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Coordination, Capacity Development and Knowledge Exchange Unit (CCKE)

Project timeline

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 99 Early Career Researchers (74 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 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  in 2018 and funded 10  reporting grants with Climate Home news in 2019. 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.

Karen Morris

Role: Comms Officer Karen is a comms officer for Future Climate for Africa, where she leads on design, including printed and online materials. She also supports on database management, management of web resources and logistical assistance for webinars and conferences. Before specialising in Knowledge

Roy Bouwer

Role: Research Officer Roy is a research officer for Future Climate for Africa. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Honours degree in Environmental Analysis and Management from the University of Pretoria. He has also obtained his Master’s degree in Climate Change and

Tiffany Chalmers

Role: Junior Project Manager Tiffany is the Future Climate for Africa (FCFA) Junior Project Manager at SSN. Previously she worked in the Environmental Mangement Department at the City of Cape Town, facilitating and strenthening local and international partnerships for sustainable development. She holds a BA

Beth Mackay

Role: Knowledge Manager Beth is a knowledge manager in the Future Climate for Africa programme. Her background in an LLM in Global Environment and Climate Change Law from University of Edinburgh and a MSc in Climate Change and Sustainable Development from University of Cape

Donald Barclay

Role: Project Manager Donald is currently supporting the Coordination, Capacity Development and Knowledge Exchange Unit (CCKE) in the role of project manager. He is conducting research that contributes to the Future Climate For Africa (FCFA) programme, researching the motivations and challenges for the uptake of

Julio Araujo

Role: Research Fellow Julio is the research fellow and provides technical support for the Future Climate For Africa Project. He previously worked at Climate Systems Analysis Group (CSAG), where he was involved in a project that explores the impacts of and adaptation to climate

Suzanne Carter

Role: CCKE Lead Suzanne leads the Climate Services Practice Area at SSN. She heads up the Coordination, Capacity Building and Knowledge Exchange Unit (CCKE) of  the Future Climate for Africa programme and is the coordinator for Weather and Climate Information Services for Africa (WISER) TRANSFORM project. She is also the Head

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 from the FCFA programme

The CCKE undertook a learning review, part of the programmatic learning endeavour, to take stock of the lessons emerging from FCFA’s collective experience. It predominantly focuses on three interrelated themes: promoting collective learning in FCFA, southern leadership and capacity,  and  mobilising climate information. Taken collectively, these three areas of review reveal some important insights and recommendations for improving the design, delivery and impact of climate and development research – providing a valuable source of information for the development and planning of future multi-consortia climate research programmes. Read the learning review here. 







Maximising the impact of multi-partner climate research programs

Promoting leadership opportunities for Southern climate researchers

Climate Change journalist training session 3

Climate Change journalist training session 2