Pamoja Voices climate-resilience planning toolkit for rural communities

Submitted by Keren-Happuch Obeku | published 29th Dec 2020 | last updated 27th Jan 2022

Climate Adaptation Training Annotation

  • Level: Introductory
  • Time commitment: 3 days
  • Learning product: Toolkit
  • Sector:  Agriculture
  • Language: English and Swahili
  • Certificate available: N/A
African women gathered at a meeting


The Pamoja Voices climate tool presents a simple and affordable methodology to identify the climate change adaptation priorities of men, women and young people using participatory learning and action methods.  This methodology provides a climate vulnerability assessment answering the following questions:

  • How are climate risks perceived, felt, and responded to?
  • What is the rationale behind existing livelihood strategies in response to climate variability?
  • What are the priorities of women, men, and youth in building a climate-resilient future, and how do they differ?
  • How effectively are existing projects and programmes responding to these priorities?

The toolkit allows communities to share their priorities for climate-resilient development, which can then be acted on by local governments and civil society organisations (CSOs), as well as by community members themselves. In doing so, the toolkit puts communities and their representatives at the centre of the development process.

Find the full toolkit to download in English in the right-hand column and in Swahili under Further Resources.

Institutional Background and Trainer

This toolkit development has been a collective undertaking by the International Institute for the Environment and Development (IIED), Bawakimo, Hakikazi Catalyst and the Pastoralist Women’s Council, working together with communities in Monduli and Longido Districts of Northern Tanzania.

Who would find this useful?

  • Local Government Authority (LGA) technical staff 
  • Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) or Community Leaders
  • Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs)

Training Material

The Pamoja Voices toolkit uses a framework that separates knowledge about rural livelihood systems into three interlinked categories: 1) economy; 2) environment; and 3) equity.

This framework is helpful as a means of organising information about natural resources, local livelihoods, and the social institutions connecting them. It is also widely recognised and notable for its simplicity, which for facilitators makes it easier to work with and adaptable to their own needs and experience.

The toolkit comprises six interlinked activities, which draw on participatory learning and action (PLA) approaches to planning and knowledge sharing. These activities include;

  1. Strategic challenges: the seasonal calendar - Describe activities and strategic seasonal challenges of different groups in response to seasonal change and climate variability.
  2. Lived experience of climate change - Explore experience of historical climate change impacts, challenges and coping strategies.
  3. Gender analysis of resources- Explain control of and ownership rights over key assets and resources necessary for resilient livelihoods. Identify how distribution of rights affects climate resilience of different groups. (Though labelled a gender analysis, in principle the activity can be adapted to focus on any specific group identified within a community.)
  4. Pathways to resilience: the theory of change - Identify ‘factors’ necessary for resilient livelihoods. Using theory of change method, propose interventions that will increase resilience, and chart pathways to resilience objectives for each group.
  5. Stakeholder mapping: the circle diagram - Identify formal and informal stakeholders in the community, and their current perceived contribution to the theory of change.
  6. Closing dialogue and discussion - Each group’s resilience priority intervention shared with the others, followed by a plenary discussion of all recommendations.

Learning Outcomes

  • The process of using the toolkit should be beneficial for all those participating, helping both facilitators and community members gain a deeper understanding of their vulnerability in the face of climate change.
  • The learning generated should be built into a formal report accessible to all local stakeholders, from the community itself to NGOs active in the area, as well as local government officials and planning authorities. This helps to ensure the transparency of discussions.
  • The formal report should present a summary of everything learned from the workshop’s activities, as well as a table of recommended interventions and activities that sets out the main climate-resilience priorities and recommendations of each participating target group that, together with an indication of who is to act on those recommendations.


I am involved with a project to help SSA subsistence farmers to re fertilize their soil and start agroecology.
Do you give information about agriculture?
Graham Knight

me crop - climate adaptation.

Hi @Graham Knight, we have a number of resources on the platform on climate smart agriculture, including this '101 guide' and a sourcebook and platform on CSA.

You may also find the SIANI Network very useful:

Hope that helps!

Hi Julia,

My problem is that poor SSA subsistence farmers have been forgotten!

I am am in contact with hundreds and need advice.
We have found a simple way of fertilizing their soil but need guidance for the next step.
They are often advised to use crop debris CA which is virtually impossible for most of them!

It seems millions of small farmers are being forgotten!


ruthface - climate adaptation.

Hi Graham

are you looking specifically for training material or for more general support and resources for subsistence farmers? There is a lot of material under the Using Climate Information theme about making best use of climate and other information available for decision making e.g. plus a framework and online guidance for developing climate services.

The Drylands Resouce Guide developed by IDRC is focused on Africa and Asia and should be very relevant. The Vulnerability theme also has a huge amount of information about assessing and dealing with vulnerability and a lot is focused on rural/agricultural regions e.g. Barriers, incentives and benefits in the adoption of climate-smart agriculture.

I may be on the wrong track or you may have seen the sort of material I am sharing so please let me know if I can direct you further. Best regards, Ruth (weADAPT editor)