Strengthening knowledge on urban climate resilience

The Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) is an eight-year, multi-country initiative working with cities across the world to increase resilience to climate change. IIED is a regional partner within ACCCRN.

January 2012 – September 2015
Building transformative urban resilience for all
A programme of work understanding the nature of risk for people living in urban centres of the global South, in order to support community, city, national and global efforts to build resilience
A fishing settlement in Bandar Lampung city, Indonesia

A fishing settlement in Bandar Lampung city, Indonesia (Photo: Diane Archer, IIED)

The urban changes under way will mean more and more people living in densely populated areas, where they will be exposed to the direct and indirect hazards of climate change. Many cities are already taking steps to reduce their risks, and ACCCRN is supporting this in six countries.

Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, ACCCRN is building the capacity of stakeholders in secondary cities in India, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippines. These are places where much of the urban growth in the next few decades will occur, so actions here will increase resilience to climate change where it can make most difference.

ACCCRN aims to equip poor and vulnerable communities with the right resources, tools and methods for responding to existing and future climate risks. The work of ACCCRN partners focuses on building resilience at the city level, but as a network, ACCCRN is also regional and global in its outlook and outreach, and so is well placed to share success stories and to encourage cities around the world to replicate effective strategies and activities.

What IIED is doing

As a regional partner within ACCCRN, IIED's role is to contribute to and strengthen the body of knowledge that informs urban climate change resilience. IIED supports the local production of knowledge, helping us understand what makes cities resilient. We also work with researchers to make sure that research is linked with policy, to make sure that research findings can more easily reach those who are placed to act on them - through policy decisions and through targeted funds for action.

We document existing processes and approaches, and make the connections in evidence that can inform policy decisions and actions. There is a wealth of research findings of local, national and international relevance.

IIED is also strengthening the capacity for local knowledge production, by:

  • Arranging workshops in research and writing skills
  • Linking researchers to international advisers, and
  • Fostering a community of practice on urban climate resilience.

What's the story?

IIED is funding a $200,000 USD initiative in the countries where ACCCRN works, calling for original research projects with a focus on health and climate change in cities, or sanitation and other urban services in the context of climate change. Proposals were invited in August 2014 and working papers and policy briefing papers – with editorial support from IIED – will be published.  

Through our partnership with ACCCRN we were able to support three research studies in Vietnam, examining what factors decide how vulnerable someone living in a city is to the impacts of climate change, how they become more resilient, and what makes some policy responses more effective than others.