ICIMOD hosts 3rd CARIAA Annual Learning Review

Dr. David Molden, DG, ICIMOD, interacts with ALR participants. Dr. Molden emphasised that CARIAA is uniquely poised in contributing towards building scientific robustness in the HKH region.

How can communities of researchers, thinkers, planners and experts continue to ring warning bells about the ever increasing effects of climate change? More importantly, how can the quality of research being generated from initiative similar to HI-AWARE's be synthesized into sensible messaging for policy-and-practice community at large? A “one-size-fits-all” approach is untenable not only in terms of what we produce, but also in how we reflect at the end of this process. Fortunately, as a research initiative have some important guideposts that have helped point us in the right directions. One such type of guide is a form of a learning and review process.

HI-AWARE as part of the larger Collaborative Adaptation Research in Africa and Asia (CARIAA) organized its third Annual Learning Review (ALR3) at Kathmandu during May 3-6. 2017. With support from ICIMOD, the event saw 85 participants from 22 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and USA in various roles as practitioners, researchers and communicators put their minds together. The event entitled, Dialogues for Impact, shared emerging lessons for developing countries as they formulate and pursue nationally-determined contributions (NDCs) and national adaptation plans (NAPs). It identified opportunities to synthesize and communicate insights from ongoing work, including how SDG targets inform adaptation and broader development thinking and practice. Further, the emerging issue was to make our research more relevant to those who can affect, and those who are being affected. Rather than being a scientific conference, the push was on outcomes from our learnings. This was reflected not only in the discussions based around CARIAA findings, but also the manner in which a dialogue was set for eking out a path towards better uptake of our research.

And how does this uptake occur? Through the process of research-into-use (RiU) of course. The terminology simply refers to the practice of putting research to use through identifying a communication plan that makes stakeholders a part of this uptake. At the ALR3 event, this exercise was visualized in a poster making competition where HI-AWARE's visualization was of a landscape that showed the upstream and downstream communities involved, and the present outreach that was taking place. In this interaction, the TouchTable stood out as a promising candidate in driving a participatory manner of gathering information being generated from all research initiatives.