From 2014-2018, START and partners at the University of Ghana worked with stakeholders in Ghana’s Upper West region on exploring barriers and enablers to climate change adaptation as part of the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project, one of four projects of the Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia (CARIAA).
The ASSAR project emphasized research for impact through innovative dissemination methods, including the establishment of Climate Advisory Resource Centres (CARCs) and creation of an adaptation-focused android mobile app, collectively referred to as ‘learning hubs’, as well as though training programmes in areas such as leadership/advocacy, business literacy skills for local women’s groups, and water conservation and soil fertility management for smallholder farmers.
Through these methods, ASSAR made progress on promoting and sharing knowledge on cutting-edge climate information, climate smart agriculture and water management techniques, and on providing additional training opportunities on small business/financing skills and other adaptation-relevant themes to boost the impact for local and national audiences.
The Digital Agricultural Services to Improve the Livelihoods of Communities (DigitAL) program builds on this work and seeks to bridge persistent information gaps and further strengthen adaptive capacity of local stakeholders. DigitAL will do this in three ways:
- Bringing novel opportunities for meaningful engagement with diverse stakeholder groups through expanding the reach and content of Climate Adaptation Resource Centres and mobile communication technologies
- Strengthening capacities of knowledge brokers to help facilitate transparent and open information exchange between local communities and DigitAL researchers through new communication and outreach tools, updating and broadening types of information available to stakeholders, and encouraging virtual participatory methods
- Supporting the capacities of local leaders to encourage uptake of climate smart information