Training city officials in Asia to design better adaptation projects

Release date: 

Jul 29 2016

City officials at our Urban Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Training Course in Singapore. Photo credit: Cities Development Initiative for Asia

USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific, in collaboration with the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) and the Singapore Cooperation Programme, helped to improve climate change knowledge among senior-level managers in six cities across Asia working in urban and infrastructure planning and, in turn, trained them to design better adaptation projects.

This was part of the roll-out of the five-day USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific Urban Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience (UCCAR) Training Course which was held on May 23-27, 2016 in Singapore.

The aim of the training is to build capacity of city government officials to develop project proposals to adapt to the negative effects of climate change. It also serves to help city officials better understand urban development and climate change linkages; accelerate cities’ efforts on integrating climate change resilience into local strategies; learn about financing options for adaptation measures; and encourage collaboration between peers and international experts.

This training is also part of CDIA’s Cities and Climate Change Training Series. At the training, site visits in Singapore was integrated to provide examples of structural measures and as take-off points for exchange and discussion.

Urban infrastructure in many Asian cities today faces tremendous social, political, environmental, and financial risks due to climate change and other environmental shocks and stresses. This creates an impetus for government officials to assess their cities’ vulnerabilities and to look for investment opportunities in designing and building resilient urban infrastructure.

This five-day course was divided into seven modules. It provided participants the tools and techniques for assessing climate change impacts and vulnerabilities and presents to them a framework for identifying, evaluating, selecting, and implementing climate adaptation strategies and projects. The course finally looked at the options available for financing adaptation projects and methods of accessing climate change finance. Participants were requested to bring with them initial project concept notes and supporting data that they worked to develop into a project profile through the five days. At the end of the training, each city/local government presented a brief project profile that built on their initial project concepts and was improved with the knowledge from the course.

The course combined training modules from the UCCAR course, which was developed in collaboration with the East West Center, with presentations by Singapore government officials and site visits to a water recycling facility, a park in which a concrete drainage canal has been converted to a stream as part of a green infrastructure program and an off-shore facility where ash from the incineration of solid waste is deposited in ponds. The UCCAR course materials were modified to accommodate CDIA’s preferred emphasis on building project development skills and include new climate information relevant to the cities in attendance, including developing new material for Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.

The UCCAR training manual and course materials are freely available to government agencies and training institutions in Asia-Pacific looking to develop and deliver urban climate change adaptation project development and finance training. The materials may also be useful for practitioners and individuals working in related sectors looking for a comprehensive set of tools and how-to guides for urban climate change adaptation.

PDFs of PowerPoint presentations with facilitators’ notes and worksheets, and a training manual, are available for download here:

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