The future research agenda for ICTs, climate change and development

The future research agenda for ICTs, climate change and development

Analysing the adaptive capacity of climate change interventions in Ethiopia, Uganda and Mozambique

A more holistic and flexible development approach is required to support the agency of people adapting to climate change. Since climate change adds another layer of complexity to development challenges, interventions must, at all stages, consider the ways in which people might engage with them in a range of possible future climate scenarios.

The study described in this paper, conducted by the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA), analyses the adaptive capacity impacts of various interventions in Ethiopia, Uganda and Mozambique. The study focuses on five interconnected characteristics of adaptive capacity: asset base (physical and non-physical), institutions and entitlements, knowledge and information, innovation, and flexible forward-looking decision-making and governance. It concludes that these dimensions must be approached together, as they are interdependent. System-level change is also required, and platforms (local, national and international) are needed to negotiate this transformation. Development planning and interventions need an 'agency lens' to deal with issues regarding power and institutions, and to expand people’s range of choices. 'Getting participation right' is also key to understanding people’s adaptive capacity, as well as designing and implementing successful interventions.

Recommendations include the following.

  • No development without adaptive capacity – adaptive capacity building should be mainstreamed in all development programmes.
  • Flexibility and scenario planning – including all the likely changes, their interactions and uncertainties.
  • Using autonomous innovation as an entry point for an adaptive capacity perspective – using people’s ability and practice of experimentation and innovation.
  • Turning information into knowledge – people should be supported to acquire skills and tools to analyse and use information, and to access further information.
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