Determinants of Climate Adaptation and the Role of Information Provision in Overcoming Barriers to Adaptation

Start date

The project aims to better understand behavioral determinants and other factors impacting climate change adaptation and technology uptake by households in Eastern and Southern Africa. The results will help in designing relevant policies for successful adaptation, thus alleviating poverty and stabilizing incomes in the face of increasing threats from climate change effects.

In the semi-arid areas of southern Africa, temperatures are predicted to increase by between 1°C and 4°C by 2050, further increasing the multi-decadal variability of rainfall within the region. This is catastrophic for a region where most economies are anchored on rain-fed agriculture and characterized by high incidences of poverty, unemployment, low education levels, population pressure and health related problems. In response to these climate-induced challenges, the Adaptation at Scale in Semi‐Arid Regions (ASSAR) research project was initiated. The ASSAR research project contributes to better understanding of the drivers of vulnerability of people in semi-arid regions; better ways to effectively communicate climate change information; successful adaptive responses; planning process for droughts, floods and extreme temperature at multiple governance scales, and the barriers and enablers for effective adaptation.

This project has the objective to extend the predominantly quantitative research being conducted in the ASSAR consortia so far. It adds a scaled-up economic and quantitative component to the research, by conducting surveys in conjunction with economic experiments, across several of these semi-arid regions in Eastern and Southern Africa.

  • Cross-cutting survey questions will examine the role of social differentiation, perceptions of climate change and access to information on both coping strategies and longer term adaptive strategies within households, across multiple countries in semi-arid regions. In total, we aim to do comparative analysis across eight different case study areas.
  • Investigating how behavioral determinants (risk aversion and trust measures), endowment heterogeneity, peer effects and information provision (such as seasonal forecasting and early warning systems) impact climate change adaptation using combined experimental and survey methods.
Project status
Financed by
Environment for Development initiative
Project | 27 February 2017