This article was originally posted on the DECCMA website. Written by Prosper Adiku, University of Ghana, one of DECCMA and ASSAR's partners.
Research-into-Use (RiU) is a key tool in the CARIAA Theory of Change (ToC) for engagements through the project cycle to the dissemination of research products with the objective of influencing changes in development, adaptation policy and practice. The two CARIAA projects in Ghana, Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) and Deltas, vulnerability, Climate Change: Migration and Adaptation (DECCMA), seized the opportunity presented during the recent Climate Change and Population Conference on Africa (CCPOP Ghana2016) to share their experiences in the use of RiU strategies as part of their research activities.
The annual CCPOP, organized by the Regional Institute of Population Studies (RIPS) of the University of Ghana is a trans-disciplinary conference that brings together scientists from all over the world in a bid to promote lessons on the best scientific practices with potential development impacts on Africa. Inspired by the active orientation of the discourse around climate change and Ghana’s commitment to the iNDCs, this year’s Conference focused on RiU, policy frameworks and intervention projects that have made a difference in climate change mitigation or adaptation efforts hence the theme: “Building bridges and Research-into-Use”. The conference drew participants from policy, research, national institutions and the academia including student poster presentations.
The moderated RiU panel which run parallel to other sessions was held at the auditorium of the Nogouchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) under the theme RiU in action: Before, During and after the Research and drew over fifty (50) participants from policy, research and the academia including the Vice Chancellor of the Regional Maritime University and a former head of the Department of Marine and Fisheries Sciences of the University of Ghana, Professor E. Nyarko.
The panel shared with the audience how the ASSAR (Lawra and Nandom districts) and the DECCMA (Volta delta) projects are using RiU and other stakeholder engagements process to improve the understanding of vulnerability, wellbeing and adaptation issues in their respective study areas. Through the use of videos and oral interaction, the discussants illustrated how CARIAA approaches its research differently by keeping RiU central to the concept of its TOC. Specifically, the use of participatory tools such as the Vulnerability Risk Assessment (VRA) and the Transformative Scenario Planning (TSP) processes were explained. The use of innovative tools/techniques to communicate vulnerability to impacts was also stressed using the DECCMA drone footage of Fuveme (a flooding coastal community) as an example.
The Oxfam Ghana (Tamale) advocacy Officer and the Deputy Municipal Officer of the Keta Municipality who respectively are from the research areas of ASSAR and DECCMA also shared their views of how to effectively partner with institutions and the local communities to successfully execute projects. The discussions also showed practical examples of appropriate two-way collaboration between vulnerable communities and scientific research teams and, highlighted effective tools for communicating climate change adaptation to local communities.
Generally, the audience were enthused about the innovative attempt and willingness on the side of the CARIAA consortia to share information with other practitioners. The audience also emphasized the need for increased collaboration between the research community and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have presence in the study communities for a more holistic engagement.
See here for news on the Conference and Photos