The CCAFS Working Paper 'Climate Change & Food Security Vulnerability Assessment. Toolkit for assessing community-level potential for adaptation to climate change' presents a participatory methodology that has been designed to provide organizations with the tools to understand the interrelations between climate impacts, food systems and livelihood strategies at the local level, while taking into consideration traditional /indigenous knowledge of the participating community. The toolkit developed applies a multidimensional view of the vulnerability of livelihood strategies to climate change, with a focus on differentiated access and entitlements to livelihood resources and food for different groups within a locality or community (often determined according to gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic class). It includes step by step instructions on how to implement participatory tools that were adapted to answer the following questions: Why are people vulnerable? How are they vulnerable to climate change? What consequences does this have for their food security? Implementing this methodology will provide an initial understanding of the local context and vulnerability profiles, which, combined and triangulated with other sources of information (meteorological data, socio-economic indicators etc.), feeds into the process of identifying adaptation measures.
Who is it for?
The toolkit forms part of a collaborative venture between Bioversity International and the Institute of Development Studies, UK (IDS) and has been designed for organizations or local government actors that want to implement climate change adaptation and food security projects in rural localities. It provides an initial understanding of the local context and vulnerability profiles, which combined and triangulated with other sources of information (meteorological data, socio-economic indicators etc.) feeds into the process of identifying adaptation measures. Depending on the project context, relevant stakeholders' needs have to be identified in advance in order to include them into the process.
The toolkit itself is a step-by-step manual to implement a participatory vulnerability analyses in rural communities. The different tools in the kit can be used to generate a range of information from the perspectives of the local people. This can bring out the underlying causes of vulnerability, as well as the potential direct and indirect effects of climate change on livelihood strategies and food security. Application of the tools will provide qualitative data that can inform planning processes for adaptation measures. When used in relevant implementation projects, the tools can form the vasis for a participatory approach that engages with the people to become the agents of change.