Climate Change Adaptation Tools at the Community Level: An Integrated Literature Review

Elvis Nkoana*, Aviel Verbruggen, J.J.A. Hugé

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The negative impacts of climate change are experienced at the global, regional and local levels. However, rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa face additional socio-political, cultural and economic challenges in addition to climate change. Decision support tools have been developed and applied to assist rural communities to cope with and adapt to climate change. However, poorly planned participatory processes and the lack of context-specific approaches in these tools are obstacles when aiming at strengthening the resilience of these rural communities. This paper uses an integrated literature review to identify best practices for involving rural communities in climate change adaptation efforts through the application of context-specific and culturally-sensitive climate change adaptation tools. These best practices include the use of a livelihoods approach to engage communities; the explicit acknowledgement of the local cultural do’s and don’ts; the recognition of local champions appointed from within the local community; the identification and prioritisation of vulnerable stakeholders; and the implementation of a two-way climate change risk communication instead of a one-sided information sharing approach.
Original languageEnglish
Article number796
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • adaptation
  • climate change
  • cocreation
  • rural communities
  • sub-Saharan Africa


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