CBA14: How you can help design the programme

We are developing a highly interactive programme for CBA14, with sessions delivered by participants that will generate maximum opportunities for networking and sharing. Find out how you can participate.

Women stallholders in small boats

Bangkok’s big floating markets are major tourist attractions - but there are also many active markets for local people. CBA14 will have a marketplace too. (Photo: Azchael, via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The 14th International Conference on Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA14) will take place from 21-25 September 2020, allowing our community of practice to continue to meet despite the coronavirus pandemic. To give you a flavour of what’s in store, we hosted a preview event on 21 July 2020

CBA14 will feature capacity-building opportunities, hands-on workshops, deep-dive dialogues, an adaptation marketplace, and the chance to develop and perfect pitches for business investment in adaptation projects.

This event will bring together some 400 CBA practitioners, community representatives, government planners, policymakers and donors from around the world. The conference will be hosted on an online platform, where participants will be able to connect and chat with each other, start and respond to discussion threads, ask session hosts questions and hold small group discussions before the main programme sessions begin. Progressively these interactions and discussions will feed into the main event in September. 

The CBA14 programme will focus on five themes and related questions:

  • Climate finance: how can public and private sector finance be accountability and transparently mobilised to scale up climate action, while remaining inclusive?
  • Adaptation technology: how can adaptation technology be used to bring about adaptation at national level, and be integrated through policy and finance?
  • Responsive policy: how can social movements inform policy that is ambitious enough to meet the Paris Agreement targets and improve climate adaptation for communities?
  • Nature-based solutions: how can nature-based solutions be made to work for people, nature and climate?
  • Youth inclusion: how can we transform our institutions so that they can take advantage of young people’s participation in delivering local-level adaptation? 

All sessions will aim to address at least one of these questions as well as incorporate the cross-cutting tracks of gender and monitoring, evaluation and learning.

Help deliver conference sessions!

CBA14 will feature a variety of session types, including workshops, dialogues, skill shares, and showcases. 

Participants can submit proposals for sessions. You can:

  • Showcase lived experiences, tools and adaptation initiatives
  • Deep dive into pertinent issues
  • Share and trade expertise in areas such as communications and project planning, and
  • Incubate ideas and practice developing pitches for funding.

icon for marketplace sessionsweADAPT Marketplace

At the Marketplace participants tell the story of a tool or approach they have developed, the lessons and insights from their experiences (failure and success), setting out brief good-practice narratives that showcase innovation and lived experience. CBA14’s digital marketplace 'stalls' will be hosted by weADAPT on its searchable digital map of community-based adaptation projects.

icon for skillshare sessionsCapacity building skill shares 

CBA conferences bring together people with lots of different expert skills. These sessions match delegates with particular skills with those seeking to acquire or strengthen their skills and knowledge. Skill share sessions are crowd-sourced and can cover topics such as monitoring and evaluation, accessing climate finance, developing proposals, and communication activities. As long as someone signs up, the session is delivered and featured on the main programme.

icon for dragons' den sessionsDragons' Den  

Participants will work together in teams to develop bids for investment and present these to a group of people with investment experience. Ideas can be as diverse as an urban waste management project (which was last year’s winner), to an investment in a local adaptation technology. The investment experts will assess the merits and viability of the pitches and provide feedback to the teams in a final, competition-style plenary session. (The session name 'Dragons' Den' comes from a popular TV programme in which the investors are the 'dragons'.)

icon for thematic sessionsThematic sessions

Providing an opportunity to delve deeper into the conference themes, these sessions will be facilitated in order to encourage dialogue, debate and interaction, and will avoid unidirectional presentations and panels (in particular, all male 'manels'). All sessions are co-led by at least two organisations. Creative and innovative formats and tools, such as scenario prompts, collaborative note-taking, or WhatsApp chats will be featured.

icon for Open Space sessionsOpen space roundtables

Discuss burning issues that haven’t been addressed elsewhere, highlight big ideas to develop with others or convene others working on a particular issue or geographical region. Participants with a passion to lead will host a roundtable and, if enough people sign up, these tables will be featured in the main programme. Ideas for the roundtables will be crowd-sourced through the CBA ‘community pinboard’ on the online platform.

How to apply to run a session

Use the following links to apply to host different types of sessions: 

Please note: we receive a lot of session proposals – sessions will be assessed by the programming group, and we will let you know whether you have been successful. If your proposal isn’t selected for the main programme you can still submit your idea and connect with others on that topic on the CBA community pinboard on the platform.

Submit a short film

We’re looking for the best short films about local climate adaptation and community-based adaptation projects to feature in our film programme.

Short films can be a powerful way of showing the nuances of an issue, the personal experiences of climate change or the learning emerging from a project. If you have a video or film that is less than 10 minutes long and highlights issues relevant to community-based adaptation, share it with us! Submissions will be evaluated by a selection committee and attendees will be asked to vote on the films. Use the submission form to send us details and a link to your video.

Be interviewed

Participating in a filmed interview is an opportunity for your voice to be heard. We featured videos of participants in our CBA13 coverage and published a playlist of CBA13 interviews on YouTube

If you would like to participate in a video interview, email us at

Connect with the CBA community

Join the conversation on Twitter

During the conference, you can tell your supporters about what’s happening using the hashtag #CBA14. You can also tweet us your questions and comments – to @IIED – and we will try to include these in the discussions.

Join the weADAPT online platform

weADAPT is a collaborative platform on climate change adaptation issues that links people working on climate adaptation.

Connect with CBA practitioners via Linkedin

Join the CBA LinkedIn group to connect with other participants, join discussions and share details of your organisation’s work. 

About the organisers 

The Royal Government of Bhutan welcomes participants to CBA14. CBA14 is funded by the Climate Justice Resilience Fund, Irish Aid, the Global Resilience Partnership, the Global Commission on Adaptation and IIED, and organised with co-hosts CARE and Practical Action, in collaboration with the contributing partners BRAC, the Huariou Commission, Green Africa Youth, IUCN NL, Environmental Management for Livelihood Improvement Bwaise Facility, African Centre for Trade and Development and Slum Dwellers International.


If you have any questions about how you can participate in CBA14, contact us via email:

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