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Step Change is a Canada-Netherlands partnership to drive equitable and inclusive locally led adaptation.

The impacts of climate change are already being felt around the world. Poor and marginalized communities are disproportionately affected, and these impacts will increase in the years and decades ahead. An all-of-society response is needed to accelerate climate action, and local communities have a key role to play in leading adaptation efforts.

The initiative

Step Change accelerates equitable and inclusive locally led adaptation by focusing on priority adaptation areas and responding to critical capacity strengthening needs. Step Change will:

  • enhance the integration of gender and social inclusion in policies and practice to achieve climate resilient development;
  • support the implementation of ecosystem-based adaptation to build the resilience of climate-affected communities;
  • improve access to equitable finance for climate-resilient development that enables locally led solutions;
  • strengthen the capacity of climate knowledge brokers to support locally led adaptation;
  • enhance the capacity of key actors to use knowledge and implement locally led adaptation.

What will Step Change do?

Over five years (2022-2027), the initiative will improve the quality of life and resilience of the most climate-affected people, and it will create a vibrant, capacitated and impactful community of actors driving locally led adaptation. 

Step Change is supporting a number of projects, including The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN). CDKN is a global network led by SouthSouthNorth, in partnership with Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano (FFLA) and ICLEI South Asia. CDKN works to improve the well-being of the most climate-affected people in the Global South, especially marginalized groups, through transformative climate-resilient action. CDKN works in partnership with the public and private sectors and civil society to mobilise knowledge, leadership and capacity in the Global South, from local to global levels. CDKN will focus on accelerating inclusive climate-resilient action on climate change that is locally led and strengthens the voice and climate leadership of marginalized groups at community level.

A cohort of seven additional projects is also being supported across Africa. These projects will grow the number of organizations closing knowledge-to-action gaps and driving locally led adaptation. This cohort of projects will develop capacity, talent and momentum for locally led adaptation on the African continent. View all projects by browsing the brochure below, or by clicking the link below the brochure.


Explore research projects that we support.


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