Participation in the expert review process of IPCC reports is essential for ensuring both the accuracy of reports and consideration of knowledge from diverse disciplines and backgrounds on climate change risks and responses. However, participation by expert reviewers from Africa in previous reports has been low.
The workshop aimed to change this by explaining IPCC assessment methodology, and walking early-career researchers through the process of acting as an expert reviewer. An added benefit is that being an expert reviewer is an excellent way to become familiar with the work of the IPCC and to apply to be an author in a future round of assessments.
The Cape Town workshop was attended by 30 early-career scientists (junior lecturers, postdocs, PhDs, and Masters students in the final stages of their research, as well as practitioners). One of these was Likho Sikutshwa, an ACDI Masters alumnus and current staff member, who had this to say about the training:
The highlight of the workshop for me was realising that there is more than one way of participating in these international reports. Beyond being an author or contributing author, being a reviewer provides a way of bringing an African voice to global issues, and presents an opportunity to translate a body of science for decisions on policy.
Similar workshops are being held in Durban and Johannesburg.