Climate Change

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Outline
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  • The Climate Change Programme of the UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) has been running since 2010. It has four components: i) methodological research; ii) more policy-oriented research; iii) capacity building; and (iv) studies of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions. Points ii) and iii) — which are implemented by the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) component — will continue in 2012-2013, though UNU-WIDER will look to expand research activities outside of southern Africa.

    Research will be extended/deepened in three areas: the Volta River Basin (i.e., Ghana and Burkina Faso); the Orange, Limpopo and Okavango River Basins (i.e., South Africa, Botswana and Namibia); and the China or Nile River Basin. Each of the case studies would extend earlier work done during 2010-2011 by switching emphasis from just climate change impacts and adaptations to include low-carbon development considerations. Finally, ongoing work in the MENA region will be completed.

    Twinning

    This programme is being implemented in close collaboration with the AERC, the University of Ghana and an array of other partners across developing and developed countries. Funding for twinning is the major concern.

    Focal Points

    Focal points for this programme are UNU-WIDER Director Finn Tarp, and Research Fellows James Thurlow and Imed Drine.

    Purpose

    The objective of this research programme is to confront global climate change challenges. In the first stage, efforts were focused on Africa with particular emphasis on Eastern and Southern Africa. This focus will now be extended beyond this region.

    Approach

    Under this programme, UNU-WIDER research is contributing to modelling integrated global climate change and socio-economic systems through time. In addition, in 2012-13, low carbon development considerations will be addressed (relying on economy-wide and multi-country regional modelling approaches).

    Gender

    The gender dimension is a cross-cutting challenge that will be taken into account throughout UNU-WIDER research projects by participants, project directors, paper authors and others.

    Target Audience

    The stakeholders of this programme are economic analysts and policymakers concerned with public investment programmes to be pursued in light of climate change. This includes international and regional institutions and partners, initially in Eastern and Southern Africa and subsequently extended to other regions of the world.

    Intended Impact

    Impact: Influencing policymaking at the international level
    Target: The target audiences for this programme are researchers and policymakers at the international level. This includes international and regional institutions and partners, initially in eastern and southern Africa and subsequently extended to other regions of the world.
    How: This will be achieved through the development of methodological frameworks for considering regional public investment options under climate uncertainty that can be readily extended across the different regions of the developing world.

    Impact: Influencing policymaking at the regional level
    Target: The target audiences for this programme are researchers and policymakers at the regional level. This includes regional institutions and partners, initially in eastern and southern Africa and subsequently extended to other regions of the world.
    How: This will be achieved through the development of methodological frameworks for considering regional public investment options under climate uncertainty that can be readily extended across the different regions of the developing world.

    Impact: Rethinking/revisiting existing theories/policies
    Target: Academic researchers,modellers and economic policymakers are the targeted audience for this programme.
    How: This will be achieved by way of knowledge dissemination and capacity building through research collaborations, conferences and training seminars.

    Impact: Capacity development in developed/developing countries
    Target: The target audience includes researchers and policymakers in both developed and developing countries.
    How: This will be achieved through knowledge dissemination and capacity building through research collaborations, conferences and training seminars. UNU-WIDER is also implementing e-learning courses on climate change analysis for African researchers.

    Impact: Raising awareness
    Target: Developing countries at large are the target audience. They must consider how to cope with climate change and how to power their development processes in the context of a high degree of uncertainty compounded by global inter-dependence.
    How: This will be achieved through the development of policy briefs and publication campaigns to promote regional responses to the long-term socio-economic challenges inherent in climate change.

    Research Findings

    This programme will generate new knowledge related to understanding the background and causes as well as the impact of e.g., climate change at the local and global levels. As such, it will reinforce the role of UNU as a generator of critically needed policy relevant research in light of the major global economic challenges.

    Policy Bridging

    Policy briefs will be elaborated for the core programme outputs, and UNU-WIDER’s new blog and the WIDER Angle e-newsletter will help bridge as well. . In addition, this programme will implement a long series of seminars and conferences. Collaboration with the AERC, and IPCC is expected to help optimize UNU impact.

    Value Added

    Additionality involves a much improved information base, within and outside the UNU, that will serve as a stimulus to regional cooperation in major investments related to energy, agriculture, and transportation. In addition, an increased understanding of the requirements associated with low carbon development is provided.

    Dissemination

    The several outputs of the programme include research reports, academic papers and policy briefs. UNU-WIDER will also organize conferences, seminars, and public meetings involving researchers and policymakers both inside and outside of the UN system, and in developing countries.

    Timeline/Programme Cycle

    The programme continues from 2010-2011 and is expected to cover the period 2012-2013 as well.

    Evaluation

    Benchmarks and indicators used to gauge the progress of implementation will be the number and quality of conferences and publications. Mechanisms used to determine whether the programme has successfully fulfilled its purpose will include the frequency of WIDER Angle hits on the website; book sales statistics; downloads of research papers; UNU-WIDER staff presentations at seminars and conferences; and staff contributions to professional work in the UN, educational institutions and other international organizations. In addition, contributions to the IPCC are indicators of impact.

    Challenges

    Challenges include the timely recruitment of new UNU-WIDER staff and funding for institutional collaboration (twinning) with the AERC and University of Ghana.

    Expected Duration

    The programme is expected to run for a duration of 48 months, from 1 January 2010 through 31 December 2013.

  • Activities within the Programme will involve cooperation between the UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research and eight partners:

    • UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security
    • UNU Office at the United Nations, New York
    • Office of the Rector
    • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    • World Bank
    • African Economic Research Consortium
    • [IWMI] Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
  • Title: Climate Change Special Issue
    Author(s): 20 authors from the project
    Publication/Output Type: Journal
    Available at: journal
    Publisher: Review of International Economics
    Date Published: 2012

  • Prof. Finn Tarp, Director
    United Nations University
    World Institute for Development Economics Research
    Katajanokanlaituri 6B, 00160
    Helsinki, Finland

    T: +358 9 615-9911
    F: +358 9 6159-9333
    E-mail: 
    Website: http://www.wider.unu.edu/