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Climate leadership program: Building Africa’s resilience through research, policy and practice

Building Africa’s resilience to climate change will require designing and implementing effective climate adaptation strategies. Science-informed policy, planning, and practice will ensure that development is more resilient and less vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change. However, the generation and use of climate information and science in Africa has been limited and generally dominated by scientists from developed economies. There is a need to broker knowledge at the point where science, policy and development meet. There is also a need to build local climate change leaders who can shape understanding of the extent and severity of climate-related stressors and propose solutions on how countries can build resilience to these impacts.

This project is one among three leadership initiatives to be implemented by IDRC’s Climate Change program in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. It seeks to address climate change capacity gaps by developing the leadership capacity of African scientists, policy advisers and practitioners for advancement in current knowledge, decision-making and action.

Targeting thirty mid- to senior-career researchers, policy advisers and practitioners, the program will support those with climate change ideas that can be applied at scale and who have the drive and potential to become leaders in their fields. This will allow them to develop and test their ideas and strengthen their leadership capacity. Activities include training, research, testing of climate solutions in local communities, and coaching and mentorship in the area of policy development and advocacy. Emphasis will be placed on building leadership capacity among women. This is a collaborative effort between the University of Nairobi and the Institute of Resource Assessment – University of Dar es Salaam, and builds on IDRC’s past investments in climate fellowship programs with these institutions.

The immediate outcomes are thirty fellows (mostly women) moving to the next level in their careers in research, policy, and practice with an increased capacity to use research evidence to shape climate policy and inform climate solutions; tested innovative climate solutions that enhance community resilience and inform policy and research; and enriched climate policies that draw on research evidence and guide climate action for effective adaptation.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
Bruce Currie-Alder
Total Funding
CA$ 1,032,300.00
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Climate-Resilient Food Systems
Climate Change
Institution Country
Project Leader
Prof. Timothy Mwololo Waema
University of Nairobi