What role can civil society actors play in climate adaptation?
Countries and communities around the world need to prepare for the impacts of climate change. Government action is central to climate adaptation, but achieving a goal of this magnitude requires the involvement of diverse actors. In particular, international, national, and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), as well as communities and community-based groups, have the potential to advance adaptation. These actors can engage in a diverse range of activities from education and advocacy work, to directly leading the planning and implementation of concrete projects and programs. This contest seeks proposals that elaborate the ways in which civil society actors can either support the actions of government or take independent action to achieve climate adaptation.
All proposals should be submitted here: climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/19
May 31, 2013, at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time
All entrants must agree to the 2012-13 contest rules.
$10,000 grand prize at Sept 2013 conference
Winners of the current round of Climate CoLab contests will be invited to present their proposals at a conference at MIT September 17-18, 2013.
One winning proposal, from among all 2012-13 entries, will be awarded a grand prize of $10,000.
All winners will receive advice from policymakers, executives, and other potential implementers on how to move their ideas forward.
Guidelines from the Contest Advisor & Team
Successful proposals should be innovative, creative, and clearly address the contest’s core question. They may also incorporate one or more of the key issues outlined below. Proposals should provide specific details about project design, partners, relevant local context, potential timelines, and the processes that are being proposed to enable successful design and implementation.
Framing the Question: Advancing NGO and Community Engagement in Climate Adaptation
Adapting to climate change will be a monumental undertaking in countries and communities around the world. Governments are central actors in promoting adaptation. Often overlooked or silent on this issue, NGOs and community groups have the potential to be directly involved in both advocating for and designing and implementing adaptation initiatives.
Recognizing and expanding the role of NGOs and community groups in the adaptation process represents a crucial opportunity to improve the overall success of responses to climate change. This contest capitalizes on that opportunity by providing a shared space for the development of strategies that increase the potential for NGOs and community groups to contribute to or lead adaptation efforts.
- Building on Expertise: Many countries and communities have experience responding to climate variability and natural hazards, such as flooding, drought, and heat waves. What existing NGO and community-based response strategies can be applied to climate adaptation? What is the potential for scaling-up these strategies or transporting them across borders?
- Collaboration: Bringing together multiple groups to work on climate adaptation has the potential to combine diverse skills and resources and maximize the impact of adaptive strategies. What creative collaborations could NGOs and community groups spearhead to address vulnerabilities and promote adaptation? How can collaborations be designed and managed to be most effective and to draw on the strengths of diverse governmental and non-governmental stakeholders? What are the distinct advantages of NGOs and community groups when it comes to bridging geographies, scales, interests, and capacity for action?
- Synergies: Adaptive responses to climate change will be carried out in a context of competing priorities and constrained resources. What synergies exist between specific adaptation initiatives and other developmental goals in areas like health, economic development, housing, and increased access to basic services? How can NGOs and community groups contribute to goal achievement in these and other areas?
- Financing: Many adaption measures require significant financial resources. What new financing measures could NGOs and community groups design and implement to promote, support, and sustain adaptation?
- Jurisdiction: Political boundaries are rarely aligned with the ecological scale of climate change impacts. NGOs often have the potential to bridge boundaries and represent a collective interest in large-scale solutions. However, they do not climatecolab.org/web/guest/resources/-/wiki/Main/2013+conferencee governmental authority and must work within complex jurisdictions. How can NGOs be most effective within this framework?