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The KE4CAP Impact Report: Impacts, learning and ways forward

This report summarizes the impacts of the KE4CAP project, including how it facilitated knowledge sharing, collaborative learning, and the generation of new ideas and thinking, and created a new, diverse network of highly motivated climate adaptation platform team members from around the globe.
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Summary

The KE4CAP Impact Report summarizes the impacts of the Stepping-Up Knowledge Exchange between Climate Adaptation Knowledge Platforms (KE4CAP) project, which facilitated knowledge sharing, collaborative learning, and the generation of new ideas and thinking, and resulted in the genesis of an engaged, collaborative, and supportive network of over 30 climate adaptation platforms that learn from one another.

The report examines not only what the project achieved but also the ingredients of success. It also looks forward by offering ideas for ways to build on the KE4CAP experience and network, to foster ongoing knowledge exchange, and to support of related communities of practice.

Overall, the report highlights the need for a permanent, ongoing network that can capitalize on the experiences of this initial KE4CAP effort, and lead to greater capacity building of adaptation platforms to help inform measures needed to cope with the ramifications of climate change.

The KE4CAP Impact Report is available to download to the right. A highly abridged summary of the report is provided below.

Investigating KE4CAP’s impact

Scoping and literature review

All KE4CAP’s activities were analysed to identify impact pathways – mechanisms by which those interacting with the project could benefit from that interaction – which could be used as a framework for evaluating the impact of KE4CAP. This involved reviewing the original KE4CAP project proposal, the various knowledge exchange events and activities and responses to a post-events survey that was shared with KE4CAP event participants in May, 2021.

In parallel to the scoping, evaluation concepts and examples were drawn from relevant literature and used to inform the impact analysis process and framework. The review highlighted several relevant concepts, including ‘collective learning’ (Araujo et al., 2020, Cundill et al., 2018), ‘collaboration’ and ‘mutual learning’ (Koelle et al., 2017), creating a ‘safe space’ for discussion and knowledge sharing (Young et al., 2017), changes in practice and ‘realized value’ (Wenger et al., 2011),‘knowledge capital’ (Ozturk and Ozcinar, 2013), ‘transformative learning’ (Mezirow, 2003), and building ‘networks’ and ‘communities’ (Wenger et al., 2011). These concepts were combined with insights from the scoping to produce an initial impact analysis framework.

Interviews

The scoping, literature review, and initial impact analysis framework were used to develop questions for semi-structured interviews with KE4CAP participants. These were designed to gain an understanding of the value of the KE4CAP project from the perspective of its network members. The interviews included questions that focused on areas of improvement and ways forward for the KE4CAP project. Ten semi-structured interviews with members of the KE4CAP community were conducted in July 2021. Interview participants were selected based on their varied geographical representation and high level of participation in KE4CAP.

Analysis

Five analytical clusters emerged from interview data, each representing a distinct aspect of the KE4CAP project: (1) the KE4CAP project, (2) Knowledge capital, (3) Changes in practice, (4) Challenges, (5) CAP suggestions. Based on these clusters, the scoping and literature review, the initial impact analysis framework was further developed to reflect the richness of interviewees’ responses. The final framework used to evaluate the impact is given in Figure 1.

Enabling Factors

The report highlights several factors that contributed to the success of the KE4CAP project. Chief amongst these were:

  • Emphasizing shared learning and open discussion. This approach actively cultivated and maintained a safe space for network members to interact, learn, and collaborate with one another. Steps were taken to invite, encourage and build confidence amongst all participants to engage and to speak up during events. This, in turn, supported honest reflection and sharing amongst participants, and broader engagement from platforms from across geographies and at all stages of development.
  • Creating a “library” of practical information and examples of successful platform work. The project developed and curated the KE4CAP workspace, a repository of resources for participating platforms. The workspace includes information from knowledge exchange events about the different approaches platforms are taking to support adaptation, and makes this knowledge easy to share with colleagues and partners. The workspace also provides details about the development, aims, funding, structure, and management of participating platforms. This was based on a survey, which in itself push platform teams to take stock and reflect on their practices.
  • Generating a 12-point blueprint for adaptation platform development. The 12 topics (selected by project participants) created the foundations of the KE4CAP framework and covered the main work areas for adaptation platforms generally. This framework served as the basis for focused, productive knowledge exchanges during the life of the project. It also provides a blueprint for future development of existing and new platforms, and interaction among them.

