Capacity Strengthening in Least Developed Countries for Adaptation to Climate Change (CLACC)

2003 - Ongoing

Through CLACC, IIED works with researchers in 15 Least Developed Countries to generate knowledge, strengthen capacity and encourage action on climate adaptation.  

CLACC Fellows gather in Durban, South Africa

The CLACC programme incorporates a range of activities: fellowships, attendance at meetings, research, regional workshops and outreach. 


  • Strengthening the capacity of civil society in LDCs to adapt to climate change and fostering adaptive capacity among the most vulnerable groups.
  • Establishing an information and knowledge system to help countries to deal with the adverse impacts of climate change.
  • Integrating adaptation to climate change into the work of key non-government institutions, and mainstreaming the National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA) process with these institutions.

IIED concieved the CLACC programme 2003, in recognition of the low capacity for tackling climate change within civil society in the LDCs. The CLACC programme is part of the Southern Voices Capacity Building Programme, which was coordinated by CARE Denmark . 


CLACC began with a fellowship programme designed to build capacity within NGO partners and wider civil society in the LDCs.

More than half of CLACC Fellows were invited to join their national negotiating teams at the 2011 UN climate negotiations, in recognition of the expertise they had gained through CLACC and other projects. The annual UN climate talks provide an important venue for conducting advocacy at national and international levels: meeting key national contacts, donors, project partners and NGOs. 


The CLACC network began undertaking research in 2005. The research looked at grass-roots adaptation activities in various sectors, including coastal areas, water management, disaster preparedness and response, health, agriculture and  forestry, and fed this information into national adaptation planning and international decision-making. 

The first research topic focused on climate change and health in the LDCs. CLACC partners engaged with in-country health experts, and with support from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and conducted an assessment of key climate change and health issues in their countries. This information was fed into national adaptation planning (including NAPAs) and international decision-making processes.

The CLACC programme also embarked on a research programme on climate change and cities. This acknowledged the lack of attention given to how urban areas in the poorer nations will cope with climate change impacts. The research involved a mapping exercise, identifying vulnerable areas and illustrating them on maps. Fellows met a range of stakeholders in order to assess where key vulnerabilities lie. This type of information is not presented on official city maps.

Regional workshops

The CLACC programme has convened like-minded actors from civil society to discuss, brainstorm and plan next steps on the adaptation agenda in their respective regions and countries.

In collaboration with ecbi, four workshops were held in 2008, in West Africa, Botswana, Guinea and Maldives. In 2009 and 2010 workshops were held in Senegal, South Africa and Kenya to bring together national civil society networks operating in West, Southern and Eastern Africa respectively. 

CLACC partners played a major role organising and attending these workshops. The events helped to reflect a growing acknowledgement in the South of the need to share at a regional level intelligence, lessons and best ways forward for advocacy activities targeting international, regional and national processes. 

Film and audio

CLACC has generated a number of videos:

Dago Tshering interviewed CLACC fellows about their work on adaptation to climate change for least developed countries during the COP16 climate change negotiations 2010. You can see the video below or watch it on IIED's Youtube channel.

A series of paricipatory video films were screened at the Development & Climate Days film festival, which took place during the United Nations Climate Change Convention talks in 2008 and 2009.

2008, Poznan, Poland

2009, Copenhagen, Denmark

Films completed in 2010

Watch interviews with CLACC fellows conducted on the sidelines of the Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen by Inside Climate Change Solutions:

Mamouda Na Abou Moussa from ENDA speaks about successful networking activities with NGOs in West Africa.

Shepard Zvigadza from ZERO explains how their organisation brings other groups together to discuss issues around climate change.


