Working papers

Co-producing climate information for Windhoek decision-making | October 2020

During the first phase of the FRACTAL project, with a strong emphasis on collaborative learning and engagement with Windhoek stakeholders and decision-makers, the research team worked to co-produce, communicate and share climate information that was relevant to identified priority concerns in the city. This paper consolidates the work done, considers the production of Climate Risk Narratives in Windhoek and pinpoints gaps that still need to be addressed.

Bottom-Up Adaptive Decision-Support for Resilient Urban Water Security: Lusaka Case Study | May 2020

Rebecca Ilunga and James Cullis, Aurecon, applied a bottom-up, city-centric approach to adaptive decision support for urban water security, using Lusaka, Zambia as a case study, and Decision-Scaling as the adaptation framework. They aimed to improve urban water decision-making under uncertainty at a city scale and to better inform Lusaka’s water systems’ resilience to climate and socio-economic changes. The bottom-up approach was a valuable tool to help identify Lusaka’s specific vulnerabilities, but the city-scale and city-regional scale water systems are co-dependent and both scales were considered as part of the research. Lusaka’s city-scale water system showed increased risk to water security due to its socio-economic changes. At a city-regional scale climate changes created system vulnerabilities, especially to the water dependent sectors of hydropower and agriculture.

Inclusive, participatory and reflexive learning processes for climate resilience: key lessons from FRACTAL | March 2020

This working paper describes several approaches that have been adopted within the FRACTAL project to document, explore and pull together key messages about inclusive, participatory and reflexive learning processes, particularly how these contribute to solving climate-related problems in southern African cities.

An Embedded Researcher approach to integrate climate information into decision making in southern African cities: lessons from FRACTAL | June 2019

The embedded researchers (ERs) in each of the nine FRACTAL cities have been central to the development of the project. While the details of each ER’s role are unique to the city in which they operate, they have all helped to establish the trust, familiarity and understanding that has led to the meaningful co-production of actionable knowledge in their cities and region. This working paper explores the rationale behind the ER approach and explains some of the lessons learned along the way.

Receptivity and judgement: expanding ways of knowing the climate to strengthen the resilience of cities | January 2019

The discussion in this paper centres around how best to exercise and increase receptivity – of decision-makers, scientists and other knowledge-holders – in order to co-produce actionable climate information and ensure it is used by decision-makers dealing with issues of urban development and management.

Inspiring climate action in African cities: practical options for resilient pathways | January 2018

This paper highlights climate adaptation projects across Africa, specifically in fast growing urban and peri-urban areas. It also considers the Sustainable Development Goals that these adaptation projects seek to address.

Towards developing a common language for climate change in the City of Cape Town | August 2017

In collaboration with the City of Cape Town, using the development of the City’s Climate Change Policy document and the Green Economy, Energy and Climate Change forum as a basis, this Working Paper describes the process of engaging in a transdisciplinary process to better understand and attempt to circumvent language discrepancies at a city scale.

Research methods for understanding and supporting decision processes in African Cities | July 2017

This Working Paper reviews 12 decision-making methods to explore how different approaches may lead key people working in cities and surrounding urban areas of Southern Africa to make better-informed decisions about adapting to climate change. The review covers both decision-making process methods – that is, those that describe and provide insights about empirical cases of decision-making- and decision-making support methods – those that analyse normative dimensions of how a decision could be made.

Inspiring climate action in African cities: Practical options for resilient pathways | June 2017 

This working paper was developed in collaboration with partners in FRACTAL cities and showcases best practice methods for adapting to climate change in African city-regions.

Transdisciplinarity, co-production, and co-exploration: integrating knowledge across science policy and practice in FRACTAL | March 2017

In this FRACTAL Working Paper, the history and conceptual trajectory of transdisciplinarity, knowledge co-production and co-exploration are briefly discussed, and suggestions are provided on how these terms are being operationalized within the FRACTAL project.

Dialogue for decision-making: unpacking the ‘City Learning Lab’ approach | December 2016

This paper includes a literature review of key themes related to the origins of the City Learning Lab process that is being implemented within FRACTAL.

Framework for needs-informed research: assessing climate processes | October 2016

This paper presents a framework for needs-informed research targeted at addressing the FRACTAL objective to understand the climate processes driving the African regional climate system’s natural variability and response to global change in recorded history and climate model simulations.  In this paper, parallel top-down and bottom-up characterisations of climate processes are outlined, where each provides an alternative starting point to pursue needs-informed research.