Capacity development, learning, change, poverty/power/progress
I have entered the world of climate change adaptation. We all live in this climate changed world, but I now get paid, as a Capacity Development professional (!) to intervene in it.
My orientation around the web revealed a mind boggling number of websites for the Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) practitioner, and I have already come across two studies comparing all the training manuals that have been developed in this field. Much of this fragmentation seems to come from the way donors still manage to disburse piecemeal funding for which competition is high. Everyone seems to want to invent THE approach, that will attract the mega donor bucks. Having spend some time in the Aid Effectiveness World, observing this fragmentation is truely entertaining.
In a blog from the Climate Change and Development Network I read that twenty of the leading climate and development web initiatives got together recently to talk about how they could collaborate better. The group included well-established players like the Adaptation Learning Mechanism, Eldis, and the World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal, as well as newer initiatives like ci-grasp and the Latin American Carbon Finance Portal, launched just two days prior to the meeting. Other regional initiatives included Africa Adapt and the Asia and Pacific Adaptation Knowledge Platform. They found they had a lot to talk about, "not least around the question of how we get a better grip on what our users actually need from our sites, rather than what we think they need." That last sentence is interesting. So most of these "leading" websites are offering stuff that they think somebody somewhere will need?!
Several of these websites are called 'network', although I mainly see knowledge being made available. Indeed, it is hard to see the people offering it, leave alone the people using it. To my understanding, a network is group of people that communicate with one another and work together for a shared purpose. They network, in other words they build up or maintain (informal) relationships, with others that could bring advantages and opportunities such as knowledge and learning. Networking seems hard to realise if you are not sure who in the network needs what.
Another common feature I observe is that most websites seem concerned with adding climate change adaptation to what was previously their business. So there is a lot of "integration" and "mainstreaming" happening: Climate Change and Development, Climate Change and Gender, mainstreaming Climate Change in Policy Development, integrating Community Based approaches and Adaptation, or Ecosystems and Adaptation, or both!
Fortunately change has always been my area of business. Considering the mushrooming of websites and training manuals, CCA is certainly a sector where it is all happening, and without much change facilitation. I'm a keen observer for the time being, sharing back what I see with the people in my own growing climate change "network". Ready to meet them face to face now!
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