Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


This systematic review synthesizes and assesses scientific literature publications (n=42), to identify and depict the focus of climate change adaptations and resilience research on smallholder farmers in the savannah ecological zone (SAZ). We found substantive studies providing evidence of climate impacts, with adverse consequences on both human and environmental systems. Adaptive actions are being employed to manage the changing conditions as response to climate impacts. Notably, most research efforts are currently restricted to impacts on adaptation, food security, and vulnerability, with a very rare focus on climate resilience and the effects of adaptive actions. Hence, the possible maladaptation outcomes, which affect the sustainability of both human and environmental systems, are not adequately known. The current research focus is found contrary to evidence showing the paradigm shift of approaches to toward climate resilience and the call to incorporate efforts into sustainable development framework (climate-smart agriculture). Also established is the lack of methodological coherence required for standardizing evidence to meaningfully inform policies and interventions. Therefore, this review and argues for more climate resilience research that ensures context specificity, robust indicator selection, and incorporation of indigenous knowledge into methodological frameworks that ensure effective assessment.