Tag Archives: Tanzania

“Climate variability affects water-energy-food infrastructure performance in East Africa” New paper with inputs from Kulima

A new paper “Climate variability affects water-energy-food infrastructure performance in East Africa” has just been published in the journal One Earth. The paper, led by Christian Siderius with other members of the UMFULA project team, including Katharine Vincent, highlights how climate variability is poorly understood in East Africa’s climate transition zone, where variability in rainfall is projected to increase. The implications of these projected changes in climate on infrastructure performance are poorly understood, with implications for the water, energy and food sectors.

graphical abstract

Infrastructure design should take into consideration the potential for changes in climate variability and recognise the limitations of planning on the basis of short time series of observations or projections. In the Rufiji basin in Tanzania and Shire basin in Malawi, a repeat of an early-20th century multi-year drought would challenge the viability of proposed infrastructure (dams). A long view, which emphasizes past and future changes in variability, set within a broader context of climate information interpretation and decision-making, is crucial for screening the risk to infrastructure and informing contingency planning to manage climate risk.

“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.

“Evolution of national climate adaptation agendas in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia: the role of national leadership and international donors” now published-with inputs from Kulima

An output of the Future Climate For Africa UMFULA project has just been published. "Evolution of national climate adaptation agendas in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia: the role of national leadership and international donors" unpacks the ways in which political economy has affected the emergence and evolution of national climate adaptation planning in three sub-Saharan African countries over the last decade, based on data collection over a six year period. Despite variation in the specifics of how they operated, the roles of two factors in common emerge in the evolution of the climate change adaptation agendas: national leadership and allied political priorities, and the role of additional funding provided by donors. These influences lead to changes in the policy and institutional frameworks for addressing climate change, as well as in the emphasis placed on climate change adaptation. By examining the different ways through which ideas, power and resources converge and by learning from the specific configurations in the country examples, the paper identifies opportunities to address existing barriers to action and thus present implications that enable more effective adaptation planning in other countries. 

“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. 

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.

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.

Kulima participating in annual review meeting for the UMFULA project

Dr Katharine Vincent is joining colleagues from the Uncertainty Reduction in Models for Understanding Development Applications (UMFULA) project today for the annual review of progress with funders DFID and NERC. The meeting is taking place with the lead institution, the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science. As it nears the end of its lifespan, UMFULA has undertaken novel research into decision-making processes and the institutional structures that government climate change policy in southern Africa, and supported decision-making under uncertainty in the water-energy-food nexus in Malawi and Tanzania.

Kulima participating in UMFULA annual meeting in Dar es Salaam

Dr Katharine Vincent and Dorothy Tembo-Nhlema are representing Kulima this week at the annual meeting of the UMFULA project (part of the Future Climate For Africa programme) in Dar es Salaam. The meeting brings together the climate scientists, impact modellers and social scientists from the UK, South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania and Cameroon to feed back on research findings and, with less than a year until the end of the project, to synthesise emerging lessons. It will be followed by a range of stakeholder events, including presentations to the Tanzania Meteorological Agency and TANESCO (electricity company), and a student session at the University of Dar es Salaam.

Kulima hosting a writeshop on climate services for the UMFULA project

This week Kulima is hosting a writeshop in South Africa for members of the UMFULA project (under the Future Climate For Africa programme). The writeshop will be attended by team members from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, University of Leeds and University of Kwazulu Natal. The aim is to compare, contrast and synthesise findings from research conducted in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia. Planned papers relate to the political economy of climate change in each country, insights into effective and equitable adaptation options for small-scale commodity (tea and sugar) farmers, and analysis of how to best visualise climate information so that the intended message is effectively understood by planners.