Browse by Theme: Climate Change

The Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA) is an alliance of five development partners: Oxfam GB, the Overseas Development Institute, Save the Children, World Vision International and CARE International.

It was established in 2009 with the aim of understanding how development interventions can contribute to adaptive capacity at the community and household level, and to inform the design and implementation of development planning by governments and non-governmental development partners to support adaptive capacity for climate change and other development pressures.

This paper is based on an analysis of three country studies conducted by national research teams in eight research sites in Ethiopia, Uganda and Mozambique for ACCRA. It describes the Local Adaptive Capacity (LAC) framework developed for this project, its application during the research, and the evidence found about the impact of development interventions on the adaptive capacity of people and communities.

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Nowhere on the planet are people more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than in sub-Saharan Africa. The continent is already prone to erratic rainfall, droughts, floods and cyclones, and climate change will only exacerbate these ongoing challenges. At the same time, Africa is grappling with the burden of poverty, environmental degradation, inequitable land rights, heavy reliance on the natural resource base for livelihoods, and the HIV&AIDS epidemic - all of which limit the ability of people and institutions to adapt to climate change.

Community-level research conducted by CARE in Africa indicates that climate change is already having significant impacts on food and income security, and that these impacts are particularly serious for women and other marginalized groups.

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Interest is growing in supporting vulnerable people and communities to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate, and there is a general assumption that there are close links between development and adaptation. Yet our understanding of the impacts that development interventions have on adaptive capacity at the local level remains limited.

Most development interventions are not designed with a climate change ‘adaptation’ label, but it is likely that they influence communities’ capacity to adapt to changing shocks and trends – whether as a result of climate change or other pressures associated with development (see Jones et al., 2010).

A framework for understanding and assessing adaptive capacity at the local level is needed to begin to understand how it can be supported through wider development processes at both local and national levels. Such a framework may in time serve as a platform to monitor progress, identify needs and allocate development resources to enhance a system’s ability to adapt to change.

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Human-induced climate change is modifying patterns of extreme weather, including floods, cyclones and droughts. In many cases, climate change is making these hazards more intense, more frequent, less predictable and/or longer lasting. This magnifies the risk of “disasters” everywhere, but especially in those parts of the world where there are already high levels of human vulnerability.

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Exploring political marginalisation, donors’ policies and cross-border issues – Literature review.

The Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) was commissioned by CARE International (CARE) to provide a review of the literature on the nature of pastoralists’ vulnerability in the Horn of Africa (focusing specifically on Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia) and chart ways in which agencies have responded and identifying best practice. This literature review is part of a broader project that HPG is undertaking to provide learning support to CARE and document and strengthen best practices around drought cycle management in the Horn of Africa (HoA).

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Pastoral communities in the Borana and Shinile zones of Ethiopia have been changing and adapting their livelihoods to changing environmental conditions for centuries. Recurrent droughts have been a major issue throughout history in the Ethiopian lowlands, and strategies to cope with, and adapt to these droughts are embedded in communities’ traditional social structures and resource management systems.

Despite the sense of determination, pastoralists’ ability to adapt is constrained by many factors including increasing land degradation; conflicts over scarce resources, which limit movement and destroy assets that are key for adaptation (especially in Borana); limited access to information (including that on weather, climate change, markets, as well as pest and disease outbreaks); limited education, skills and access to financial services and markets required to diversify their livelihoods; inadequate government policies, capacities and coordination; demographic pressures; and social and gender inequalities and marginalization, which reduce the voice and adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable.

Enhancing the adaptive capacity of pastoralists will require community-based and community-led interventions, but will also require tailored support from NGOs, donors, and governments and this study explores the issues and options facing all stakeholders.

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Climate change has already impacted on innumerable communities, exposing them to increasing hazards and making them more vulnerable; and we can expect this to become more marked, and for some communities catastrophic, in coming years. In order to plan effective adaptation actions, scientific climate change analysis is vital for broad context. However, at the local level, the most relevant information and knowledge often already exists or can be generated through local stakeholders’ own analysis. Local knowledge also has a credible authority for informing and influencing policy. So this Handbook, which presents a new participatory methodology for Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis, is very timely. Its focus on the community level is sharp and salutary. It stresses that communities are not homogeneous.

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