Category Archives: Publications

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.

New Grantham Research Institute working paper with inputs from Kulima-“Insurance as a catalyst for government climate planning?”

The Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment have just released a new working paper from the UMFULA project with inputs from Dr Katharine Vincent. The paper, Insurance as a catalyst for government climate planning? A framework for analysing drivers and barriers, tested against evidence emerging from Sub-Saharan Africa, explores how climate risk information emanating from insurance processes can support a move towards anticipatory climate risk management. Using information from insurers in Africa, as well as case studies of different types of insurance in Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa, it presents the underpinning political economy factors that influence the process of climate information uptake, highlighting that the clear scope for dynamic interaction between insurers and users can face many challenges that go beyond availability and suitability of data. These challenges include limited trust, unclear risk ownership or lack of incentives, even if there is motivation, risk-awareness and overall buy-in into the need to manage climate risks. All three cases show the importance of sustained engagement and capacity building to increase awareness of the role of insurance-related climate risk information and its potential benefits and uses.

‘The current and future climate of central and southern Africa: What we have learnt and what it means for decision-making in Malawi and Tanzania”-summary of UMFULA project released

After 4 years of research by a multi-disciplinary team and co-production in partnership with government staff, the UMFULA project has released a briefing note that discusses "The current and future climate of central and southern Africa: What we have learnt and what it means for decision-making in Malawi and Tanzania". It highlights how understanding the likely future characteristics of climate risk is a key component of adaptation and climate-resilient planning, but given future uncertainty it is important to design approaches that are strongly informed by local considerations and are robust to uncertainty. Choosing the right tools and approach for climate risk assessment and adaptation to suit the scale of the decision allows a suitable trade-off between robustness and resources  required (time and expertise) for analysis. In the medium term, policy decisions require careful cross-sectoral planning, particularly in cases involving large  investments, long life-times and irreversibility, where there is a strong argument for assessing resilience to future climate change (for example around water, energy and food in Malawi and Tanzania). Co-producing knowledge, as in UMFULA, contributes to building societal and institutional capacity to factor climate risks into long-term planning. It also builds the capacity of researchers to better understand real world decision contexts in which climate change is one of many important factors.

New release “A guide to effective collaboration and learning in consortia” with inputs from Kulima

The BRACED programme, in partnership with Future Climate For Africa, CARIAA, PLACARD, Partners for Resilience and SHEAR, has just released A guide to effective collaboration and learning in consortia. Building resilience to rising climate risks, written by Bettina Koelle, Lucia Scodanibbio, Katharine Vincent, Blane Harvey, Maarten van Aalst, Sophie Rigg, Nicola Ward and Margot Curl. Reflecting their experiences in the partner programmes and beyond, the guide outlines 8 principles to build effective transdisciplinary collaborations, highlighting the roles for different parties at different stages throughout the intended lifespan of the collaboration. The guide is illustrated with vignettes, examples, and checklists.