Research Agenda for Low Carbon Transition and Gender Equity in the Global South - Human and Institutional Capacity

1 April 2023


All countries now face enormous challenges posed by climate change. The consequences of continued greenhouse gas emissions are dire, particularly for countries in the Global South that are both more affected by and more vulnerable to climate change, at the same time as they have less capacity to adapt (African Development Bank-AfDB, 2022). The realization that a low-carbon transition (LCT) needs to be implemented in countries in the Global South is well established and is also reflected in most countries’ ratification of the Paris Agreement and in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). In effect, most countries in the Global South are now confronted with the fastest and most dramatic transformation of their economies that they have ever experienced. 

LCT in the Global South needs to be guided by research, because such a transition is an inherently very knowledge-intensive process. This is why the Sustainable Inclusive Economies (SIE) Division of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has identified this area as particularly interesting to support. This report is commissioned by SIE as part of a broader initiative to develop an actionable research agenda that IDRC can support to achieve LCT with gender equity in the Global South. 

This paper on human and institutional capacity is part of the Research Agenda for Low Carbon Transition and Gender Equity in the Global South. The consortium that is working on this series of studies is global and consists of 60 researchers from a multitude of universities and institutions. This particular paper has been written by Michael Boulle, Leigh Cobban, Kent Buchanan, and Anthony Dane from Change Pathways and Edwin Muchapondwa from the University of Cape Town. 

This paper presents a capacity assessment focusing on LCT in the Global South. The scope of the assessment covers individual, organizational and institutional capacities. The ambition is that these reviews will be useful both for donors and research institutions in supporting an even greater contribution by research to a much needed low-carbon transition with gender equity in the Global South in this crucial Decade of Action. 

Gunnar Köhlin 

Director, Environment for Development 

Publication | 26 April 2023