying and addressing environmental (sustainable resource management, ecosystem resilience) and socioeconomic (institutional organization, empowerment, poverty alleviation and food security) challenges. A monitoring survey revealed that farmers appreciate well this participatory approach compared to previous top-down approach in that the former allow them to own the process. Also determinant drivers of adoption of the technologies were identified.

Conclusion: Scaling this community development model in sites with similar climatic and socioeconomic conditions could help in contributing toward achieving food security in rural areas at wider scale because of better enthusiasm and engagement from rural farmers to pursue solution to their constraints taking into consideration constraints posed by climate and more need based and tailored advisory services.

Zoë Shtasel-Gottlieb, Deepak Palakshappa, Fanyu Yang, and Elizabeth Goodman. 2014. “The Relationship Between Developmental Assets and Food Security in Adolescents From a Low-Income Community.” Journal of Adolescent Health 56: 215-222.

Purpose: To explore the association between developmental assets (characteristics, experiences, and relationships that shape healthy development) and food insecurity among adolescents from a low-income urban community.

Methods: This mixed-methods study occurred in two phases. In phase 1, using a census approach, 2,350 6th to 12th graders from the public school district completed an anonymous survey that included the developmental assets profile (DAP), the youth self-report form of the Core Food Security Module, and demographic questions. Logistic and multinomial regression analyses determined independent associations between developmental assets and food security adjusting for demographics. In phase 2, 20 adult key informant interviews and four semistructured student focus groups were performed to explain findings from phase 1.

Results: On average, DAP scores were consistent with national norms. Food insecurity was prevalent; 14.9% reported low food security and 8.6% very low food security (VLFS). Logistic regression revealed that higher DAP was associated with lower odds of food insecurity (odds ratio [OR], .96; 95% confidence interval [CI], .95e.97); family assets drove this association (OR, .93; 95% CI, .91e.95). In multinomial regression modeling, these associations persisted, and paradoxically, higher community assets were also associated with VLFS (ORVLFS, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.04e1.13). Qualitative analyses suggested that greater need among VLFS youth led to increased connections to community resources despite barriers to access such as stigma, home instability, and cultural differences.

Conclusion: Food insecurity is a pervasive problem among adolescents from low-income communities and is associated with lower developmental assets, particularly family assets. The fact that community assets were higher among VLFS youth underscores the importance of community-level resources in struggling areas.

Skovdal, M., Mushati, P., Robertson, L. et al. 2013. “Social acceptability and perceived impact of a community-led cash transfer programme in Zimbabwe.” BMC Public Health 13, 342.

Background: Cash transfer programmes are increasingly recognised as promising and scalable interventions that can promote the health and development of children. However, concerns have been raised about the potential for cash transfers to contribute to social division, jealousy and conflict at a community level. Against this background, and in our interest to promote community participation in cash transfer programmes, we examine local perceptions of a community-led cash transfer programme in Eastern Zimbabwe.

Methods: We collected and analysed data from 35 individual interviews and three focus group discussions, involving 24 key informants (community committee members and programme implementers), 24 cash transfer beneficiaries, of which four were youth, and 14 non-beneficiaries. Transcripts were subjected to thematic analysis and coding to generate concepts.

Results: Study participants described the programme as participatory, fair and transparent – reducing the likelihood of jealousy. The programme was perceived to have had a substantial impact on children’s health and education, primarily through aiding parents and guardians to better cater for their children’s needs. Moreover, participants alluded to the potential of the programme to facilitate more transformational change, for example by enabling families to invest money in assets and income generating activities and by promoting a community-wide sense of responsibility for the support of orphaned and vulnerable children.

Conclusion: Community participation, combined with the perceived impact of the cash transfer programme, led community members to speak enthusiastically about the programme. We conclude that community-led cash transfer programmes have the potential to open up for possibilities of participation and community agency that enable social acceptability and limit social divisiveness.

Vincent M. Smith, Robert B. Greene, and Janet Silbernagel. 2013. “The social and spatial dynamics of community food production: a landscape approach to policy and program development.” Landscape Ecology 28: 1415-1426. DOI: 10.1007/s10980-013-9891-z.

Abstract: Community food production in the form of home gardening, community gardening, school gardening, and urban farming continues to increase in popularity in many parts of the world. This interest has led to public and private investment in community food production and increased need for urban agricultural planning as a way to manage growth and prioritize resource allocation. Municipal planning and thoughtful institutional support for the practice will require program evaluation and greater attention to the spatial composition and configuration of this widely dispersed practice. This article explores the results of community-supported landscape socio-ecological research in Madison, WI (USA) to assess the spatial and social dynamics of community food production. Results indicate that community food production resources are unevenly distributed across the study area. Historic community garden placement does appear to be consistent with community prioritization which dictates placing resources in areas with low median household income. However, home garden presence and recent community garden placement both occur in areas of higher than average median household income. Specific focus is placed on how an understanding of landscape placement and pattern has helped inform attempts to meet municipal and regional objectives in addressing urban food insecurity.

Helena Wright, Sonja Vermeulen, Gernot Laganda, Max Olupot, Edidah Ampaire & M.L. Jat. 2014. “Farmers, food and climate change: ensuring community-based adaptation is mainstreamed into agricultural programmes.” Climate and Development, 6:4, 318-328, DOI: 10.1080/17565529.2014.965654

Abstract: Climate change creates widespread risks for food production. As climate impacts are often locally specific, it is imperative that large-scale initiatives to support smallholder farmers consider local priorities and integrate lessons from successful autonomous adaptation efforts. This article explores how large-scale programmes for smallholder adaptation to climate change might link effectively with community-led adaptation initiatives. Drawing on experiences in Bangladesh, Mozambique, Uganda and India, this article identifies key success factors and barriers for considering local priorities, capacities and lessons in large-scale adaptation programmes. It highlights the key roles of extension services and farmers’ organizations as mechanisms for linking between national-level and community-level adaptation, and a range of other success factors which include participative and locally driven vulnerability assessments, tailoring of adaptation technologies to local contexts, mapping local institutions and working in partnership across institutions. Barriers include weak governance, gaps in the regulatory and policy environment, high opportunity costs, low literacy and underdeveloped markets. The article concludes that mainstreaming climate adaptation into large-scale agricultural initiatives requires not only integration of lessons from community-based adaptation, but also the building of inclusive governance to ensure smallholders can engage with those policies and processes affecting their vulnerability.