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Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions

People living in Africa and South Asia's semi-arid regions face challenges that hinder their economic growth and development. This project seeks to find proactive, longer-term approaches to climate change adaptation in these vulnerable regions, while helping locals manage existing risks.

Short-term focus must shift
So far, responses to climate threats in these regions have focused mainly on short-term solutions, such as early warning systems, famine relief, and soil and water conservation. However, long-term climate projections suggest that a more profound response will be needed by mid-century. The research team will respond to this knowledge and development gap through a program involving regional diagnostic studies, research, knowledge synthesis, and information sharing in semi-arid regions.

Long-term, sustainable adaptation
The project, which falls under IDRC's Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia program, draws on a number of disciplines found in the five consortium partners. It will address the complex interactions between climate, biophysical, social, political, and economic dynamics. The project team will integrate research on each of these aspects through transformative scenario planning, which is an effective methodology for bringing sometimes disparate stakeholders together to address complex problems.

Results to support adaptation to climate change
The project will generate credible information that decision-makers and others can use to develop robust adaptation strategies. Research teams will conduct their work in several countries across Africa and South Asia.

The results are expected to help these regions shift from their current adaptation practices and policies into a mode that achieves proactive, widespread adaptation. With that, vulnerable groups will gain the skills and adaptive strategies they need to enhance their livelihoods over the long-term.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
57 months
IDRC Officer
Sandra Gagnon
Total Funding
CA$ 13,260,395.00
South Asia
Climate Change
Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia
Institution Country
Project Leader
Aromar Revi
Indian Institute for Human Settlements
Institution Country
United Kingdom
Project Leader
Daniel Morchain
Institution Country
South Africa
Project Leader
Mark New
University of Cape Town
Institution Country
United States
Project Leader
Mary Thompson-Hall
START International, Inc.
Institution Country
United Kingdom
Project Leader
Professor Declan Conway
International Development UEA


Training Materials

Conducting life history interviews : a how-to guide

Training Materials

Vulnerability, impacts and adaptation to climate change in Namibia


Wells and well-being in South India : gender dimensions of groundwater dependence


Using transformative scenario planning to think critically about the future of water in rural Jalna, India : second TPS report