« Professional Learning

Fri 01 Jul 2022 - Fri 12 Aug 2022

18:00 - 22:00

6 Sessions



1 July – 12 August 2022, Online
18:00 - 22:00 AEST

Supporting informed decision‑making throughout Africa

This course is being delivered under the Australia Awards program. There are no fees associated with submitting an application, nor are there course fees for participants who are selected onto the course.

Applications close 24 April 2022 (11.59pm AEST) 

Conveners: Dr Steve Crimp & Dr Matthew Colloff

Africa is highly sensitive to both existing climate variability and projected climate change. As a result, governments, industries and communities throughout Africa will be increasingly required to respond to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

The ANU Institute for Climate, Energy & Disaster Solutions (ICEDS) has developed this intensive 6‑week online course to provide professionals employed in government, non-government organisations (NGOs) and the private sector in Africa with a synoptic and contextual understanding of climate change adaptation and mitigation options.

Note that this course is available to participants from the following countries (region 2): Algeria, Burundi, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda 

Additional courses (soon to be advertised) will be open to participants from other African countries in 2023.

As a participant on this course, you will receive a contextual understanding of the science for identifying and defining climate change impacts and vulnerability, development implications, legal frameworks, governance, sectoral contexts and socio-economic rationales underpinning climate change adaptation and mitigation. You will acquire knowledge to assist evidence-based policy development and reform, enhance interpretation and analysis skills, and explore socio-economic impact and policy intervention.

This intensive 6-week online course is highly interactive with a mix of lectures, group activities and interactive sessions, providing participants with formal and informal learning opportunities from leading Australia- and Africa-based academics.

Module Outline

The course is a highly interactive mix of lectures, practical exercises, workshop sessions and discussions groups. The complexity and intersections of climate change adaptation and mitigation are delivered via 6 weekly modules, incorporating economics, ecology, sustainability, governance, regulation, environment, human rights, gender and social inclusiveness.

Week 1: Why Climate Change Adaptation? Understanding Drivers of Action: Moving from Science to Action

  • Lecture – An introduction to systems thinking; systems analysis and climate change vulnerability assessment, including understanding influence diagrams, coastal systems thinking and adaptation exercise.
  • Group Activity on systems analysis and climate change vulnerability assessment.
  • Introductory Session on Adaptation Action Plan (AAP) development.
  • Lecture – What does climate change mean for effective decision-making? Climate change and decision-making: challenges, tensions and opportunities.
  • Lecture – Climate change governance: implications for action.

Week 2: Climate Change Adaptation Science

  • Lecture – What is climate change and variability in the African context?
  • Lecture – Data gaps, consistencies/inconsistencies and tensions in complex African contexts.
  • Group Activity – Climate Change Adaptation Pathways, co‑dependencies and real options.
  • Adaptation Action Plan (AAP) development drop-in session.

Week 3: Sectoral Adaptation Responses

  • Lecture – Agriculture, fisheries and climate change, food production, security and value chains.
  • Lecture - Health and climate change in high and low-income countries.
  • Lecture - Water management and climate change and other conflicts.
  • Adaptation Action Plan (AAP) development drop-in session. 

Week 4: Integrated Adaptation Policy Responses

  • Lecture – Defining ‘adaptation policy’ and role of institutions.
  • Lecture – Different approaches to ecosystem-based adaptation.
  • Lecture – OneHealth or SDGs as a framing for integrated climate change adaptation responses.
  • Adaptation Action Plan (AAP) development session.

Week 5: Stakeholder and Social Inclusion

  • Lecture – Social network theory lecture and practical activity using social network analysis.
  • Lecture – Gender and the climate? How does gender affect people's ability to respond to climate change? How should gender be approached in climate change adaptation plans?
  • Lecture and group activity – Psychology of adapting to climate change.
  • Adaptation Action Plan (AAP) development session.

Week 6: Integration and AAP Completion

  • Group Session – comparison of participants’ assessment of their national adaptation strategies.
  • AAPs final development.
  • AAP presentations.
  • Closing ceremony.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, it is expected that participants who successfully completed all tasks will have the following skills and knowledge:

  • Understanding of the key foundational and advanced concepts/practices required for effective climate change adaptation policy development and implementation, and a comprehension of the political, socioeconomic, regional and international risks, costs and benefits these may entail.
  • Understanding of the science behind climate change impact and vulnerability assessment, including data collection and monitoring/surveillance mechanisms for assessing the status of environmental changes.
  • Experience of methods and tools for developing and accessing climate change adaptation options with stakeholders.
  • Understanding of the management of the environment, regulation, and legal aspects of governance as socio-ecological systems in which human behaviour management is an intrinsic component.
  • Awareness of how to identify and critically consider the core components of international and regional legal frameworks, treaties and institutions for responding to climate change for African policy makers, including adaptation financing.
  • Appreciation of the complexities of national and regional coordination around climate change adaptation at different scales of governance, from the complexities of effective engagement with traditionally marginalised stakeholders, to the complexities of multi-lateral action.
  • Understanding of the shared challenges and contextual differences in climate change adaptation across the African continent and the regional and national legal and policy responses in the region.

