SouthSouthNorth is committed to sharing our research, findings and learning in order to promote best practice. A few of the latest publications from our programmes can be found below. For comprehensive libraries of all programme-related outputs, visit the respective programme resource pages.


Category: News, Resources

SouthSouthNorth’s Cherié Forbes, Technical Project Manager, presented on the Community Adaptation Small Grants Facility (SGF) at the Arid Zone Ecology Forum (AZEF) 2015. She shares her thoughts with us on the meeting gathering of attendees included researchers, practitioners and local government members that operate or have interest in the arid zones of South Africa. The forum 2015 was held on 5-8 October 2015 at the Goegap Nature Reserve in Namaqualand, South Africa. 

AZEF 2015 marks the first time that SSN has attended and presented at this forum. The talk titled, “Taking Adaptation to the ground: Community Adaptation Small Grants Facility piloting enhanced direct access to adaptation finance in South Africa”,  was presented during the 12th Session (Climate Change Adaptation Special Session). This served as a great opportunity to introduce the Community Adaptation Small Grants Facility (SGF) project and engage with local stakeholders (e.g. natural and social scientists from prominent research institutions, local government officials from various sector departments, practitioners working in conservation and climate change, private and communal livestock farmers, etc.).

It was inspiring to see the great deal of interest shown in the SGF project. A number of AZEF attendees had previously received communication regarding the SGF Call for Project Concepts (released 28 September 2015), and the presentation was helpful in providing further clarity on some aspects.

The presentation described the following:

  1. What the Community Adaptation SGF project is by outlining the aim, objectives.
  2. The importance of the SGF project in terms of piloting a novel small granting mechanism (i.e. the Adaptation Fund’s ‘enhanced direct access’ approach to climate finance in SA).
  3. The three components of implementation required to achieve the greatest impact in local communities of the two target areas, Namakwa (Northern Cape province) and Mopani (Limpopo province) District Municipalities.
  4. The structures (governance and finance flows) neccesary to implement enhanced direct access.
  5. What the SGF project means for the resilience of the arid regions of SA, specifically climate change adaptation responses relevant to three investments windows in the Namakwa District: (1) Climate-Smart Agriculture, (2) Climate-Resilient Livelihoods, and (3) Climate-Proof Settlements.
  6. Lastly, an example of bridging the gap between research and practice demonstrated through research conducted by the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI). Preliminary results of ACDI’s baseline research showed the limited potential and capability for organisations working in Namakwa to implement actions that reduce their risk to negative impacts of climate change.


Feedback from attendees revealed the following lessons:

  • The importance of accurate and simplistic communication on what climate change adaptation is and how it relates to basic human needs in a changing climate. Especially if the project is aimed at a target audience which lives and works in local communities that are most vulnerbale to climate change and are historcally poorer and less educated.
  • Autonomy and learning at the grassroots level is crucial for the success of enhanced direct access of climate finance. For example, reassuring a cooperative of communal livestock farmers in Namakwa that their indigenous knowldege is imperative in the design and implementation of their adaptation project.
  • The encouragement of partnerships as a way to increase the joint capacity of organisations, therefore ensuring that applicants are eligible to apply to the SGF for funding (see Annex A – elibility criteria). For example, a partnership between a cooperative of communal livestock farmers, NGO and research institution applying for a small grant.
  • Emphasis on the size of the small grant (i.e. the SGF provides an opportunity to apply for R1 000 000 as opposed to R20 000) is important for letting interested organisations know that through the SGF they have the ability and resources to deliver concrete, tangible and measurable climate change adaptation benefits to local communities.

In conclusion, given that only 12 projects will be funded by the SGF (6 of which will be in the Namakwa District), and the increased interest and need for this type of funding for locally-driven adaptation projects, it is apparent that compiling and sharing lessons learnt from this 4 year pilot project is essential. This is important for scaling up and replicating the project in the current target Districts and beyond to other Districts in SA which are also vulnerable to climate change.

For more information on the Small Grants Facility, visit the Call For Concepts.



