Acting on what we know and how we learn for climate and development policy

Whose knowledge counts? Locally-held knowledge for climate change adaptation

5-6 March 2013
Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, Sussex, UK
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See the final theme report for detailed notes on this session


  • Ouma Gilbert - Nairobi Kenya, working with ; works with communities to see how can match local knowledge and scientific knowledge
  • Michael Gurstein - uses IT technology to local communities
  • Kirsty Galloway McLean - works with UN and setting up a traditional institute (FILL THIS IN)
  • Lukas Nantanga, Agriculture Extension from Namibia; works in Local knowledge and idigienous knowledge; combining scientific knowledge and local knowledge
  • Nguza Siyambango - from Zimbabwe; interested in knowledge communication and to listen and learn from others
  • AGNES Otzelberger with Care International; advocation for CC in southern and west Africa and gender issues; focused on the adapteation program in Africa; setting up processes at the community level between
    • Participatory scenario planning with expectations
    • Social learning sandbox interest in
  • Caroline Spencer with – looking at learning and how to package and for who
  • Lindsay Stringer, University of Leeds – development institute (introduced in the beginning); climate change and policy and is based in Southern Africa; CDM building partnerships for climate; publishes on local knowledge and pocy; and rural economy and land use process; wants to know how to make all relavent to each toher
  • James Ford - works with Indigenous communities and Greenland and Canada; focus on inuit knowledge and belief systems and how it adapts to environmental and CC; learning from diverse contexts, and has a development context; indigenous health and CC; oppostunities for adaptation;
  • Lars Otto Naess – work in LK for 15 years; frustration because little evidence that it can influence policy
  • Liz Carabine; climate change and dry land use systems; working at community level and curious as to how people thinking in higher levels of organizationa
  • Andy Newsham; Fellow on Climate Change team working on Knowledge on knowing and deciding on what you aknow and what you have to know working on CC projects that are bottom up; not happy how policy is separated from the framing, what’s missing in the conversation between knowledge and so on
  • Pete Cranston, CCAFS - Specialization and communication technology since 2002 focused on ‘local content’ and how;

Introduction – (listen to last 40 seconds and re-frame) need to come out with a visualization that will express the framing of policy processes and between locally held knowledge and policy processes

  • Processes
    • part 1 – take a situation that frames looking at the difference between locally held knowledge and policy
    • creating a visualization process
    • finding different ways to disseminate information to other groups
    • using loop one learning before lunch
  • Framing the Issue
    • Understanding what we are doing and what we are not doing; looking at Power and how the word indigenous can be broken down; need to look at and understand the language we are saying to each other; how knowledge comes into the policy process; broader engagement to understand local scio-political contexts; are there policy processes that really do this; how is it that this activity is central to economic and psychological organization

Looking at policies efforts to address land degradation

  • Look at policies
    • Analysis about how this played out on the local level
    • is there a disconnect
    • Gaps in this – what people were doing, but not who; looking at a body of knowledge but not who in that body of Knowledge

Climate Compatible Development

Development that delivers either adaptation and/or mitigation on a project level; looking at the partnerships involved, who is funding these projects, and whose knowledge is shaping the intervention that is put in place; policy analysis based on workshop of different countries seeing if climate compatibility was happening from a community to policy level to share experiences from across Southern Africa. Local knowledge being fed into policy, needed to build local institutions (start with what’s there), to help knowledge to move to different levels; looking at the roles of NGO’s in ability to amass local knowledge to feed into national policy; lack of up scaling of local knowledge; found necessary for policy makers to listen and frame the lessons as a positive benefit within the local knowledge, along with timing is vital to target policy makers,
Trade-offs and synergies of different types of knowledge and how we think about certainty; not enough attention paid to identifying with local knowledge and words that associate with CC is challenging when no word exists

  • Kirsty Galloway Mclean - Just looking at Adaptation not mitigation?
    • response from Lukas – cannot talk about adaptation without mitigation
  • Agnes Otzelberger In context of your Research, locally held or indigenous knowledge versus scientific evidence, same conclusions occur, it’s all about power. Doesn’t want to end the questions with this, bot end with it? If we were to turn things on their head, what does a decision making process from the perspective of local residence and how does science fit into that; not the other way around?
    • Unspoken power of ministries of finance, because frames how things happen in different places
    • Who's in the hierarchy, how they communicate with other ministries, whose collaborative and who is not
    • Not just about looking at power from bottom to top but also horizontally
    • Need to look at local power structures and where they are engaged in the process; thinking about whether local isntitturitons actually represent residents
  • Lars followup on Power; local strucutres are there to serve the powerful, how do we do research and get around the benefits that are formal and informal.
  • James Ford – every persons solution is another persons disaster, power is everywhere
  • Lukas - Whose knowledge counts, before we come into power, who are the actors in this discussion? Who are the people that we are talking about?
    • Mapping of the actors, the process and the role in the process of policy
  • Michael Gurstein– likes the way and framing of the research as gone, interested in strategies that follow the analysis you have identified; what are the strategies in pursuit of the interests and whose interests are you pursuing and what are the outcomes you are trying to achieve; what are we trying to achieve and what is the process that can determine these outcomes
  • How is LOU coming into policy process
    • Start with actor mapping
    • what is not happening (constraints)
    • why?
Group 1 - what is the policy process from our own experience; how local knoweldeg is coming into policy processes