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Improving Information Uptake for Climate Change Adaptation by Integrating Indigenous Knowledge Systems with Climate Information Services

Chaplin, Daniel LU (2017) VBRM15 20171
Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety
Abstract
Subsistence farmers in the developing world are one of the most vulnerable groups to the impacts of climate change. Strengthening their adaptive capacity requires information to inform their climate and agricultural-related decisions. Climate information services offer great potential to inform farmers’ decision-making, enabling households to strengthen their ability to manage climate-related risks and to increase their agricultural productivity. However, climate information services often fail to build upon existing local capacities, e.g. indigenous knowledge systems, reducing the uptake of information, and subsequently the potential for enhancing resilience. Accordingly, the aim of this thesis was to: increase the knowledge about the... (More)
Subsistence farmers in the developing world are one of the most vulnerable groups to the impacts of climate change. Strengthening their adaptive capacity requires information to inform their climate and agricultural-related decisions. Climate information services offer great potential to inform farmers’ decision-making, enabling households to strengthen their ability to manage climate-related risks and to increase their agricultural productivity. However, climate information services often fail to build upon existing local capacities, e.g. indigenous knowledge systems, reducing the uptake of information, and subsequently the potential for enhancing resilience. Accordingly, the aim of this thesis was to: increase the knowledge about the potential to improve information uptake for climate change adaptation by integrating indigenous knowledge systems with climate information services. This was achieved through the application of two methods: 1) scoping study of the scientific literature, and 2) case study focusing on the Karamoja Sub-region of Northeast Uganda. Through the scoping study interrelated factors influencing information uptake were identified, they were: 1) access to information, 2) source of information, 3) utilisation of information, and 4) perceived usefulness of information source. The extent to which these factors were evident in Karamoja was subsequently examined through the analysis of household-level questionnaire data collected by the World Food Programme. It was discovered that farmers in Karamoja have low levels of access to information and that often the information is not tailored appropriately, reducing its utilisation. Furthermore, it was revealed that farmers rely upon indigenous knowledge systems for agricultural and climate information and that they perceive indigenous sources and modern sources as equally useful. These findings demonstrate that there is potential to improve information uptake for climate change adaptation in the region by integrating indigenous knowledge systems with climate information services. This thesis contributes to the existing knowledge on information uptake for climate change adaptation from indigenous knowledge systems and climate information systems by providing an extensive review of the scientific literature and a detailed analysis of a context specific case study. Importantly, issues were identified that can be addressed by policy and decision makers to improve information uptake for climate change adaptation through the integration of indigenous knowledge systems with climate information systems. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Four factors that affect the ability of subsistence farmers in the developing world to use information to adapt to a changing climate were identified from the literature: 1) access to information, 2) source of information, 3) usability of information, and 4) perceived usefulness. The extent to which these factors were evident amongst farming households in the Karamoja Sub-region of Northeast Uganda was then examined through the analysis of questionnaire data collected by the United Nations World Food Programme from over 4,000 households.

It was discovered that farmers in Karamoja have limited access to information and often the available information is not tailored appropriately, reducing its usability. For instance, only 1 in 10... (More)
Four factors that affect the ability of subsistence farmers in the developing world to use information to adapt to a changing climate were identified from the literature: 1) access to information, 2) source of information, 3) usability of information, and 4) perceived usefulness. The extent to which these factors were evident amongst farming households in the Karamoja Sub-region of Northeast Uganda was then examined through the analysis of questionnaire data collected by the United Nations World Food Programme from over 4,000 households.

It was discovered that farmers in Karamoja have limited access to information and often the available information is not tailored appropriately, reducing its usability. For instance, only 1 in 10 farmers had access to livestock production and management information and of those that did, less than two-thirds were able to use the information. In relation to information sources, it was found that farmers source their forecast, and production and management information from local indigenous and modern climate information services sources to a similar extent, indicating they use a combination of sources. Interestingly, it was revealed that farmers rely upon indigenous sources for agricultural and climate information. For instance, the farmers ‘own knowledge’ (the most popular agricultural and climate information source) was relied upon by over half of farmers. Finally, it was found that farmers generally perceive indigenous sources and modern sources as equally useful for agricultural and climate information.

These novel findings demonstrate that there is both a need and potential to improve information uptake for climate change adaptation in Karamoja by integrating local indigenous knowledge systems with modern climate information services. Doing so would assist vulnerable groups to adapt the impacts of climate change. Climate information services offer great potential to inform farmers’ decision-making, enabling farmers to strengthen their ability to manage climate related risks and to increase their agricultural productivity. However, climate information services often fail to build upon existing local capacities, e.g. indigenous knowledge systems, reducing the uptake of information and as a result the potential for improving adaptation to climate change.

This thesis contributes to the existing understanding of information uptake for climate change adaptation from indigenous knowledge systems and climate information services by providing an extensive review of the literature and a detailed analysis of a context specific case study. Importantly, issues were identified that can be addressed by policy and decision makers to improve information uptake through the integration of indigenous knowledge systems with climate information services. (Less)
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author
Chaplin, Daniel LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Improving Information Uptake by Subsistence Farmers for Climate Change Adaptation by Integrating Indigenous Knowledge Systems with Climate Information Services: A Case Study from Karamoja, Northeast Uganda
course
VBRM15 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Adaptation, Climate, Indigenous Knowledge, Information
language
English
id
8938788
date added to LUP
2018-04-18 08:06:45
date last changed
2018-04-24 11:46:48
@misc{8938788,
  abstract     = {Subsistence farmers in the developing world are one of the most vulnerable groups to the impacts of climate change. Strengthening their adaptive capacity requires information to inform their climate and agricultural-related decisions. Climate information services offer great potential to inform farmers’ decision-making, enabling households to strengthen their ability to manage climate-related risks and to increase their agricultural productivity. However, climate information services often fail to build upon existing local capacities, e.g. indigenous knowledge systems, reducing the uptake of information, and subsequently the potential for enhancing resilience. Accordingly, the aim of this thesis was to: increase the knowledge about the potential to improve information uptake for climate change adaptation by integrating indigenous knowledge systems with climate information services. This was achieved through the application of two methods: 1) scoping study of the scientific literature, and 2) case study focusing on the Karamoja Sub-region of Northeast Uganda. Through the scoping study interrelated factors influencing information uptake were identified, they were: 1) access to information, 2) source of information, 3) utilisation of information, and 4) perceived usefulness of information source. The extent to which these factors were evident in Karamoja was subsequently examined through the analysis of household-level questionnaire data collected by the World Food Programme. It was discovered that farmers in Karamoja have low levels of access to information and that often the information is not tailored appropriately, reducing its utilisation. Furthermore, it was revealed that farmers rely upon indigenous knowledge systems for agricultural and climate information and that they perceive indigenous sources and modern sources as equally useful. These findings demonstrate that there is potential to improve information uptake for climate change adaptation in the region by integrating indigenous knowledge systems with climate information services. This thesis contributes to the existing knowledge on information uptake for climate change adaptation from indigenous knowledge systems and climate information systems by providing an extensive review of the scientific literature and a detailed analysis of a context specific case study. Importantly, issues were identified that can be addressed by policy and decision makers to improve information uptake for climate change adaptation through the integration of indigenous knowledge systems with climate information systems.},
  author       = {Chaplin, Daniel},
  keyword      = {Adaptation,Climate,Indigenous Knowledge,Information},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Improving Information Uptake for Climate Change Adaptation by Integrating Indigenous Knowledge Systems with Climate Information Services},
  year         = {2017},
}