Findings and Lessons

The findings and lessons that are emerging from the research undertaken by the consortia, but also from cross-consortia collaboration around cross-cutting themes, country engagement groups, and other initiatives undertaken through the Opportunities and Synergies funds will provide insight to, and inform the global climate change adaptation audience. Explore in this section the expected results of recent projects and activities.

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  • Collaboration

    Research on climate change adaptation demands collaboration across disciplines. While other programs conduct or support research addressing particular sectors, countries or regions, CARIAA fills a gap by working within and across them through a network of research consortia.

    The consortium model encourages innovations, and it provides opportunities for sharing knowledge and experience across disciplines, sectors, countries, and continents. Also, the architecture of CARIAA supports cross-consortia collaboration which enables joint activities, the coordination and alignment of communications and the engagement with stakeholders at the national, regional or international level, but also the co-production of knowledge and synthesis on different cross-cutting themes. 

    Cross-cutting themes

    Working groups have formed to examine different cross-cutting themes like climate science, migration, and gender and equity between consortia. Their members share information on the different approaches used by the consortia. In some cases, they also collaborate to develop joint frameworks to ensure the adoption of common approaches on specific issues across consortia. 

    Country engagement groups

    Amongst the four consortium, there are partners from different consortia conducting work in similar countries. In order to coordinate these activities and develop a common communication framework, in 2015 CARIAA created Country Engagement Groups for Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Kenya, and Pakistan. These groups seek to enabling joint activities, ensuring national communications are aligned, and facilitating cross-consortia learning and synthesis. News and updates about Country Engagement Group activity will be posted in this section.

    Opportunities and Synergies Fund

    The CARIAA program seeks to promote uptake of adaptation research by stakeholders in policy, practice and research by ensuring access to, and facilitate opportunities to engage with, a new body of quality evidence. One of the mechanisms the Research-into-Use (RiU) framework is with cross-consortia synthesis and co-production. CARIAA launched an Opportunities and Synergies Fund whereby funding is offered to support RiU and collaborative efforts amongst the CARIAA consortia. To date, over 10 cross-consortia initiatives have been approved, the results of which will be posted in this section as they emerge.

    What have we learned? 

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    Allison Gonsalves. 2014. Lessons learned on consortium-based research in climate change and development. CARIAA Working Paper no. 1. International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada and UK Aid, London, United Kingdom.

  • Hot Spot Approach

    CARIAA uses the hot spot as a lens for research on common challenges across different contexts. Using this approach can lead to new opportunities and insights.

    Vulnerability is determined by biophysical environments and the livelihoods practiced within them, and the interactions of them. The level of climate risk varies; those with the greatest vulnerability have high exposure to climate risk and who have livelihoods dependent upon the environment. There is a need to better understand climate risks for physical, economic and socio-cultural systems, particularly for the most vulnerable. As outlined by De Souza et al (2015: 748): "CARIAA’s approach to addressing these overlapping vulnerabilities is to focus efforts on climate change ‘‘hot spots,’’ defined as an area where a strong climate change signal is combined with a large concentration of vulnerable, poor, or marginalized people...  Through this hot spot approach, the CARIAA program will support research and collaboration across regions and continents, which we expect will yield new types of analysis, new opportunities for comparison, and potential for scaling innovations up and out to national, regional, and cross-continental scales."


    De Souza, K., Kituyi, E., Harvey, B., Leone, M., Murali, K. S. and Ford, J. D. 2015. Vulnerability to Climate Change in Three Hot Spots in Africa and Asia: Key Issues for Policy-relevant Adaptation and Resilience-building Research. Regional Environmental Change 15: 747-753.

    Szabo S., Nicholls R.J., Neumann B., Renaud F.G., Matthews Z., Sebesvari Z., AghaKouchak A., Bales R., Ruktanonchai C.W., Kloos J., Foufoula-Georgiou E., Wester P., New M., Rhyner J., Hutton C. (2016) Making SDGs Work for Climate Change Hotspots. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development. doi:10.1080/00139157.2016.1209016

  • Synthesis

    CARIAA promotes iterative learning and knowledge sharing within and across consortia that will result in synthesis outputs and learning products for use in research, policy, and practice.

    Contribution to IPCC 1.5°C 2018 Special Report

    The four consortia have recognized CARIAA’s hot spot approach to exploring impacts and adaptation has the potential to provide excellent regional inputs to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 1.5°C 2018 Special Report. CARIAA can provide unique, hot spot focused policy-relevant inputs to the IPCC Special Report that would address both the differential biophysical impacts and socio-economic vulnerabilities between 1.5 and 2.0°C, as well as the adaptation and national to regional policy implications.

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