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Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA): Helping policy-makers understand rural adaptation


Project Reference: RSAF-0004

The Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA) is a two-year DFID-funded programme that focuses on a high priority research area: adaptive capacity in rural livelihoods. It is a consortium that works to increase governments’ and development actors’ use of evidence in designing and implementing humanitarian and development interventions to increase poor and vulnerable communities’ adaptive capacity. Consortium partners include the Overseas Development Institute, CARE, Oxfam GB, Save the Children and World Vision. For more information, click here.

ACCRA has developed the Local Adaptive Capacity framework (LAC), to frame its research. The consortium believes that climate change adaptation requires an enabling environment so that communities can continue to adapt beyond donor interventions. CDKN funded ACCRA over a 6-month period to July 2011 to help it undertake deeper engagement with country governments and policy-makers.

CDKN’s support enabled field visits by policy-makers to project sites, a 3-day regional meeting, and training of policy-makers during their attendance at the international Community Based Adaptation workshop in Bangladesh in March 2011, where ACCRA held a side event. Mr Fernando Tavares Caniua, Head of Mozambique’s Department of Natural Resources, attended the ACCRA conference. “Mozambique was involved in a long period of war, which didn’t allow us to carry out research,” he said. “With ACCRA’s results, we can now plan better and the government is able to intervene more effectively.”

Deliverables include reports on the policy-makers’ field visits to rural areas and communities that are experiencing the impacts of climate variability. These reports feature summaries of discussions of the impacts of climate variability held between the policy-makers and local communities, as well as on lessons learned during the process. The 3-day visits brought 10 officials from central government to ACCRA research sites in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Uganda.

The aim was also to broker discussions between researchers and visiting officials on what they are doing to deal with climate change issues, how national policies feed into their work, and where the challenges and knowledge gaps lie.

Bataze James, Senior Meteorologist in the Directorate of Meteorology, Ministry of Water and Environment of Uganda, recently returned from an ACCRA-organised field trip to Bundibugyo district, Western Uganda. “It was clear to me from the visit that adaptation activities and disaster risk reduction need to be strengthened, to take into account geographical characteristics within the country, as experienced in Western Uganda,” he said. “The field trips and the ACCRA framework are paving the way to that.”

Download the research project summary here

Updates and Resources 

December 2011: Rethinking support for adaptive capacity to climate change – the role of development interventions

This paper, written by Simon Levine, Eva Lundi and Lindsey Jones, researchers at ODI, 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.

The report is available to read here. A blog accompanying the report is available here.

A four page ODI briefing paper of research findings is also available.

September 2011: ACCRA regional conference

The ACCRA regional conference took place from 26-28 September 2011, in Nairobi, Kenya. The report of the conference is available here.

The report is also available in Portugese.

You can also watch interviews with attendees at the conference here.

February 2013: New approaches to promoting Flexible and Forward-looking Decision Making: insights from complexity science, climate change adaptation and ‘serious gaming’

Drawing on insights from complexity science, this paper describes what processes are needed to promote Flexible and Forward-looking Decision Making (FFDM).

The report is available to read here.

Further project outputs and resources:

Policy brief: Climate trends in Ethiopia: Summary of ACCRA research in three sites
Policy brief: Development interventions and adaptive capacity in rural Ethiopia
Policy brief: From local to national: Supporting local government action in climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction and development planning
Policy brief: The national picture: climate trends in Uganda

Research paper: Preparing for the future? understanding the influence of development interventions on adaptive capacity at local level in Ethiopia
Research paper: Preparing for the future in Uganda: understanding the influence of development interventions on adaptive capacity at the local level

Book chapter: Adapting Development: How wider development interventions can support adaptive capacity at the community level, in Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change: Scaling it up.


Photo credit: C. Schubert (CCAFS)/CGIAR Climate.

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Project Highlights

A farmer in Kyuso feeding her cows Kithunzu tubers_photo courtesy ALIN

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