Category Archives: Publications

“Addressing power imbalances in co-production” New comment in Nature Climate Change, led by Kulima

A new comment "Addressing power imbalances in co-production" has just been published in Nature Climate Change. The comment, led by Katharine Vincent with Suzanne Carter, Anna Steynor, Emma Visman and Katinka Lund Waagsaether, reflects on investigations into co-production in the Future Climate For Africa and WISER programmes. Co-production is an increasingly popular approach to knowledge generation encouraged by donors and research funders. However, power dynamics between institutions in the global North and South can, if not adequately managed, impede the effectiveness of co-production and pose risks for long-term sustainability.

“Understanding gender differences in availability, accessibility and use of climate information among smallholder farmers in Malawi” New paper from the UMFULA project with inputs from Kulima

A new paper "Understanding gender differences in availability, accessibility and use of climate information among smallholder farmers in Malawi" has just been published in Climate and Development. The paper, led by Dr Rebecka Henriksson with inputs from Katharine Vincent, is an output of the Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project. Ensuring smallholder farmers have access to climate information is important to enable adaptation, but access to it is strongly gendered. This study shows that both women prefer radio to access forecasts, but that women also like to access forecasts through a knowledge broker. Those farmers with higher levels of education (mostly men) prefer to also obtain forecasts via internet and cell phone. Understanding gendered preferences and barriers to climate information access is crucial for benefits of adaptation to be accessed equitably.

“Re-balancing climate services for climate-resilient planning” New paper from the UMFULA project, led by Kulima

A new paper "Re-balancing climate services to inform climate-resilient planning – A conceptual framework and illustrations from sub-Saharan Africa" has just been published in Climate Risk Management. The paper, led by Dr Katharine Vincent, is an output of the Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project. UMFULA aimed to increase the availability and use of medium-term climate information for decision-making in central and southern Africa. Whilst the climate services field has placed a lot of emphasis on generating information that is useful and usable to decision-makers, the "usability gap" has persisted. The paper argues for more attention to be paid to enablers that need to be in place to ensure that useful and usable information is actually used. These enablers include supportive institutions, appropriate policy frameworks, capacity of individuals and agency to make decisions. 

FCFA launches a critical reflection on learning from its activities-with inputs from Kulima

Future Climate FCFA learningFor Africa has launched "A critical reflection on learning from the FCFA programme." The report is led by Julio Araujo, Blane Harvey and Ying-Syuan (Elaine) Huang, with inputs from a wider team, including Kulima director Katharine Vincent. It highlights the nature of collective learning, experiences of leadership and capacity development and knowledge co-production and research uptake over the four years of applied research on improving climate information for use in medium-term (5-40 year) planning, which was undertaken by the five consortia under FCFA, including UMFULA-in which Kulima was a partner. It recommends that flexibility should be built into programme design, transforming research and knowledge mobilisation practice, investing in Southern leadership and capacity, and evaluating impacts.

WISER and Future Climate For Africa issue new policy brief on co-production with inputs from Kulima

WISER and Future Climate For Africa have just launched a policy brief on the Building blocks for co-producing climate services. The policy brief is one of a series of outputs led by a joint WISER-FCFA team, comprising Suzanne Carter, Anna Steynor, Katharine Vincent, Emma Visman and Katinka Lund Waagsaether. It follows a Manual on co-production in weather and climate services and two webinars: one on the building blocks of co-production, and the other on ten principles behind good co-production. It summarises emerging lessons on co-producing climate services in Africa from the two programmes, highlighting who should be involved and what the process might look like.

