Topic 5: Integration of cultural knowledge, capacities and needs into CAPs

Submitted by Robin Hocquet | published 29th Aug 2021 | last updated 12th Sep 2021

Background: The KE4CAP Synthesis Report

This topic page forms a chapter of the KE4CAP Synthesis Report, which brings together learning from across KE4CAP's activities, including five virtual knowledge exchange events, three bilateral knowledge exchange event series, and the KE4CAP Survey (see Further Resources for links to relevant pages). The KE4CAP project is providing a global forum for developers and operators of climate adaptation knowledge platforms (CAPs) to come together to share knowledge and best practices, and to work together to address common and emerging challenges.

This early summary (September 2021) aims to provide food for thought for the KE4CAP Synthesis Workshop and will be followed by a more detailed and further illustrated synthesis report (and further developed topic pages) in December 2021. 

Introduction: Integration of cultural knowledge, capacities and needs

There is increasing recognition of the value of integrating diversity in expertise and knowledge into platform design and delivery, as well as addressing specific users’ needs, including those of indigenous communities and other cultural groups. This recognition reflects the requirement that adaptation strategies and plans, as well as their implementation, should be based on the best available information and practices. Integrating diversity presents challenges, especially when the aim is to stimulate and enable coherent and effective action across user groups, including building trust and relationships through appropriate and effective engagement.

Lessons Learnt

Current practices   

  • Engagement: Good practices revolve around inclusive and culturally and politically sensitive engagement aimed at co-designing and co-developing platform content and functionality and when showcasing content and capabilities. The aim is to build trust and embed knowledge exchange processes within a broad range of communities. 
  • Region-specific information: Providing region-specific information with relevant broad-based scientific information, and integrating good practices into the platform through case studies, success stories, voice-overs and video-bytes from those working on the ground, especially on place-based adaptation initiatives tackling challenges of particular interest.  
  • Decision-support resources: Providing relevant and useable resources that enable Indigenous communities to tackle challenges of particular interest, including risk management and risk communication approaches consistent with and drawing on cultural knowledge and expertise.   

Selected innovations   

Pacific CCCS. Using different and culturally appropriate media, including digital animation of scientific messages, and developing content that enhances train-the-trainer's capabilities enabling local practitioners to reach out to their respective communities. Also establishing a series of satellite platforms linked to the parent website as repositories for specific information that addresses the language issue and recognises the ownership and value of the information.  

South Africa and CCiA (Australia). Engaging and sharing dialogues around climate change and services with indigenous people including specific projects to incorporate their knowledge and understanding into the provision of climate intelligence.

Several Canadian platforms include indigenous organisations as members of the national plenary leading sessions on indigenous-led adaptation approaches and self-determined climate action.  

Shared challenges   

  • Enhancing the ability of CAPs to understand and integrate culturally appropriate knowledge, capacities and needs including acknowledging that reaching out to and building and sustaining trusted relationships diverse cultures is resource intensive. 
  • Improving engagement practices. including appropriate digital/in-person balance, and the nature of supportive technologies, mechanisms and capacities.  
  • Encouraging willingness to share cultural data and knowledge including issues around recognition of the ownership of traditional knowledge and its inclusion and integration in analytical tools etc.