Mainstreaming children's vulnerabilities and capacities into community-based adaptation to enhance impact

Abstract

Children are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Despite this, relatively little attention is paid to building their capacity to manage the impacts of climate change they experience now and those they will experience in future. While child-centred approaches are starting to emerge in the field of community-based adaptation, these approaches are almost exclusively used by child-focused organizations. This article argues that mainstreaming children's needs and capacities into broader adaptation efforts can lead to more sustainable outcomes that can help to build long-term community-level adaptive capacity. A series of short examples from the field are used to highlight the different contexts in which child-centred approaches to community-based adaptation are taking place and some outcomes achieved to date. The article concludes that while there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence that taking a child-centred approach to community-based adaptation can build the adaptive capacity of children and also provide benefits to entire communities, there is no solid evidence-base proving that what has worked in a growing number of cases is more broadly applicable, translatable to other regions or sustainable in the absence of direct project support. The article recommends that collaborative efforts between researchers and practitioners should be launched to gather this evidence.

Citation

Mitchell, P.; Borchard, C. Mainstreaming children’s vulnerabilities and capacities into community-based adaptation to enhance impact. Climate and Development (2014) 6 (4) 372-381. [Special Issue: Community-based adaptation: Mainstreaming into national and local planning; DOI: 10.1080/17565529.2014.934775]

Mainstreaming children’s vulnerabilities and capacities into community-based adaptation to enhance impact

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