Article written by Eshwer Kale published in the Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) (Vol. 52, Issue No. 3 dated 21 Jan, 2017)
Climate Change Adaptation Exposure and Orientation Program
Climate Change is going to affect entire human race and rural people are the most vulnerable to the climate change. Hence educating and spreading awareness for adaptation and processes linked to it, this orientation, is extremely important. The envisaged aim of this program is to make participants have conceptual clarity of various facets of climate change adaptation, the impacts of the climate change on rural communities , as well as equip them to find possible solutions to deal with the future. While Climate Change is now a widely accepted fact, and local communities are bearing the brunt of climate variability at the ground. There is allot that is still unclear about what needs to be done to make adaptation a better reality. More so for development practitioners, whether it be organisations and agencies who are directly into delivery; or researchers who discover and interpret facts, reaching new conclusions; or donors who try to see where best to support future development interventions; or business enterprises trying to identify areas best for future investments; and lastly communities themselves trying to cope with a volatile, unforeseeable reality. Whatever may be one's role, the fact is that it is becoming more and more difficult to design projects, and measure / evaluate their impacts. We find that the hitherto useful conventional tools are not designed to do these in a volatile, erratic, and often destructive climate. And where projects have been largely successful like watershed development programs, we still see development per se eluding us – continuing distress migration, and farmer suicides. Both mitigation and adaptation strategies will require a change in attitude, perspective, and a framework/ approach. This requires capacity building of all related stakeholders in the area of adaptation to climate change; and development of a program specific pedagogy for going to scale, while retaining at least a minimum level of quality. It is in this context that WOTR has been rethinking conventional development and introducing new approaches like Systems Thinking and Complexity and developing new strategies for project planning, design, monitoring, and measuring and evaluating project impacts. At WOTR, we have also developed a series of tools and frameworks that have helped us address these issues at the ground. WOTR has also taken up a series of capacity building exercises for its own staff as well as with the local communities in testing these tools and approaches – thus gaining a practical understanding. This has lead to WOTR developing a series of programs to build capacities of various stakeholders along with experiential based modules – now, available for others in the development field.
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