OL 343:
Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change

The Community Focus


8 weeks. Courses are offered every two months. Current dates are in the column to the right.

To enroll, simply go to the bottom of this page.p

Prerequisite for this course:
OL 342 or OL 102
Why are there prerequisites?

Climate change clouds and lightening 343. CBA Adaptation to Climate Change: The Community Focus. What does climate change adaptation mean at the community level? What practical tools are available today for communities to use in adaptation? For practitioners who wish to begin working now at the community level to successfully adapt to the challenges that face us.

To see a syllabus, learn about course fees and to register please go to the bottom of this page.

Adapting to Climate Change: The Community Focus
This pair of courses, OL 343 and 344, are a continuation of OL 341 and 342 where course participants worked on-the-ground with communities to develop real projects.

Students have developed very interesting climate adaptation projects. For example, there are student projects in Yemen, Morocco, Tanzania and Cameroon where communities that had water 10 years ago suddenly have none since the community’s spring dried up.

They have discovered pastoralists  faced with extended drought in sub-Saharan Africa, their cattle dying and husbands and sons migrating in search of new livelihoods. Mongolian pastoralists are suffering from a Zud: multiple natural disasters illustrated this year by the parching of pastures in summer followed by bitter cold and deep snow in winter.

Students are bringing projects such as these that they developed in 341 and 342 for further development and refinement in this course.

So how do we determine if these terrible situations are truly linked to climate change, and if so, how do we begin improving our projects so that communities can adapt?

For many field staffers it may feel overwhelming to launch an adaptation project. It might the lack of know-how: where do you begin, where is information available, what practical tools are working, how do you convey this concept to the community?

It seems that much of what we read about adaptation is academic or focused on impacting policy at the governmental level. These are necessary and important, but what does one do for information for projects on the ground?

Three principle questions that we will be working on in this course are:
1. How do I know if my community project is linked to climate change?
2. If so, what practical, community-centered adaptation tools, solutions and activities are available today that I can actually include in my project?
3. How can I make the project sustainable and have long-term impact?

We supply two levels of mentoring. Each week’s assignment will be accompanied by a clear, professional example of what we want you to achieve that week. We will also provide comments, suggestions and encouragement for each one of your assignments individually. We want you to develop high quality outputs, and we also want you to understand the hows and whys.

The classes are designed to be fun and interactive: you will not only be working with your community, you will be collaborating with colleagues from around the globe.

What Students Think About the Online Courses

Course syllabus

Evidence based activities bar chart Week 1: Evidence. Review: What is climate change? What is adaptation to climate change? How can we determine if our community’s challenges are linked to climate change? We'll interview local organizations to see who is doing what and/or review climate data to see if change is occurring – and which challenges are most prominent locally.
Defining desertification illustration Week 2: Definition We'll compare our project challenge to the challenges local evidence is revealing. Where do we fit in? Is our project linked to climate change? What are the current CC hazards and future CC challenges? We'll accurately define the local context. Schedule a Participatory Adaptation Workshop.
Participatory community workshop clipboard Week 3: Design a Participatory Community Workshop to share information, collect local knowledge and to learn about community vulnerability, adaptive capacity & traditional strategies; develop a Baseline Survey to better understand pressing local adaptation needs. Download and adapt a Workshop Lesson Plan.
Community members and earth Week 4:  Community. Lead the participatory workshop and introduce adaptation concepts. Present a range of potential community-based adaptation measures. Encourage feedback: What needs and perceptions did community members express? Start the buy-in process. Conduct the Baseline Survey.
Kitchen gardens as an adaptation technique Week 5: Project Refinement. Use the community feedback & baseline results to incorporate adaptation activities into your project designed to strengthen resilience. Research scientifically-based best practices and solutions to the community’s special problems. Can these work alongside and/or support local strategies?
Community members giving feedback

Week 6: Feedback and Ownership. Incorporate your refined strategies into your project logframe, budget and schedule. Return to the community for feedback on your design. Show how CBA strategies can enhance poverty reduction, livelihoods and disaster risk reduction.

Trees and sustainability Week 7. Sustainability. Plan and organize a workshop to develop a community-based project team. Prepare a presentation that uses appropriate knowledge transfer techniques. Partner with experts in the adaptation specialties you intend to offer to the community.
Children will become leaders

Week 8. Leadership. Team Building Workshop. Develop a community-based planning and oversight committee – the community team that you will partner with. Examples could be a committee on water, disaster preparedness, flood control, soil restoration, reforestation, agriculture, or alternative livelihoods.

The next course, OL 344, will continue with project implementation:
OL 344: CBA Adaptation to Climate Change: Sustainable Implementation.
1. Project management with a community perspective.
2. Engaging the community in project launch.
3. Skill Sets: A family of workshops on the solutions your community will use in the adaptation process.
4. Learning tools: Monitoring and evaluation.
5. Community Empowerment: Project hand-over.
6. Sustainability: Post activity follow-up, support, and mentoring.

The Course also Provides the Following Resources

Documents on course topics by contemporary experts.
Books, posters and manuals available online for download.
Internet development links organized by sector.
Class blog for sharing your stories and photos from the field.
Class forum for posting questions to your classmates.
There are no books to buy—all course materials can be linked to, or downloaded from the course site.

To enroll:
There are prerequisites for taking this course: OL 342 or OL 102.
Please don’t sign up for this course if you haven’t successfully completed the prerequisites.

Choose which price fits your profile
Course Fees:
1. The 8-week course is $100.00 for citizens of developing nations.
2. The 8-week course is $150.00 for citizens of developed nations.

Enroll by clicking on “Enroll Now” at the bottom of the page.

We will send you a confirmation letter upon receipt of payment and Login information the Monday before the course begins.

The online course will be led by Tim Magee, CSD’s Executive Director, who has over 30 years experience in both working with nonprofits and leading training workshops. Mr. Magee is the author of A Field Guide to Community Based Adaptation published by Routledge/Earthscan.

If you have a question don't hesitate to contact us at: Online.Learning@csd-i.org .

Space is limited.

how to enroll in OL 343