UMFULA project produces country brief “How can we improve the use of information for a climate-resilient Malawi?” with inputs from Kulima

The UMFULA project under the Future Climate For Africa programme has summarised the findings of its research in Malawi into a country brief (How can we improve the use of information for a climate-resilient Malawi?), aimed to inform decision-makers on how climate infromation can be used to build a resilient Malawi. Malawi’s geographical location, between the east and southern African climate systems, means that future climate (particularly rainfall) is challenging to predict accurately – although there are areas of agreement in climate models, notably higher temperatures and higher likelihood of extreme weather events. Given future uncertainty, it is important to design robust management options that work across the plausible range of future climate conditions. This is especially the case for large investments with long life-times, significant impacts and irreversibility, such as water-related infrastructure (e.g. hydropower or irrigation) and agricultural investments in crop-breeding. The recently-finalised National Resilience Strategy provides a policy framework to enable this, but there is also a need for coherence between sectoral policies (for example relating to agriculture, irrigation, water and energy), which requires a more supportive institutional environment for sustainable and resilient decision-making.

Kulima represented on editorial team for Frontiers in Climate Special Issue on Extreme Events in the Developing World

Dr Katharine Vincent is joining Drs Marta Bruno Soares and Chris Funk and Professors Emma Archer and Andy Dougill in editing a forthcoming special issue of Frontiers in Climate on Extreme Events in the Developing World. The special issue aims to collate case studies of extreme events in developing countries, with a clear emphasis on what may be learned from prediction, early warning, risk reduction and mitigation, preparedness, and response – particularly given future increases in occurrence of such events. Abstracts are due by 30 January 2020 with full papers to be submitted by 29 May 2020 on the Frontiers Research Topic page. Early career researchers and authors from developing countries are particularly encouraged to make submissions.

How can we effectively build capacity to adapt to climate change? Insights from Malawi in a new paper led by Kulima

A paper "How can we effectively build capacity to adapt to climate change? Insights from Malawi" has just been published in the journal Climate and Development. The paper, led by Diana Mataya with Katharine Vincent and Andy Dougill, reflects on Diana's Masters research undertaken as part of the Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project. It highlights the complementary roles of long-term education and short-term training, and the underuse of methods such as action planning, on-the-job training and continued mentorship after training. Challenges that impede effective capacity building relate not only to training design and structure, but also the inadequacy of training needs assessments and the organizational structure in which trainees attempt to put their skills and knowledge into practice. The paper concludes that more rigorous coordination and monitoring of training efforts-and appropriate institutional support for action following training sessions are essential to enhance adaptation planning across sub-Saharan Africa.

“A qualitative comparative analysis of women’s agency and adaptive capacity in climate change hotspots in Asia and Africa” published in Nature Climate Change with inputs from Kulima

A new paper "A qualitative comparative analysis of women’s agency and adaptive capacity in climate change hotspots in Asia and Africa" has just been published in Nature Climate Change. The paper, led by Nitya Rao with Arabinda Mishra, Anjal Prakash, Chandni Singh, Ayesha Qaisrani, Prathigna Poonacha, Katharine Vincent and Claire Bedelian, is an outcome of the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia, in which Kulima participated through the Deltas, Vulnerability and Climate Change: Migration and Adaptation project. The paper draws on data from 25 case studies across Africa and Asia to show how and in what ways women’s agency, or the ability to make meaningful choices and strategic decisions, contributes to adaptation responses. It shows how environmental stress is a key depressor of women’s agency even when household structures and social norms are supportive or legal entitlements are available.

New WISER and Future Climate For Africa manual “Co-production in African Weather and Climate Services” with inputs from Kulima

The Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER) and Future Climate For Africa (FCFA) programmes have just launched a new manual, Co-production in African weather and climate services. The manual, written by Suzanne Carter, Anna Steynor, Katharine Vincent, Emma Visman and Katinka Lund Waagsaether outlines building blocks and principles for co-production, distilled from a variety of experiences of co-producing weather and climate services across the continent. It is supplemented by a compendium of case studies from a range of different programmes. The manual concludes that, whilst co-production is often a resource intensive process and needs to be adequately supported both in terms of funding and time, the added value can result in significant benefits for weather and climate services.