12,694 The Drum Beat 701 – Research on Climate Change Communication

The Drum BeatThe Drum Beat 701 – Research on Climate Change Communication

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From The Communication Initiative Network – where communication and media are central to social and economic development.
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In this Drum Beat, we look at research learnings that highlight communication solutions designed to address water-related impacts of climate change. Selections come from a number of organisations working around the world, including Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), one of The Communication Initiative (The CI)’s long-time supporters.

Since 2006, IDRC has invested in more than 150 research projects to strengthen climate resilience in vulnerable regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean. IDRC’s Climate Change programme supports partnerships and networks in an effort to build evidence for cost-effective solutions to climate challenges in developing countries.

We hope you find these items timely, as COP21 is underway (see below).

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INTERLINKAGES BETWEEN LOCAL AND CONVENTIONAL KNOWLEDGE
  • 1. Nganyi Community Resource Centre
    To mark World Meteorological Day on March 23 2015, Kenya Meteorological Services (KMS) launched a resource centre and radio station in western Kenya to disseminate weather and climate information. Building trust between scientists and the Nganyi people, a clan known for predicting rain, was a key part of the participatory research process. The Nganyi RANET radio station broadcasts weather and climate change news, including through email and SMS text messaging, so that trained communicators can spread the information in the local language. To boost access, KMS distributed to communities radio handsets with a built-in solar power generator and wind-up system. One outcome of the project is the book “Coping with Local Disasters Using Indigenous Knowledge: Experiences from Nganyi Community of Western Kenya.”
  • 2. Lessons on Integrating Scientific and Community Knowledge of Climate Change to Develop Adaptation Plans in Lower Mekong Basin
    by Moushumi Chaudhury
    “Knowledge brokers enabled community members to legitimately participate, and therefore, empower them to develop their own CCS [community climate stories] by facilitating discussions on climate change.” This is one finding from a report prepared by Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) that outlines WRI’s design of semi-structured, qualitative questionnaires to understand the 4-step process by which scientific knowledge merged with local knowledge to co-design adaptation plans in ecologically sensitive areas of the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB), which spans Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Asia designed the Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change project in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Asian Management and Development Institute, and the World Food Programme. Research revealed, for example, that: “Simp! le, visual aids on temperature rise and droughts were most effective across all sites….The image shows shrimp struggling for life as the sun gets brighter and water temperatures rise.” [Mar 2015]
  • 3. Rising Waters: Working Together on Cape Town’s Flooding
    by Leonie Joubert
    Implemented in the Cape Flats, a low-lying coastal zone outside Cape Town, South Africa, the Flooding in Cape Town under Climate Risk (FliCCR) project was a 3-year research effort to explore how such “shacklands” can implement effective decision-making processes within the context of climate change adaptation and high levels of informality. Funded by IDRC and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) as part of the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa programme (2006-2012) [PDF format], the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) African Centre for Cities (ACC) and partner departments studied how communities and the municipality can work together to implement effective solutions to climate challenges. Among the concrete steps suggested for more collaborative responses to the annual flooding of vulnerable neighbourhoods: “Work towards a cu! lture of mutual respect and never underestimate the residents’ competence, their knowledge about politics or technical issues, and their capability to learn.” [Jan 2013]
  • 4. People’s Local Knowledge of Climate Change in the Middle-Hills of Nepal
    by Tarit Kumar Baul, KM Atique Ullah, Krishna Raj Tiwari, and Morag A. McDonald
    Noting that incorporating local knowledge into climate change policies can lead to the development of “effective, cost-effective, participatory, and sustainable adaptation strategies” when complemented by modern scientific knowledge, this study aims to explore local perceptions and experiences of climate changes in Nepal’s Middle-Hills region in conjunction with meteorological data and assessments of climate change impacts on physical and biological systems. “Collectively, this knowledge represents a dynamic information base for the scientific community and for policy makers to develop strategies for adaptation to constantly changing and varying climate that will be supported by the general population.” [Oct 2013]
  • 5. Chilika Lagoon
    Wetlands International South Asia and the Chilika Development Authority began working in 2011 with local stakeholders to assess biophysical and social vulnerabilities to climate change in the area. The resulting “climate smart” management plan produced by the research team outlines strategies for communication, education, and public awareness. An early warning system developed as part of the project was in place when Cyclone Phailin struck India in 2013 and helped to prevent major loss of life. The 3-year project produced evidence to guide both support for livelihoods and wetland management plans.

