Resilience Indicators

The COSA indicators are similar across all countries to allow for comparison, but are also adapted to allow for local contexts. Consistent indicators allow a shared understanding and a foundation for better management of sustainability.

Defining COSA Indicators: COSA indicators are designed to quantify and clarify information in a manner that promotes the understanding of key environmental, social, and economic issues.

COSA indicators are derived from a series of observed facts and reported perceptions. The indicators provide both easily interpreted performance metrics and a rich multi-dimensional understanding. They help to develop and monitor practical objectives and the questions related to them are widely field-tested to permit confident observations and interpretation. What an indicator captures is important but even more valuable is the combined COSA experience to gather, analyze, and communicate results in a balanced and effective manner.

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COSA’s social indicators are aligned with major international agreements and cover a range of issues including working conditions, household conditions, food security, education, basic rights, participation in community, trading relationships, and the perception of wellbeing.

Basic Human Rights and Equity
Children in school at appropriate grade level Number of household members through age 18 who have completed appropriate number <br>of grades for age
Community and institutional environment
Participation in community activities Involvement and participation of household members in community activities (improvements in agricultural facilities, access to water or sewage, medical care, road, or school construction).
Learning and innovation
Individual empowerment
Power to enact changes Perceptions about having power to enact change as an individual on community, household, and farming decisions.
Living and Working Conditions
Living Conditions
Health status Frequency of serious and non-serious illness of household members in the last year.
Services and infrastructure
Basic services
Access to extension service Availability (presence) of extension services.
Coping Strategies
Recovery ability Perceived speediness and ability to recover from the main shock experienced in the last production year.

We incorporate a range of environmental metrics including those in the categories of inputs and resource management, water and soil quality, waste management, good agrochemical practices, greenhouse gas sequestration and mitigation, and biodiversity. Our mapping functions help to contextualize the farm area at the scale of a regional landscape.

Plant Diversity
Plant and tree diversity Levels of biodiversity: cleared land or pasture, monoculture, 2-3 cultivated species (sparse <br>trees), 4-10 cultivated species (some trees), crop presence with multi-strata forest, fully <br>functional natural forest; practices followed that preserve or enhance biodiversity
Climate Change
Climate adaptation practices Refers to practices from previous indicators: Soil and Water Conservation Measures, Species and Varietal Diversity.
Resource Management
Resource/Input Management
Integrated pest management IPM practices employed on farm
Erosion Severity and prevalence of observed erosion on farm (in relation to slope)
Water Quality
Water Contamination Prevention Measures Practices used to prevent water contamination from: crop processing wastewater, animals, domestic discharge, cleaning of agrochemical application equipment, etc.

Economic indicators are typically the most visible and the most popular. Ours go beyond traditional measures of income, credit, and assets to include factors of risk, competitiveness, and organizational capacity. The general groups of economic indicators must not be interpreted in a vacuum but rather in balance with social and environmental factors that affect, and are affected by, economic conditions.

Other/Financial resources
Productive assets Number of agricultural productive assets (medium scale equipment and large vehicles), livestock, and hectares of land owned/rented, and relative value.
Producer Livelihoods
Dependency Portion of total production net income from focus crop, other crops, livestock activities, business activities.