The wealth of climate change-related projects, programmes and policies being implemented by a multitude of actors at national, sub-national and local levels makes it increasingly difficult for countries to make sense of this fast-changing landscape.
Understanding and utilising this network was a natural priority of the AAP and its efforts to help countries coordinate between various actors and activities. To help countries decipher and draw on the mass of information and activities found around and within them, the AAP provided the Climate Action Intelligence (CAI) component.
CAI is an institutional mapping tool that offers a pragmatic means of compiling, reviewing and analysing multiple sets of data to help countries ‘map’ the complex institutional landscape in which they operate. It uses free online tools and applications to generate useful information and visualise the relationships between people, policies, programmes and projects, which can then be used to channel collaborative action, spur advocacy and inform policy. This puts newfound technological power within easy reach of climate change practitioners everywhere, providing a richer, more complete understanding of ‘who is doing what, where and when’ about climate change.
CAI supports and contributes to evidence-based policy-making by helping governments understand patterns of relationships, trends in resource and funding flows, inter-dependencies and overlapping activities. It can help identify under-serviced work areas, duplication of activities, and opportunities to consolidate existing work or create synergies between future projects.
In Senegal, for example, CAI was launched in October 2011 with a workshop on methods for the collection, organisation and interpretation of data and on the use of the digital tools for information visualisation. A second workshop in July 2012 developed participants’ abilities to analyse, synthesize and communicate—in a form that can be used to influence decision makers—the data that had been collected in the eight months since the first workshop. A number of outputs created through CAI, namely a database of actors and actions, and dynamic visualisation databases, contributed to coordination efforts between stakeholders working in adaptation in Senegal.
In the Republic of Congo, meanwhile, CAI was principally undertaken to identify areas of mutualised efforts or duplication so that the effectiveness of cross-sectorial projects could be enhanced. Four students were engaged as a research team under the guidance of the AAP. Their data was utilised at a national workshop, which brought together 45 people including ministerial climate change focal points. During and following the workshop the data was collated, organised and visualised under six priority sectors: agriculture, forestry, fishing, transportation, water and energy. These data sets are now available to Congo's climate change practioners.
Article on Climate Action Intelligence from The Baobab Coalition Journal (pdf, p.6).