The Nairobi workshop showed that the Joint Principles for Adaptation are being used in much broader ways than originally planned.
Only a handful of partner networks use the Joint Principles for Adaptation (JPA) – as they were initially designed - to engage in the national adaptation planning process.
Rather, most partners actually use the JPA to influence the implementation and monitoring of already existing policies. In practice the JPA are also used by many partners at the local level and not only to influence national policies.
These were some of the main lessons learned from the Southern Voices workshop held in Nairobi the 22-23rd of April in the context of the 9th International Conference on Community-based Adaptation (CBA9). The 25 workshop participants included representatives from 14 Southern Voices partner networks as well as guests from the UNFCCC Secretariat, CAREs Adaptation Learning Programme and GermanWatch.
Download the draft workshop report
USING LOCAL ENGAGEMENT AS LEVERAGE
As the JPA were developed with a focus on influencing national policies it is interesting to see that many Southern Voices use them also the local level. So an important discussion at the workshop was how this local engagement can be used to influence the implementation and planning of national policy.
Key outcomes of this discussion are that the JPA can serve as a tool for monitoring and evaluation of the local implementation of policies and thereby create a basis for evidence-based advocacy. Also, local level decision makers - playing a role in national planning - can promote the JPA concepts further upstream the political system.
Other suggestions from partners include:
- Use the JPA as a benchmark for good adaptation planning at the local level to inform or influence national plans
- Experiences at local level can be a source of learning for updating the JPA
- Ensuring support for the JPA at the local level can create better enabling environment for advocacy at national level
LEAVING THE COMFORT ZONE
In most countries the JPA have been presented to “friendly government ministries”– but the question is if this is sufficient for the recommendations in the JPA to be adopted.
How can we engage really powerful ministries and decisions-makers – as for example the finance or planning ministries?
Workshop participants discussed how to leave the civil society “comfort zone” and reach beyond their usual contact points in government.
Here is a number of suggestions emerging from the debate:
- networks should seek out partnerships that can open new doors
- engagement of government officials is framed as learning and sharing rather than lobbying
- networks should package communication in a way that makes it relevant to different audiences
JPA VERSION 2.0
The experiences shared by SVA-partners informed the debate on a new updated version of the principles finalised in late May.
The JPA are applied in very different national settings, and each network use it in the way that makes most sense in the local political context. In Mozambique, Nepal and Bolivia, for example, the JPA are mainly used in research by analysing adaptation policy frameworks while in Ghana, Malawi, Sri Lanka and Vietnam the JPA are mainly used to guide advocacy priorities.
The JPA are also used by some partners to link local actors to the national level or to guide sectoral policy analysis.These differences reflect how partners are operating in varying policy frameworks – some governments being more or less open to work with civil society – and have different capacities and priorities.
BRINGING PARTNERS CLOSER TOGETHER
The workshop allowed for Southern Voices partners from across continents to meet face-to-face and engage in lively debate.
A three-day fieldtrip arranged by CBA9 also created a space for more informal interaction and conversation.
This was important aspects of the gathering in Nairobi – facilitating future interaction between partner networks.
PROMOTION AT CBA9
The CBA9 conference allowed for Southern Voices to present the JPA – both at a poster session and a joint session with IIED.
The joint session proved very successful with around 100 participants actively engaging in debate around the JPA and radical (long-term) adaptation.