Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR)

Assar - Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions, CARIAA - Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia

What is the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions project? Learn about this flagship through the power of stop motion. In this short video we describe the steps we're following to achieve ASSAR's ultimate goal of ensuring that vulnerable people in Africa and Asia benefit from effective, widespread and sustained adaptation to climate change.

ASSAR is a 5-year research project (March 2014 to December 2018), funded by Canadian IDRC (International Development Research Centre) and DFID, that seeks to better understand the barriers and enablers to widespread and transformative adaptation at multiple governance scales, to advance adaptive livelihoods for vulnerable groups. 

ASSAR’s interdisciplinary research teams in southern Africa, eastern, Africa, western Africa, and south Asia will work to identify key knowledge gaps and needs with an aim to develop regional research programmes that generate knowledge and evidence to guide and inform adaptation policy and practice in semi-arid regions. 

From an adaptation practitioner perspective, early stakeholder engagement (of both practitioner and policy-/ decision-makers in ASSAR is an opportunity to shape research and the ensuing evidence-informed policies and practice. As such, we conducted a short survey (now closed) on information needs in this area of work and barriers to putting research into practise. 

Explore our Climate Adaptation Resource Guide for Dryland & Semi-Arid Areas

ASSAR Research Approach

ASSAR pursues a ‘question driven approach to research’ that targets key knowledge gaps and has strong elements of co-design and leading roles for national partners. Its research structure features a high level of integration across regional research streams, facilitated by cross-cutting themes including gender, climate science and wellbeing.

The programme will employ a collaborative transformative scenario planning process to co-develop adaptation pathways for positive livelihood trajectories, evaluate material and non-material costs and benefits of specific pathways, and identify political-economic-institutional enablers for successful implementation.

The research is sequenced through system-scale multi-level regional diagnostic studies that capture the current state of affairs and evaluate trajectories of change; interlinked regional research programs then focus on specific research sites offering contrasting lenses for understanding adaptation; knowledge synthesis and sharing activities are integrated throughout the programme to strengthen planning and implementation capacity. 

Gender in the Context of Climate and Development

Climate change affects different people in different ways. This is why the ASSAR project ran a two week training course at UEA on gender and climate change. Watch this video to see the highlights and observations of participants. 

ASSAR's Climate Animation Videos

Interested in how climate change is affecting dryland and semi-arid regions? Are they climate change hotspots? Take a look at the ASSAR Climate Messages animations (link to youtube or if a forum on a KSP / CoP, to the database link).

Explore ASSAR's Regional Diagnostic Studies:

ASSAR's Webinar on Wellbeing & Adaptation

What does climate have to do with wellbeing? This was the question posed to panellists of ASSAR’s recent webinar. For those who missed out, the webinar was recorded and is available to listen and view here. (link to website or if a forum on a KSP / CoP, to the database link).

Find out more about the project

Funding organisations




Latest Discussions

Nicholas Reay

Meet ASSAR at Adaptation Futures 2018!

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Nicholas Reay

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Shona Maguire


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