Adaptation Action Plan

The Adaptation Action Plan (AAP) activity will occur each Friday and will be co-ordinated by Dr Matthew Colloff.  Participants will be expected to identify a climate change adaptation activity that is directly relevant to their institution or community. Over the first five weeks of the course, participants will be supported to develop their AAP by applying a collaborative conceptual modelling approach to summarise: the type of adaptation activity they wish to focus on, who the active stakeholders would be, what the activities will entail, timelines, and expected outcomes. The development of the AAP is self-directed but with support from Dr Colloff. In week 6, participants will present their AAPs (via a PowerPoint presentation) in front of an ANU and DFAT audience. Presentation of the AAP is a mandatory requirement to qualify for a certificate of participation for this course.

Workloads and Completion Requirements

This course will be online and delivered over 6 weeks in July-August 2022.

Each week, participants must attend:

  • 2 or 3 (1 hour) lectures
  • 1 collaborative modelling group activity (1 hour)
  • 1 interactive session (1 hour)
  • 2 hours of individual work on their course assignment (an Adaptation Action Plan [AAP]), with the option of attending the weekly 15-minute drop in session with the AAP coordinator.

A weekly breakdown of the first 5 weeks of the course would notionally look like this:

  • Monday – Lecture 1 & Lecture 2 (2-hour block)
  • Tuesday – no organised sessions (time available for individual work)
  • Wednesday – Lecture 3 & Interactive session (2-hour block)
  • Thursday – no organised sessions (time available for individual work)
  • Friday – Group Activity & Optional Drop in Session (2-hour block, with drop in session optional)

Week 6 of the course is focused on each participant presenting their Adaptation Action Plan to the other participants, lecturers and government representatives.

Overall, participants will spend a minimum of 37 hours on the course. This includes approximately 7 hours per week in weeks 1-5 on the course (i.e. 3 hours in lectures, 2 hours of interactive and group sessions, 2 hours of individual work on AAP and preparation for Group Activity sessions), plus the presentation of their AAP in week 6 (at least 2 hours).

To qualify for a Certificate of Participation from the course, participants must (as a minimum):

  • Develop and present a satisfactory Adaptation Action Plan (AAP).
  • Engage in the course online discussion forums.
  • Attend a minimum of 50% of the course’s online sessions (recordings available for all sessions).
  • Complete the course surveys.

Course Requisites

To participate in this course, you must be based within one of the specified countries: Algeria, Burundi, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda 

The course will be taught in English, and participants must have English language proficiency (written and spoken) to at least ‘completed secondary school’ level.

Participants are expected to hold a professional mid- or senior-level position in policy, practice, research or reform, whether in government, civil society or the private sector. We expect participants to have completed secondary schooling and at least three years’ tertiary education, have at least three to five years of work experience at mid- to senior-levels, and have a reasonably good understanding of the subject matter.

As participation in this course is likely to intersect with your work duties, we require you to submit a letter of support from your workplace as part of your application for this course. See the attached sample letter for guidance. The letter should reflect a clear understanding of the commitment of a minimum of 37 hours of course participation.

Who Should Enrol

We encourage professionals working in government, NGOs or private business on issues related to climate change adaptation, mitigation and/or disaster recovery to enrol.

The Application Process

To apply for this course, you must create a profile with CCE (requiring your name and an email address) and then you must complete the course application form (via this CCE website). The application form includes questions for you to answer relating to demographics, language, your current and previous relevant work experience, and your reasons for applying for this course. The application form also asks for you to attach 3 mandatory documents:

  • evidence of your English language proficiency (i.e. evidence of your IELTS test score, TOEFL test score, or a formal writing sample) – mandatory requirement,
  • a Letter of Support, Letter of Response, OR Letter of Recommendation (depending on your employment circumstance) – mandatory requirement, and
  • your curriculum vitae – mandatory requirement.

Letter of Support/Response/Recommendation

If you are currently an employee, you must attach a Letter of Support (on official letterhead) from your employer and signed by a supervisor, stating that they support your application for this course. We advise that you use the sample letter here: Sample Letter here (DOC, 20 KB)

If you are currently self-employed, you must attach a Letter of Response (on official business letterhead) that is signed by you and outlines the role you play in your business/organisation, the length of time you have held this position, and major activities you have lead or been involved in over the past 2 years.

If you are currently unemployed or studying, you must attach a Letter of Recommendation from a previous employer (employment within past 2 years) OR from a community-based organisation that you have undertaken work for within the past 2 years OR from the institution where you are studying. The Letter of Recommendation must be on official letterhead and signed by a previous or current supervisor, or by a lecturer/convener.