Climate Change and Health in Least Developed Countries, IIED, CLACC, LSHTM (2007), IIED

Adverse Impacts of Climate Change on Development of Nepal: Integrating adaptation into policies and activities, Mozaharul Alam, Bimal Raj Regmi (2004), BACS

Climate Change and Health in Uganda, Ben Twinomugisha, Baterana Byarugaba, Proscovia Nalugya, Sari Kovats, Jake Bell (2008), IIED Report

Climate Change and Health in West Africa, Salimata Wade, Oumar Sango, Krystel Dossou, Madyoury Tandia, Sari Kovats (2008), IIED Report

Against the tide: climate change and high-risk cities, David Dodman (2008), IIED Briefing paper

Civil Society Climate Change Networks in the Least Developed Countries, (2009) IIED

Capacity strengthening in the least developed countries (LDCs) for adaptation to climate change, CLACC (2005) Project leaflet

Additional resources

Southern voices on climate policy choices: Analysis of and lessons learned from civil society advocacy on climate change, Hannah Reid, Gifty Ampomah, María Isabel Olazábal Prera, Golam Rabbani, Shepard Zvigadza (2012) IIED

Production guidelines for CBA videos, Isabelle Lemaire (2010), IIED and CLACC

Civil society plays key role in policymaking in a changing climate - related web page

Interview with Sumaya Zakieldeen of Sudan - related web page

An overview of work done on Forests, resilience and climate change - related web page

Building Capacity to Cope with Climate Change in the Least Developed Countries, Reid, Hannah (et al.) in Changing Climates, Earth System and Society, John Doson (Ed.) (2010), Springer


Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)

Dexter Trust, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation - NORAD

Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency - Sida

Comic Relief

Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA)


CLACC Fellows' Organisations

ABIODES (Biological agriculture, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development) are a Mozambican association formed in 1998. ABIODES is a member of the IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) and of the African Biodiversity Network. ABIODES has implemented activities in areas such as sustainable agriculture, local economic development, environment community development and lobbying and advocacy processes as well as specialized advising and consultancy.

African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) is a Nairobi-based international intergovernmental science, technology and environmental policy thinktank that generates and disseminates new knowledge through policy analysis, capacity building and outreach.

AMADE-PELCODE, the Malian Association for the Development and Protection of the Environment and the Fight against Desertification, aims to protect the environment as well as children's welfare in the view of sustainable development.

Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies (BCAS) is an independent, non-profit, non-government, policy, research, and implementation institute working on sustainable development at local, national, regional and global levels.

CARITAS specialises in disaster risk reduction in Bangladesh. Its mission is to become a partner of people – especially the poor and marginalised, with equal respect for all – to attain integral development, to live a truly human life in dignity and to serve others responsibly.

CURE, the Coordination Unit for the Rehabilitation of the Environment, provides technical support to improve networking amongst NGOS, the Government of Malawi, donors and other organizations or individuals working in the area of environment.

DENIVA is a Ugandan network of non-governmental and community based organisations providing a platform for collective action, and a voice to voluntary local associations to strongly advocate for the creation of more opportunities for people and civil society organisation participation in the development of Uganda.

Energy and Environmental Concerns for Zambia (EECZ) is a grouping of researchers, academics and policy makers involved in the promotion and development of sustainable energy in Zambia.

Environment and Development Action in the Third World (ENDA) collaborates with grassroots groups in search of alternative development models on the basis of the experience, expectations and objectives of marginalised peoples.

Environmental Protection and Management Services (EPMS) is dedicated to enhancing environmental management and sustainable development through encouraging wise use of available knowledge, facilitating access to relevant information, training, research and investment opportunities as well as through hands-on projects

Local Initiatives for Biodiversity Research and Development (LI-BIRD) is a non-government organization in Nepal working in agriculture, biodiversity, climate change and natural resource management. LI-BIRD’s mission is to promote sustainable development and to improve the livelihoods of people in diverse agro ecological, socio-economic and cultural settings.

Organisation of Women's Management of Energy, Environment and Integrated Development (OFEDI) is a women's organisation in Benin. For further information, email:

Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) aims to inspire personal responsibility and actively involve the people of Bhutan in the conservation of the Kingdom's environment through education, applied research and information dissemination.

Sudanese Environment Conservation Society (SECS) promotes the conservation of the environment and achievement of sustainable development through community participation. SECS plays a leading role in the formulation and execution of an environmental literacy program.

Zero Regional Environment Organisation (ZERO) is a research, planning and implementation agency operating in the Southern African region since 1987 with a mission to work with rural and urban communities fostering balanced, healthy growth and self reliance within a rapidly changing world.

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