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THE USE OF MASS MEDIA
  • 6. Testing the Influence of Radio Programs on Climate Change Knowledge: A Pilot Experience from the Congo Basin
    by Alba Saray Perez-Teran, Anne Marie Tiani, Merline Touko-Tchoko, and Bérenger Tchatchou
    This report examines a pilot radio initiative in the Congo Basin that was designed to strengthen climate change knowledge and spark science-policy-practice dialogue, using a behaviour change communication (BCC) approach. The 24 radio programmes involved local communities in 3 ways: recording local communities’ experiences during the production; opening channels during the broadcast for public reaction (these included a phone line, email, and postal mails); and signing contracts with local community radio stations to re-broadcast the programmes after the national broadcaster aired the series. Published by the Center for International Forestry Research, the report outlines production and distribution processes, provides the methodology and results used for the project’s impact assessment, and discusses the impact of the radio programmes on local communities’ capacity to adapt to climate change. [2015]
  • 7. Communicating Climate Risks to Vietnam’s Vulnerable Coastal Communities
    Vietnam’s National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Studies (NISTPASS) is investigating how climate risk can be better communicated to households, schoolchildren, and policymakers in the cities of Can Tho, Da Nang, and Quy Nhon. Researchers recorded the responses of householders to determine which messages were most effective. Videos were shown using tablets (mobile computers) so as to engage participants’ interest in climate issues. One finding: People are more likely to take action to address climate risks when information is delivered by a familiar, trusted messenger, such as a well-known newscaster. NISTPASS is working through the government Climate Change Coordination Office to develop television programmes based on information from the videos for broadcast to a wider public audience. It is also building on youth engagement initiatives on climate issues in Can Tho.
  • 8. Water Resource Management under Changing Climate in Angola’s Coastal Settlements
    Most of Angola’s meteorological and hydrological monitoring systems were destroyed during the country’s prolonged civil war. Given the data gap of nearly 30 years, researchers at Development Workshop Angola are working with communities and government agencies, reviewing archived materials, and using satellite imagery to assess and map flood risks in economically poor coastal settlements to provide evidence and information needed by planners and local governments. The maps pinpoint locations in 4 coastal cities that are most vulnerable to flooding, erosion, sea level rise, storm surges, and salt water intrusion. They also indicate potable water sources, with reference to variations in prices, to improve access to affordable clean water. The risk maps are designed to be visually appealing and easily understood by community members as well as urban planners.
  • 9. Reality TV for Resilience: Can Reality TV Help Communities to Better Cope with Climate Risks?
    Reality television show Amrai Pari, broadcast in Bangladesh through BBC Media Action, reaches 15.8 million people with messaging on climate risk and resilience. This research was intended to measure “how target communities worked together to address environmental hazards and explored the influence of Amrai Pari in communities.” The reality TV project visits communities “and challenges them to work together – with their neighbours and local traders to make their infrastructure more weather-resistant and learn new resilience-enhancing techniques. By showcasing the success of real communities, the programme aims to help and encourage audiences to work together more in their own neighbourhoods and become more aware of better ways to prepare against the threat of environmental hazards.” [Apr 2015]
  • 10. The Impact of Climate Information Services in Senegal
    The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) collaborated with the Senegalese National Meteorological Agency (ANACIM) to develop climate information (CI) services that are designed to be relevant to Senegal’s farmers on a broad scale and to enhance the capacity of partners who are tasked to communicate CI to farmers. As of August 2015, seasonal forecasts were being transmitted nationwide through 82 rural community radio stations and SMS (text messaging), potentially reaching 7.4 million rural people across Senegal. According to organisers, farmers have been involved in every step of the process, helping meteorologists and other specialists package and communicate CI. This study investigates the number of farmers who have access to CI in Senegal as well as the impact of the information on farmers’ practices. [Sep 2015]
  • 11. Environmental Reporting and Media Development: Equipping Journalists with the Training and Tools to Cover a Critical Beat
    This document includes descriptions of and links to resources that explore the ways in which media development organisations and their partners on the ground: train reporters and citizens to cover environmental news and issues; support investigations; and create strategies for gathering information, presenting environmental data, and engaging the public. [Jul 2015]

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The annual Conference of Parties (COP), November 30 – December 11 2015 in Paris, France, also called the 2015 Paris Climate Conference or COP21, aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate. For more information, visit the COP website.

