Isabela serves as the social media manager, content entry and work flow coordinator for Climatelinks. She assists with knowledge management, research and writing blogs. Previously, Isabela provided communication and content management support to organizations such as the United Nations Volunteers programme in Ecuador and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in Washington, DC. Isabela is excited to apply her skills on the Climatelinks team and engage the Climatelinks community with the platform.
Editor’s Pick: Building local capacity tools & resources on Climatelinks
This month we are exploring what it means to build local capacity to address climate change. Building local capacity starts with an understanding of the local stakeholders’ needs. Then, a tool, method, or approach can be developed or tailored to the local context together with the local stakeholders. This enables stakeholders to make decisions for themselves based on their needs.
Empowering local people and institutions to develop their own solutions ensures relevance and fosters sustainability, and is an important component of USAID’s efforts to build local capacity to address climate change. USAID’s 2019 Policy Framework articulates the Agency’s Journey to Self Reliance approach that fosters transformation by supporting capacity for local problem-solving, innovation, and community-minded leadership. This approach to development seeks to foster stable, resilient, prosperous, and self-reliant countries.
Climatelinks looked at efforts to build capacity to address climate impacts at multiple scales - from regional institutions to individuals. For instance, SERVIR, a joint development initiative of NASA and USAID, invests in regional organizations to strengthen their science and technology capabilities to solve climate-and weather-related challenges. SERVIR’s regional hubs empower decision-makers to develop solutions that use information from Earth-observing satellites. SERVIR is supporting 23 countries in five regions to manage food security, water resources, land use change, and natural disasters by developing custom tools and training individuals who can develop local solutions.
At the individual level, the USAID-supported Climate Information Services Research Initiative (CISRI) supports community-based decision-making by generating knowledge and evidence to provide African farmers with climate information services to help them make decisions in a variable climate. Their Learning Agenda for Climate Services in Sub-Saharan African Africa provides decision-makers with timely and accurate information on climate and weather variations that helps farmers make better decisions to enhance agriculture production and reduce or avoid harvest loss.
There are also resources on Climatelinks to help programs build local capacity to address climate change. Explore some below:
Evidence & tools
- Global Climate Change Institutional Capacity Assessment is a structured tool for assessing an institution’s capacity to address climate change issues. A facilitator guides the organization or unit through the tool. It can be used to set a baseline and determine what aspects of capacity to support. It can then be used at a later date to assess the change in capacity.
- Climate-Resilient Development: A Framework for Understanding and Addressing Climate Change outlines five stages to address climate adaptation goals and what is necessary to achieve. This helps decision-makers identify priority measures, incorporate them into planning, and implement them.
- Resource Material for Training of Trainers on Forest Carbon Measurement, Including Community-Based Carbon Measurement was developed by the Forest-PLUS program to support a training with Forest-PLUS tools and protocols for remote sensing, inventory analysis, and data collection. Local trainees learn the fundamental principles of REDD+ safeguards and community benefits, this allows them to understand carbon as a forest resource that is essential to developing collaborative, participatory engagement with communities in measuring forest carbon.
- SERVIR and SilvaCarbon launched a series of global workshops in 2018 on Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) applications for mitigating land use and land cover change challenges. To ensure outreach and impact, they developed the SAR Handbook which can provide local groups with methods for applying SAR datasets for forest monitoring and biomass estimation.
- Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) Evidence Summaries and case studies highlight the potential role of EbA in addressing climate vulnerabilities and contributing to development results. These resources can help decision-makers and development practitioners at the local level consider where EbA is likely to be a relevant approach.
- The Adaptation, Livelihoods and Ecosystems Planning Tool is a computer-based tool designed to support users such as community members and local authorities to organize and analyze information to plan effective EbA options within a broader EbA planning process. It enables community members to understand linkages among ecosystems, livelihoods and climate change, which enables them to identify EbA options for community and ecosystem resilience.
- From Satellite to Village, Turning Data into Action explores how SERVIR works hand-in-hand with institutional partners via five regional hubs: SERVIR-West Africa, SERVIR-Eastern and Southern Africa, SERVIR-Hindu Kush Himalaya, SERVIR-Mekong, and SERVIR-Amazonia to democratize access to scientific data and fuel self-reliance by using satellite data to help communities address critical issues such as floods and droughts.
- To Improve Water Management, Start Local is based on a recent climate vulnerability assessment conducted by the USAID’s Adaptation, Thought Leadership and Assessments (ATLAS) project with local stakeholders and partners that examined the risks and impacts of climate change on the Mara River Basin in Kenya and Tanzania. The blog explored the importance of empowering communities and strengthening local governance to support local water associations manage local waters.
- Using Geospatial Technology and Earth Observations to Monitor and Forecast Drought in Vietnam and Address Agricultural Productivity Impacts explores how SERVIR-Mekong and partners developed a drought monitoring service to better understand and plan for future droughts in the region. This service assists local governments and the agricultural sector with seasonal drought forecasting and in implementing short- and long-term mitigation measures during and in advance of droughts.
- From Disaster Risk Reduction to Sustainable Peace: Reducing Vulnerability and Preventing Conflict at the Local Level looks at efforts to empower local communities and build resilience of the most vulnerable, including the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Sustainable Development Goals, that provide policymakers strong tools to take action on the local level.
- Local Beats Global When it Comes to National Climate Services in Rwanda examines how the Enhancing National Climate Services (ENACTS) approach, developed by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), enables countries to produce reliable quality climate information suitable for local decision-making. ENACTS data has allowed the forecast system to make better use of the predictability in the climate system, resulting in a higher level of skill that could provide useful information to local decision-makers.