You recognise the situation: you’re a policymaker or a Programme Manager with responsibility for designing or implementing a climate change adaptation programme. You need to know want adaptation interventions have been tried elsewhere, with what effect? But where do you start…..?
ICLEI, an organisation based in Toronto, Canada that aims to ‘accelerate action by running programs and campaigns that help local governments advance their sustainability activities and achieve meaningful results’, has developed a tool that might have an answer for you.
The organisation, according to its Director Ewa Jackson, ‘believes that research must be usable’. They have developed an ‘Adaptation Options Portal’ that pulls together adaptation projects that are currently being tested, and identifies what project/interventions are being proposed.
With the support of IDRC, ICLEI with their partners the University of Waterloo, are holding an innovative conference session at the World Water Congress in Edinburgh on Thursday May 28th. The session will pilot and test the interactive tool with an audience of international delegates, exploring how adaptive responses to climate change at a local level can be synthesized and importantly, shared.The conference session will include audience participation and a user journey through the online portal.
The session is being co-hosted by the IDRC, the ICLEI of Canada and the University of Waterloo. The session forms part of a larger collection of events held by IDRC aiming to increase the visibility of southern research on water and climate change. The series of events are utilizing numerous methods to engage wider audiences including researchers, policy makers and the broader public. For example, the Wednesday Session on Climate Change and Water includes a live webcast and twitter Q&A, to enable wider audiences to engage with the research.
Using interactive portals and user journeys has a dual advantage for hosting an engaging conference session. Firstly, audiences are actively participating in workshops, keeping participants focused and receptive to information. Secondly, trialling an online portal with different scenarios being simulated for participants allows the hosts a free user-modeling session, that provides information on future improvements to the portal.
Communicating adaptation options for different climate change scenarios is crucial if we are to equip ordinary people with the information they need to cope with increasing variability. This is particularly crucial in the case of climate change, which necessitates the transfer of knowledge from the global south to the north, in order to share examples and case studies of emerging phenomena already affecting the global south. The online portal is open access and can be used to find case studies for local adaptive measures to combat climate change.
The World Water Congress is bringing together more than 600 researchers, practitioners and private sector participants, all of whom are interested in sharing and trouble-shooting innovative solutions to global water problems. More than nine parallel sessions are often on offer for delegates: those wanting to be effective communicators could do worse than look for Top Tips provided by the suite of Research To Action ‘How To’ Notes e.g. on conquering the conference. Advice on creating trailers and promotional videos for conferences can be found in this piece, which provides top tips and resources for creating the perfect yet low costs promotional tool for an event.