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GENDER: RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES AND POLICY STRATEGIES
  • 12. Gender and Inclusion Toolbox: Participatory Research in Climate Change and Agriculture
    by Christine Jost, Nafisa Ferdous, Taylor D. Spicer, and Susan Onyango (ed.)
    This toolbox contains a range of gender-sensitive and socially inclusive participatory action research tools which are designed to support data gathering that will help integrate gender and social perspectives in climate research and programme design. As stated in the introduction: “We know that a gender equity gap exists in agriculture and that this gap shapes how men and women contribute, respond and adapt to climate change….Building resilience within this context is a matter of understanding how gender norms and relations, along with other critical factors such as caste, class, age, disability and sexual orientation all affect differences in access, power and decision making in regards to adaptive capacity.” [2014]
  • 13. Supporting Women Farmers in a Changing Climate: Five Policy Lessons
    by Sophia Huyer, Jennifer Twyman, Manon Koningstein, Jacqueline Ashby, and Sonja Vermeulen
    “Policies, institutions and services to help farmers develop new approaches to deal with climate change will need to produce results for women farmers as well as men.” This brief provides 5 policy lessons for supporting women farmers in a changing climate, based on evidence from research in low- and middle- income countries, leading to the release of guidelines for crafting gender-responsive climate policies at global and national levels. For example: “Gender indicators need to go beyond measuring the representation of women in climate change processes – women need to be actively involved in defining and monitoring implementation and impacts…” [Oct 2015]* See also:

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INTERSECTIONS WITH AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY
  • 14. The Climate Change Adaptation and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) – CHAI – Project
    This IDRC-funded project sought to understand how farmers can plan for and respond to climate-induced water challenges. CHAI chose 4 districts in Uganda’s cattle corridor to pilot an information system that involved collecting and disseminating both rainfall and market data. Crop loss and damage are down 67% in the districts, where more than 120,000 farmers now receive weather forecasts, agricultural advisories, and market information via mobile phones and interactive radio. Print media, community loudspeakers, and community meetings with local authorities are also part of the information dissemination strategy. The project won a UN Momentum for Change Award, one of 16 “game-changing climate action initiatives” to be honoured at COP21.
  • 15. Innovative Application of ICTs in Addressing Water-related Impacts of Climate Change (ICTWCC)
    An IDRC research awards programme, coordinated by the University of Nairobi, awarded grants to 31 PhD and Master’s candidates from Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa to field-test their research and ensure real-world applicability by communicating with policymakers and the public. They received mentorship and tailored training to enhance their skills in different research methodologies and in specialised aspects of climate science. Research undertaken through the programme covers a range of relevant topics. One study, for example, proposes a land management plan to minimise the risks that hurricanes pose to forests in Nicaragua. In Kenya, a study found that farmers are already changing practices to adapt to climate change, but that sharing additional climate information through mobile phones and radio, in local languages, can further improve farmers’ adaptation efforts.
  • 16. Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA): Field Manual
    by Peter Dorward, Graham Clarkson, and Roger Stern
    This step-by-step guide to working through the PICSA approach is inspired by the belief that smallholder farmers are key to food security in sub-Saharan Africa, where two-thirds of the population depend on small-scale, rain-fed farming as their main source of food and income. Key components of the PICSA approach include: providing and considering climate and weather information with farmers; jointly analysing information on crop, livelihood, and livestock options and their risks by field staff and farmers; and sharing a set of participatory tools to enable farmers to use this information in planning and decision-making for their circumstances. [Oct 2015]* See also:

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RELATED CONTENT ON THIS THEME

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This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.

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The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership.

Full list of the CI Partners:
ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Breakthrough, Citurna TV, Fundación Imaginario, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI),Heartlines, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP), MISA, Open Society Foundations, Oxfam Novib, PAHO, The Panos Institute, Puntos de Encuentro, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, STEPS International, UNAIDS,UNICEF, Universidad de los Andes, USAID, World Health Organization (WHO), W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za

Executive Director: Warren Feek wfeek@comminit.com

section_separatorThe Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.section_separator

Please send additional project, evaluation, strategic thinking, and materials information on communication for development at any time. Send to drumbeat@comminit.com

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