Challenges and points for future improvement

While KE4CAP has been largely successful, there are points for improvement. These are relevant for future versions of the KE4CAP project and for other projects promoting knowledge exchange and developing networks and communities of practice.

Interviewees made the following recommendations (see the full text for more detail):

  • Address geographical gaps in the representation of CAPs involved in the project to support learning about different narratives and contexts of climate adaptation.
  • Be more inclusive of ‘infant’, planned and emerging CAPs.
  • Involve other relevant stakeholders going forward, including representatives from the private sector, which is increasingly providing climate-related consultancy services.
  • Unpack and clearly communicate scientific knowledge and technical know-how.
  • Establish rules of engagement to address intangible barriers that may impinge on individuals’ readiness to contribute to discussions and reach out to others in the network.
  • Focus on small group discussions where it is easier for participants to contribute.
  • Consider use of tools such as Miro carefully to ensure they don’t limit participation.
  • Focus on how to fund CAPs: lack of resources to develop or enhance platforms makes it difficult for CAPs to capitalize on the knowledge exchanges enabled by KE4CAP.
  • Co-explore and define – as a global network – the role and framing of CAPs.

Outcomes and Impacts

Overall, the approach taken by the KE4CAP project has brought multiple benefits. Key benefits are summarised in headline bullet points below – see the full text for much more detail:

  • Unprecedented access to contacts, information and peer-support: KE4CAP has provided CAPs with an unprecedented opportunity and stimulus to connect with, learn from and discover other CAPs. Through KE4CAP, CAPs have been able to access information and knowledge they otherwise “never would have encountered”.
  • Gaining visibility and connecting with other relevant platforms: KE4CAP’s programme of online activities has supported and encouraged the participation of numerous, diverse and globally distributed CAPs, providing international exposure and vital networking opportunities.
  • Creating time and opportunities for trust-building and exchange: The sustained interaction and collaboration over time enabled by KE4CAP events has built trust, familiarity and foregrounded collaborations among actors engaged with the KE4CAP network. It has also given CAPs opportunities to consider topics, challenges and opportunities more fully.
  • Promoting reflection and stocktaking: Through both the survey and events, KE4CAP has supported platforms to learn from other platforms and actively reflect on their own practices.
  • A shared knowledge base: The KE4CAP workspace provides an inventory of event reports, pre-recorded presentations, CAP profiles and contact information that has allowed various members to revisit specific sources of information and share these with their colleagues and networks. Climate-ADAPT are planning to link to this repository of information to give it more visibility across EU member states.
  • Sharing practices and lived experiences, and raising awareness: The good practices, innovations and transferrable tools shared during KE4CAP events have inspired other CAPs. The sharing of experiences has been useful in raising awareness and generating understanding about emerging challenges and opportunities that have yet to be realized by individual CAPs, and exploring these from different perspectives, contexts and capabilities.
  • Inspiring new and improved practices: Several changes in practice have occurred as a direct result of CAPs’ involvement with KE4CAP. These include the expansion of platform services to be more ‘end-to-end’ and focus on promoting action and building capacity as well as providing climate risk information.
  • Building relationships and promoting collaboration and cooperation: KE4CAP has foregrounded various new and strengthened bilateral collaborations between CAPs.

The most important outcome of the KE4CAP project has been the founding of a valued community of practice of CAP practitioners, managers and experts. Developed organically through KE4CAP’s approach to knowledge exchange, shared learning, open discussion and collaboration, this community – the KE4CAP network – is active, engaged and committed to continuing to work together. The members of this community share a collective endeavour to enhance CAPs, both individually and collectively, to strengthen collaboration, and to work together to address common and emerging challenges, all with a view to support and promote climate action.

If ongoing coordination support is provided, this community of practice initiated under KE4CAP could play a vital role in supporting sustained and deep knowledge exchange practices between all CAPs internationally, marking a new level of global collaboration on climate action.

Suggested citation:

Chua, S.M. and Barrott, J. 2022. Stepping up knowledge exchange between Climate Adaptation Platforms: Impacts, learning and ways forward. Oxford: University of Oxford.

KE4CAP Synthesis Report

KE4CAP survey report and participating platforms:

KE4CAP event reports:

Other resources

Related resources

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