CORDIS - EU research results

Uptake of Climate related Research Results through Knowledge Platforms with African Collaboration Partners

Final Report Summary - AFRICAN CLIMATE (Uptake of Climate related Research Results through Knowledge Platforms with African Collaboration Partners)

Executive Summary:
AfriCAN Climate is a project co-funded by the European Commission within the 7th FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME. The project was set up by a team of 5 African and 5 European organisations, including research institutes and networks, and project implementation was running from October 2011 and ended successfully in September 2014.

The AfriCAN Climate Portal is an innovative web-based knowledge platform for the sharing of climate change research and good practices. It brought together an active network of European and African researchers and communication experts. In addition to disseminating information on climate change research and policy, the project facilitated the widespread sharing of indigenous knowledge and examples of good practice. The anticipated effect has been an increased uptake of research results and their translation into practical projects that have a direct impact on people's lives.

The portal employed innovative and creative web functionalities to harmonise multilingual, interdisciplinary and pan-continental climate change knowledge and to encourage project developers and stakeholders to learn and benefit from Africa’s challenges and success stories.

The AfriCAN Climate Portal targeted a wide variety of climate change stakeholders: researchers, field practitioners, project developers, development partners, NGOs, local/national governments and farmers organisations. AfriCAN Climate users can be found in the PEOPLE section. Through internet news feeds and a newsletter, users receive regular updates on project progress, case studies, as well as information on the latest resources and financial opportunities. Online GROUPS form various dissemination partnerships, facilitating knowledge sharing and maximising networking opportunities.

Climate change KNOWLEDGE, relating to scientific research, indigenous knowledge, and policies were collected in the form of articles, publications, news, project initiatives, organisational links and networks. These knowledge resources are organised under the headings RESEARCH and POLICY.

To help practitioners on the ground, case studies of GOOD PRACTICES are show-cased by climate change experts. In order to assess the applicability and transferability of project interventions, case studies were evaluated against eight principles to assess their financial, economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Climate change projects require financial support. Guidelines on existing financing mechanisms (such as emissions trading and development bank co-finance streams) are available on the portal as well as up to date public and private financing opportunities to support future project developers. This information can be found under FINANCING.

The AfriCAN Climate Portal provides climate change fact sheets for each African COUNTRY in the most widely spoken languages. The fact sheets provide information on the current and projected status of climate, natural resources and, agriculture. They also state key climate vulnerabilities.

During the first reporting period, the activities of the project consortium have been focused on the development of the African Climate portal ( a dynamic knowledge platform for the sharing of climate change related content with relevance for Africa. The online portal was officially launched in July 2012. A wide range of functionalities has been made operational.

During the second reporting period, the activities have been focused on the finalization of the knowledge bases, regular uploading and quality control of knowledge items to the web portal, management of external user contributions and organization of a series of promotional events, the AfriCAN Climate Awards, workshops and field trips in Senegal, Kenya and South Africa.

A team of web editors regularly monitored the website. Each section has been regularly reviewed and updated with new content uploads. The webmaster assisted the editors on a day-to-day basis, providing technical support and ensuring the platform’s effective performance. Editorial team coordinator WIP elaborated and implemented an editorial work plan, including clearly defined content targets and editorial calendar.

Project Context and Objectives:
Extreme weather events and increasingly unpredictable climate patterns are having a dramatic effect across Africa, especially for the people who rely on its land, lakes and seas to feed themselves and earn a living. Africa's response to climate change has so far been hampered by a fundamental lack of knowledge transfer.

The European Union has been funding research into climate change and related technologies since the 1980s. This has been of great value in formulating realistic policy objectives. Now it is time to translate these results into action. There is a clear need for research findings to be widely communicated, especially to stakeholders who can put them into practice on the ground.

The AfriCAN Climate project aimed to support Africa in the process of adapting to and mitigating climate change, by bridging the gap between research and action. A dynamic web platform brought together an active network of European and African researchers and communication experts. In addition to disseminating information on climate change research and policy, the project facilitated the widespread sharing of indigenous knowledge and examples of good practice. The anticipated effect has been an increased uptake of research results and their translation into practical projects that have a direct impact on people's lives.

