Browse by Theme: Resilience

This brief summarises research conducted by the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA) in three sites in Uganda in 2010-11. Climate Change, Adaptation and Adaptive Capacity – what are they, and why do they matter in Uganda? While Uganda has made significant gains with regards to economic growth and poverty reduction in recent years, development pressures still exist and act as significant barriers to progress.

Uganda’s population growth rate is 3.4%, higher than average for sub-Saharan Africa, and the population is expected to double by 2025, compared to 2002. The backbone of the economy is rain-fed agriculture, with over 80% of the country’s labour force employed in this activity. The country now faces the challenge of responding to a rapidly changing climate, that greatly magnifies existing development pressures. Since most Ugandan communities have a low capacity to adapt to these changes, the challenge is compounded.


This research is a result of considerable input and support from various individuals across ACCRA’s consortium of members: Oxfam GB in Uganda, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), CARE International in Uganda, World Vision Uganda, and Save the Children in Uganda.

Special thanks go to all our colleagues in the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Water and Environment, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, the Department of Water, the Ministry of Health and the Department of Meteorology for their continued support and inputs to ACCRA’s work.

Thanks are also due to the country researchers and the ACCRA coordinator who led the data-collection process and contributed greatly towards analysis of the research findings: Doreen Ruta and Fredrick Ayorekire (Gender Development |Initiatives), Margaret Barihaihi and Anthony Kagoro (World Vision Uganda). Special thanks also go to Josephine Lofthouse and Catherine Pettengell.

This document is an output from a project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID) for the benefit of developing countries. However, the views expressed and information contained in it are not  necessarily those of, nor endorsed by, DfID or the members of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), which can accept no responsibility or liability for such views, the completeness or accuracy of the information, or for the reliance placed on them.


Mozambique faces both rapidly changing climate and development pressures. At the local level, many communities do not have the necessary tools, resources or capacity to adapt, and will require support from government and other development actors.


"CARE is working to help people and communities in developing countries better adapt and become more resilient to a climate they did not create. We support women and men, girls and boys becoming agents of change–because we believe that, with the right knowledge and sufficient means, families are able to adapt themselves.


Pastoral areas in the Horn of Africa are frequently seen as a region of poverty and constant crisis, where repeated rain failures leave millions of people dependent on food aid. The long-term erosion of pastoralists’ resilience is ascribed to various causes: a degraded range, the loss of key grazing lands, increasing population pressure and conflict. But pastoralism is also a modern industry, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars each year from a thriving international trade, creating an increasingly commercialised livestock-owning class coexist-ing with an ever poorer majority.

This presents a dual challenge. How can this vital economic sector be supported, at the same time as sup-porting the majority of pastoralists to remain independent, with resilient livelihoods?


Evidence from Africa shows that development interventions could do more. Change is a constant in the lives of rural people in Africa. They have had to cope with both sudden shocks such as war, rain failures and food price spikes and with long-term stresses such as increasing population pressure on land, declines in their terms of trade, and the degradation of land and water.

They will have to cope with these pressures in the future, coupled with the growing impact of climate change. People need the ability to maintain (and even improve) their well-being in the face of change – whatever that change may be. This is what we call adaptive capacity.

Drawing on evidence from the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA) project (2010-11) – a research and advocacy consortium in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Uganda – this Briefing Paper aims to understand better how different kinds of development interventions affect the characteristics of adaptive capacity.


In Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands, livelihoods are dominated by pastoralism. Pastoral communities are accustomed to dealing with drought and erratic rainfall and have traditionally utilized systems and practices that minimized the impact of climate-related shocks to their livelihoods. Recently however, the impacts of climate change have combined with other environmental, economic and political factors to create a situation of increasing vulnerability for poor and marginalized households.

The situation is particularly serious for women, who face additional social, cultural and political constraints to resource access and adaptive decision-making. In response, some households have transitioned into an agro-pastoral way of life, combining the traditional livestock rearing with crop production and other economic activities. While this shift represents an innovation for these communities, it has also
exposed them to new risks and a different set of challenges in securing their livelihoods.

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