From 2010 to 2014, CARE International implemented the Adaptation Learning Programme for Africa (ALP) in 40 communities in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique and Niger. It aimed at building the adaptive capacity of vulnerable households. In Ghana, the ALP programme was implemented at both the community and district levels. At the community level, Community Adaptation Action Plans were introduced in support of local farming practices. At the district level, community-based adaptation was integrated into local agriculture and development plans, as well as associated government extension work. Mechanisms include the Participatory Scenario Planning (PSP) approach and the Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs).
Relationship to CSA
The PSP combines the knowledge and information of farmers and experts to provide seasonal climate forecasting (CARE 2014b). 1 This, in turn, provides a basis for longer-term planning of crops and farming cycles, which reduces vulnerability to climate risks and facilitates a transition towards more productive agriculture (CARE 2014a). 2 The VSLAs are self-funded microfinancing initiatives that support risk reduction through the diversification of agriculture and livelihoods. Significantly, the VSLAs have also come to act as a forum for farmers' own dissemination of technologies and knowledge on agricultural adaptation.
Impacts and lesson learned
ALP programme activities in Ghana have contributed to the establishment of an enabling institutional framework for household and community adaptation in the project sites. Through this framework, farmers have been equipped to engage proactively in adaptive agricultural practices on their own account. VSLAs play a particularly important role as a vehicle for self-driven adaptation within communities because they address an issue of key interest and need, namely, access to capital and new ideas. Meanwhile, PSP forecasting has been successful in bringing together communities, the district assembly and technical experts in climate forecasting and agricultural planning. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has adopted the PSP approach and is integrating it into their sectorial policy. Likewise, the district assemblies in the project areas have integrated the Community Adaptation Action Plans into their Medium Term Development Plans for 2014-2017. On their own indicatives, they have also expanded the CAAP process from 4 to 98 communities (Ibid).
CARE. 2014b. Facing Uncertainty: the value of climate information for adaptation, risk reduction and resilience in Africa. Nairobi, Kenya: CARE International.http://careclimatechange.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/C_Comms_Brief.pdf
This document explains why and how climate information is a valuable resource for rural communities and those working with them in confronting climate variability and change. It is based on lessons from the Adaptation Learning Programme (ALP), implemented by CARE International, together with the national meteorological services in Ghana, Kenya and Niger. The document will help those working in adaptation, agriculture, sustainable development, disaster risk reduction (DRR), resilience and other climate-sensitive sectors to connect with and use meteorological services and other sources of climate information. It demonstrates how climate information can inform decision making, planning and policy development in these areas and ensure results are climate resilient.
CARE. 2014a. Decision-making for climate resilient livelihoods and risk reduction: A Participatory Scenario Planning approach. Nairobi, Kenya: CARE International.http://careclimatechange.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/ALP_PSP_EN.pdf The Adaptation Learning Programme supports improved communication of climate information to vulnerable rural communities and local governments as a key element of community based adaptation to climate change impacts. Participatory scenario planning, or PSP, is one approach which uses seasonal climate forecasts to inform decisions for more resilient livelihoods and risk management, thereby strengthening adaptive capacity. PSP workshops create a multi-stakeholder platform for collective interpretation of meteorological and local forecasts and their probability and uncertainty. This brief describes the PSP process and its outcomes and benefits. PSPs in Kenya and Ghana have already resulted in enhanced relations between meteorologists and local actors, flexible locally owned decision making and greater confidence in local knowledge and innovation.