To achieve its aims, the AfriCAN Climate project addressed nine specific objectives:

1. Elaborate an editorial policy and editorial team structure to facilitate the integration of knowledge/content and web design.
2. Develop the necessary technical infrastructure to create an attractive web presence and support effective editorial work flows for the online knowledge sharing platform.
3. Disseminate the results of climate change research through identifying and processing knowledge on mitigation, adaptation, climate policy and financing.
4. Identify and assess projects on the ground aimed at mitigating or adapting to climate change in Africa.
5. Operate and maintain the web platform and implement internal quality control mechanisms.
6. Perform technical maintenance and web hosting tasks to ensure the accessibility and flawless functioning of the platform.
7. Engage networks and other information multipliers in promotional activities, both online and offline.
8. Promote good practice amongst the targeted stakeholders, including researchers, local authorities, NGOs, SMEs, artists and educational partners.
9. Increase the visibility and recognition of the AfriCAN Climate portal among the target audience.

Project Results:
The main S&T results/foregrounds of the AfriCAN Climate project are:

(1) High profile consortium – addresses for the targeted audience:

Climate change is one of the most important issues on the global political and economic agendas, yet it has taken at least 20 years to become an international priority. In many ways, this is because climate change was originally communicated as a scientific problem. Complex, confusing, and at times contested scientific information resulted in a slow public and political response to the climate crisis. For many people, climate change is still an abstract concept.
In Africa, climate change is far from being abstract – it is already determining the course of people’s lives. Extreme weather conditions and greater unpredictability in weather patterns are having serious consequences for people who rely on land, lakes and seas to feed themselves and to earn a living. Africa’s response to climate change is hampered by a fundamental shortage of relevant and useful information for African audiences, such as knowledge transfer of research results and good practice examples.
Intensive media coverage, campaigns for increasing public awareness and uptake of research results have been largely absent in Africa, particularly outside major urban centres. Frequently, African voices are absent from the international climate debates. Though, Africa’s response to climate change will be leaded by the communication of research results to stakeholders who will translate research results into activities on the ground.
The first and main successful result was the work done to build a well scientific and technical consortium together. The project comprises ten expert organizations that worked under the same umbrella. Each organization has its own expertise and based on their preconditions bringing this consortium together was a success. Here the description from each participant organization.
1) P.A.U. Education is very much involved in International European collaborative projects and participates in some of the most innovative platforms for the exchange of good practices relating to education, social and policy issues. It has a successful track record in widely recognized portals such as (DG EAC), (EACI), (DG INFSO), PICCOLINGO (DG COMM) and the European Road Safety Charter (DG TREN). The creation of an active community of practitioners has been one of the key drivers in P.A.U. Education portals. P.A.U. Education has consolidated experience in the development of some of the most innovative projects for the European Commission, including (DG EAC), (DG INFSO), the European Road Safety Charter (DG Transport), BUILD UP new environment for building professionals on how to cut energy consumption in buildings-DG Energy), and Pollen-Europa (DG Research) providing a combination of online and offline services to create active and numerous communities. P.A.U. Education also undertakes contracted works within framework contracts with DG Enterprise and DG SANCO. P.A.U. Education provides its expertise in creating and running web-based platforms.
2) ENDA has long experience on climate change work, originally centred on use and development of energy, but over the past decade extending also to vulnerability and adaptation and knowledge sharing. ENDA’s core strengths on climate change include its Africa-wide coverage of activities and its strong networks both within Africa and globally. Its worldwide representation includes: seventeen teams based around the Dakar headquarters working on development and environment themes; twenty-nine poles in Southern countries: twenty two in Africa, four in South America, two in Asia; a European delegation; and Japanese representation to follow soon. Current activities include field-based adaptation work, research, capacity building and knowledge management (including the AfricaAdapt knowledge sharing platform), in collaboration with a wide range of regional and international partners. Examples of ongoing research