Center for Sustainable Development:
300 Hands-on Field Activities for Community Based Adaptation Projects
January 2011 Newsletter

Final Call: Online Courses Begin January 11—Still Time to Enroll!
OL 341 Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change
OL 101. Designing and Funding Sustainable Development Projects

Advanced Courses:
OL 303. Food Security, Nutrition and Home Gardens
OL 343. Adapting to Climate Change: Community Focus

I am announcing a compilation of Community Based Adaptation Field Activities—complete with links to source materials and technical information in this month’s newsletter: read more below.

36% Water Shortage in Mexico City: Rainwater Harvesting Solution
36% of families in Mexico City do not have adequate access to water for bathing, washing dishes or clothes, or flushing toilets.

In May, 2010, CSDi Partner David Vargas began the process of developing a project to help 550 families in Mexico City gain access to water through a rooftop rainwater harvesting project.

The Challenge
This water scarcity problem forces families to pay up to 25% of their already extremely low income to buy privately trucked water, although many families simply cannot afford itr. This leaves them trapped in a cycle of poverty which sometimes forces children to drop out of school in order to help their families financially.
550 families in Mexico City obtain rainwater harvesting systems
Rainwater harvesting systems provide families with about 50% of their water demand.  David’s program trains & pays local plumbers to install the systems.  They buy all materials locally to support the local economy & ensure that families can maintain systems easily on their own.  The systems provide familiesaccess to clean water while enhancing their economic situation & quality of life.
Project Details

Beneficiaries: 550 families
Project Budget: $4,167 per month
CSDi Partner: Isla Urbana
Project Duration: Ongoing
Project Manager: Jennifer White, Co-Director Isla Urbana
Key words: water, rainwater harvesting, water scarcity
Donate to This Project

More in-depth information about this project including map.
Learn how to design projects like this.

300 Hands-On Field Activities for Community Based Adaptation Projects.
This collection of 300 CBA field activities began as a resource for our online CBA online students. However, as it grew, we decided that it was important to make it more broadly available to CBA development practitioners. Here is how the activities are organized:

CONTENTS: CBA Field Activities
1. Agriculture.

a. Soil and water conservation for agriculture.
b. Developing water for agriculture.
c. Agriculture in flood-prone or waterlogged areas.
d. CBA techniques for agriculture.

2. Small island developing states.
3. Emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction.
4. Energy.
5. Livelihood.
6. Health & sanitation.
7. CBA project design.
8. CBA participatory inclusion.
9. Long-term investments.
10. General resources.

Use. After assessing community vulnerabilities, CBA field staff search the list for activity ideas for their projects. Links to web resources allow them to scope in and find detailed activity field guides or lesson plans for participatory workshops.

We hope that you enjoy this new resource. We also look forward to your feedback and ideas for any additional activities that you may want to submit to the list. Simply send your ideas to: 

Please write me with your thoughts through, or post them at the Development Community, at our Facebook Page, or on the Center’s Blog.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Tim Magee, Executive Director

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The Center for Sustainable Development specializes in providing sound, evidence-based information, tools and training for humanitarian development professionals worldwide. CSDi is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.