“Tell It”: Disseminating Caribbean Climate Change Science and Stories

Introduction

Although several Community-Based Adaptation studies and pilot projects have been done, few have been presented in a way that allows for rigorous peer review from the scientific community. This project will allow for the translation of information gathered from CBA projects into scientific language to effect policy decisions. It will also provide the Caribbean with the knowledge, tools and skills to effectively adapt to climate change.

This Community-Based Adaptation project examines three (3) UNDP-GEF Community-Based Adaptation projects that have been undertaken in Jamaica. It will disseminate information on the objectives of each project, methods used, their outcomes, and ultimately their replicability. Three primary media will be used to communicate findings for each study: 1) scientific journal articles, 2) non-technical reports and a summary for Policy Makers, and 3) a short video. The premise is that given greater public awareness of climate change, its impacts and some community-level adaptation strategies, a larger number of Caribbean communities will be able to more effectively adapt to climate change.

This project is part of Jamaica's Community-Based Adaptation portfolio. *

Project Details

Small island states, such as those in the Caribbean, are among the most vulnerable “communities” to climate change. Present vulnerabilities include a susceptibility to hydro-meteorological and geological disasters, poorly development infrastructure, limited natural, human and economic resources, heavy reliance on tourism, agriculture and marine resources and a lack of capacity to adapt (both financial and technical). A number of recent attempts/projects have been made to develop and implement effective adaptation strategies for future climate change, particularly at the community level. This project will ‘translate’ three such studies/pilot projects that have been undertaken in Jamaica into ‘scientific’ language in order to facilitate a peer review of the work and ultimately inclusion in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The dissemination of information on climate change projects is, however, important at all levels: to policymakers, teachers, the private sector, regional and international agencies, tourists, the media, and grassroots communities. This is essential given that greater public awareness and understanding is required to provide Caribbean communities with the knowledge, tools and skills to effectively adapt to climate change.

The second aim of this project is therefore to disseminate the results of the same three studies in the public domain via (1) A Summary for Policymakers, (2) A non-technical report, and (3) short videos. Interactions with the persons involved in the adaptation projects will provide an opportunity to present context, methods used, and the impacts evident at the community level. The summaries will be available to a spectrum of interested individuals. The videos compiled will be aired using free broadcast times on local cable networks or on the national broadcasting stations.

The three projects to be covered are:

1.     Reducing climate change driven erosion and landslide risks through sustainable agriculture for safer slopes (JCDT)

2.     Increasing community adaptation and ecosystem resilience to climate change in Portland Bight (CCAMF)

3.     Land and preservation measure to combat climate change pressure in the Cockpit Country’s Martha Brae Watershed (Bunker Hills CDC)

Key Collaborators: 
Primary Beneficiaries: 
Members of the public
Implementing Agencies & Partnering Organizations: 
University of the West Indies, Mona
Project Status: 
Completed
Funding Source: 
Financing Amount: 
$20,500
Co-Financing Total: 
$2,263.72 (in cash); $13,000 (in kind)

Key Results and Outputs

Task 1: Getting the Stories

Meet with teams implementing the named CBA projects (Activity 1.1), perform additional analyses where required (Activity 1.2), and produce/review first draft of journal articles (Activity 1.3).

Task 2: Telling the stories

Write scripts for the five-minute videos (Activity 2.1), submit journal articles (Activity 2.2), and produce the videos (Activity 2.3).

Task 3: Meteorological Stations Established and data Mapped

Establish three wireless automatic weather stations at sites to give constant meteorological and climate data (Activity 3.1). Allow data quality and assurance to be monitored by the Meteorological Service (Activity 3.2), and produce weather maps showing variation of meteorological parameters (Activity 3.3).

Reports and Publications

Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation for community-based adaptation is a new field, and the CBA project is piloting innovative approaches to evaluating the success of locally-driven adaptation projects, and generating lessons to inform ongoing practice.

Key considerations in M&E for CBA include:

  • Grounding M&E in the local context: M&E for CBA should avoid overly rigid frameworks, recognizing community heterogeneity and maintaining local relevance
  • Capturing global lessons from local projects: CBA projects are highly contextualized, but lessons generated should be relevant to stakeholders globally
  • Incorporation of both quantitative and qualitative indicators: to ground projects in tangible changes that can be objectively evaluated, and to capture lessons and case studies for global dissemination

To these ends, the CBA project uses three indicator systems: the Vulnerability Reduction Assessment, the Small Grants Programme Impact Assessment System, and the UNDP Climate Change Adaptation Indicator Framework.

The Vulnerability Reduction Assessment (VRA)

The VRA is a question-based approach with the following aims:

  • To make M&E responsive to community priorities
  • To use M&E to make projects more accountable to local priorities
  • To make M&E capture community ideas and local knowledge
  • To gather community-level feedback to guide ongoing project management
  • To generate qualitative information
  • To capture lessons on specific issues within community-based adaptation
  • To generate case studies highlighting adaptation projects

The VRA follows UNDP's Adaptation Policy Framework, and is measured in a series of meetings with local community stakeholders. In these meetings, locally-tailored questions based on standard VRA questions/indicators are posed, and the community assigns a numerical score on a 1-10 scale for each question. Progress is evaluated through changes in scores over the course of implementation, as well as through qualitative data collected in community discussions surrounding the exercise.

UNDP has developed a Users Guide to the VRA (Espanol) (Francais) as a tool to assist practitioners to conceptualize and execute VRA measurements in the context of CBA projects.

The SGP Impact Assessment System (IAS)

The CBA, being a project of the GEF Strategic Priority on Adaptation, aims to increase the resilience of ecosystems and communities to the impacts of climate change, generating global environmental benefits, and increasing their resilience in the face of climate change impacts. To this end, the CBA projects use the SGP's impact assessment system for monitoring achievements in GEF focal areas (focusing primarily on biodiversity and sustainable land management).

The IAS is composed of a number of quantitative indicators which track biophysical ecosystem indicators, as well as policy impact, capacity development and awareness-building.

UNDP Climate Change Adaptation Indicator Framework

CBA projects also track quantitative indicators from UNDP's adaptation indicator framework, corresponding to the thematic area on natural resources management. More information on UNDP's indicator framework can be found on the UNDP climate change adaptation monitoring and evaluation website.

 

This description applies to all projects implemented through UNDP's Community-Based Adaptation programme. Specific details on this project's M&E will be included here as they become available. *

Contacts

University of West Indies - Mona
Dr. Michael Taylor
Department of Physics
UNDP
CBA Project Management Unit