and capacity-building activities include: community-based adaptation in 14 countries across Africa; the EU-AIDCO funded ACCCA capacity-building for adaptation with SEI, START and CSAG); and, participation in the CLACC programme with IIED. Knowledge management activities include the IDRC/DFID funded AfricaAdapt network in collaboration with three African and one British organisation, indigenous/local knowledge, a global community scale communications network on climate and development (with CiFOR), and work on WeAdapt, a multi-functional platform for adaptation tools and training, the latter in collaboration with SEI. ENDA participates in and coordinates a number of international networks such as the Climate and Development Network (franclimat), CAN and Drynet, and organises series of seminars and workshops. It publishes newsletters such as Tiempo (French version), Bulletin Africain as well as frequent e-bulletins. Many of ENDA’s field activities in climate and development take place in the framework of the C3D+ project coordinated by UNITAR which partners ENDA with other Southern actors including CCCCC, ERC, SPREP and MIND.
ENDA is a founding partner of the AfricaAdapt Knowledge Sharing Network and from October 2010 became the managing partner in this rapidly expanding premium knowledge management product for Africa. ENDA is also a founding partner organisation of the UNFCCC’s Nairobi Work Programme (NWP) and has made renewed Action Pledge in the context of the Second Phase of the NWP. External support from the United Nations, Switzerland, Austria, Luxemburg, the Netherlands and a number of NGO's together ensure ENDA's independence; France, Belgium, Canada, the European Union (whose contribution is increasing), Finland, Italy and Sweden have all contributed, or are contributing, their support.
3) Imperial college of London; The involved researchers are experienced on interdisciplinary and cross-cutting areas including land use and resources management; bio-energy and energy policy worldwide; sustainability and impact assessment and links with climate change. Their expertise is documented by a number of scientific publications, activities and their contribution to several other projects relevant in the field: Coordination of research on Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) programme on Zero Carbon Production Systems at Imperial College; Coordination of the Education Programme on Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) programme on Zero Carbon Production Systems at Imperial College.; Lecturers for the London International Youth Science Forum on Climate Change; Development of Carbon-accreditation methodologies and protocols for biofuels; Contribution to the Gallagher Report for the UK Renewable Fuel Agency on the sustainable production of biofuels in Developing Countries; COMPETE – Competence Platform on Energy Crop and Agroforestry Systems (FP6); Framework development for an international bioenergy programme for the UN FAO; Global-Bio-Pact Global Assessment of Biomass and Bioproduct Impacts on Socio-economic and Sustainability.
4) WITS; Prof Scholes has extensive experience in collaborating with African scholars, particularly on global change issues but more widely on sustainable smallholder agriculture, savanna biogeochemistry and plantation sustainability. She was instrumental in driving the production of the ICSU Global Change Agenda for Africa as well as the AfricaNESS programme on Global Environmental Change.
5) DTU UNEP; CEMA: Capacity enhancement and mobilisation for energy in Africa through eleven centres throughout Africa focused on increasing low-carbon energy access and energy security, in connection with the Africa EU Energy Partnership. CD4CDM Capacity development for the CDM conducted since 2002, active in nineteen countries through national and regional partners in Asia, Africa and Latin America. CC-DARE: Promoting Adaptation and Reducing Vulnerability in Sub-Saharan Africa through partners in eight plus seven African countries and through 45 small-scale national projects. DEA: Developing and applying an approach for outcome and impact assessment of energy projects in Africa through six African partner centres.
6) FANRPAN has vast experience in project and content management and dissemination. FANRPAN has also been involved in a number of EC funded projects such as COMPETE – Competence Platform on Energy Crop and Agroforestry Systems in Africa; PAEPARD - the Platform for African-European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development and the Impact of HIV and AIDS and Climate Change on Agriculture and Food Security in Southern Africa. FANRPAN will use this expertise to deliver high quality project coordination and platform operation and ensure maximum impact to enable uptake of climate change research results. In 2008, FANRPAN coordinated a project, the Africa-Wide Civil Society Climate Change Initiative for Policy Dialogues (ACCID), to prepare Africa’s position and strategy on climate change which was launched at the 14th United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP14) meeting in Poland in December 2008 and mobilize civil society engagement in policy dialogues leading up to the December 2009 Copenhagen COP. To date ACCID has mobilized delegations to COP 14 and 15, profiled and positioned the Africa BioCarbon Initiative at various engagements, and is profiling sustainable land use and conservation agriculture as adaptation strategies for Africa in the face of climate change. Through these advocacy initiatives the FANRPAN “NO AGRICULTURE NO DEAL” call was endorsed by Africa Union Heads of States and International Partners.
