DSAT: Navigating dairy sustainability for a flourishing future

Article header image

An integral approach to sustainability means inserting sustainability concepts into other processes. It means examining social, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainability: people, planet and profit. It also considers the need to balance trade-offs, as it is impossible to achieve excellent performance in all dimensions at the same time.

What is the DSAT tool?

    The Dairy Sustainability Assessment Tool (DSAT) is a tool that enables stakeholders to discuss sustainability in the dairy sector. DSAT helps them to identify the main threats to sustainability in their context, from a list of 14 sustainability aspects. These range from human health and nutrition to (agro)biodiversity and profitability. Each aspect has between three and five corresponding indicators. In a workshop setting, participants score these indicators, which are then represented in a spiderweb diagram. The exercise and the spiderweb diagram support a sustainability dialogue in very practical terms.

    Alt missing

    The DSAT tool was developed to facilitate dialogue about the integral sustainability of dairy production in East Africa. The tool provides (a) a scorecard to assess the current sustainability situation of a particular dairy production system, and (b) a format for a stakeholder dialogue on improving sustainability of this system. The tool was tested in various workshops and training sessions in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, and is now ready for use. Facilitation of DSAT workshops in East Africa is conducted by Asaah Ndambi, a researcher from Wageningen Livestock Research, based in Nairobi.

    The inception of DSAT, stemmed from the policy discussions around the NEADAP’s position paper from 2020 Dairy for nutrition, employment and sustainability. In turn, the insights from the DSAT workshops have been included in the Dairy and sustainability paper (2023). Meanwhile, the tool was presented at the Dairy Summit - Central Kenya and the Milk, vector of development conference in Tunisia.

    The DSAT is wonderful tool we can use to design and prioritize financial packages we offer to the dairy sector

    The recent development of a web-based DSAT further underscores the tool’s accessibility and user-friendliness. This online iteration, available at no cost, is accompanied by user manuals and training resources, ensuring that interested people can harness its full potential. Whether DSAT is used by individuals or in workshop settings, its structured steps expertly guide users through critical processes, from identifying threats to scoring indicators and reflecting on outcomes.

    NEADAP's Dairy Sustainability Assessment Tool

    The testimonies shared by workshop participants bear witness to DSAT’s effectiveness and influence. FlorenceMusiime Umurungi, of the Rwanda National Dairy Platform, lauds the tool’s rich informational content, describing it as both enlightening and educational. Bonny Nakiboneka, a microfinance provider from Uganda, extols DSAT’s ability to shape financial strategies for the dairy sector.

    To learn more about the DSAT tool

    Contact our Solution Lead, Asaah Ndambi at


    Alex Mounde Arisi

    Alex Mounde

    Communication officer NEADAP

    There are no contributions yet, be the first to contribute

    Be the first to contribute, login or create an account

    Sign up

    Latest insights