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Participatory scenario development approaches for identifying pro-poor adaptation options

Participatory scenario development (PSD) is a process that involves the participation of stakeholders to explore the future in a creative and policy-relevant way. The International Institute for Sustainable Development designed and implemented two sets of PSD workshops in Mozambique, Ghana, and Bangladesh and remote assisted workshops in Ethiopia. As a result, this report presents the findings on approaches for identifying pro-poor climate-change adaptation options.

The report makes the following recommendations for pro-poor adaptation in workshop countries:

  • improving post-harvest services and water storage and harvesting are crucial options for maintaining the livelihoods of rural people to reduce their outmigration
  • social protection, services and safety nets are good ways to improve the situation of vulnerable groups
  • improved water and land governance was identified as a necessary precondition for effective management of infrastructure and community-based activities
  • strengthened civil society, engaging decentralised structures and traditional authorities in planning, were identified as crucial for addressing a number of issues
  • attention should be given to measures focused on urban and peri-urban areas inundated by migration of poor people and yet they lack their own production systems and livestock.

The report makes the following recommendations for integrating PSD with other research tools:

  • to enhance integration, it is beneficial to review the accessible inputs, desirable outputs and products, and the planned process structure when the actual framework is being developed
  • project goals and objectives should be clear to help balance between reasonable levels of participation, qualitative methods, collecting data and applying models for relevant outcomes.

Finally, it provides the following recommendations for the use of PSD in donor and national planning contexts:

  • developing regional and local development and adaptation pathways helps in identifying linkages between national and donor with other sectoral priorities at the local and regional level
  • it is important to identify sectoral impacts of climate change and necessary adaptation responses across diverse sectors, so actions that can create multiple benefits are identified as priorities
  • creating scenarios on linkages between adaptation measures, vulnerability reduction and development priorities of the countries helps make donor investments better integrated, increasing their effectiveness and relevance
  • customising best practices and lessons learned from other countries so that they reflect on the situation of the country’s institutions and available capacities.