Preparing for the Future? Understanding the influence of development interventions on adaptive capacity at the local level in Uganda

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Uganda faces the challenge of responding to rapidly changing climate and development pressures. At the local level, many communities do not have the tools, resources or capacity to adapt alone, and will require assistance and support from government and other development actors. Though most development interventions do not seek directly to address issues of climate change, the impacts of project support are likely to influence the ability of people and communities to respond and adapt to changing climate and development pressures. Yet, few development actors have considered how their interventions are influencing communities’ adaptive capacity, and what can be done to further enhance it. Research by the Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA) seeks to explore how existing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Social Protection and Sustainable Livelihood interventions impact on adaptive capacity at the local level in Uganda. It does so through use of the Local Adaptive Capacity framework (LAC), which depicts adaptive capacity as being composed of five interrelated characteristics: the asset base; knowledge and information; institutions and entitlement; innovation; and flexible, forward-looking decision-making. Primary and secondary data have been gathered from three research sites in Bundibugyo, Kotido and Gulu districts. This report is a synthesis of the key findings. It aims to inform and influence the work of development partners – government, NGO or civil society – in supporting those communities that are most vulnerable and least able to adapt to a changing climate.