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PROJECT: Strengthening climate change development programmes in Uganda

Project Reference: TAAF-0071

The climate of Uganda is already changing; the past 30 years have seen average temperature rise and future climate change has the potential to exacerbate the current impacts of climate in Uganda and to lead to new risks.

“The uncertainty of the projections makes it more challenging to design appropriate responses to adapt to future climate change risks, but this is not a reason for inaction,” says researcher Paul Watkiss in his background document ‘Enhancing Climate Change Outcomes in Development Programmes in Uganda’.

CDKN, together with the Netherlands Embassy in Kampala hosted an Action Lab on the 13th and 14th of September 2016 to focus on two key issues affected by climate risks. These were:

1.        How to make dairy and livestock value chains more climate smart?

2.        How to strengthen the resilience of migrants to environmental shocks and climate change?

It is important to design climate-smart livestock and dairy interventions, and climate migrant resilience strategies with this uncertainty in mind, not to ignore it, says Watkiss.

In Uganda, migration is an integral part of the country’s history and has been prompted by a diversity of demographic, economic, social and political factors. These factors have acted in combination to produce various forms of internal and international migration, such as nomads, labour migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons. These existing pressures for migration are increasingly compounded by enhanced climate variability.

Similarly, livestock and dairy are critical in relation to supporting many livelihoods. Both sectors face a number of challenges: current productivity is low due to indigenous breeds, subsistence livestock rearing, insufficient fodder, insufficient inputs, poor veterinary care and pest and disease prevalence. However, the influence of the current climate is also a factor contributing to low productivity.

The Action Lab looked at the issues surrounding value chains and migration and discussed the need for capacity building, information and knowledge management to practically introduce potential options. While some of these options could be implemented quickly, many will take time and consideration of the timing and sequencing is important. There are also important barriers to uptake that need to be addressed.

The key output from the Action Lab was a number of research questions to meet knowledge gaps that would help development practitioners to move forward on these issues.

CDKN will shortly have a research call to identify suitable organisations/individuals to carry forward the research questions generated during the Action Lab.

Project Manager: Kate Cronin (


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Project Highlights

FEATURE: Action lab tackles Uganda’s climate and migration challenges

CDKN and the Netherlands Embassy co-hosted an Action Lab in Kampala that brought together development practitioners from government, donors, research organisations and implementation partners to identify research questions and other actions that could help Uganda tackle climate change. Suzanne Carter and Juliane Nier of CDKN share the key messages on climate-related migration.