Learning how to adapt to climate change: advocacy, training and capacity building

IIED works to help support southern countries as they adapt to climate change and the extreme weather events it brings. We do this by supporting partner organisations and experts that offer climate change adaptation training, advocacy and capacity building.

Article, 17 December 2012
Community-based adaptation
A programme of work showing how IIED is supporting a community of practice and advancing knowledge on community-based adaptation to climate change, and promoting South-South collaboration
Participants in an ICCCAD course in Bangladesh. Photo: ICCCAD

Participants in an ICCCAD course in Bangladesh. Photo: ICCCAD

IIED supports the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to build their expertise and capacity, both in relation to international climate negotiations and in relation to practical measures for climate adaptation. We are investing in long-term partnerships with individuals and institutions in the Global South to create a network of experts who can pass on their knowledge, experience and skills to local communities and governments. 

Building capacity for adaptation training

IIED helped set up the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), an organisation providing world class training on climate change and development, with a special focus on climate change adaptation. Established in 2010, and based at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), ICCCAD is the first such specialist training institution working in a developing country. It  provides training that draws on local experience, knowledge and research into climate change adaptation in Bangladesh — one of the countries worst affected by climate change.

Supporting networks and building skills

Southern civil society organisations and networks are crucial for generating stronger public awareness and influencing climate policies at the international level and also nationally and locally. To help build capacity and encourage action on climate adaptation, IIED supports the Capacity Strengthening of Least Developed Countries for Adaptation to Climate Change (CLACC) network of fellows and experts from Africa and Asia. 

As part of the wider Southern Voices programme that is designed to strengthen climate policy networks in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific, CLACC conducts advocacy work and undertakes policy monitoring and awareness raising activities in vulnerable countries.

IIED has worked with CLACC to initiate a programme of capacity building for economic analysis of the costs and benefits of climate change and adaptation in 12 Least Developed Countries. 

Members of CLACC also participated in the action research project Community­ Based Adaptation in Africa (CBAA), which offered climate information, capacity building and training to NGOs in eight African countries. These NGOs in turn were able to support local community-level activities for climate change adaptation.


In 2012, IIED and Southern Voices published a report detailing the tools and tactics advocacy groups in the South use to influence policy responses to climate change at international, regional, national and sub-national levels.

In 2014 IIED and Southern Voices developed a set of climate change advocacy toolkits (in English, French and Spanish). These share the experiences of networks in the South conducting climate change advocacy and also provide guidance and a number of analytical and practical tools to help civil society actors plan and deliver their climate change advocacy activities better.

They particularly emphasise how to support and protect poor and vulnerable communities, and ensure their voices are heard by policy makers locally, nationally and globally.