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

Ethiopia is currently ranked 11th of 233 countries (and other political jurisdictions) in terms of its vulnerability to physical climate impacts, and 9th in terms of overall vulnerability, defined as physical impacts adjusted for coping ability (CGD, 2011). Yet little is known about its people’s adaptive capacity at individual and community level, or how existing interventions influence a community’s ability to adapt.

Recognising the complex relationship between climate and development, research conducted by the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA) seeks to explore how development interventions impact on adaptive capacity at the local level in Ethiopia. It does so using the Local Adaptive Capacity framework (LAC), depicting adaptive capacity as composed of five interrelated characteristics, namely: the assets base; knowledge and information; institutions and entitlement; innovation; and flexible forward-looking governance.

This research paper, Preparing for the future? understanding the influence of development interventions on adaptive capacity at local level in Ethiopia, examines how development interventions need to do more to support people’s own agency, development partners need to reassess the scale and scope of their interventions, better use information and knowledge for evidence-based decision-making, and how building adaptive capacity requires a continuous process of learning, change and innovation.

This paper is part of the project, Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA): Helping policy-makers understand rural adaptation, 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.

Further reading:

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

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

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

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

 

Photo courtesy ALIN

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