Drawing on its experiences of promoting farmer-led joint innovation that builds on the creativity of local people, the international Prolinnova network is applying this approach in building local adaptive capacities and strengthening community resilience to climate change (CC). This new project (2012–15) aims to:
· Improve the capacity of smallholder communities, especially the women, to innovate and adapt to CC through Participatory Innovation Development (PID)
· Build the capacity of local organisations to support the communities in this approach
· Share and learn about farmer-led adaptation to CC
· Influence national and international policies to recognise local adaptive capacity in dealing with CC.
The project will be carried out in two districts vulnerable to climate change in each of four countries in eastern Africa: Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Field studies will be made to assess how communities try to respond to CC on their own initiative. Farmer-led joint innovation involving interested research scientists and building on the local initiatives will be implemented and documented. Community groups as well as local government organisations and CSOs that are supporting them will be trained in implementing joint experimentation to address effects of CC. The multi-stakeholder Prolinnova country platforms (CPs) in the four countries have experience in supporting a farmer co-managed mechanism known as Local Innovation Support Fund (LISF) to catalyse locally defined experimentation and innovation. Project partners will use the LISF to support farmer-led experimentation to adapt to CC, so as to explore the effectiveness of the funding mechanism in this context. The communities and supporting agencies will also be trained in planning for CCA and influencing the use of national funds earmarked for CCA support. The project partners will work closely with the Climate Change Units in the agricultural research institutes in their respective countries.
In order to influence national and international policies to recognise local adaptive capacity in dealing with CC, the partners will engage in policy dialogue at national and international level. They will make inputs into selected policy processes, based on the evidence generated through this project, and will organise a high-profile event (e.g. conference, CCA innovation fair) in each country.