Tag Archives: Africa

“A framework for examining justice in food system transformations research” New paper with inputs from Kulima

A new paper “A framework for examining justice in food system transformations research” has just been published in the journal Nature Food. The paper, led by Stephen Whitfield with a team that included Katharine Vincent, calls for critical analysis of the justice implications of food system transformation. It does this by presenting a framework of three justice lenses — historical, representational and distributional — that can be adopted when thinking across the temporal dimensions of food system transformation.

The paper highlights that food system transformation and justice are subjects of research, recognising that drivers of transformation are both internal and external to the food system and that they evolve dynamically over time. It also points to the fact that research in a transformative space requires researchers to play a key role in supporting inclusive dialogues and showing awareness of their own role in framing discussions.

New project launch “Supporting Pastoralism and Agriculture in Recurrent and Protracted Crises” (SPARC)

This week the Supporting Pastoralism and Agriculture in Recurrent and Protracted Crises (SPARC) research programme has been launched. Led by Cowater, ODI, the International Livestock Research Institute and Mercy Corps and funded by FCDO, the six-year programme will develop and share knowledge to help the international development community better assist pastoralists, agro-pastoralists and farmers living with climate change, protracted crises and ongoing conflicts.

Partnering with local researchers and organisations, as well as drawing on the expertise of its core partners, SPARC is generating knowledge to build the resilience of millions of people living in agricultural, pastoral and transitional communities in the drylands stretching from east to west Africa. Kulima director, Dr Katharine Vincent, is part of the programme management team as the Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Advisor.

Biemruok Cattle Camp Bentiu South Sudan – image by UNMISS – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“Mobilizing Climate Information for Decision-Making in Africa: Contrasting User-Centered and Knowledge-Centered Approaches” New paper with inputs from Kulima

A new paper "Mobilizing Climate Information for Decision-Making in Africa: Contrasting User-Centered and Knowledge-Centered Approaches" has just been published in the journal Frontiers in Climate. The paper, led by Blane Harvey with an author team that includes Katharine Vincent, examines the ways in which climate information was mobilized for use under the Future Climate for Africa programme. Document analysis of outputs and key informant inteviews shows that, within the programme, a total of 20 knowledge mobilization tools and approaches were identified and used. There was a complex interplay between user engagement and knowledge mobilization processes, including the strategic or flexible use and re-use of knowledge products as the user engagement process evolved. These findings have important implications for future attempts to promote improved use of climate information in decision-making.

“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.

Future Climate For Africa and CDKN release guide on how to contribute climate change information to Wikipedia, with inputs from Kulima

Future Climate For Africa and CDKN have just released How to contribute climate change information to Wikipedia: A guide for researchers, practitioners and communicators. The guide, by Emma Baker, Lisa McNamara, Beth Mackay and Kulima director, Dr Katharine Vincent, builds on Africa's first Wikipedia edit-a-thon on climate change in Africa, held in August 2019. The guide targets researchers, practitioners, communicators and any others with access to climate change information who would like to share it more widely with the world. It outlines how to edit Wikipedia, along with tips and suggestions on style and structure, and guidance on how to get involved with the Wikipedia editing community.

Building Resilience and Adapting to Climate Change in Malawi commemorates International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction

The Building Resilience and Adapting to Climate Change programme in Malawi, in which Kulima is part of the Knowledge and Policy Hub, commemorated International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction last week by releasing a brief and other pieces. The brief, a joint output with the Civil Society Network on Climate Change (CISONECC), addresses "Why invest in resilience?" and consolidates existing evidence for the cost-effectiveness of investing in disaster risk reduction and resilience-building. This was accompanied by a blog on the CDKN website "Spotlight this Disaster Risk Reduction Day on Malawi" and opinion article in the Daily Times Malawi "Why Disaster Risk Reduction is more important than ever" – both of which highlight the need to finalise the DRM Bill and create a budget line for Disaster Risk Reduction in the country.  

“Managing collaborative research: insights from a multi-consortium programme on climate adaptation across Africa and South Asia” now published-with inputs from Kulima

Another paper has just been produced that reflects on the process of conducting collaborative applied adaptation research under the Collaborative Adaptation Research in Africa and Asia (CARIAA) programme. "Managing collaborative research: insights from a multi-consortium programme on climate adaptation across Africa and South Asia", led by Bruce-Currie Alder with Georgina Cundill, Lucia Scodanibbio, Kulima director Katharine Vincent, Anjal Prakash and Nathalie Nathe, reflects on CARIAA's learnings in fostering cooperation towards research outcomes, coordinating Participants valued the consortium as a network that provided connections with distinct sources of expertise, as a means to gain experience and skills beyond the remit of their home organisation. Consortia were seen as an avenue for reaching scale both in terms of working across regions, as well as in terms of moving research into practice. The experience of CARIAA affirms documented strategies for collaborative research, including project vision, partner compatibility, skilled managers, and multi-level planning. Collaborative research also needs an ability to revise membership and structures as needed in response to changing involvement of partners over time.

Kulima participating in leadership training for African Academy of Sciences Future Leaders (FLAIR) Fellows

Kulima and START are collaborating with the African Academy of Sciences to run science leadership training for the Future Leaders-Africa Independent Research (FLAIR) fellows. The training, taking place last week and this week online in a variety of sessions, addresses how to uncover and nurture innate leadership potential. This involves combining insights into personality and emotional intelligence and how these can be used to effectively communicate, negotiate, pitch, network with insights on managing research and developing effective research career strategies.  

“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.