The Research to Policy for Adaptation (RPA) project has addressed the need to improve linkages between researchers studying adaptation and the emerging government adaptation policies in developing countries. In this lies an imperative of bringing the growing body of research from local level adaptation studies to bear on government policies, to support adaptation policy and practice. The project has addressed this gap through case studies and development of engagement strategies with client Climate Change Adaption in Africa (CCAA) project partners, shining a critical light on an under-researched area of climate change adaptation. The research has focused resources and expertise to reflect and enhance ongoing action research initiatives - a process that, while often called for, has rarely been carried out.
Through these activities, the RPA project has helped client CCAA PAR projects to better understand the role research can play in understanding and engaging with adaptation policy processes. This report describes the key steps that were taken, and a synthesis of lessons learnt. For example, the project found that, in order to bridge the gap between research and policy, informal processes may be as important as the formal ones. One way of tapping into informal processes was demonstrated through the establishment of the National Consultative Group (NCG) in Malawi. Further, we have found that balancing the relationship between objective analysis and active engagement takes time and careful consideration of the researchers? own position and values. At the level of individual client CCAA projects, it is hoped the learning will continue through a relationship between client CCAA projects and RPA researchers, as well as related research efforts such as the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC).
Naess, L.O.; Ikiara, M.; Chinsinga, B.; Kulindwa, K. Research to policy for adaptation : linking African researchers with adaptation policy spaces; final technical report covering the period of March 2009-February 2011. Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Brighton, UK (2011) 32 pp.