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Group photo COP23
As the most recent phase of the Southern Voices project came to an end in 2017, it was time to review successes, challenges and lessons learned. The next big question was how Southern Voices would move forward into the future.
To take this task on, a review of the entire 2014-2017 project was undertaken by INKA consult, through one Danish and one southern-based consultant. Download the review report here.
To assess the relevance, influence and impact of the SV-Adapt project from 2014 – 17, the consultants interviewed participants from all nine partner networks; climate negotiators and delegates from governments of five SVA-countries; and the Manager of NAPs and Adaptation Policies at the UNFCCC Secretariat.
The outcome was positive across the board: SV-adapt has fostered linkages across the international, regional and national level – with The Joint Principles for Adaptation finding their way into UNFCCC official material and local community adaptation projects alike.
The JPA was for this reason found to be the flagship achievement of the project, uniting partners throughout the Global South around a set of common goals. It has fostered expertise exchange, while giving them a tool to monitor and promote pro-poor adaptation.
Furthermore, Southern Voices and the JPA have enjoyed wide recognition amongst government delegates and international negotiators, giving southern civil society wider outreach at international fora.
JPA circle diagram
Partners also reflected on the greater leverage the JPA and the Southern Voices project gave them in promoting a truly international set of principles to lobby their national governments. 
The review also identified room for improvement – particularly the need to ensure more regular sharing of news and results on social media and the website.
Achievements so far
At the national level, SVA partners took big strides in creating inclusive, equitable, and pro-poor adaptation in their countries:
In Ghana, district development plans now include gender-sensitive climate change adaptation provisions
In Guatemala, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources is developing a popular version of its national law on climate change, making it accessible to the most vulnerable people in the country
In Nepal, the government has recognised the principle of “Leaving no one behind” while preparing its NAP, adopting local consultations as part of the process
In Kenya, the country’s County Environmental Action Plans have undertaken an inclusive and representative process that reflect community needs at the sub-national level
In Cambodia, the practical and strategic needs of women are included in the National Technical Guideline of Climate Change Adaptation in Commune Development Plans
In Malawi, SVA partner CISONECC is now represented on the government’s NAP core team and helped formulate an application to the Green Climate Fund for NAP readiness funding
In Nicaragua, a nationwide campaign for a new climate change law has now reached the national parliament
In Sri Lanka, work is underway to set up a NAP monitoring system, incorporating the JPA with the Sustainable Development Goals, attracting interest from the government and major donors such as the Asian Development Bank, Global Environment Facility, World Bank and World Food Program
In Vietnam, SVA partner CCWG has provided climate adaptation inputs during the formulation of the country’s National Adaptation Plan and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
The Future of Southern Voices

Another important purpose of the review was establishing how Southern Voices would move forward. As the project enters 2018 and beyond, civil society networks supported by Care Denmark will take the Southern Voices on Adaptation project forward as a learning platform for adaptation advocacy. SVA engagement in Nepal, Vietnam, Kenya, and Ghana will continue with the same or new partners, in addition to new advocacy partners in Niger, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda, and Mozambique, joining CARE Denmark country programmes during the first half of 2018. The platform will also be open for adaptation networks supported by SV-Adapt’s consortium partners – DanChurchAid and IbisOxfam.
In accordance with recommendations in the review report, the ambition is to strengthen southern ownership; therefore, plans to transition the secretariat from Copenhagen to a new location in the Global South are already underway.

Recommendations for the next two-year period following Southern Voices’ review for the new learning platform are:

Continued advocacy work at the local and national level, whilst retaining a link to the international community

A renewed focus on monitoring and evaluation of adaptation finance to maintain momentum behind the Paris Agreement’s goals for 2020

Engaging with governments to deliver on adaptation communications – in assistance to the global stock-take also outlined in the Paris Agreement

Pushing to link climate change adaptation and the JPA to the Sustainable Development Goals in adaptation efforts

Getting more stakeholders involved and working with the JPA

Capacity-building of CSOs on how to work on policy issues and engage in policy processes

Working with multiple stakeholders at the national level – reaching out to academia, the private sector and governments

A continued community of practice, maintained through regular physical and digital contact, sharing of expertise and lessons learned

The work of Southern Voices will now aim to take these goals forward throughout 2018. Over the same period, the transition of SVA will take place, introducing new members and new opportunities. Nevertheless, the drive and determination to support pro-poor adaptation will continue as strong as ever.

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