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Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA)

Leake Borana carrying corn in Ethiopia

At a glance

ACCRA aims to improve climate change adaptation decision making and support communities' agency and resilience.

Overview

Since 2009, the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA) has effectively enhanced governance systems and climate resilience in Ethiopia, Uganda and Mozambique.

ACCRA believes change at a system level is required if climate justice - in particular, fairness toward vulnerable communities - is to be achieved. This is possible when a government shares power with its citizens and with civil society in understanding and prioritizing climate issues; in designing policies, strategies and plans; and in implementing, reviewing and learning from these plans.

Governments everywhere need to find new ways of planning to address climate change. In sub-Saharan Africa, this challenge compounds the other challenges facing governments. However, ACCRA's experience shows that when governments are supported to adapt their planning and budgeting systems to better address climate change, they also become more able to tackle other challenges such as food security, gender inequality and poverty.

This is because climate change cannot be addressed through governance systems that are top-down, siloed across sectors and focused on short-term funding streams. It can't be addressed when the voices of women and men affected by climate change are not heard, and when governments are not accountable to their citizens. This is also true for other complex challenges. The need to resolve long-standing, systemic weaknesses in governance systems is therefore as urgent as the need to find scientific and technological answers to the challenge of climate change. 

ACCRA's experience proves that action on climate change is also a catalyst for systemic change, with wide-reaching benefits for inclusive and sustainable development. 

ACCRA is an alliance of Oxfam, World Vision, CARE, Save the Children and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), working closely with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

Our approach

ACCRA transforms governance systems so they are adaptive in the face of climate change and influenced by the strategic priorities and needs of women, men, girls and boys.

Sustains partnerships: ACCRA builds and sustains long-term relationships with and between government and civil society partners. This fosters trust, a culture of collective sharing, learning and acting, and, importantly, the political will in governments to take a proactive stance on their mandate to address climate change.

Supports action research and iterative learning: ACCRA supports the co-creation of innovative solutions by using action research and iterative learning by doing. This approach helps to break the disconnect between researchers and decision makers, and between different levels of governance, through a focus on the real needs of climate-affected populations, in particular women, children and the elderly.

Addresses gender inequality: ACCRA goes beyond ensuring the equitable representation of men and women in adaptation committees and training workshops. It develops methods and capacities to analyse how adaptive capacity and vulnerability to climate change are influenced by gender norms, roles and power dynamics. Adaptation strategies, technologies and information channels are chosen and applied in ways that address gender inequalities.

Delivers responsive capacity development: ACCRA's capacity-building processes work within rather than outside of government planning cycles. They are demand-driven and developed for central government, decision makers in national and district authorities, local civil society organizations, and parliamentarians. They combine training of trainers, innovative games, community visits, regional learning events and ACCRA country-to-country exchange visits. They encourage a learning-by-doing approach to planning and executing, and new ways of thinking which are long-term, collaborative and systemic.

Collaborates for policy influence: As a trusted adviser and long-term partner, ACCRA works closely with governments on policy content. ACCRA's approach to policy influencing is based on mutual respect and an appreciation of the government's leadership role. This collaborative way of working strengthens ownership by government institutions of the change and learning processes they engage in with ACCRA.

Innovates: ACCRA develops and tests tools through learning by doing with the people who will use these tools, including farmers and officials in national ministries. The tools have been widely adopted and have helped to change the way governance works - touching the lives of many women, men, boys and girls in Ethiopia, Uganda and Mozambique.

ACCRA's tools:

  • A framework describing the key characteristics of adaptive capacity
  • A gender analysis tool for climate change adaptation initiatives
  • Planning guidelines for local adaptation and disaster risk reduction
  • A set of participatory tools to generate national standard climate change indicators
  • A game for flexible and forward-looking decision making

Find out more about ACCRA

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The ACCRA climate resilience game

In November 2012, the ACCRA Uganda team visited the district of Kotido to play a game with district officials on the principle of Flexible and Forward Decision Making.

Weather forecasting in Uganda

To improve on agricultural planning, ACCRA is working with the department of meteorology to make weather forecasting more accessible to farming communities in Uganda.

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