Tag Archives: adaptation in Africa

“The evolution of empirical adaptation research in the global South from 2010 to 2020” New paper in Climate and Development, led by Kulima

A new paper "The evolution of empirical adaptation research in the global South from 2010-2020" has just been published in the journal Climate and Development. The paper, by Katharine Vincent and Georgina Cundill, applies a scoping review approach to three leading adaptation journals covering different scales of analysis (Global Environmental Change, Regional Environmental Change and Climate and Development) to assess how empirical adaptation research in the global South has evolved over the last decade. The review shows that the quantity of empirical adaptation research has increased and that it covers both policy and practice and also different scales (from supranational down to individual level). There is significant and growing interest in the determinants of adaptation and adaptive capacity (including the role of barriers and enablers), and a small but growing interest in the role of gender. The overall increase in total publications does not show even geographical or sectoral coverage. Large swathes of sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East/North Africa remain severely under-researched; and the overwhelming majority of papers focus on rural and agricultural issues rather than cities. This analysis offers tangible evidence to highlight where geographical and thematic gaps exist in our research on adaptation in the global South.

“Climate Risk in Africa. Adaptation and Resilience” New edited book with inputs from Kulima

An edited volume "Climate Risk in Africa. Adaptation and Resilience" has just been released, documenting the experiences across the Future Climate For Africa programme. The book, co-edited by Declan Conway and Katharine Vincent, explains how adaptation is a learning process that requires the bringing together of lots of people with different knowledge and experiences. It showcases various ways in which scientists partnered and worked with decision-makers – through co-production, transdisciplinary partnerships and multi-stakeholder engagement processes – to generate decision-relevant climate information to enable effective adaptation to climate change. Case studies cover a range of African countries, including Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya and Burkina Faso, and sectors from agriculture to water to urban planning.

“Adaptation interventions and their effect on vulnerability in developing countries: Help, hindrance or irrelevance?” New paper with inputs from Kulima

A new paper "Adaptation interventions and their effect on vulnerability in developing countries: Help, hindrance or irrelevance?" has just been published in the journal World Development. The paper, led by Siri Eriksen with an author team of 20, including Katharine Vincent, uses a review of 33 empirical studies, nearly 200 papers, and the insights of the authors to highlight how some interventions inadvertently reinforce, redistribute or create new sources of vulnerability. These maladaptive outcomes result from shallow understanding of the vulnerability context; inequitable stakeholder participation in both design and implementation; a retrofitting of adaptation into existing development agendas; and a lack of critical engagement with how ‘adaptation success’ is defined. Overcoming these shortcomings requires shifting the terms of engagement between adaptation practitioners and the local populations participating in adaptation interventions; expanding the understanding of ‘local’ vulnerability to encompass global contexts and drivers of vulnerability; and promoting learning processes within organisations and with marginalised populations. It concludes by asking whether scholarship and practice need to take a post-adaptation turn akin to post-development, by seeking a pluralism of ideas about adaptation while critically interrogating how these ideas form part of the politics of adaptation and potentially the processes (re)producing vulnerability.

“Reflections on a key component of co-producing climate services: Defining climate metrics from user needs” New paper from the UMFULA project, led by Kulima

An output of the Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project has just been published in Climate Services journal. "Reflections on a key component of co-producing climate services: Defining climate metrics from user needs" was led by Katharine Vincent, with Emma Archer, Rebecka Henriksson, Joanna Pardoe and Neha Mittal. It is a methodological piece that unpacks the iterative process applied within UMFULA to determine what climate information would be of use to our partners in the water and agriculture sectors to better plan for the impacts of climate change over a 5-40 year period. It discusses how the choice and application of four existing social science methods (interview-informed role play workshop, open-ended interviews, prioritised surveys and enhanced surveys) arose out of, and was in turn embedded within, a different epistemological approach characteristic of co-production, and reflect on the evolution of our understanding of co-production as our assumptions were challenged, from the expectation that we would be able to “obtain” metrics from users, to a dynamic mutual definition based on better understanding of the decision-making contexts.

“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.

Kulima facilitated a remote validation workshop for the IGAD Strategy for Mainstreaming Gender in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation

Yesterday Dr Katharine Vincent and colleagues from Cowater International facilitated a remote validation workshop for a Regional Strategy for Mainstreaming Gender in Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change Adaptation for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region. The validation, which was intended to take place face-to-face prior to Covid19-imposed travel restrictions, successfully brought together participants from the IGAD Secretariat, ICPAC, and the member states of Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda. The strategy is aligned with the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction and the draft IGAD Disaster Risk Management Strategy, together with relevant international and continental gender commitments. It has been based on international good practice and priorities identified through earlier consultations with government and non-government stakeholders in the IGAD Secretariat and among the member states.

‘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.

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.

UMFULA launches new brief projecting future water availability in Lake Malawi and the Shire River basin

The Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project has just released a new brief Projecting water availability in Lake Malawi and the Shire River basin. Led by Dr Ajay Bhave from the University of Leeds, the UMFULA research team has developed an open access water resources model (WEAP) that highlights potential future changes in Lake Malawi water levels and subsequent flows in the Shire River basin. Water availability has implications for energy (hydropower generation), food production (irrigation capacity) and environmental flows (for example through the maintenance of the Elephant Marsh wetland). Results indicate a range of potential futures, which illustrates the importance of adaptive decision-making approaches that are robust to uncertainty in supporting improved water management and infrastructure development in Malawi.

 

Kulima running training in Namibia on gender mainstreaming in climate change projects

Dr Katharine Vincent is in Windhoek this week, running a training course on gender mainstreaming in climate change projects for the Development Bank of Namibia. The workshop has been organised with the support of the Southern Africa Climate Finance Partnership (a programme supported by DFID and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation), and aims to build capacity to develop gender-responsive project concept notes and proposals that are successful in receiving resources from the Green Climate Fund. Katharine will be providing an introduction to gender and climate change, and then outlining the process of designing gender-responsive projects, including the gender assessment and gender action plan.