Influencing real world problems

FCFA set out to ensure that decision-makers are able to incorporate relevant climate information when making decisions in medium to long-term (5-40 year) resulting in climate resilient policies, plans and investments. Although impacts for resilience are anticipated to be seen in the long-term, the programme has successfully influenced many current decision-making systems, processes and behaviours. Change-making has occurred by informing particular adaptation decisions, building sustained relationships, and creating new collaborations and action. FCFA influenced the following changes to varying degrees, noting that not all changes can fully be attributable to the programme alone.

Influencing policies, plans and investments

Through co-production approaches, FCFA was able to provide accessible climate information and influence decision-making through changes in numerous policies, plans and investments. Here are some current examples of the impact FCFA has made in different spheres.

  • HyCRISTAL rural livelihoods information and data shared with parliamentarians through continuous dialogue and information exchange is supporting the knowledge and information base that is shaping the discussion and decisions on Uganda's Climate Change Bill.
  • CCKE worked with Rwanda’s Green Fund (FONERWA) to develop the capacity of the project appraisal team to perform a rudimentary climate risk screening on all project proposals. A key outcome is the ability of FONERWA to implement a formalised process to screen agriculture projects for climate risks and support staff in decision-making.
  • Through partnering with PAS-PNA and making its outputs available via the Geo-Portal, AMMA-2050 has informed vulnerability assessments, an initial step in developing Senegal’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP).
  • HyCRISTAL provided information on the Kenyan livelihoods analysis and climate future scenarios to the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) to support adaptation and mitigation activities that will further be mainstreamed in sectoral policies and the County Integrated Development Plans.
  • HyCRISTAL partnered with the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) to improve the use of climate information in Integrated Water Resource Management in the Lake Victoria Basin. Building on the Katonga study, the British Geological Survey (BGS) and MWE are now regionalizing this approach to quantify climate change impacts on river flows across the Lake Victoria Basin. This will set out the process for the country’s newly established Water Management Zones.
  • FRACTAL supported the development of the Lusaka Water Security Action and Investment Plan (WSAIP) . Through ongoing engagement, more inclusive Local Area Plans have been developed, which consider potential changes in climate and water availability.
  • Through strengthening decision-makers’ understanding of current and future flood risks and providing tools for integrating consideration of these risks within planning, AMMA-2050 has increased demand amongst city and national decision-makers for climate information tailored to supporting specific infrastructural investments.
  • FRACTAL, in combination with LIRA2030, supported learning between Harare and Durban on aspects of transformative river management to deal with climate risks while addressing other root causes of vulnerability. The local government in both Durban and Harare are working towards integrating this approach into city functioning.
  • UMFULA provided a situation analysis of Luwegu sub-basin to develop an understanding of the basin and the key decisions being made. This information was used up by the Rufiji Basin Water Board who took the decision to invest in installing a gauging station .
  • UMFULA ran multiple interactive workshops with different departments responsible for water planning and management in the Lake Malawi/Shire River basin and the Rufiji River basin. The workshops raised awareness about climate risk and how departments might factor such risk into their infrastructure plans, helping establish the conditions that would allow them to do so, in the way they saw fit.
  • FRACTAL's work in Lusaka strengthened the relationship between the local municipality and the University of Zambia (UNZA). UNZA is now integrally involved in the planning process for water security, now and in the future. The university is participating in the development of Local Area Plans for 12 city wards .
  • FRACTAL influenced the Lusaka City Council Strategic Plan (2017-2021) by better integrating climate change issues and concepts into the plan, and linking climate change to urban development in Lusaka.
  • FRACTAL has been working to provide decision-relevant climate information to support planning of improved drainage infrastructure as part of Lusaka City Council’s slum-upgrading strategy .
  • FRACTAL contributed to developing the City of Windhoek’s new climate change strategy: the Integrated Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan (ICCSAP) . Climate information has been integrated using narratives and infographics, which has allowed for the integration of climate risk into strategic plans.
