The ACDI recently launched an exciting new project, with significant potential to enhance our adaptation knowledge base, understanding and capacity.
The South Africa/Flanders Climate Adaptation Research and Training Partnership (SAF-ADAPT) is funded by the Government of Flanders, and is a 4.5-year collaborative project between three South African universities (University of Cape Town, University of Fort Hare, and University of Venda); KLIMOS, a consortium of six Belgian universities; and the South African Adaptation Network. It aims to fill critical adaptation research gaps and enhance the capacity of South African universities and individuals, especially early career researchers, to generate and communicate research evidence for impact, and build the capacity of those tasked with climate adaptation to deliver on their mandates.
The project will include:
1. Research projects undertaken by Masters students, PhD students and postdoctoral researchers from partner institutions.
The project partners will work with government and other stakeholders in the adaptation community to identify critical knowledge gaps, and co-design research questions and methodologies to ensure that new and context-relevant adaptation research evidence is generated.
2. A research training programme and inter-university student and staff exchanges.
The capacity of South African research institutions and individual researchers will be strengthened through participation in summer school research skills programmes, and staff and student exchanges, semesters-abroad, and secondments with local partner organisations.
3. Knowledge synthesis and communication.
The research that is produced through the programme will be translated into relevant and usable knowledge products that address the needs of societal actors. These will be used proactively in knowledge exchange and capacity building activities.
4. Training workshops that build the capacity of individuals to work more effectively on climate resilient development and adaptation.
The project partners will run a scoping process with individuals from government, civil society, the private sector, multilateral organisations and local communities to identify critical capacity needs for adaptation practice and implementation. This scoping process will inform the design of tailored capacity building events.
5. Supporting the Adaptation Network to maintain and build South Africa’s adaptation community of practice across government, universities, NGOs, CBOs and the private sector.
SAF-ADAPT will support the ACDI to continue to host the Adaptation Network Secretariat. The Adaptation Network will be central to integrating the different components of the project – research, knowledge dissemination and capacity building – and will be the primary vehicle through which climate change adaptation knowledge generated in the project will be shared and discussed within the adaptation community of practice in South Africa.
It is hoped that the activities planned under SAF-ADAPT will make a contribution to strengthening South Africa’s climate change evidence base and the capacity to apply this knowledge.