Expression of Interest for SGF

Category: News, Resources


Expression of Interest: Facilitating Agency for the Community Adaptation Small Grants Facility

The Small Grants Facility will support vulnerable, rural communities in Mopani and Namakwa District Municipalities to reduce vulnerability and increase resilience. The objective is to incorporate climate adaptation response strategies into local practices so that assets, livelihoods and ecosystem services are protected from climate-induced risks.

SouthSouthNorth wishes to identify a Facilitating Agency (FA) in the Mopani District Municipality, Limpopo, to partner with and facilitate South Africa’s Small Grants Facility pilot project for Climate Change Adaptation. This is an exciting opportunity for an organisation to support local CBOs/NGOs in designing and implementing adaptation projects that benefit vulnerable groups, while continuing to establish itself as a social development organisation and/or an innovator in climate change adaptation. 



Expression of Interest proposals must be submitted by email ( on or before 15 June 2015 at 23h59. No late proposal will be considered.  For any general enquiries please contact Helen Karathanassis by 31 May 2015 (


Read the full Mopani Facilitating Agency Expression of Interest

Read the project Background information.

The Budget template for Mopani FA can be read here.

New Inside Story from CDKN on Kenya’s Geothermal NAMA

Category: News, Resources


CDKN has released a new inside story: Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) to accelerate geothermal power: Lessons from Kenya. The new publication looks at the Government of Kenya’s ambitions to significantly expand its power supply from geothermal sources to underpin low-carbon, climate resilient development, as encapsulated in its national Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP). Although progress has been made, greater private sector involvement is needed to keep the goal within reach. Kenya has developed a nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) to mobilise private investment by channelling targeted international climate finance and technical support. After introducing the context and objectives of Kenya’s geothermal NAMA, this brief focuses on the challenges faced in the process of developing the NAMA, and highlights lessons learned and recommendations for future NAMA development, both in Kenya and globally.

The Inside Story looks at the significant political will  and ambition, but the challenge involved in reaching these ambitions.

FCFA hosts successful Scoping Phase synthesis workshop

Category: News, Resources


On 13-14 October 2014, 13 individuals came together at the Future Climate For Africa (FCFA) Scoping Phase Synthesis Workshop held at the Victoria Junction Protea Hotel, Cape Town. The ‘green café style workshop’ served as a ‘reflection session’ to share lessons learnt from four case studies in sub-Saharan Africa, namely: Ghana and Mozambique case study led by Climate System Analysis Group (CSAG) at the University of Cape Town; Rwanda case study led by Global Climate Adaptation Partnership (GCAP); Malawi led by Kulima and the University of Leeds; and Zambia case study led by Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (RCRC).

Interesting discussions emerged as participants reflected on, and evaluated learnings from the case studies. They explored various strengths and weaknesses of their methodological approaches to multistakeholder engagement, what worked really well and what they would have done differently. Debates developed around gaps in our knowledge related to research uptake, long-term climate science information in policy and planning and factors effecting decision-making processes in Africa.  At various times during the workshop, participants played short thought-provoking games. These not only gave them a break from the provocative discussions, but helped them think deeper around issues of complexity.


Four elements sparked discussion amongst participants.

CONTEXT: How is long-term climate information currently being considered within decision-making processes?

REFLECTION: Is long-term climate information useful to investments and planning decisions in Africa?

ACTION: What can be done to identify and target relevant decision making processes that can make use of long-term climate information, and how can we promote and incentivise its uptake?

BROKERING: How can scientists and policy makers be brought together to promote better uptake of long-term climate information in policy and planning?

Findings from the workshop will feed into the programming of the full FCFA programme which will begin in 2015.



Operationalising an equity reference framework in the climate change regime

Category: News, Papers


From the MAPS’ desk: This paper identifies legal, architectural and technical options for operationalising the  equity reference framework (ERF). This framework is increasingly being proposed as a means to address the imperatives of effectiveness and equity in the 2015 agreement.

The full paper can be read here. 

IPCC AR5: What does it mean for Kenya?

Category: Resources


CDKN and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are hosting a conference:

IPCC Fifth Assessment Report: What does it mean for Kenya’s development?

The event takes place at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi 31 July – 1 August and features presentations from contributors to the AR5. The agenda for the conference: Kenya agenda_final version