Impact & Achievements

Influence and Standards of Excellence

Vital Signs has achieved some important scientific data milestones and played a significant role in influencing important policy frameworks for sustainable growth and agriculture across Africa.


  • Vital Signs played a key role in securing the historic Gaborone Declaration for sustainability in Africa, signed by ten African nations. We are now supporting these countries in transitioning agriculture to practices that promote sustainable employment, food security and protect natural capital, while building the knowledge, data, capacity and policy networks to increase momentum for change.

  • Vital Signs created partnerships with the Government of Tanzania and the SAGCOT Centre that are guiding over $750 million of investments to improve agricultural productivity in Tanzania.

  • Vital Signs published the first ever atlases of ecosystem services for Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda and providing quantitative baselines and maps to inform sustainable development decisions. Learn more at,, and

  • Vital Signs developed a statistically valid sampling frame for integrated measurements of agriculture, ecosystem services and human well-being at all of the scales relevant for agricultural decision making.

  • Vital Signs developed a set of scientifically credible protocols for collecting integrated data.

  • Vital Signs created a set of flagship indices for tracking Sustainable Agricultural Intensification, Resilience, Inclusive Wealth, Food Security and Water Security.

  • Vital Signs, jointly with our African partners, has trained nearly fifty staff in Africa to monitor the flow of agroecosystem services and measure the benefits provided to smallholder farmer households. 

  • Vital Signs indices were developed in consultation with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, AGRA and with technical experts from 40 institutions worldwide, including FAO, Grow Africa and the World Economic Forum.

  • Vital Signs does not duplicate other efforts, but leverages and integrates existing monitoring activities and strategically fills data gaps.

  • Vital Signs is an evidence-based mechanism for establishing baselines, setting targets and monitoring progress toward high‐level international, national and private sector objectives, including:

    ·       National development and sustainability objectives

    ·       Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals

    ·       Gaborone Declaration

    ·       Grow Africa

    ·       G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition

    ·       Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa’s country strategies (AGRA)

    ·       Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme targets (CADDP)

    ·       Convention on Biological Diversity targets (CBD)

    ·       United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification targets (UNCCD)

    ·       United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change climate mitigation strategies (UNFCCC)