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Daniel Morchain

Global Adviser, Climate Change Adaptation

Daniel Morchain

As Global Adviser in Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience with Oxfam, I have a practitioner's perspective with experience in over a dozen countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. I have worked in designing and implementing adaptation and development strategies that aim to support the poorest and marginalised, while recognising the importance of constructively engaging stakeholders from local to national levels. I led the development of the Vulnerability & Risk Assessment (VRA) approach that facilitates the development of a landscape wide and cross-scalar understanding of vulnerability and the design of development pathways.  As co-Principal Investigator in the "Adaptation at Scale in Semi Arid Regions" (ASSAR) project, I lead the Research-into-Use work stream, which aims to make research more participatory and recognise impact as its key objective. My focus areas in the context of climate change adaptation and development are vulnerability analysis, gender, cross-scalar participatory processes and transformation. On this last topic, I am a firm believer that, while incremental adaptation remains a pillar of the climate efforts, in cases where social injustices underpin climate governance, adaptation without transformation is short-sighted, helps to perpetuate top-down development agendas and can even be unethical.

Before joining Oxfam, I worked with the Stockholm Environment Institute and with ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability on climate change adaptation research and projects.

I have a Master's degree in Environment Management and Policy from Lund University's International Institute for Industrial Environment Economics (IIIEE),Sweden and have completed postgraduate courses on resilience and climate change adaptation at the UN University in Japan and at the University of London's SOAS.


Transformation, adaptation and development: relating concepts to practice (01 September 2017)

All posts by Daniel Morchain

Mural in Oaxaca, Mexico

Why must climate change be de-naturalised and re-politicised?

Food insecurity, conflict and climate change are among many stresses often originated in or made worse by bad, unrepresentative governance. Daniel Morchain, Global Adviser on Climate Change Adaptation,...

Dorothy, an Oxfam beneficiary and her son. She has received seeds, tools and training to help grow better and more varieties of crops.

Shaking up the system: improving the tea industry and workers lives in Malawi

One year into Malawi 2020 Daniel Morchain looks how some of the stakeholders are working with the tea labourers central to the project to ensure that the tea industry in Malawi meets its responsibilities...

Fishing boats in Eastern Samar. Credit: Daniel Morchain/Oxfam

The challenge of climate change adaptation in the Philippines

LEARNING: Successful adaptation to changing weather patterns depends on cooperation and commitment from across government and civil society reflects Daniel Morchain. Conducting a multi- stakeholder...

Photo: Conducting a vulnerability risk assessment in Bolgatanga, Ghana. Credit Oxfam

What we've learned about vulnerability assessments and how to do them

How can a development intervention achieve positive change for all, especially the poorest and most marginalised? Conducting a vulnerability risk assessment, using our new guide, would be a good...

Global Landscapes Forum in Paris December 5-6

Will all the gold of Paris shine?

The Paris climate talks concluded last week with an agreement being reached between developed and developing nations. In parallel to these historical negotiations in other meetings across the French...

Our Common Future under Climate Change International Scientific Conference. Credit: INRA/B. Nicolas

Our common future under climate change: where science meets social justice

What should our approach to climate change be? Is it time to elevate the importance of morals and ethics in climate change debates? Daniel Morchain, Global Adviser on Climate Change Adaptation, reflects...

Small farmer that produces corn struggles to survive during the worst drought of the past 47 years in Coiceio do Coit, Bahia, Brazil (2011).

Bringing 'the environment' back down to earth

Today is UN World Environment Day, but unlike other more straightforward occasions, it is not always clear just how to celebrate this one. Here, Daniel Morchain suggests some possible ways that those...

Shahdadpur, Sanghar district: Residents collecting their belongings on a higher ground outside village. Credit: Tariq Masood Malik/ Oxfam

From short-sighted politics to a clear vision for climate action

As climate change continues to have a devastating impact on people's lives, Daniel Morchain argues that the challenge for climate change adaptation practitioners is to deliver a convincing message...

Farmers' market, Mindanao, Philippines. Credit: Jo Villanueva/Oxfam

What stories does the soil tell about poverty and inequality in Mindanao?

On the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, land degradation is a major problem affecting small-scale subsistence farmers and large-scale producers alike. Daniel Morchain looks at...

The red soil of Al Far'a village is rich and the warm winter weather is especially good for the winter crops. Here, cabbages have begun to sprout (Credit: Sarah-Eve Hammond/Oxfam)

Digging deep in the year of soil

The health of soil has a significant impact on food security, climate change adaptation and livelihoods. As the UN has declared 2015 to be the year of soils, Daniel Morchain explains why it is vital...