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BAOBAB: synthesis program for African research on climate change


Capacity to synthesize existing climate evidence is critical to efforts to respond to the climate crisis in an evidenced-based way. However, there is an absence of synthesis research programs in Africa and therefore a lack of opportunities for African scholars to develop capacity to conduct synthesis research working in transdisciplinary teams. Globally, there is no synthesis centre focused specifically on climate change adaptation. Combined, these are important gaps to fill as policy and practitioner demand increases for robust evidence to inform effective climate change adaptation action and for just transition strategies that integrate adaptation and mitigation into climate-resilient development.

This project will mobilize and provide technical and capacity strengthening support for six African-led transdisciplinary teams to synthesize existing data and knowledge on climate change risks and response options. The goal is to advance scientific discoveries and best practices from the wealth of data and knowledge that already exists on climate change risks and response options, and to do this in a way that is Southern-led and facilitates co-production of knowledge among researchers, policymakers and practitioners.

The expected impact includes influential and actionable knowledge products on priority themes for climate-resilient development and locally led adaptation in Africa; a strengthened science-policy-practice interface in Africa; strengthened skills and capacity of African researchers to conduct synthesis research that integrates gender equality and inclusion dimensions and to act as knowledge brokers; and a strong pipeline of African researchers, policymakers and practitioners ready to lead in future global, regional and local climate change and environmental assessments.

This project is jointly funded by the Climate Adaptation and Resilience (CLARE) and Step Change initiatives. CLARE is an initiative co-funded by the United Kindgom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and IDRC that aims to enable inclusive and sustainable action to build resilience to climate change and natural hazards for people across Africa and the Asia-Pacific. Step Change is a five-year initiative co-funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IDRC that aims to accelerate equitable and inclusive locally led adaptation.

Project ID
Project Status
41 months
IDRC Officer
Heidi Braun
Total Funding
CA$ 2,202,100.00
South of Sahara
Institution Country
South Africa
Project Leader
Christopher Trisos
University of Cape Town