7) Practical Action; Regarding Climate Change activities, Practical Action has been working in Africa in projects to help communities adapt to the impacts of climate change including:
Rainwater harvesting in Zimbabwe: Rainwater harvesting is a way of capturing rain as it falls and retaining it in the soil or in tanks below ground so it can be later used as a source of clean water.
Getting water home: women in northern Kenya are traveling further each day in search of water. Practical Action has helped to develop panniers to make more efficient use of donkey transport.
Securing a future with livestock: following the drought in northern Kenya earlier this year, Practical Action supported livestock, creating 'nucleus' herds - meaning that when the rains returned families had the means to support themselves
8) ICRAF International Centre for Research in Agroforestry; The world Agroforestry Centre is working with many partners on the climate change issue. Two primary goals shape the Centre's efforts: the first is to help provide options for farmers that increase the sustainability of their operations and buffer them against increasing climatic variability. The second goal is centred on mitigation of the problem itself, as called for in the Kyoto Protocol.
In the short term, the major threat for small holder farmers is increased variability in local climates, rather than long-term changes in average rainfall or temperatures. Research indicates that agroforestry systems, such as the improved fallow systems being implemented in parts of Zambia and Malawi, buffer against drought and help farmers to successfully produce maize, even in mow rainfall years. Research aimed at validating these findings at other sites is underway, and other such adaptation options are being developed and assessed. Centre scientists are also contributing to regional and global analyses of the mitigation potential of agroforestry in the humid tropics and the feasibility of carbon-offset schemes through participation in the Alternatives to Slash-and-Burn Programme.
The Headquarters are located in Nairobi, Kenya, and the centre operates five regional offices located in India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi and Mali, and conduct research in eighteen other countries around the developing world.
9) ICPAC has improved computing equipment together with human resource capacity in regional climate modelling prediction and applications. Every year, the centre organizes several trainings and workshops for both national and regional scientists. It also provides regional climate outlook forums (COFs) for adaptations purposes. In terms of projects, the centre has a vast experience and is currently involved in (Amongst others):
African Monitoring of Environment for Sustainable Development: IGAD Theme on land degradation mitigation and natural habitat conservation. The objective of the Project (funded by the European Development Fund) is to enhance monitoring for sustainable management of the environment thereby contributing to poverty alleviation.
Integrating Indigenous Knowledge in Climate Risk Management to Support Community Based Adaptation.
The objective of the Project (International Development Research Centre) is to enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities to the negative impacts of climate variability and adapt to climate change through integration of indigenous knowledge and modern-day climate risk management science.
Regional Climate Change Adaptation for peace and security in the GHA. The objective of the project is to identify and recommend mitigation and adaptation strategies that will adequately address the natural resources-based conflicts arising from the potential impacts of climate change within the IGAD sub-region.
10) WIP is very well suited to coordinate this project due to its long term experience in cooperation with partners from African countries and its expertise in the establishment of knowledge platforms for EU-Africa research collaboration. The project COMPETE (Competence 0Platform on Energy Crop and Agroforestry Systems in Africa - FP6; a knowledge network coordinated by WIP with 20 African partners and more than 100 associated African stakeholders, addressed the impact of climate change on bioenergy systems in Africa. Further recent projects include PARNTERS for AFRICA (Demonstrating the role of renewable energy in poverty eradication - FP 6; Global-Bio-Pact (Global Sustainability Certification Systems for Biomass Production - FP7; PRODES (Promotion of Renewable Energy for Water production - IEE II; ADU-RES (Co-ordination Action on Autonomous Desalination Units based on Renewable Energies - FP6; and ADIRA (Demonstration units for sustainable water supply for rural, isolated areas - FP 6;

