Coordination, Capacity Development and Knowledge Exchange Unit (CCKE)

Project Timeline
1 Jul 15 - 31 Aug 20
Project Contact
Suzanne Carter

The Coordination, Capacity Development and Knowledge Exchange (CCKE) unit performs several functions to increase the overall impact of the FCFA programme, including:

  • Coordinating activities to promote learning and knowledge exchange between research partners including workshops, conferences, webinars, and meetings.
  • Coordinating and compiling reporting to the donors and the annual review of the programme.
  • Gap filling research was commissioned as the programme progressed and new research questions emerged.
  • Research and travel grants were issued and managed for early career researchers from the FCFA research consortia through the FCFA Innovation and Mobility Fund.
  • Generating and disseminating content to communicate FCFA work and key research messages to wider audiences through the FCFA website, Twitter account, news stories, press releases, briefs, and other publications.

The CCKE has commissioned the following gap-filling studies in support of FCFA research objectives:

  • Scoping phase case studies and baselines to evaluate the needs of climate information users in the context of the capabilities and limitations of current science, focusing on Zambia, Rwanda, Malawi, Ghana, and Mozambique, as well as the ports and hydropower sectors.
  • Scoping research on the political economy of long-lived decisions in several African contexts including, the Kafue River Basin (Zambia), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), the Rufiji Basin (Tanzania), Maputo (Mozambique), Senegal, and the Lake Victoria Basin.
  • A literature review and economic case studies on the economics, political economy and behavioural science of accounting for long-term climate in decision making today.
  • An analysis of barriers, opportunities and good practice in Africa to support scientific capacity development in climate change-related disciplines.
  • An analysis to identify key climatic characteristics that influence tea production in Malawi and Kenya and adaptation methods to support long-term planning in tea production.
  • Research to better understand how climate scientists can improve the communication and visualisation of uncertain climate information for decision-makers and other non-experts.
  • A climate risk screening tool for Rwanda’s national environmental fund, FONERWA, for grant managers, expert reviewers, and project developers to identify areas where climate risks and risk mitigation measures need to receive more attention within proposals.

There are 97 Early Career Researchers (72 African and 36 women) that are direct recipients of FCFA capacity development initiatives delivered through the mechanism of the Mobility and Innovation Fund. The Mobility Fund has funded 112 travel grants since its inception for the purpose of attendance of workshops, conferences, secondments, and training and 12 research projects have been funded through the Innovation Fund.

A FCFA training day was held in 2017 for Early Career Researchers on communication of climate change, research impact and collaborative proposal writing skills.

The CCKE is now undertaking an analysis of the completed capacity development initiatives to understand how effective FCFA has been in empowering Early Career Researchers, what are the most important skills for Early Career Researchers and what recommendations can be drawn from the FCFA programme to be used in future capacity development initiatives for multi-consortia research programmes.


FCFA recognises the importance of building the capacity of  journalists to report on climate change. FCFA has funded two journalists through fellowships with Climate Home News and will fund 10 – 12 more reporting grants in the coming year. A journalist and climate scientist training took place in Tanzania in July 2019 to help build the capacity and create a two-way dialogue between journalists and scientists on climate change.

FCFA and the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) hosted the first Wikipedia Edit-a-thon on Climate Change in Africa for early to mid career researchers in August 2019. The Edit-a-thon equipped researchers with new skills in how to edit and contribute effectively to Wikipedia, and therefore increase the global exposure and impact of their research on climate change in Africa.

In March 2019 the CCKE received an extension under an Accountable Grant. This extension seeks to maximise the impact and legacy of the FCFA programme and continue key components of work that have emerged from the implementation of the programme. In response to the FCFA 2018 DFID Annual Review recommendations, and wider strategy of HMG to scale up the International Climate Fund (ICF) spend, further elements of work were agreed with DFID. The focus remains to leverage the value of DFID’s initial investment in FCFA in order to inform a wider African research agenda whilst bringing new climate information to bear on strategic and operational developmental decisions.


Climate Model Evaluation Hub

FCFA has made substantial progress in understanding the African climate  and has developed methodologies to evaluate the regional climate processes and impact-relevant indices which matter locally. LaunchPAD has been established to build upon these novel findings and methods to extend the work to more regions and systems, and to embed tools into automated software that will fast-track the understanding of how well climate models simulate climate dynamics in African regions.The establishment of the Hub was made possible by building on existing FCFA research networks through researchers at the University of Oxford, University of Yaounde I, University of Nairobi, University of Cape Town, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and the Met Office, showcasing the strong legacy and importance of FCFA partnerships between British and African research institutions.


Climate Mainstreaming Technical Facility

The CCKE hosts the FCFA’s Climate Mainstreaming Facility (CMF). The CMF offers support to DFID country offices, regional and central departments to strengthen climate mainstreaming and the integration of International Climate Finance (ICF) in their portfolios. The facility aims to improve the uptake of climate information and climate risk analysis and adaptation assessment, including for integration, and enhanced compliance with the DFID Smart Guide on Climate and Environment. 


African Climate Risks Conference (ACRC)

The CCKE served as the Secretariat to the planning of the  African Climate Risks Conference (ACRC) that was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 7th – 9th October 2019. The Conference provided a forum for the wider African climate research community to exchange on current scientific frontiers, and review progress in African climate and climate change science.  

The goal of the conference was to ensure greater impact and legacy of completed and on-going research programmes by promoting the uptake of new data, tools and knowledge; and brokering new research collaborations and more targeted donor support for these. 

The conference was convened under the auspices of the following organisations: WMO-GFCS, WMO-AMCOMET, UNECA-ACPC, WCRP, IPCC, CR4D, WASCAL, SSN and FCFA partner organisations. 


Learning Agenda

The CCKE is currently undertaking a learning review to take stock of the lessons that have emerged from FCFA’s collective experience. This review represents a significant initiative that invites contributions from across the different FCFA consortia. It will help to inform future investments into research on climate and development and consortium-based transdisciplinary research effort


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