CBA12: Daily updates

CBA12 took place in Lilongwe, Malawi from 11-14 June. Adaptation practitioners, researchers, policy makers and investors met to discuss how to promote local action on climate change. This page brings you daily updates from the event.

Market place sessions allow participants to share project experiences (Photo: Teresa Corcoran/IIED)

CBA12 is focusing on getting local experience on climate action heard. The CBA community of practice is sharing innovation, getting climate finance behind what works and preparing robust narratives that take 'lived experience' from evidence to influence. Here are some of the highlights from Lilongwe:

CBA12 - Day 4

On Day 4, CBA12 participants joined government representatives at the Regional National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Expo.The NAP Expo is an outreach event organised by the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG) under the UNFCCC. 

As the Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) Saleemul Huq explained: it is where  grassroots CBA actions meet national processes: 

Paul Desanker, Manager of the Adaptation Programme at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) set out the aims of the day. The event brought adaptation teams from national governments together with the CBA community of practice – including civil society, researchers and youth – to discuss how national climate plans are advancing.

Participating countries are at different stages in their planning, with each encountering different challenges such as how to scale-up adaptation, access finance and how to ensure adaptation is gender sensitive. The NAP creates a space for these groups to exchange knowledge and good practice and to share ideas on how to identify and plug gaps in their national climate action plans.

A goodbye wave from some of the participants - but the work goes on! (Photo: Teresa Corcoran/IIED)

Looking forward:

The work goes on: at the close of CBA12 Clare Shakya, Director of IIED's Climate Change research group, previewed next week's Adaptation Futures conference in Cape Town:

IIED researchers will be presenting a range of work in Cape Town - read more about IIED's participation at Adaptation Futures 2018.

CBA12 - Day 3

Day 3 opened with a Gender and Climate Talanoa. A Talanoa is an inclusive, participatory conversation - and this Talanoa included climate negotiators, policy makers, private sector representatives, practitioners and women at the grassroots. 

The Talanoa was opened by Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Robinson highlighted the importance of  valuing 'lived experience' in climate discussions. Another panelist, Stella Gama, Deputy Director of Forestry at Malawi’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment, told the gathering that local and traditional knowledge voices are central to climate action.  

The Talanoa discussions focused on how to help grassroots and indigenous women participate in local, national and international decision making on climate action.

Mary Robinson summed up the discussions:

Key messages from the workstreams

#CBA12 is built around three workstreams. Here are some of the important messages which came out of the discussions during Days 1 and 2. 

Workstream 1: Transforming 'lived experience' and local knowledge into evidence that drives better policies and investments

We’ve been looking at how to prepare robust narratives that take 'lived experience' from evidence to influence. What do we need to transform experience into evidence for policy?

Insights from Day 1: incentives for learning from experience and platforms for sharing; a clear learning agenda; safe space for reflection and tools to aggregate and analyse information.

We asked: How can we take 'lived experience' from evidence and use it to influence climate policy and planning? We know evidence is critical for those making decisions around adaptation funding – practitioners here at CBA and beyond need to provide robust, reliable and transparent syntheses that can guide investment decisions.

We’re finding that gender inequalities are entrenched in evidence gathering processes -  influencing what evidence is sought, what evidence is considered ‘valid’, and who should provide the evidence. This constrains the value of the evidence. 

Achieving gender responsive adaptation needs more attention and greater emphasis than it is currently getting – and as we’re hearing at CBA, climate adaptation can be an entry point to address gender inequalities.

Workstream 2: Building a shared understanding of effective devolved climate finance

On Day 1 we looked at five different approaches to delivering devolved climate finance – these approaches need to be inclusive; how can they build resilience and be scaled-up? We then compared the five approaches, delving into detail and asking: are these approaches investment ready? And can we merge these approaches and make them stronger?

We agreed that the structures behind DCF are key: strengthening government institutions so mechanisms are in place to get the funding to flow in a way that is transparent and accountable, and investing in structures that empower communities so they have a leading voice in how climate finance is allocated. We recognise that the role of national government may differ from country to country.

Strong DCF approaches are backed by good evidence, data and quality assurance to unlock climate finance from sources beyond the usual donors. And they need to build in flexibility to respond to the different priorities of different groups within communities. 

Bottom-up accountability mechanisms hold the system in place and support quality assurance and decisions that ensure sustainability; there are lots of good practices from the ground where communities are monitoring investments, ensuring they meet the needs of local people. 

Workstream 3: Innovating in applying adaptation technology

This workstream examined how technologies help local communities adapt to climate change and how these technologies can attract investment. On Day 1 we heard some great ideas on how technologies related to natural capital (land, water, soils, plants, animals) can enable communities to adapt. We heard about a wealth of technologies being used across a range of geographies, cultures and socio-economic contexts.

Adaptation technologies can be divided into three broad categories – those building ‘infrastructural assets’ (dams, reservoirs, solar powered irrigation); some building ‘physical assets’ (crop varieties or animal breeds that perform or cope better with the changing environment or improved cook stoves that help reduce demand for charcoal or fuel wood). In many cases the ‘asset’ being created by the adaptation technology is improved decision-making, strengthening land, water, or forest management.

Scaling up and deploying these technologies effectively often requires investment in multiple technologies and types of asset. For example, both improved cook stoves and land management decisions and practices can improve fuel efficiency and addressing deforestation. To achieve inclusive and gender responsive adaptation calls for inclusive, gender responsive adaptation technologies: they must meet the needs of women, youth and the less powerful.

To use ‘technology’ to lever greater investment and support, we need to focus on the properties of the technology, strategies for its uptake, and making the various returns on investment explicit.

CBA12 - Day 2

At the CBA12 ‘marketplace’, Zerihun Dejene Fitteheawek, Environmental Officer at PHE Ethiopia Consortium explains how high population growth adds to the strain for countries that are already experiencing the impacts of climate change - erratic rainfall, food insecurity and extreme weather events. Families that are smaller in size can adapt more easily.

Zerihun Dejene Fitteheawek, Environmental Officer from PHE Ethiopia Consortium interviewed at CBA12


Victor Orindi, of the Adaptation Consortium, Kenya, sharing his learning at CBA12. Victor is supporting sub-national governments to mainstream climate planning in budgeting and implementation. Orindi highlights two main takeaways:

  • First, it’s good to work through existing governance structures and important to consider the local context so that whatever’s proposed can be implemented on the ground.
  • Second, the importance of attracting the private sector – this is a big challenge, especially for those working on adaptation in the hard-to-reach vulnerable areas where we need to attract a lot of investment to tackle the challenges of climate change.

According to Orindi, we need to look in more detail at how to attract the different private players, from the small to the medium scale. And maybe if the environment is good enough we can then think about how we can tap into the bigger private sector players?

Victor Orindi, Adaptation Consortium, Kenya interviewed at CBA12


The CBA12 programme is bringing people together to work on three workstreams. 

Workstream 1: Transforming 'lived experience' and local knowledge into evidence that drives better policies and investments

Workstream 2: Building a shared understanding of effective devolved climate finance

Workstream 3: Innovating in applying adaptation technology

CBA12 - Day 1

The opening day of CBA12 featured a ‘CBA Market place’, in which participants visited exhibition stands to for ten-minute discussions about projects, case-studies and tools. Participants had the opportunity to present good-practice narratives based on their own experiences and discuss them with colleagues.

One Market place presenter was Vidhya Sriram, Senior Technical Advisor for Research with NGO Care International. She introduced a joint project with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) which designs smallholder agriculture adaptation programmes that listen to the needs of women and girls. 

As Sriram explains in the video below, this work is about building skills so that smallholder women farmers can implement climate adaptive practice, it’s about understanding the social norms that govern decisions made in the household. And it’s about structural change: making sure women’s voices are heard in decision making fora.

Thinking about the differential needs of women and girls from the start, taking into consideration how they experience climate change differently and getting women access to key decision making spaces are all crucial steps towards truly gender transformative climate action. See Sriram describing the project in the film below, or watch the video on on IIED's Youtube channel.

Vidhya Sriram from Care International interviewed at CBA12


Constance Okolette Achom: turning 'lived experience' into evidence

As part of one of the CBA12 workstreams we’re exploring how to transform ‘lived experience’ into evidence that drives better policies. Here’s the experience of Constance Okolette Achom, chairperson of Osukuru United Women’s network and founder of Climate Wise Women:Constance Okolette Achom

“I heard on the radio that there was going to be a meeting in town about food research; I went with my team from Osukuru United Women’s network - we went along and answered all their questions. We described how the weather had affected the community – the floods and the droughts, and the hunger and disease it had caused. And particularly how women and children had been affected, it is they who suffer the most.

But we didn’t know it was climate change! After the meeting, I learnt all about climate change and that it’s caused by rich, polluting countries. From there, I was asked if I would talk about my experiences of climate change – with local people, with the high authorities, the government… at the UN climate talks. So that’s what I’ve been doing: moving between groups, institutions, government bodies, telling them about women’s experiences of climate change in Eastern Uganda.”


About CBA12

The CBA12 programme includes two days of workshops, followed by two days of dialogues. On Days 3 and 4, policymakers and investors will join participants to discuss how to propose and plan locally-driven climate investments; the enabling environment needed for scaling-out and up; and ways to further strengthen our community of practice.

On Day 4 the UNFCCC and the Least Developed Countries Expert Group will convene the Regional National Adaptation Plans (NAP) Expo as part of CBA12. Read more about how CBA12 aims to benefit the CBA community of practice in this Q&A

About the organisers

The CBA12 event is being organised by IIED in partnership with the Climate Justice Resilience Fund, GIZ, the Global Resilience Partnership, the International Development Research CentreIrish Aid and Practical Action.

CBA12 partners