On 10th November 2021, during the COP26, the University of Leeds and Kulima co-organised a side event in the science pavilion on “Building resilience in a low carbon world”. The side event, chaired by DEFRA chief scientist Gideon Henderson, focused on experiences from two applied climate research programmes – the UK Climate Resilience programme (CRP) and the Future Climate For Africa (FCFA) programme, in which Kulima was a participant.

The event opened with presentations on experiences of each programme by Kate Lonsdale from the University of Leeds, and a champion of the UK Resilience programme, and Geoffrey Sabiiti from IGAD’s Climate Prediction and Applications Centre, and the FCFA Hy-CRISTAL project. Each highlighted innovations that have been adopted to co-develop locally-appropriate responses to manage risk by bringing together researchers, users, funders, policy-makers and community members to enhance the usefulness and useability of climate risk information.

A panel discussion followed, with reflections from Tamara Janes (UK Met Office and researcher in the FCFA FRACTAL project), Andrew Carr (DEFRA and user in the UK CRP) and Julius Ng’oma (Malawi’s Civil Society Network on Climate Change and user in the FCFA UMFULA project). They agreed that building strong relationships and understanding decision contexts through working with users is essential to adapt to climate change.