  • A learning exchange between eThekwini Municipality and Lusaka led to the signing of the Durban Adaptation Charter between the two cities, to learn from eThekwini’s climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.
  • AMMA-2050 shared IDF curves with engineering group, Agence d’Etudes d’Ingénierie et de Maîtise d’oeuvre (AEIM) to inform road construction projects in Ouagadougou .
  • AMMA-2050 were requested by the Agence Municipale des Grands Travaux (AMGT) to provide IDF data to inform the rainwater drainage plan for Ouagadougou .
  • Seeking to inform the Grand Ouaga Plan , AMMA-2050 contributed flood risk maps to the Ministere de l’Urbanisme et de l’Habitat.
  • HyCRISTAL worked with the National Water and Sewerage Board, and Kampala Capital City Authority to develop new resilient approaches to sanitation planning. Lessons from HyCRISTAL will be incorporated into the new City-wide Inclusive Sanitation plan for the city.
  • HyCRISTAL has supported the Kisumu County Government, Directorate of Climate Change to institutionalise the national Climate Change Policy and Act 2020 . Specific plans are being developed to improve the resilience of sanitation services at Ward level.
  • FRACTAL partners co-produced a web-based online tool for estimation of the risk of vector and water-borne diseases as a function of climate variables. The methodology of this tool is being scaled-up for the Ministry of Health at a National level beyond Maputo to prioritise the distribution of resources.
  • HyCRISTAL partners co-produced a web based online tool for modelling health impacts of future flooding . The tool enables a discussion about the most effective sanitation management interventions to reduce the negative impacts of increased future flooding.
  • HyCRISTAL facilitated consultations between farmer champions and the National Planning Authority in Uganda . HyCRISTAL produced information on the impacts of climate change on sweet potatoes and the use of fertilizers. Having emphasized the impacts climate change will have on sweet potato farmers, farmers are now being included in the planning committees. This has resulted in a budgetary allocation for extension services in the community for sweet potato farmers.
  • UMFULA integrated climate information into Malawi's National Resilience Strategy and Vision 2030 by providing input on how and where climate information could be taken into account in some of the objectives and activities. In particular, considerations for planning around food insecurity and acknowledging how the long term impacts of climate change will exacerbate this.
  • HyCRISTAL contributed to Uganda's National Environmental Bill with revisions and specific reference to the impacts of climate change on livelihoods within the text of the Bill. The revisions signalled the need for comprehensive livelihoods zoning and the prerequisite of having a deep, balanced, and uniform baseline understanding of livelihoods before any of the impacts of climate change on society and the economy can be fully understood.
  • FRACTAL engaged with the city government of Maputo to influence the Mozambique National Adaptation Plan (NAP) . Since engaging with FRACTAL, there is now a commitment to consider an urban focus in the NAP.
  • UMFULA engaged at Malawi's national policy and planning level and provided inputs into several policy documents, including the National Resilience Strategy Implementation Plan and the country’s 3rd National Communication on Climate Change to the UNFCCC . Amongst other things, UMFULA encouraged the government to pursue a gender-responsive approach to ensure gender equality in the Strategy.
  • UMFULA provided input to Tanzania’s Vice-President Office in the formulation of their next National Adaptation Plan (NAP) . UMFULA’s country brief on climate information and projections for Tanzania was highlighted as a source of information for the NAP.
  • UMFULA contributed findings to support the investment in the Malawian government's strategic program for climate resilience: Malawi pilot program on climate resilience (PPCR) .
  • AMMA-2050 was the primary source of climate information for the updated National Adaptation Plans in Senegal. Recognising the potential for the project’s Metrics Atlases to inform the Senegalese National Adaptation Plan process, sectoral (coastal zone, agriculture, water resources) strategies or plans and local development plans, AMMA-2050 was able to inform decision-making.


researchers involved in FCFA, 185 researchers from Africa


countries involved in the programme


number of institutions partnered / engaged with


number of policies, plans and investments influenced

Creating new partnerships and collaborations

FCFA fostered new cross-boundary, transdisciplinary partnerships including South-South and South-North partnerships, working towards a more integrated approach for climate resilience. The programme engaged with a total of 185 different institutions.