While analysing the AfriCAN Climate consortium, we can appreciate that in one hand ENDA, ICRAF and the agricultural policy network FANRPAN are umbrella organizations, and in the other hand ENDA, Imperial College, University of the Witwatersrand, UNEP Risø Centre, ICRAF and ICPAC are climate change researchers and experts from universities and research networks. P.A.U. Education is an educational and web platform expert binding both, the organizations umbrellas and the research expertise, on a web platform available for everyone. And WIP having a long lasting experience in the management of international projects and running climate change awareness campaigns offers its coordination services into the consortium, bringing the presented project off.

(2) Use of innovative e-tools for dissemination and education:

As a result the AfriCAN Climate Change Knowledge Portal has been providing a variety of creative and interactive e-tools, best illustrated in the following image:

(a) Knowledge:
How have projects designed to mitigate or adapt to climate change in Africa built upon or applied the findings of specific research projects and/or vulnerability studies? Also, how have projects actively contributed to international understanding on a specific topic or area of research?
Under this principle, examples are provided of how particular projects have actively engaged and benefited from collaboration with universities and research organisations, in Africa and beyond.
AfriCAN Climate implemented the e-tool “Knowledge Navigator” (KN) in order to provide an efficient communication through the portal. The Knowledge Navigator is a tool developed by IDS Knowledge Service with the support of the Climate Development Knowledge Network, CDKN. The e-tool is the key to a quick and accurate access to the best platforms on climate change, as there are thousands of websites regarding climate change this tool helps the users to find only trusted web platforms carefully selected by experts. In here, AfriCAN Climate belongs to the search, sharing documents and our expertise in the platform, making of this a dynamic exchange on sharing and finding knowledge.
The result: the tool can be found in the AfriCAN Climate portal under “Database of Climate Change Platforms”.
The Knowledge Navigator helps the users to find the needed information in an easy and accurate way. One can make a search through topics, regions, languages, audience - focused on content categories specifying the type of source one may be looking for, and keywords. The KN has been installed in the AfriCAN Climate portal to share our work and good practice cases as a trusted web platform on climate change. Consequently, through our portal together with the described e-tool, we have been reaching an efficient communication promoting the civil engagement, adapting and changing behaviours, motivations and methods for better solution against climate change effects in the African Continent.

The “Research” section counts with a search of projects, publications, tools, links and institutions, the content has been scientifically proved and published. The e-tool install in this section is a first classification of results on “all”, “adaptation” and “mitigation”, subsequently an “advance filter” is available in each sub-sections.
For instance, in “publications” the user can organise the results by a specific country, year of publication, keywords, Topics (all, mitigation and adaptation), project type, and cross cutting topics like: Awareness Raising, Capacity Building, Communication and Media, Community Manage Initiatives, Financing, Gender, Governmental and Intergovernmental actions, Impact Assessment, Indigenous Knowledge, Monitoring and Evaluation, Policy Advice, Policy Mainstreaming and United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC).

In the “Policy” section, publications and links to institutions at global, regional and national levels are provided. The section also contains decision support tools used in climate change, agriculture and natural resources policy planning and frameworks.
All these e-tools help the user to organise the gathered knowledge from the web portal – uploaded by users and institutions – and filter the information needed in order to use the best practice or knowledge expected. Experts had been told that the performance seen in the communities and users from the portal confirm that the portal is been seen as new online “encyclopaedia” for climate change in African for Africa.

The second group of “e-tools” makes reference to the “knowledge base” section linking (b) News and Newsletters, (c) Multimedia Gallery, Events like (d) Webinars, and some headliners mentioned above.

(b) News and Newsletter:
The News section is the result of a community base practice. The editorial board together with the registered users of the portal upload relevant news to inform other users about the latest news, publications or events. Published news are sorted by the latest upload and the section counts with an “advance filter” - being able to look for a specific news published in the past regarding a particular issue or topic.

The Newsletter section is the result of a recent feature developed since March 2013, where the newsletters can be found chronologically in separate archive newsletter section. The newsletters are sent to all our registered participants and interested users, and additionally, the newsletters can be found in the portal under the “newsletter” section. The access to the newsletter achieve is a new e-tool implemented since July 2014.

(c) Multimedia Gallery:
The multimedia gallery is a successful e-tool used as user, together with the editorial board members have the allowance to upload relevant videos, primarily regarding adaptation and mitigations, as well, the project had uploaded videos offering more information about AfriCAN Climate interviews, scientific results of diverse good practice cases, and our webinars, among other topics. The Multimedia Gallery is frequently visited and helps the visitors to have a graphic view of what the project is about and what the portal offers.

(d) Webinars:
Webinars as an e-tool were successfully introduced in July 2014 through the first edition, supported by P.A.U. Education’s systems. The result for this e-tool was effective as the topic, speakers and promotion met the scientific requirements and interest from the users. The feedback obtain fulfilled the foreseen expected objectives and the users expectations. After such success, AfriCAN Climate launched a second webinar in September within the same e-tool provided by P.A.U. education.

The speakers were fully satisfied from the type of audience involved recognizing the high level of interest, education, and analysis given from the audience. The webinars are archived in the Multimedia section and were reported in the Newsletters.

