Published | 6th July 2015

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Adaptation Planning with Communities: Practitioner Brief 1

This brief describes the community adaptation action planning (CAAP) process, a key approach for facilitating community owned and led adaptation, developed by CARE’s Adaptation Learning Programme (ALP). The approach aims to motivate and strengthen capacity for action on CBA among communities, while also strengthening community participation and influence in local government decision-making. The brief provides a conceptual overview of the process, as well as explanations and examples of how it works in practice, based on ALP experience in Ghana, Kenya and Niger. It describes how to progress from climate vulnerability and capacity assessments, (such as CARE’s CVCA approach) in a participatory community planning process. ALP community plans focused on livelihoods and natural resource issues, but the CAAP process applies for all climate sensitive sectors, for example health, education, energy, or social safety nets.

It is designed for CBA practitioners, including local government representatives, civil society organisations (CSOs) and other actors working on climate change issues at the local level. It will also be useful for policymakers and donors engaged in planning and allocation of resources for adaptation action.

Planning is an essential element of CBA because successful adaptation depends on ability to anticipate and manage climate impacts, risks and uncertainty, which requires forward-looking and informed decision-making. The basic process of planning involves analysing information, identifying actions and relevant actors, prioritising, organising together and operationalising. These are critical skills that underpin adaptive capacity, enabling people to learn and use their knowledge and experiences to manage the risks and uncertainty that are associated with a changing climate. With these skills, people and local institutions are able to process climate information, analyse their situation and underlying causes of vulnerability, plan for the future and make good decisions for their livelihood options and risk reduction strategies.

A related publication – Learning from the CAAP process in Kenya documents and illustrates the process and steps through experiences in Embu County with ALP and provides some additional learning.

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