UNDP AAP Publishes Handbook on Climate Change Adaptation

22 January 2013: The UN Development Programme's (UNDP) Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP) has published a “Handbook on Capitalisation of Experiences 2012.” The Handbook focuses on climate change adaptation experiences and aims to build the capacity of climate change adaptation programmes and project teams.

The Handbook argues that good communication strategies and knowledge management are critical to achieve high impacts from capitalisation initiatives. The Handbook recommends capitalisation of experiences as an exercise that extracts lessons learned to inspire future actions and promote mutual learning opportunities among different actors. It argues that such a process can: establish an institutional memory of adaptation activities, initiatives and projects; enhance understanding and implementation of community processes; generate learning opportunities; and build expertise. The Handbook describes seven iterative steps in the capitalisation and knowledge generation process: planning; identification; description of/reflection upon experiences; analysis of experiences; presenting results; sharing results; and monitoring and evaluation. It identifies necessary tools and information sources for each step.

The Handbook then outlines a capitalisation of experience process using these seven steps. The Handbook showcases practical examples, including: an energy saving stove project in Kenya; a project that maps areas vulnerable to climate change flooding in Mauritius; a coastal adaptation strategy programme in Tunisia; and an agroforestry project in the Republic of Congo.

The Handbook includes four chapters. The introduction introduces relevant concepts and definitions, such as adaptation, mitigation, resilience, vulnerability, capitalisation, knowledge management and traditional knowledge. The second chapter focuses on capitalisation challenges and processes, including actor identification, favorable conditions and information gathering techniques. Chapter three outlines steps and tools to capitalise on adaptation experiences. The fourth chapter presents conclusions, highlighting the importance of monitoring and evaluation for assessing the added value of capitalisation and knowledge dissemination.

UNDP launched the AAP in 2008 in partnership with the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) with the aim of bolstering resilience to climate change in Africa. The AAP supports 20 African Governments to make informed adaptation decisions within a sustainable development context. [Publication: Handbook on Capitalisation of Experiences 2012] [AAP Website]