Meet the five projects selected under the "Stronger Partnerships: Local Innovations for New Climate Realities in Cities" Innovation Call for Proposals.

Recipient: Women for the World, Yangon, Myanmar  

Grant amount: USD 29,820

Through this project, Women for the World (WfW) seeks to mitigate heat damage in urban poor neighbourhoods, increase climate change awareness, and mainstream community-led processes in Yangon, Myanmar. The project adds to existing community-driven housing efforts already underway in Yangon by WfW. 

While Cities Alliance received many proposals on the topic of cooling strategies, the WfW Community-led Heat Mitigation project stood out because it fits within a larger initiative (community-driven housing efforts) and includes community engagement. In addition, its partnership with organisations reduces gaps between top-down approaches and the realities of on-the-ground implementation.

One component of the project draws on innovative and engaging citizen science activities, such as conducting neighbourhood heat assessments with an inexpensive thermal monitor to collect temperatures on street level. Using both tangible evidence and experienced/perceived data, this step can help inform scientific arguments surrounding issues related to heat mitigation.

A significant output of the WfW project will be the implementation of four pilot programs. These programs will be developed by the community with the support of architects and climate experts, together sharing ideas for sustainable and affordable measures to mitigate heat. These programs may include planting shade trees, creating community gardens, securing water, constructing passive building designs, and replacing rooftop materials. Along with relevant literature, WfW will create video clips for the project demonstrating qualitative changes and results over the course of its implementation.

Recipient: Hope Raisers Youth Group, Korogocho – Nairobi, Kenya  

Grant amount: USD 29,280

Background and approach

A creative and intriguing project by Hope Raisers Youth Group seeks to aid Korogocho, one of Nairobi’s largest slum neighbourhoods, adapt to the impacts of climate change. Future Yetu (Our Future) is employing digital storytelling as a way to spark dialogue between residents and policymakers on climate adaptation interventions, engage the greater Korogocho community and local government in innovating and sharing smart solutions, and enable collaboration on climate adaptation ideas that could form the basis of future policy, especially regarding how the Korogocho community can create climate change-resilient livelihoods.

Achievements so far

Through the last months, the project has established a climate change adaptation committee in order to liaise and promote dialogue between existing and emerging networks and the Nairobi County Environment department on the topic of climate adaptation. It has also identified vulnerable community members and has conducted a knowledge attitude practise survey on climate adaptation in order to increase awareness and education. Finally, it has developed digital storytelling content through the community members of Korogocho in order to understand the perceptions of stakeholders about effective community participation. All these project activities aim at providing guidance on the development and implementation of the Korogocho climate change adaptation manifesto focused on reducing vulnerability and strengthening the resilience of Korogocho and its neighbouring communities.

Read full update here

Recipient: Action for Women and Children Concern (AWCC), Lower Shabelle region, Somalia  

Grant amount: USD 29,994

Background and approach

Early warning systems are an increasingly important tool for helping vulnerable communities worldwide prepare for, monitor, and respond rapidly to climate-related natural disasters and risks such as flooding and famines. With this project, AWCC aims to increase resilience to climate-induced shocks for 55,000 vulnerable people in the Marka district of the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia.

AWCC is working in collaboration with local and global partners to strengthen community capacities to prepare for, respond to, mitigate, and adapt to disaster, especially via better mobile phone alert systems for events like seasonal flooding.

Achievements so far

Within the last months, the project conducted some of its activities such as two community awareness trainings on inclusive CBDRM including interactive, group discussion and brainstorming sessions. Moreover, AWCC conducted a baseline survey, two mobilization session and three trainings, respective for 50 stakeholders and 90 community members, including local authorities and community elders. The next steps of the project include the creation of CBDRM committees and the development of community action plans. 

Read full update here

Recipient: Badabon Sangho, Patuakhali and Bagerhat, Bangladesh  

Grant amount: USD 29,669

Background and approach

Young people and digital technology often go hand in hand. Badabon Sangho, a women-led NGO working on development issues in the Southwest region of Bangladesh, seeks to leverage this natural affinity to aid in an ambitious project to improve climate resilience planning in vulnerable urban areas. The project is training youth volunteers in data collection and digital mapping, using apps on Android mobile devices along with Open Data Kit (ODK), to collect and upload data in the field. The maps and databases are part of a coordinated local effort to better inform residents of Patuakhali and Bagerhat about existing climate risks, as well as to share climate resilience plans developed to help them cope with these risks. In addition, the databases may also be used to help with land tenure issues for members of poorer communities.

Achievements so far

Through the last months, the organization has carried out meetings and consultations with local authorities and residents in order to educate communities on climate risks. Further sessions will be carried out with a special focus on indigenous (Rakhine) and women-headed households. Badabon Sangho has also trained 12 youths on data collection and provided them with the tools to collect geo-data and household information to be uploaded on the platform for 770 households in informal settlements.The data was used to prepare a draft map of three informal settlements in Mongla port municipalities. Moreover, a community led Climate Resilience Plan Development Committee has been formed in order to verify the data and map, and further consultations with Rakhine and women-headed households are ongoing to identify needs and issues for incorporation in the climate resilience plan.

Read full update here

Recipient: Tree Adoption Uganda, Kampala, Uganda  

Grant amount: USD 30,000

Background and approach

When solid waste is dumped in already inadequate drainage channels, the result is blocked drains and increased flooding. This is a growing hazard, especially in poorer communities, where little or no services for garbage collection meets already vulnerable residents. Tree Adoption Uganda aims to address this problem through a multi-faceted project involving education, advocacy, and incentives. The project includes a variety of approaches such as practical learning sessions on proper waste sorting and collection of segregated waste for 1000 households. Moreover, it also engages the community in activities for the creation of potential value in sorted waste through the distribution of carbonizers for the transformation of waste into carbon briquette and the linking of residents with recyclers to sell collected reusable plastics. 

Achievements so far

Within the last months, the project conducted a baseline survey and mapping of the community and flooding areas, and a workshop with the community to receive recommendations on the project planned activities. As a result, TAU revised the project strategy and is going to distribute carbonizing drums to convert sorted organic waste into carbon for briquette making instead of color-coded collection bins. This new initiative was accompanied by new trainings and awareness sessions with the community on waste management, sorting, carbonizing and briquette making. In order to increase awareness, TAU also created an animated video on waste management that has been shared on social medias and will also run on national television.

Read full update here

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In addition to funding, Cities Alliance offers networking, visibility and learning opportunities to the projects selected. See tab "Resources" for more information.

This initiative is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Sida, and implemented within the frame of Cities Alliance Climate Change, Resilience and Informality in Cities project, supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Adapting to climate change will require innovation, creativity, experimentation and, above all, partnerships.

Cities Alliance Secretariat