OL 343 Assignment Five Homework
Online Learning: OL 343 Adapting to Climate Change: The Community Focus.

This week’s resources:
Assignment Five Discussion
Magee Example Project Assignment Five
CARE: Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis Handbook

Assignment Five. Project Refinement
Comparing an Assessment of Local Vulnerability and Problems/Underlying Causes with Your Problem Matrix

Part One. Prioritize the results of the workshop

A. Historical Timeline: is the community seeing a change in climate?
The chart that we did for Assignment One called “Chart of Climate Change Information Showing Stimuli, Observations, Impacts, and Sources” gave us a scientific perspective of the current climate change context and the potential future challenges that may be faced by climate change.

It will be interesting to validate that by seeing what the community’s perception is about a changing climate over the past 10 or 20 years. I decided we should investigate that with the community during the historical timeline exercise. This will have several benefits — we can validate the scientific knowledge that we investigated with local knowledge. And, it will be an entrance for us to begin talking about the reality of climate change and about climate change science with the participants.

In this exercise — the Historical Timeline — I asked you to introduce into the timeline changes which they may have seen in recent history such as:

  • Change in the timing of the growing season
  • Storms
  • Flooding
  • Drought/heat waves
  • Erratic rainfall – or changing rainfall conditions
  • Water availability

Please note the changes which they’ve seen. Briefly describe how they’ve changed and over what time frame. Does the community realize this is linked to climate change and realize that this may be ongoing? Do these local observations validate the scientific information that you uncovered in assignment one?

B. Vulnerability Matrix: What is a prioritization of the community’s greatest hazards they face?
These would be the elements of the top row in the vulnerability matrix. This will likely be a list similar to the historical timeline above — such as:

  • Change in the timing of the growing season
  • Storms
  • Flooding
  • Drought/heat waves
  • Erratic rainfall – or changing rainfall conditions
  • Water availability

Please note what hazards they are facing and prioritize them by which are the most challenging for them.

C. Vulnerability Matrix: What parts of their lives (livelihood resources) are the most vulnerable?
These would be the elements in the vertical left column of the vulnerability matrix and may include:

  • Food Security
  • Well-Nourished Children
  • Water Availability
  • Disease

Please note which areas they feel the most vulnerable in and prioritize them.

D. Coping Mechanisms
Do your community members have useful strategies for coping with these challenges that could be included as activities in your project? Please list any of these as you may have learned about during the workshop.

Part Two. Comparing your project outline to new information that you may have learned at the workshop.

Without rewriting anything please go back to your very, very first project outline from week two of OL 341/OL 101 and paste it in here. Plus, add any modified elements from assignment two of this course (OL 343) to that original project outline and paste it in below your original outline.

How do the prioritized results from last week’s workshop relate to your project outline?

1. Do you need to modify the definition of the problem now that you have more information?

2. Do you need to add a problem that is a major priority which wasn’t included in your original outline?

3. Do you need to modify the definition of one of your underlying causes now that you have more information?

4. Does the community have activities that would be good to include in your outline?

Part Three. Refining your project outline.
It is possible that your original project isn’t going to change very much at all based upon the local information that you learned at last week’s workshop; they are the same people still facing the same challenges. But you might be able to tighten it a little up and make it more accurate with the information that you learned. Also, by including local knowledge (such as using some of their coping strategies as activities) you can continue to build that sense of ownership.

As you know, I am a great believer in simple, clearly defined projects. Donors are great believers in simple, clearly defined projects. Also, your boss, and your colleagues with whom you’ve been sharing this project for the past six months probably don’t want you to come back to them next week with a brand-new project. I’m going to ask you to exercise control and look upon this refining exercise as an opportunity to tighten up your project and make it a more exacting fit to the current context – and to control yourself from radically changing the project and or making it bigger. Please?

So now, taking your project outline pasted in above, make simple modifications that will empower your community to become more resilient to the climate change challenges that they face today and may face in the future in a manner that will continue to build their ownership in the project. This is Community-Based Adaptation.

The homework to turn in will be:
1. A prioritized list of climate related hazards that the participants identifying on the historical timeline.

2. A prioritized list of hazards identified by the community on the vulnerability matrix — the top row.

3. A prioritized list of the vulnerable parts of the participants lives from the vulnerability matrix — the left column.

4. Any coping mechanisms that the community is using to build resilience against CC challenges.

5. Your current project outline from week two OL 341 with any added CC programs from week two OL 343.

6. A brief summary of how the community’s prioritized results compare to your project outline and any changes you might make based upon the community’s results.

7. Your project outline with simple modifications that you may have made based upon community input.

Go to Magee’s Example Project Assignment Five to see what this could look like.

See you next week.