(3) Networking amongst multipliers and stakeholders to leverage promotional support and knowledge exchange on the platform:

One of the AfriCAN Climate knowledge platforms’ main goals has been a lively online community relevant to all stakeholders. It has been achieve through the use of various e-Tools, Web 2.0 techniques and Events in Africa. This approach is aimed at enhancing the user experience and dissemination possibilities by providing users with e-tools for the contribution to increase a self-knowledgebase, providing professional networking opportunities on the platform.
The engagement level created an adequate direct support to the community and the sub-communities by the based on technological tools that had been allowing the increase on profiling, better contributed contents and more openness to other related communities and initiatives which are already creating and sharing good practice across Africa, both online and offline. A variety of non-web networking and promotional activities had been implemented to enable exchange of knowledge, cooperation and interaction amongst the target groups by building and monitoring interactive online climate change communities, including all of the targeted stakeholder groups, African regions and climate change topics.

Successful technical activities to keep the online community running:

(a) Blogs
Everyone can post a Blog in our community, however not all the blogs written and posted had been published. The reasons is that some users could published something not related with the AfriCAN Climate purposes, therefore the editorial board reviews carefully the content on blogs and publish them officially – showing in the main news and homepage section.
Blogs are allowing users to connect and participate in debates, interviews and follow other users in order to share knowledge, practices and/or ideas. Blogs appear in a chronological order and once can notice who is the author from the each Blog and even contact the author through the public profile option, where user decided to make public their profile or not – meaning that the users are opening a direct communication channel to be contacted by others if wished.

(b) Groups
The AfriCAN Climate portal hosts an array of exciting GROUPS which gather members with common interests in the fields of climate change adaptation and mitigation in Africa. The Groups offer messaging, document sharing tools as well as networking opportunities. Groups are open and help AfriCAN Climate users to connect even better with other peers to share knowledge and news. Any AfriCAN Climate registered web user can start a Group, or voluntarily join one. Each Group has specific guidelines.

(c) People
The AfriCAN Climate portal provides links to a wide range of existing African and European networks, as well as to individual climate change experts. AfriCAN Climate members can be found in the people section. Nowadays the community counts with 1652 members.

(d) Events in Africa
In order to promote the portal and its knowledge, the consortium organized a series of promotional events, the AfriCAN Climate Awards, workshops and field trips in Senegal, Kenya and South Africa.

(e) Social Media
Facebook and Twitter are some of the most common networking channels nowadays. AfriCAN Climate has its own networking web pages for both channels. Since July 2014 these channels are linked directly in the main homepage of the project and had been the most successful among others.

Facebook grew between July 2014 and September 2014, reaching their peaks in Kenya, South Africa, Cameroon and Germany with 160 visits.
The most successful post:
• What would a world powered by solar energy alone look like? – 160 visits.
• Invitation post for the webinar on access to finance for climate change projects – 108 visits.
• Municipalities represent a key opportunity for implementing local adaptation to the impact of climate change – 111 visits.
• Greetings from South Africa! We are attending the third AfriCAN Climate event, organised within the framework of FANRPAN – 168 visits.

Twitter has been the most powerful tool so far, having a record of 2477 tweets and 1398 followers. Itself has been having three main interesting topics: 60% in energy solutions, 43% NGOs and 26% Biology. The main followers come from: 7% Nairobi, 5% London, 4% Washington, 3% Lagos and 3% Port Luis.

The most successful tweets:

• What would a world powered by #solarenergy alone look like? via @UN_ClimateTalks #renewableenergy
• Extreme Weather In 2013 Caused By Man-Made #ClimateChange: @UN's WMO Report … #Africa #China @chinafrica1 ht @Tibet_TW
• Take a look at how #climate-change will impact #Africa in this #unfao report on land & water management … v @FAOclimate

P.A.U. Education emphasized that tweeter may be the best tool used so far and their advice as experts is to carry on with this channel.

(4) Achieving full geographical, linguistic and thematic coverage:

AfriCAN Climate was founded on the belief that those worst affected by climate change (e.g. African countries) have the right to be better informed, in order to understand the importance to respond effectively to new challenges. Every African project partner is in charge of a certain region, it depends on the geographical, cultural and linguistic proximity. Overall, the African consortium covers all regions - Northern, Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa, as well as the African Island States.
The AfriCAN Climate Platform was developed in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic. This way, full linguistic coverage of the African Continent is achieved. In every African country, one of these four languages is being used.

The European/African consortium brings in high profile expertise to cover all thematic climate change research and action areas: Adaption and mitigation research, applied research in good practices, climate project financing, including emission trading and climate policy.
The main types and sources of information are the following:
-Research results on climate change adaptation and mitigation,
-Indigenous knowledge on climate change impact assessment and adaptation,
-International and national climate change policy,
-Knowledge and experiences gained in implementing good practices.

