Community-Based Adaptation in Africa (CBAA)

This project helped communities in Africa think and communicate about climate change and adaptation, and to share their experiences with stakeholders.

2008 - 2011
Beth Henriette

Beth Henriette was a programme manager in IIED's Climate Change research group until January 2024

Between 2008 and 2011, the action research project Community­ Based Adaptation in Africa (CBAA) tested tools for climate adaptation and knowledge generation in eight African countries. The project identified ways of communicating climate information among poor and vulnerable communities, and from those communities to other stakeholders. 

CBAA worked in Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa. The project worked with local communities, community-based organisations, NGOs, national meteorological services, researchers, and national and international policy makers. 

CBAA offered capacity building and training to local NGOs, and the NGOs in turn supported community-level activities around climate change adaptation.

The coordinating partners in each country were members of the CLACC (Capacity Strengthening for Least Developed Countries for Adaptation to Climate Change) network, an international group of experts working on adaptation coordinated by IIED. 

The partners decided to adopt a 'learning­ by ­doing' approach to communicating climate information. Communities were selected in collaboration with stakeholders, especially meteorological services, and by using the Local Options for Communities to Adapt and Technologies to Enhance Capacity (LOCATE) methodology, which specifically targets groups most vulnerable to climate change.

Participatory video

IIED worked with InsightShare to pilot the use of participatory video for monitoring and evaluation of the project. Participatory video is a technique that brings people together to explore issues as they create their own film. 

During 2009/10, InsightShare delivered workshops in Malawi, South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The workshops were designed to help local people to assess their ability to cope with climate change and decide what type of adaptation strategy might be best for them. The workshops included training in participatory video and on monitoring climate related indicators.

This work enhanced the skills of community members and local NGO staff, and the process generated information on adaptation knowledge and experiences for researchers and policy makers. 

The resulting videos were used to share local community experiences with a diverse range of stakeholders including meteorological services and local and national decision makers. The films from Kenya and Zimbabwe were screened in at the 2009 United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen, sharing their content with a wide international audience. 

IIED provided technical advice and support to this project. IIED also published a photostory about the workshops held in Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe.