Strengthening Evidence-based Climate Change Adaptation Policies

To manage the risk and vulnerability associated with climate change and extreme weather events in Southern Africa evidence-based policies and programmes that are responsive to local realities and priorities are imperative for a pro-poor livelihood-centred approach to adaptation.

Evidence needs to be linked to policy processes and development practice to ensure that future policies reflect the true reality of climate change for farmers around the world.

To generate this evidence, robust tools are required to quantify and evaluate the impacts of climate change and adaptation options. This calls for access to good quality data on agriculture and rural livelihoods that can be used in identifying alternative climate change adaptation options and sustainable climate resilient community-based development.

In 2011, the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)[1] developed a three-year project on Strengthening Evidence-Based Climate Change Adaptation Policies (SECCAP)[2] funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)[3]. SECCAP employs a multidisciplinary approach to climate change research by integrating environmental, social and economic analysis in order to promote the development of evidence-based climate change adaptation policies.


Information generated from this integrated effort will yield evidence-based options for climate change adaptation policy and practices in agriculture. This is being accomplished in three focal countries: Malawi, Lesotho, and Swaziland.

Using state-of-the-art climate downscaling[4] techniques, the SECCAP project addresses gaps in climate knowledge by generating quality climate information for recent past and future scenarios at scales relevant to farming communities.

The SECCAP project also collects social-economic data with climate change and crop productivity data which is used to assess the benefits and costs of adapting to climate change impacts. 


  • Information, experience and findings generated from the SECCAP project will be shared with policy makers through a number of platforms
  • Results are expected to stimulate interest, and generate demand for policy-relevant research that addresses the challenges faced by vulnerable communities.
  • This is the first time in-depth research of this kind has taken place and the results will offer a unique perspective on how farmers can mitigate and adapt in a cost-effective way