Research Project

Girl washing clothes in Maputo, Mozambique

Girl washing clothes in Maputo. Photo by Patricia Figueiredo

“Strengthening the role of civil society in water sector governance towards climate change adaptation in African cities—Durban, Maputo, Nairobi” was a three-year research project supported by the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa (CCAA) program, a joint initiative of Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, in 2009 to 2012. This project—housed at York University in Toronto, Canada—linked university researchers with community-based NGOs conducting environmental education and organizing participatory workshops in low-income urban areas with pressing climate change and water-related problems.

This project built on proven methods of community-university collaboration to strengthen urban watershed governance and increase equity in public participation processes related to urban climate change adaptation. Furthermore, this project fostered progressive local, national and international policy development on climate change-related water management, while training students, university researchers, NGO staff members, and community participants.

The major research outcomes of this project were its contributions to understanding effective ways of strengthening local governments, NGOs and civil society organizations involved in environmental education and organizing for improved public participation in watershed governance and climate change adaptation in African urban areas.