Tag Archives: climate services

“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. 

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.

Importance of FCFA work with tea farmers highlighted by Malawi heatwave

A recent heatwave in Malawi has highlighted the risk that climate change poses to the tea farming sector. Future Climate For Africa's CI4Tea project has been working with tea farmers and other sector stakeholders in the southern districts of Mulanje and Thyolo to co-produce decision-relevant climate information. Occurrence of consecutive very hot days, as was experienced at the end of October, was highlighted as a major concern. Evidence of leaf scorch and the inevitable impacts on yields have underlined the importance of planning for a changed future climate. CI4Tea's work has therefore been publicised on the Future Climate For Africa website and Climate Home News and accompanied by a short film on Climate Change and Tea: Challenges for Malawi and Kenya.

Kulima participating in presentation of UMFULA project at the University of KwaZulu Natal

The UMFULA project (under the Future Climate For Africa programme) is holding meetings this week at the University of KwaZulu Natal in which Dr Katharine Vincent is participating. This includes supervision of Honours and Masters students researching water issues among commodity farmers and a writeshop to develop a paper on the use of weather and climate information by small-scale sugar contract farmers in Malawi. On Tuesday Katharine will participate in a Research on Tap Seminar at the Centre for Water Resources Research, together with Emma Archer, Rebecka Henriksson Malinga and several students, in which they will present some of the project's findings on the use of climate information in medium-term planning decisions and the case study in Malawi.

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.

Kulima participating in UMFULA project writeshop in Pretoria

Dr Katharine Vincent is in Pretoria this week, joining colleagues Professor Andy Dougill from the University of Leeds and Professor Emma Archer from the University of Pretoria for a writeshop on the UMFULA project. As it comes to the end of its lifespan, they will synthesise key findings on climate information for medium-term planning in the water, energy and agriculture sectors for Malawi, taking into account the current policy and institutional context and information needs of the new National Planning Commission. 

New working paper led by Kulima “Creating useful and usable weather and climate information-Insights from Participatory Scenario Planning in Malawi

The Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment has just released a new working paper led by Dorothy Tembo-Nhlema and Katharine Vincent, with Rebecka Henriksson Malinga from the University of KwaZulu Natal. The paper, Creating useful and usable weather and climate information-Insights from Participatory Scenario Planning in Malawi, is an output of the Future Climate For Africa programme's UMFULA project. Based on qualitative research, it finds that advisories co-produced through the Participatory Scenario Planning process have been used by farmers to successfully reduce risk. However the scaling up and sustainability has been challenged by technical constraints relating to delays in the release of the national seasonal forecast and staff availability, and financial constraints which limit the extent to which the process can be carried out at district level. These challenges are reinforced by the lack of a policy framework.

Kulima part of team presenting an initial cost estimate of South Africa’s National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to a multi-stakeholder validation workshop

Dr Katharine Vincent is in Pretoria this week with colleagues from CowaterSogema to present their initial cost estimate for the implementation of South Africa's National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to the a validation workshop of multiple stakeholders, including the Department of Environmental Affairs. The aim of the costing exercise is to highlight the business case for investment in adaptation in South Africa, for use both within national government and to seek alternative sources of adaptation finance. The strategy has a 10 year lifespan as is due to be formally adopted in 2019. The team applied mixed methods (top down/parametric, bottom-up, analagous and expert-informed) to cost the strategic interventions. After finalisation the initial cost estimate will have various purposes, including lobbying government to fund activities contained within it.