UVM Agroecology Support

Lead Organization:

Agroecology & Livelihoods Collaborative (ALC)

Partner Organizations:

University of Vermont


Mozambique Tanzania Malawi Burkina Faso Niger Uganda Kenya Ethiopia Ecuador Bolivia Mali Peru




The field of agroecology (AE) has a long history. Originating in the 1930s, by the 1970s it was defined as an approach to apply ecological concepts and principles within agricultural contexts. Since then, AE has evolved into an interdisciplinary field that integrates both social and natural sciences. This cultivates a balance of the sciences, practical applications by farmers, and social movements. The integration of these three dimensions (science, practice, and movement) has allowed for the embrace of a transdisciplinary and participatory approach where scientific knowledge is integrated with other knowledge systems (e.g., indigenous or practical knowledge) to co-create new and relevant learning.

The University of Vermont’s Agroecology & Livelihoods Collaborative (ALC) embraces the evolution of AE and takes advantage of its transformative potential. It works with and supports smallholder farmers and their organizations to strengthen their livelihoods and steward the landscapes they inhabit. By necessity, the approach links local contexts with global perspectives that engage with broader agrifood systems, seeking to influence agricultural and natural resource management systems and policies from the bottom up. The ALC works by investigating the advantages and challenges of agroecological implementation at the farm, landscape, and territorial levels.

Read about the Agroecology & Livelihood Collaborative (ALC) here. Read more about UVM partners here.

Grant Aims:

This project will advance methods, tools, and practices of AE research, linked to principles of AE, within the CCRP at the project level. Specific indicators will be developed that are context-specific and that connect to global AE evidence-based frameworks, including the FAO framework. It will advance project-specific needs as well as the gap in aligned AE frameworks at a broader level. In addition, it will assist in principles-based AE research and practice across the CCRP to address a need for concrete tools and methods to assess and measure agroecological performance.

Outputs and Outcomes:

The first phase will focus on planning for AE support with specific project goals listed below:

  • Co-Learning in AE: Deepen AE content and the implementation capacity of projects so that they strengthen the performance of AE options within their respective contexts.
  • Advance AE assessment and monitoring: Develop and test principles-based AE assessment and monitoring approaches that support projects in evaluating performance of AE options.
  • Coalesce support teams and key CCRP initiatives around AE: The project will integrate teams and initiatives across the CCRP around the common thread of AE.
  • Use lessons learned to engage diverse global actors in a dialogue that advances AE.

Key outcomes will include:

  • Projects in each CoP achieve a deeper understanding of AE.
  • Pilot projects select AE framework(s), priority AE principles, and key indicators to conduct assessment and monitoring of AE performance (AMAP).
  • The CCRP deepens knowledge and learning on how to assess principles-based AE performance.
  • Relevant external actors, from the local to the global, learn from the CCRP’s experience in deepening AE understanding and practice.
  • Lessons learned from AE support and AMAP provide the CCRP with knowledge to further advance agroecology in its CoPs and engage key external actors to also learn from and apply this learning.