Africa Adaptation Programme

Marc Lepage

The United Nations Development Programme launched the Africa Adaptation Programme in 2008, in partnership with UNIDO, UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP). The purpose of AAP was to improve the resilience of vulnerable countries to promote early adaptation action and to lay the foundations for long-term investment plans to bolster resilience to climate change on the African continent.

DSC00480The programme started a capitalisation process as part of one of its 5 expected outcomes (Knowledge on adjusting national development processes to fully incorporate climate change risks and opportunities is being generated and shared across all levels). This started with a workshop in Maputo, Mozambique, in May 2012, and was followed in 17 member countries of the AAP. The whole process, included the preparation of a series of articles (ready in June 2012), the elaboration of the handbook, the preparation of national capitalisation strategies and of national knowledge management strategies (second half of 2012), and also the organisation of regional knowledge sharing workshop (end of 2012).

The capitalisation process considered a set of 7 steps:

  • Planning: This step allows one to ask preliminary questions relating to the objectives and purposes, roles and responsibilities of actors, the type of and facilitation modalities, the implementation activities and monitoring process. This step also presents an opportunity to make the identification process of the experience(s) to be capitalised more accurate.
  • Experience identification: Allows for a concise presentation of the experience by setting the context and the problem statement in which the identification process is rooted and to which it strives to provide answers.
  • Experience description: This is the step during which the experience is scrutinized in detail, by establishing both the historical pattern, the methodological approach, the place and role of stakeholders, the organisational mechanisms and the technical process correlated to the experience. This represents a first level of analysis, with an assessment of both intended and unintended, positive and negative results and effects.
  • Experience analysis: As the name suggests, this refers to the stage during which the experience undergoes a thorough analysis on the basis of the capitalisation axes identified. It allows one to extract the lessons learned from the experience implementation.
  • Formatting results: Focuses on the consolidation of all the elements resulting from the process and its formatting for sharing purposes.
  • Results sharing. This is the stage during which the knowledge stemming from the process is put in the public domain in various media and channels, depending on communication objectives.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: A cross-cutting and on-going activity, M&E must accompany both the capitalisation process itself and the process of results’ dissemination and sharing. The information generated allows players to initiate the required consolidation measures or corrections.

Taking the AAP Ghana project «Capacity building and financing options for the integration of climate change adaptation in Ghana, with a focus on early warning systems» as an example, the results of the capitalisation process have included:

  • Establishment of knowledge sharing mechanisms (in situ fora, focus groups discussions, communities of practice, learning groups, a study trip);
  • Teamworks, a global network of knowledge sharing: A website for development practitioners, for UNDP partners (launched in 2010, more than 30,000 members);
  • Articles published in a magazine such as AGRIDAPE, a magazine on sustainable agriculture;
  • Capitalisation booklets, for example on the self-promotion dynamics encountered in the rural world by the Rural Development Support Project in Northern Lower Guinea (PADER BGN);
  • Posters; Radio broadcasts in addition to documentaries such as “Addressing climate change through resilience and local innovation”;
  • Online information on e.g. the sites of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or CIRAD;
  • A set of proposed actions, defining who, when, how will they be implemented: An interactive map of traditional knowledge will be posted on the AAP project website; The atlas of traditional knowledge is distributed to communities through traditional leaders; 250 CDs on traditional knowledge are distributed to District Assemblies Project.

Lessons and difficulties

Strengths / assets Weaknesses / constraints
Data collection tools and methodologies ·       Participatory process;

·       Process coordinated by members of farming organisations;

·       Audio-visual support (video)

When media supports are not translated into local languages,

it became difficult for the majority of beneficiaries to use the report

Nature of information collected and produced ·       The participation of actors in the analytical process facilitates the availing of information;

·       Beneficiaries have a good grasp of the information;

·       Beneficiaries are involved in the definition of the capitalisation axes and objectives


·       The short duration of the project (two years) has not made it possible to highlight some of the impacts;

·       The capitalisation process being driven in one season does not allow for the observation of certain activities that occur mainly in winter (the observation is an information gathering technique)

Facilitation of the capitalisation process ·       The facilitation process is coordinated by local actors themselves, with the support of internal expertise

·       The conduct of the process is flexible and responsive to the beneficiaries’ schedule

Researchers sometimes failed to be available, which led to slowing down the capitalisation process
Participation of various actors ·       Active participation of beneficiaries

·       Women were at the centre of the capitalisation process

Sometimes the busy schedule of their researchers did not allow them to take part in sessions
Media produced: simplicity, adaptability, clarity of messages, etc. ·       The diversity of support media products allows that the needs of different groups of actors be taken into account.

·       The summary files can be detached from the cover, which allows one to select examples according to the needs

·       Videos are a good advocacy media and can ensure a wide dissemination

·       Support media are not translated into local languages, which makes their use difficult for some players

·       The video is not available to the majority of rural people who do not have proper equipment


© 2016, CTA. Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation

CTA is a joint institution operating under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement between the ACP Group of States (Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific) and the EU Member States (European Union). CTA is funded by the European Union.