Financing sources:

Climate change projects require financial support. In the FINANCING section, the AfriCAN Climate portal provides a search function to find targeted information on where and how to secure financing for project development and implementation. Guidebooks are available for download, divided between financing for mitigation and adaptation projects, both with a specific focus on Africa.

Country profiles:

The AfriCAN Climate portal provides climate change fact sheets for all African COUNTRIES in the most widely spoken languages. The fact sheets inform on the current and projected status of climate change and its impact on key sectors, such as natural resource management and agriculture. They also state key climate vulnerabilities.

Each country profile has is linked to relevant content published on the portal.

(5) Focusing on innovative good practice dissemination:

Good practice cases

To help practitioners on the ground, case studies of GOOD PRACTICES are show-cased by climate change experts. In order to assess the applicability and transferability of project interventions, case studies are evaluated against eight principles of sustainability to assess their financial, economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Information dissemination and interaction

Through internet NEWS feeds and a newsletter, users receive regular updates on project progress, case studies, as well as information on the latest resources and financial opportunities.

The portal uses web-based educational tools to stimulate interactivity and knowledge sharing between practitioners, researchers and the general public. It also provides a platform for the promotion of climate change EVENTS, such as local-level workshops and regional meetings to help share knowledge with African communities on the ground.

For maximum impact and further uptake of climate related research result, good practices were disseminated at different levels: Online as core platform web functionality; in the frame of promotional events, at which nominated good practice examples (“cases”) of the year won the AfriCAN Climate Award; within a brochure presenting the nominated good practice cases.
Promoting the good practices already implemented encouraged future project developers to update research results and translate them into new project activities at community ground level. The community level is seen as the main recipient for these activities to look at the capacity of individuals, households and communities to respond to climate variability and change.

(6) Involving a variety of stakeholders:

The AfriCAN Climate platform linked up with existing African and EU-African climate change research networks and platforms, by implementing a well-defined and proven networking strategy. Stakeholders included:
• Project Developers and Project Investors,
• Governments and local authorities,
• Researchers from past and current EU funded projects,
• NGOs,
• Handicraftsmen and artists,
• Educational partners,
• Religious and faith leaders.

An editorial board, comprising senior researchers and experts of the consortium members, contributed to the inspiration of the whole community, identifying innovative topics and focusing on cases and tools to provoke further exchanges. Partnerships at all levels (African local/regional/national, European, international) created more awareness of the overall purpose and allow for greater and more fruitful exchange. The ultimate goal was to ensure a significant impact on actors at the local level in all European Member States, overcoming the language barriers.

Potential Impact:
The expected impacts of the FP7 ENV. 2011.5.1.0-1 call were:

• “Increased uptake of research results through involvement of stakeholders in early stages of new projects and in dissemination of results from mature projects.
• To provide evidence of how research has informed policy and action in the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation in Africa”.

These impacts were interpreted in the AfriCAN Climate project as:

(1) Disseminating Knowledge including research results, indigenous knowledge, financing 3.1.1 and political frameworks

The final result of the AfriCAN Climate portal is a structured and comprehensive knowledge portal on climate change in Africa, which is serving as information resource for anyone active in the fields of climate change adaptation and mitigation, even beyond the project life time. Full thematic and geographic coverage has been achieved within the period duration. The AfriCAN Climate portal will be operational beyond the duration of the project (2 years), continuing to serve as a knowledge hub and point of contact for researchers, project developers and policy makers:
• Country profiles and a glossary of climate change terminology was made available in different languages. The objective is to supply as wide an audience as possible with comprehensive, country specific information about the impact of climate change.
• A wide network of stakeholders was drawn into the project through a targeted communication strategy. A good number of these stakeholders has become registered users of the portal and have the opportunity to continue knowledge exchange and upload to the portal. Key to this was the emphasis on the portal’s Web 2.0 features, especially social media integration. AfriCAN Climate’s visibility has also been enhanced by using SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The website will continue to be a first port of call for internet users seeking information about climate change in Africa.
• Broader cooperation with research institutes and international organisations active in the field of climate change, as well as with other EU-funded projects was set-up, with the aim of increasing synergies and mutual benefits. Two webinars were organised to facilitate this, along with closer collaboration with other networking and knowledge dissemination platforms. These networks are now accessible for any future collaboration opportunities / potential project follow-up actions.
• Three rounds of promotional events were held in Senegal, Kenya and South Africa, comprising workshops and technical tours. Within the framework of these events, three awards were presented in recognition of excellence in the fields of: (i) awareness raising about climate change and its impact in Africa; (ii) good practice, to be aligned with the eight principles of good practice identified within the project; and (iii) scientific research about climate change adaptation and mitigation with relevance to Africa. Offline dissemination activities helped publicise the project and raise awareness among a wider audience. Furthermore, award winners became living testimonials or unofficial ambassadors for the project.

