Linking individuals and institutions through the ACCFP

The ACCFP seeks to create a community of individuals and institutions that work together to build and sustain scientific capacity in Africa to manage climate change risks and opportunities. Providing ACCFP Fellows with opportunities to travel to and work with new institutions and additional mentors is a key element of the program experience. Fellows are exposed to new technologies and tools, new ideas and new mentors. At the same time, there is great potential for Fellows to become ambassadors who link their Home and Host Institutions – catalyzing knowledge sharing, interaction and exchange that extends beyond the duration of a single Fellowship period. In many instances, ACCFP participation also enables Host Institutions to strengthen their own capabilities with regards to offering and managing Fellowship experiences.

When Round 1 ACCFP Policy Fellow Joelle Mukungu-Nkombela left her Home Institution
OCEAN – a nongovernmental organization in the DR Congo – the institution had no access to resources on climate change and only basic understanding of related concepts. When Mukungu returned a year later after working with ACCFP Hosts at the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Burkina Faso, she brought with her knowledge, skills and resources that she immediately shared with her colleagues. Now the point of contact for climate change matters within OCEAN, Mukungu leads development of climate change projects and is implementing awareness raising activities with the organization’s constituents in the agricultural sector.

Institutional engagement in and commitment to the ACCFP experience is a critical component of achieving and sustaining capacity gains. An ACCFP applicant’s proposed Host and Home Institutions are carefully considered in the Fellowship selection process.

ACCFP Host Institutions

For each round of Fellowship awards, ACCFP partners identify “recommended” or “pre-approved” Host Institutions that are recognized to have the necessary capabilities and commitment to provide valuable Fellowship experiences in a variety of subject areas. In turn, these institutions confirm a desire to host Fellows and provide appropriate supervision. Ideally, the Program then places multiple Fellows at each of these recommended Host Institutions so as to provide opportunities for synergy and encourage the development of sustainable relationships between Fellows’ Home Institutions, Hosts, and the Program.

Applicants are not required to select one of the Program’s recommended Hosts. Indeed, identifying an alternative Host that an applicant feels to be better suited to support the proposed Fellowship activities is perfectly acceptable and may result in the most appropriate match between Fellow and Host in some instances. Applicants who do propose Hosts that are not included in the program’s pre-approved list, however, must submit a letter of commitment from that institution detailing plans for engagement and cooperation.

Click here to view a list of all current and previous ACCFP Host Institutions.

ACCFP Home Institutions

ACCFP Home Institutions recognize the ACCFP as a critical opportunity for their staff and/or students to advance and apply knowledge on climate change adaptation. In doing so, they allow their members to take brief periods of leave from current responsibilities in order to seek training, carry out research and absorb other experiences elsewhere that are ultimately brought back to the Home Institution to inspire and train other students and staff. Click here to view a list of all current and previous ACCFP Home Institutions.

Although general evidence of intra-institutional capacity strengthening is evident in most Home Institutions following ACCFP participation, more effective engagement of these partners is needed in future rounds of the program to ensure that Home Institutions more fully benefit from ACCFP participation and outcomes. For instance, there remains a need to strategically and clearly define roles and responsibilities for Home Institution supervisors as integral contributors to the ACCFP experience and to promote and support follow-on experiences after Fellows return from their Host Institutions.

Building and nurturing linkages between institutions that participate in and contribute to ACCFP efforts remains a priority for program partners. Without a sustained network of institutions that believe in and are committed to the program’s mission and goals, ACCFP Fellowships become one-off experiences whose potential for longer-term impacts can be overcome by immediate day-to-day tasks and business as usual. Institutions are where ACCFP alumni must take root and grow.

Last Updated on June 10th, 2015