Capacity development

We support organisations to develop the capacity to navigate climate risks and respond through adaptation that is both transformational – recognising the limits of existing systems and practices in the face of large changes in climate, and transformative – addressing the underlying drivers of vulnerability. Our capacity building activities include direct strategic support to organisations, the delivery of training, and the development of general guidance on different aspects of adaptation.

Understanding current and future climate risks and their potential evolution is critical if we are to adapt effectively to climate change. However, narrow, technocratic, risk-based approaches to adaptation are insufficient. Effective, sustainable and just adaptation must combine scientifically-informed considerations of risk with attention to the factors that shape vulnerability, including structural factors related to social, political, economic and environmental contexts. Moving from incremental adaptation intended to protect the status quo to transformational adaptation that recognises the limits of current systems and practices under a rapidly changing climate will be challenging and fraught with conflict. For transformational adaptation to succeed, it will need to be owned by those it is intended to benefit, and be implemented in phases, based on principles of genuine inclusion and co-creation. Measures taken in the near-term will need to be designed and implemented in ways that avoid longer-term maladaptation. As well as being transformational in a technical sense (e.g. replacing existing systems and practices with new ones that are viable under emerging and future conditions), adaptation needs to be transformative, addressing the underlying structural drivers of vulnerability and genuinely equipping society to survive and thrive under very different conditions.

We support people and organisations to navigate these complex aspects of adaptation, and to pursue adaptation that is both transformational and transformative. We help to build the capacity that is needes for adaptation through a variety of channels, including:

  • Working directly with organisations that are designing and implementing adpatation responses to develop frameworks, strategies and principles to support adaptation in specific contexts (e.g. individual development programmes);
  • Working with research and policy organisations to develop more general guidance on different aspects of adaptation, including principles for effective adaptation and frameworks for adaptation MEL;
  • Delivering specialist adaptation training for general audiences and for individual clients;
  • Wider publication and outreach activities, the latter ranging from involvement in relevant local fora to participation in international events.

Previous capacity building work has included general training courses for development professionals, and bespoke training for the governments of Mozambique and Nepal, and for organisations including Adam Smith International, the African Development Bank, ITAD, MWH, ODI, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Currently, we are supporting national governments with the development and implementation of their National Adaptation Plans, through a partnership with the NAP Global Network. We have provided strategic support to a number of UK-funded development programmes, including transition support to the Nepal National Climate Change Support Programme, which included training workshops for local governments to support implementation of the Local Adaptation Plans of Action.