Planning for an Uncertain Future: Promoting adaptation to climate change through flexible and forward-looking decision making | Capacity Building

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 12
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Information Report
Category:

Documents

Published:

Views: 7 | Pages: 12

Extension: PDF | Download: 0

Share
Related documents
Description
The need for decision making that is flexible, forward-looking and able to adapt to the unexpected is clear. One approach for achieving this is 'Flexible and Forward-Looking​ Decision Making' (FFDM). But what is it, and how can it be operationalised in practice? This report documents the activities of the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA) in seeking to strengthen FFDM among district development actors. It describes research carried out while trialling an innovative and interactive tool to promote FFDM – a ‘game-enabled reflection approach’ – accompanied by capacity-building activities. ACCRA undertook case studies at the district level in three countries
Transcript
  Lindsey Jones, Eva Ludi, Elizabeth Carabine, Natasha Grist March 2014 Aklilu Amsalu, Luis Artur, Carina Bachofen, Patrick Beautement, Christine Broenner, Matthew Bunce, Janot Mendler de Suarez, William Muhumuza, Pablo Suarez and Daniel Zacarias Planning for an Uncertain Future Promoting adaptation to climate change through Flexible and Forward-looking Decision Making Executive summary A report for the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance  Cover photo: Thomas White, Kampala, Uganda  1 󰁃󰁨󰁡󰁮󰁧󰁥 󰁡󰁮󰁤 󰁵󰁮󰁣󰁥󰁲󰁴󰁡󰁩󰁮󰁴󰁹 are at the heart of development. Ever-shifting development trajectories require planning processes that move away from 󿬁xed targets and short-term planning cycles. Yet many development actors (whether governments, donor agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or businesses) continue to plan for the near term, assuming ‘normal’ conditions, with little room for manoeuvre or contingency. Three- to 󿬁ve-year planning and funding cycles remain the norm, with consideration of consequent long-term implications for investments rare. The need for decision making that is 󿬂exible, forward-looking and able to adapt to the unexpected is therefore clear. One approach for achieving this is ‘󿬂exible and forward-looking decision making’ (FFDM). But what it is it, and how can it be operationalised in practice? In its simplest terms, FFDM is de󿬁ned as the ability to anticipate, incorporate and respond to changes with regard to governance, structure and future planning. To deal with uncertain futures, FFDM cannot base its decisions solely on evidence from past or existing capabilities and structures; it must also consider possible futures. Although the operationalisation of FFDM is context-speci󿬁c, and there are many different pathways to achieving it, in practical terms decision making is 󿬂exible and forward-looking when it:ã Recognises that change will happen and requires adaptation, but that the speci󿬁c direction and magnitude of change, as well as the implications for development trajectories, are uncertain.ã Is able to consider and reason about the impacts of different drivers of change on development trajectories and plans accordingly in order to maintain progress.ã Can identify enablers and initiate steps to overcome barriers to adaptation. ã Can, where needed, make changes to structures and planning processes to implement adaptation effectively, whether incremental or transformational.However, a transition towards supporting FFDM is likely to face signi󿬁cant obstacles. In some cases, it will require a complete transformation and an overhaul Key Messages ã Despite change and uncertainty being at the heart of development, many actors continue to plan for the near-term with little room for manoeuvre or contingency. Three- to 󿬁ve-year planning and funding cycles remain the norm. A move towards promoting more Flexible and Forward-looking Decision Making (FFDM) is therefore crucial.ã As a concept, FFDM is relatively straightforward to understand. In practice, though, it is often hard to relate to complex real-world problems. We therefore need new approaches to help communicate and promote the principles that make up FFDM to development practitioners. ã FFDM need not be seen as a stand-alone approach, but the principles of FFDM can and should be embedded in other relevant approaches such as those focusing on resilience-building, climate change adaptation or sustainable development.ã Innovative tools that encourage two-way exchange of knowledge and experiential learning can help in communicating abstract concepts. ACCRA trialled a “game-enabled re󿬂ection approach”, combining serious games with structured re󿬂ection sessions.ã Understanding the political-economy context, ensuring political buy-in and identifying ‘champions of change’ are key for promoting the uptake and implementation of FFDM in development policy and practice.ã Effective promotion of the principles of FFDM requires fundamental changes to the way that development is thought about, funded, implemented and evaluated. It cannot simply be left to those at the receiving end of development funds to ensure their interventions are promoting FFDM.ã Trialling and researching innovative experiential tools require a balance between allowing the approach to evolve and improve to achieve the highest possible capacity building outcomes, and focusing on consistency of the approach itself and how it is implemented to ensure high-quality rigorous research.  