Current and Upcoming Impact Evaluations

The Evaluation and Research team produces a variety of analyses and studies to document results and evaluate effectiveness of the Rainforest Alliance’s programs and standards. 

See a full list of the Evaluation & Research team’s completed publications here, summaries of planned and in-progress studies are listed below:

  • The impacts of farmer training and SAN/Rainforest Alliance certification on the household economies of smallholder cocoa farmers in Bantaeng, Indonesia.

    In 2017 Rainforest Alliance will commission a study in Bantaeng, Indonesia, to measure the impact of our work on the household economies of smallholder cocoa farmers. This follows a baseline study that was commissioned in 2013 under the ISEAL Demonstrating and Improving Poverty Impacts (DIPI) Project. The 2017 impact study will be co-funded by the Ford Foundation and the ISEAL DIPI project. The study utilizes the Household Economy Approach (HEA) methodology.

  • The impacts of SAN/RA certification on labor practices and livelihoods of smallholder cocoa farmers in West Africa.

    Rainforest Alliance plans to commission a study on the impact of Rainforest Alliance Certification on key social and economic issues associated with smallholder cocoa production in West Africa. Specifically, the study will look at impacts on labor practices (with a focus on child labor) and on smallholder cocoa productivity and income. The research team will use a mixed-methods approach, including surveys and participatory methods such as role-play and focus group discussions.

  • The impacts of SAN/Rainforest Alliance certification on banana farm productivity, workers and the environment in Colombia and/or Ecuador.

    This research will assess the impact of SAN/Rainforest Alliance certification on working conditions, environmental conditions, resource use efficiency, and farm productivity in banana plantations in Colombia and/or Ecuador. Field data collection on farm productivity and environmental variables such as water quality will be combined with interviews with farms workers and managers. The research is expected to be conducted by in-country partners in 2017.

  • Patterns and trends in the adoption of sustainable farming practices across SAN/Rainforest Alliance coffee, tea, cocoa and banana certificates.

    In collaboration with researchers at the University of Cambridge and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (UK), we are using information from farm audit reports to analyze spatial and temporal patterns in the adoption of sustainable farming practices related to agronomic management, biodiversity conservation, and farmer and worker rights and wellbeing. These analyses will provide a clearer and more systematic portrait of sustainability performance and trends associated with SAN/RA certification.

  • Aggregate effects of SAN/Rainforest Alliance certification on watershed protection and ecosystem services in Kenya’s Upper Tana basin

    This project will quantify the aggregate effects of SAN/Rainforest Alliance certification in the Upper Tana river basin in central Kenya, a critical watershed that furnishes drinking water and hydropower resources to millions of Kenyans, and where there is a concentration of SAN/RA certified tea production totaling more than 60,000 hectares and involving more than 225,000 smallholders. In addition, the research will utilize ecosystem service modeling to estimate the effects of this large-scale adoption of a sustainability standard on key watershed attributes such as water quality, sedimentation rates, and water flow regulation.

Forest canopy - photo by Sergio Izquierdo

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