At Practical Action we believe climate change adaptation cannot be solved solely through the top down transfer of technologies. These technologies are unlikely to reach the poorest people because of a lack of affordability and accessibility. Nor will these technologies be specifically designed to meet the needs of local people.
Practical Action believes that adaptation must focus on strengthening communities from the bottom up and build on local strategies for coping with climate change. Resource poor people are not passive, they are already using strategies to adapt and have extensive knowledge of local climate conditions. The problem is that further changes in climate may be beyond their capacities to adapt. So Practical Action is working with local communities in order to: strengthen their capacities to prepare for and respond effectively to climate-related hazards; develop ‘no regrets’ technologies to strengthen people’s livelihoods; enable communities to take part in decision-making processes on climate-related adaptation strategies and influence policy at different levels.
An example of our work includes the international project ‘Increasing the resilience of communities to cope with climate change’ which used a community-based approach to develop strategies for addressing the localised threats of climate change. It was simultaneously implemented in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. See an example of our work in Bangladesh here.
For more information on our approach to helping communities adapt see: 'Understanding Adaptation to Climate Change'. This book presents and analyses eight case studies from south Asia, Africa and Latin America.