(2) Transform knowledge into climate change adaptation and mitigation activities

Two of the main challenges that research faces is the transformation of knowledge into practical activities and the communication of science to different stakeholders. This last one also involves the links of science to respond to global and local problems. Along with WP 2 and 4, WP3 on Good Practice and Financing and WP7 Networking & Community Building contributed to transforming the knowledge of climate change into practical activities considering the communities needs and involving all stakeholders as per the aims of the proposal. Those activities that are already ongoing projects were benchmarked in order to identify which ones have the characteristics of good practices and to assess them for future activities. Even more, the financial aspects of these good practices has also been assessed. This had an impact also on some previous EU funded projects (e.g. ADAM and AMMA) (in EU, 2007).The impacts at the EU level and the international research and NGOs communities included the aspects of research and knowledge communication of the different issues involved in climate change.

(3) Activities as development of new good practice projects

Probably the most difficult challenge is how to link climate change research with activities that will involve decision-making and planning. Activities identified as good practice are not always successful due to a lack of decision-making frameworks. Work package 8 along with the previous contributed to promote and disseminate good practices for the climate changes activities on mitigation and adaptation.Other partners such as Practical Action extensive field experience also contributed to identify new activities of good practice in the region.
The good practice knowledge base including 84 cases, presented along 8 sustainability principles defined by the project provided will continue to provide further inspiration for project developers. The aim is to encourage NGOs and community-based organisations to replicate and scale up successful initiatives or use them to develop new project ideas. A brochure for communicating and promoting good practice was developed and translated into the target languages and is also available on the portal and has been disseminated in various African countries.

(4) New forms of dissemination reaching all stakeholders

Three work packages were mainly involved in this topic on the Promotion & Good Practice Dissemination: WP1 Knowledge Platform ICT & Content Structure, WP5 Knowledge Platform Management and WP6 on ICT Hosting & Maintenance.
These three work packages were the core of the dissemination activities of the project. There are several networks on climate change operating in Africa (e.g. AfricaAdapt, AAKnet, weADAPT, CGIAR6, AFNET7, SACCNET8) and the international actions on the continent that have activities related to climate change adaptation and mitigation. Nevertheless, the proposal of using e-learning and dissemination tools that reach wider regional communites in Africa was new. This was one of the major impacts of the AfriCAN Climate project.

(5) Impacts at EU and International level

AfriCAN Climate offered the opportunity of bringing together different high level research institutions both in Europe and Africa. These institutions engage in climate change research activities according to worldwide innovation following recommendations as well from the IPCC and the opportunities created by the Seventh Framework Programme.
AfriCAN Climate established links with other programmes from as the different Environmental calls related to climate change at global and regional level (e.g. ENV.2011.1.1.6-1 ENV.2011.1.1.6-2). AfriCAN joined some of the projects to form clusters, which are presented at the portal at a special section. WIP also participated in events organised by Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation
between Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe CAAST-NET ( The dissemination activities will continue to have a high impact, as materials and other non-formal education activities can be included in the platform are still being disseminated through the different umbrella networks linked to the partners in the consortium.

Indirect impacts:

• AfriCAN Climate was designed to stimulate interest in climate issues among academics, practitioners and policy makers. The comprehensive body of knowledge collated and reviewed by the project team's experienced editors and specialists deepened understanding of the links between sustainable development and climate change. This impact will outlast project duration.

• AfriCAN Climate promoted new ways of communicating science to society – its innovative e-learning and dissemination tools helped translate research results into practical solutions. Project developers were inspired by the good practice examples presented on the portal and encouraged to replicate them.

• Climate change is a global problem – the knowledge shared on the AfriCAN Climate portal has inspired and influenced stakeholders at all levels in developing countries worldwide and will continue to do so.

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Martha Bissmann
+49 89 720 12 792