Principles underlying the approach to developing ARA include: co-creation, consultative, open and transparent, providing opportunities for extensive stakeholder engagement, and ensuring diversity. Reflecting these principles, a governance and operational structure has been formulated for this interim, development phase of the ARA – intended to last until the formal launch at COP-26 in November 2021.
ARA has set up a Steering Board which is chaired jointly by the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the University of Maryland (co-chairs). Three Workstreams serve to develop the ARA concept, addressing its governance, resources and membership, and priorities. Workstreams and the Steering Board are being supported by a coordination unit hosted by SouthSouthNorth. This maximises synergies with the Global Resilience Partnership’s ‘Research Knowledge Coalition’, a sister initiative to ARA, which is also being coordinated by SouthSouthNorth.
Reflecting the principles of co-creation and broad community ownership; the Steering Board is expected to make decisions regarding the key design choices for the ARA – on aspects such as governance, commitments, partnership/collaboration arrangements and the actual post-launch functions/activities. Consequently, the Steering Board will play a key role in shaping the ARA.
The composition of the Steering Board is intended to reflect the diversity of stakeholders
and perspectives and a strong presence of Southern voices. Currently, the Steering Board is
comprised of representatives from:
These individuals serve in their personal capacity. New organizations/institutions can be invited to join the Steering Board as appropriate.
Design choices and options will be developed through the Workstreams and the Working Groups. The Working Groups will remain as the main vehicle for wider community engagement and consultation. Working Groups have been constituted for three Workstreams to date:
Membership of the Working Groups is open to all interested stakeholders/organizations and new members can be added to the Working Groups as appropriate.
If you would like to sign up to one of the Working Groups please email: email@example.com.
Key steps and milestones
The first round of Steering Board and Working Group meetings was held in October 2020. These meetings were largely used to update members on the current approach, brainstorm on specific topics to get a wide range of feedback and gauge expectations from each group.
The second round of meetings was held in December 2020, where concrete next steps were discussed to get buy-in to undertake these activities.
The soft launch of ARA will take place on 23 January 2021 at the Gobeshona global conference in a session titled “The ARA: a New Global Initiative for Action Research”. A joint statement and the adoption of a “declaration of intent” to the ARA concept and commitment to engage in ARA development by an initial set of ARA member organizations will be shared.
To find out more, visit the following pages:
To keep up-to-date on the latest ARA news follow the ARA on Twitter: @Adapt_Alliance and LinkedIN: Adaptation Research Alliance
For any questions or comments or if you would like to join ARA, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org