  • FRACTAL has supported the initiation of the Urban Resilience Hub in Maputo . The local municipality has reached out to Eduardo Mondlane University to ask for help in steering an Urban Resilience Hub that deals with climate change issues. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between the council and the university.
  • Through FRACTAL, long-term Memoranda of Understanding have been signed between: i) the University of Namibia (UNAM) and the City of Windhoek (CoW); and ii) the University of Botswana (UB) and Gaborone City Council.
  • FRACTAL connected stakeholders through various workshops and city lab engagements between Zimbabwe officials, FRACTAL, and START International, resulting in the identification of the need for the Harare City Council to set up an environmental management unit which has an officer representing each city department. Thus far a workshop has been held to conscientize city senior officials on the climate change desk, solicit for ideas and suggestions from these officials on what they envisage to see happening within the department and how they can contribute.
  • HyCRISTAL supported the development of a National Multi-Sectoral El Niño taskforce . The role of this taskforce is to coordinate various government departments around urban flooding in Kampala, Uganda.
  • IMPALA led the spin off LaunchPAD project to improve, sustain and progress African climate modelling research and maintain and extend the collaboration and network between British and African research institutions. The collaborative learning process in IMPALA has led to a sustained partnership between the African and UK scientists by creating a Community of Practic.
  • HyCRISTAL's Rural group have influenced the training of practitioners and researchers at Gulu University, and within the government, through providing higher level training in Livelihoods and Household Economic Assessments. This has led to the creation of the Community of Practice on Livelihoods and Household Economic Assessment .
  • As part of the introduction of climate change into GHACOF, HyCRISTAL’s learning on weather and climate prediction within East Africa, and climate change informed decision making was shared at the Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum (GHACOF) , along with participatory workshops on the HyCRISTAL FCCP tool. There is a commitment to continue the partnership with HyCRISTAL institutions and continue to include a longer term climate segment in the forum.
  • FCFA has fostered a network of Early Career Researchers (ECRs) . This cohort of researchers have informal discussion groups to share opportunities and updates via LinkedIn and WhatsApp to keep the FCFA legacy going and to support one another.

Building capacity and understanding to influence change

FCFA had a strong focus on building researchers and decision-makers capacity to make better climate decisions. This capacity development took multiple forms - including skills development, transdisciplinary research, and collaboration.

New research capacities for Early Career Researchers

The programme aimed to develop greater capacity within the scientific community, particularly among African Early Career Researchers (ECRs), to deliver fundamental and applied research. Through involvement in a multidisciplinary programme, ECRs within FCFA have had significantly greater sustained access to world leading researchers (as mentors and collaborators), exposure to other disciplines and opportunities to experience and learn from different contexts. Further, access to the capacity development initiatives mentioned in Pillar 2, helped ECRs improve their technical skills such as climate science analysis, including coding and data plotting, but also their soft skills such as paper and grant writing, communication, networking and collaboration. This will help ECR’s to further their careers by increasing the quality and impact of their research outputs, communicating their research within the research community and beyond, and securing funding for future research. The immediate scientific and non-scientific output from the support was substantial and many ECRs indicated that they would pass on these new skills to fellow researchers in their institutions.

Creating more collaborative research spaces

FCFA's transdisciplinary nature encouraged researchers and decision-makers to engage with new actors, disciplines and approaches to mainstream climate information. Using creative, participatory engagement processes, and through regular exposure to one another, researchers and decision-makers developed a better understanding and respect for each other. This has allowed for the creation of a research space which is more collaborative, bridging the divide between decision-makers and researchers. Both researchers and decision-makers also gained valuable insights into the complexity of climate change and the need to take a more holistic approach. This progress will provide an important building block for future programmes and projects to deliver action-orientated climate research.



journal articles by 15 African ECRs and 16 non-African ECRs (some are authors in more than one article)


2 BSc (Honours), 10 Masters and 8 Phd degrees achieved by ECRs during involvement in FCFA


IPCC co-authors on the upcoming IPCC Sixth Assessment Report are FCFA ECRs


journal articles written by FCFA ECRs as first authors.


knowledge products involving 28 African ECRs and 13 non-African ECRs