Planning for an Uncertain Future: Executive summary 2 of current practices, recognising that organisational structures, mindsets, priorities and incentives of development actors are deeply ingrained and often slow to change. Promoting principles of FFDM within development policy will also require tailored guides, participatory tools and practical case studies to help ensure successful uptake and implementation. This report documents the activities of the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA) in seeking to strengthen FFDM among district development actors. It describes research carried out while trialling an innovative and interactive tool to promote FFDM – a ‘game-enabled re󿬂ection approach’ – accompanied by capacity-building activities. ACCRA undertook case studies at the district level in three countries, namely, in Kotido, Uganda, in Gemechis, Ethiopia, and in Guijá, Mozambique. Building on these three case studies, this report outlines key 󿬁ndings and makes recommendations on how to better support decision-making processes for an uncertain future. It does so in view of helping to understand the use of FFDM as well as the effectiveness and limitations of a game-enabled re󿬂ection approach. The ACCRA programme and its objectives ACCRA is a consortium of 󿬁ve development partners – Oxfam GB, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), CARE International, Save the Children and World Vision International. Established in 󰀲󰀰󰀰󰀹, it engages in research, capacity building and advocacy in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Uganda, working with governments, NGOs/civil society organisations (CSOs) and communities. In seeking to support adaptive capacity at the local level (in this context the term ‘local’ refers to actors and processes that operate at the community level and below), ACCRA’s research team in Phase 󰀱 sought to understand what makes a community able to adapt to change. This resulted in the development of the Local Adaptive Capacity (LAC) framework (see Jones et al., 󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀰). Building on previous literature, and validated through nine district case studies across the three ACCRA countries, the LAC framework describes 󿬁ve key characteristics of local adaptive capacity: the asset base; institutions and entitlements; knowledge and information; innovation; and forward-looking and 󿬂exible decision making and governance. To apply the learning from Phase 󰀱 (see Levine et al., 󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀱), ACCRA chose to trial a hands-on approach in support of adaptive capacity. Findings from ACCRA’s earlier research pointed to a need to support district development actors where tools and guidance for enhancing capacity were either inadequate or absent. Recognising that promoting 󿬁ve different char acteristics of adaptive capacity through a single tool may be a challenge, and that all 󿬁ve characteristics are interrelated, the consortium opted to focus primarily on one: FFDM.As a concept, FFDM is relatively straightforward to understand. In practice, though, it is often hard to communicate and to relate to complex real-world problems. We therefore need new approaches to promoting the principles that make up FFDM. One solution comes in the form of ‘serious games’ supported by tools to initiate re󿬂ection on how to relate principles of FFDM experienced during the game to the real world. Through a partnership with the abaci Partnership and the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, ACCRA developed a ‘game-enabled re󿬂ection approach’ to promoting FFDM. The game-enabled re󿬂ection approach was tailored for district-level planners and developed into a two- to three-day workshop, accompanied by capacity-building activities. The objective of ACCRA’s research component was therefore to design, trial and document this approach to promoting FFDM with district development planners in each of the three ACCRA countries. This was done with the intention of gaining a better understanding of the merits and limitations of an emerging and little researched approach in the context of climate change adaptation (CCA). A game-enabled reflection approach ‘Serious’ games can elicit experiential knowledge of complex real-world problems in a memorable, fun and compelling way. A game-enabled re󿬂ection approach was chosen because it is able to simulate a system of changing conditions, plausible decisions and related outcomes without having to go through a potentially risky process of actual trial-and-error.One thing is clear, however: running games without structured re󿬂ection will not confer the knowledge and skills needed to act on the lessons learnt during gameplay. Because conditions in all three countries were not immediately conducive to adopting the principles of FFDM straight into the existing policy environment (largely because of rigid planning structures set out by central government), desired behavioural changes were promoted by combining capacity building in the LAC framework with game sessions and in-depth re󿬂ection. Having 󿬁rst introduced the FFDM principles and desired behaviours, participants then experienced working in an FFDM way by playing the game – and in the next step
Recommended
View more...
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks