CBA13: Local solutions inspiring global action 

The 13th international conference on Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA13) will take place on 1-4 April 2019 in Ethiopia.

A government scheme to employ people to build water management infrastructure has supported Ethiopian smallholders and saved water for growing crops. (Photo: Stephan Bachenheimer / World Bank)

CBA13 will bring together practitioners, grassroots representatives, local and national government planners, policymakers and donors working at all levels and scales to discuss how we can drive ambition for a climate-resilient future. 

The conference will take place on 1-4 April 2019 in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, and will offer four days of discussion and debates, skill shares and knowledge exchanges.


The CBA conference series aims to bring together a community of practitioners who are collectively seeking to reimagine solutions that enable transformative outcomes through the agency of communities driving climate action. 

The conferences offer an innovative and interactive space, enabling the CBA network to promote climate action through:  

  • Inclusive, gender-transformative and meaningful engagement 
  • Sharing and collaborating around good practice and challenging assumptions 
  • Drawing on evidence to inform the scalability of effective approaches, and  
  • Influencing and shaping decision making processes. 


The programme will reflect our commitment to develop innovative and dynamic formats that actively engage participants and promote interactivity, challenging participants to think outside the box.

The conference will be based around three themes: 

  • Climate finance: what are the mechanisms and enabling environments needed for climate finance to flow at scale to support effective adaptation? 
  • Adaptation technology: how can long-term and existing, as well as the wave of new and emerging, technologies and practices be harnessed to build resilience?
  • Policy engagement: how can the wealth of learning generated through widespread experiences of local climate action best inform the policies of the most vulnerable countries? 

The conference look at synergies and connections between individuals, organisations and groups that are working within these contrasting spaces. For instance, the uptake of adaptation technologies is very much dependent on finance and policy. We must tell our stories and present evidence in these spaces to leverage the support and investment that is needed.

There will be a combination of parallel sessions and plenary sessions, including:

  • Marketplace sessions 
    Participants become 'stall holders': they tell the story of a tool or approach they have developed, their learning and insights from their experiences (failure and success) – setting out their understanding of what works. This is a dynamic session; participants can visit a limited number of stalls during the time allowed.

  • Skill share sessions 
    Taking full advantage of the expertise available at CBA13, these sessions match participants with skills to offer with those seeking to acquire or strengthen their skills and knowledge base. Sessions of 30, 60 or 90 minutes are crowd-sourced through the registration process, and as long as someone signs up the session is delivered.
  • Open space sessions for 'Burning issues' and 'Big ideas'
    These sessions are organised by the participants to discuss burning issues that haven’t been addressed in earlier sessions or big ideas they want to develop with others. Starting from opening circles, participants merge topics around overlapping interests or start new clusters, each run by a champion with the passion to lead. 
  • Thematic sessions  
    Providing an opportunity to delve deeper into the conference themes, these sessions will be facilitated in order to encourage group discussion, debate and interaction, and will avoid unidirectional Powerpoint presentations and panels (in particular, all male 'manels'). All thematic sessions are co-led by at least two organisations.

  • Dragons' den  
    Participants will work together to develop investment pitches (such as a business plan to invest in adaptation technology) and present these to a group of people with investment experience. The investors will assess the merits and viability of the pitches and provide feedback in a final, competition-style plenary session. Dragons' Den is the name of a globally recognised TV programme, in which the investors are the 'dragons'.

During the registration process participants will be given the opportunity to contribute to the design of these sessions.  

How to register 

Registration is now open: register via Eventbrite

Tickets are £600. Tickets include registration for the four-day event, lunch and refreshments throughout each conference day, and a welcome dinner on 1 April.  

Once you have registered, the CBA team will send you regular email updates, including information about the venue, hotels and logistics, guidance on travel and visa processes, as well as news and programme updates. 

Subsidised places 

We are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of subsidised tickets for participants from the global South with limited resources. For more information, please visit the Eventbrite page.

Coverage and outreach

The CBA conferences are part of an ongoing process that is designed to keep the CBA community of practice engaged throughout the year, and the outcomes from CBA13 will inform our policy engagement during 2019.

Key messages from last year's conference in Malawi were carried forward to the Development and Climate Days event at the UN climate talks (COP24) last year. CBA12 partners helped shape the conversations at the event.

We will work to ensure that the messages from CBA13 reach our target audiences and will be fed into key international processes. We will provide full coverage of the conference via the web and social media – read more on our coverage of CBA12

About the organisers

CBA is organised in partnership, by IIED and CARE, the Climate Justice Resilience Fund, the Global Resilience Partnership, the International Development Research CentreIrish AidPractical Action and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre.

Exploring new opportunities

In 2019 we want to make the conference even more inclusive. We want to support the participation of people from the global South who can bring their ‘lived experiences’ of vulnerability and resilience to our discussions; their voices are often missed in international policy platforms. 

As well as subsided tickets, we are also seeking support to be able to offer full sponsorships to students, representatives of community-based organisations or small NGOs based and working in the global South, with a focus on women and young people.  

If your organisation would like to support this aim, please get in touch with Teresa Sarroca at IIED at


If you have any questions about the conference or about registration, please email

CBA13 partners