Capacitating climate change adaptation stakeholders

Youth farmers from the community assisted AWARD facilitators with translations and introducing the elderly farmers to new technology such as cell phones to access weather forecasts

The Dialogues for Climate Change Literacy and Adaptation (DICLAD) project showcases a new approach for making climate change “everyone’s business”. In this regard, we embed climate change (CC) into other AWARD projects through facilitating climate change dialogues and thinking about impacts and adaptation options.

The innovation here is designing systemic dialogues around people’s areas of focus, values and interests, allowing them to construct new meaning from what is relevant to them. The project makes an important contribution to the emerging science of effective climate change communication, by providing an example of a process that is embedded in rural development projects rather than as a stand-alone intervention, and which focuses on adaptation, often more relevant in developing country contexts.

  • In 2018 AWARD held dialogues with around 300 individuals, mostly small-scale farmers in the middle and lower Olifants.
  • Using locally-based young people (Environmental Monitors and youth farmers) to assist with translation and facilitation at DICLAD workshops has been a highly successful strategy, particularly when introducing the elderly farmers to new technology such as using cell phones to access weather forecasts. This also benefits the youth by providing an opportunity to develop their facilitation skills, confidence and ability to speak in public.
  • As part of our commitment to sharing lessons from the DICLAD process at provincial and national levels, we participated in stakeholder engagement workshops and provided detailed comments on the draft national Climate Change Bill. This is a momentous step forward for climate change legislation in South Africa, with the potential to legitimate the adaptation efforts of champions in government, civil society and the private sector.