ENDA Community Adaptation Pilot Action Programme

Submitted by Sukaina Bharwani | published 25th Mar 2011 | last updated 17th Mar 2020
Please note: content is older than 5 years

ENDA has been developing a network of pilot action projects across different ecosystems in Sub-Saharan Africa. These began in 2007 in the Upper Zambezi floodplain region of western Zambia (floodplain and surrounding dry mopane woodland ecosystems) and were followed by projects in Niger, The Gambia and Senegal. More information on the programme can be found on the ENDA Communities website.

The project involves coalface interaction in community adaptation projects among populations that have been identified, and perhaps more importantly, have identified themselves, as being vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change and increasing climate variability. Concomitant to this work is the identification of local organisations, based and rooted in the affected community that are enthusiastic to be involved in awareness raising, vulnerability assessment and adaptation in addition to having its own capacity built to better address these and other local development objectives.

Thus, ENDA's task is one which combines its traditional role as builder and strengthener of African capacity and a more contemporary role actually working alongside local stakeholders and participating in community adaptation activities. There is no intention for ENDA to own or carry on the adaptation work within the same community, once the initial work has produced results. ENDA aspires to raise capacity to the point where local civil society, via its representative leadership and locally validated organisational capacity, can take the adaptation process forward across its geographical sphere of influence. At this point, ENDA moves to observer status, ready to become involved in the future if it is deemed necessary. This is a departure from the traditional 'do the project, hand it over and leave' philosophy employed by so many development organisations in the past. ENDA will continue to support the organisations it helps to develop capacity in over the long term.

There are other uniquenesses in the project process employed here that will become more apparent from the attached brief project documents. The methodology of the project is structured to allow maximum flexibility of local expression and validation of each project process. The hope is that this will encourage a heightened perception of local ownership of the whole process. The project operates on extremely low budgets but this is probably an advantage as we are able to analyse and validate what each small parcel of funding can be used for and generate. The key to the whole process is enthusiastic, positive, dedicated people both in ENDA and in among the case study regions, who care very much about their communities, have some understanding of the issues involved, recognise the value of the project activities and goals, and are prepared to work hard together as a team, to achieve results. It is people and environment centred and involves high levels of participatory communications strategies including social learning.

Proponents and partners

In the field, ENDA partners with and develops capacity in specific local and national organisations and institutions. These include relevant government departments such as environment, agriculture and financial planning, local decision making bodies, representative of local interests such as traditional authorities, national academic and other research institutes and, most particularly, local, community-based organisations who will carry out and be responsible for the project in each case study area in the longer term

ENDA Institutional context

ENDA is a fundamentally African organisation, being one of the only truly international African NGOs in existence, originally set up in 1973 and headquartered in Dakar, Senegal. The organisation comprises 21 'teams' of which ENDA Energie is just one, based in 14 countries on four continents Its primary interest is improving the lot of African peoples while maintaining the security of environments, both human and physical, in which they cohabit. ENDA employs around 500 specialists who work across the disciplines and different development sectors working in synergy throughout Africa and elsewhere in the world. In the climate adaptation field, ENDA Programme Energie, Environnement, Developpement currently works in partnership with UNITAR, the Environmental Research Centre, Cape Town and MIND, Sri Lanka on the Climate Change Capacity development (C3D) project; with UNITAR, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI-Oxford), the Climate Systems Analysis group at the University of Cape Town and Start International on the Advancing Capacity in Climate Change Adaptation (ACCCA) project and with SEI-Oxford, separately, in the production and implementation of the weADAPT climate adaptation platform and on its own on a range of research and capacity building projects.