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.

Participants in an ICCCAD course in Bangladesh. Photo: ICCCAD

Climate change 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 focus on adaptation to climate change. Based at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), and established in 2010, it is the first such specialist training institution working in a developing country. ICCCAD 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.

ICCCAD runs regular short courses for NGOs, donors, the media, government staff and the private sector. In 2013 it launched a Masters programme in Climate Change and Development at the Independent University, Bangladesh.

Advocacy, networking and capacity building

Southern civil society organisations and networks are crucial for generating stronger public attention and influencing climate negotiations and policies – at the international level and increasingly also nationally. IIED is supporting a network of experts working to do this.

Capacity Strengthening of Least Developed Countries for Adaptation to Climate Change (CLACC) is a network of fellows and international experts from Africa and Asia. They work under IIED auspices to support Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as they adapt to climate change impacts.

As part of the broader Southern Voices Programme, which aims to strengthen climate policy networks in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific, CLACC is conducting advocacy work, policy monitoring and activities that raise public awareness about climate change in particularly vulnerable countries. Read more about CLACC's work.


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.

Closer to home, IIED was one of the core members of the Up in Smoke coalition: a group of environment and development NGOs that began meeting in 2003 once it became apparent that climate change was a development as well as an environmental issue.

The group produced a number of Up in Smoke reports, and later a book published by Zed Books: Climate Change and Human Development