Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Africa (Region 3)

Photo: Pixaby Dry earth and dead tree


28 April – 9 June 2023, Online
6.00pm - 9.30pm AEST


Supporting informed decision‑making throughout Africa.


Application deadline is 30 March 2023 (1:00pm Australia time, AEDT).

This course is open to participants from the following countries only: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Togo.

To apply for this course, first read 'The Application Process' below and then click on the REGISTER ONLINE button (on this webpage), which will take you to PART A of the two-step application process.


Course Convener: Dr Steve Crimp

Adaptation Action Plan (AAP) Mentors:

Dr Matthew Colloff and Dr Adegboyega Adeniran


Africa is highly sensitive to both existing climate variability and projected climate change. As a result, governments, industries and communities throughout Africa are increasingly required to respond to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

In collaboration with the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), ICEDS has developed this 6‑week online course to provide professionals employed in government, non-government organisations (NGOs), the private sector, academia and community-based organisations in Africa with a contextual understanding of climate change impacts, the adaptation and mitigation options available, and challenges to be overcome.

As a participant of this course, you will be presented with information that will help you to identify and define climate change impacts and vulnerability, the policy and development implications of different climate change adaptation and mitigation options, and the legal frameworks, governance, sectoral contexts and socio-economic rationales underpinning climate change adaptation and mitigation. You will acquire knowledge to assist evidence-based policy development and reform, enhance your interpretation and analysis skills, and discuss different socio-economic impacts and policy interventions.

This online course is delivered as an interactive mix of lectures and group discussions led by academics and practitioners with regional expertise in different aspects of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Module Outline

The complexity and intersections of climate change adaptation and mitigation are delivered via 6 weekly modules, incorporating economics, ecology, sustainability, governance, politics, regulation, environment, human rights, gender and social inclusion.

  • Week 1: Why Climate Change Adaptation? Understanding Drivers of Action, and Moving from Science to Action
  • Week 2: An Introduction to Systems Thinking for Climate Change Adaptation in Africa
  • Week 3: Health and Food Security in a Changing World
  • Week 4: The Importance of Systems Thinking, Gender and Finance in Responding to Climate Change
  • Week 5: Water Resource Management, the Role of Partnerships, and Disaster Preparedness
  • Week 6: Integration of Learning Outcomes and AAP Completion

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, it is expected that participants who successfully completed all tasks will have the following skills and knowledge:

  • An understanding of the key foundational and advanced concepts and practices for effective climate change adaptation policy development and implementation. Also a comprehension of the political, socioeconomic, regional and international risks, costs and benefits these may entail.
  • An understanding of the science behind climate change impact and vulnerability assessment, including data collection and monitoring/surveillance mechanisms. Also, a comprehension of the methods and tools for developing and accessing climate change adaptation options with stakeholders.
  • A greater appreciation of the management of the environment, regulation, and legal aspects of governance as socio‑ecological systems in which human behaviour management is an intrinsic component.
  • Awareness of how to identify and critically consider the core components of international and regional legal frameworks, treaties and institutions for responding to climate change for policy makers.
  • A greater appreciation of the complexities of national and regional coordination around climate change adaptation at different scales of governance, from the complexities of effective engagement with traditionally marginalised stakeholders, to the complexities of multi-lateral action.
  • An appreciation of the shared challenges and contextual differences in climate change adaptation across the region, and the regional and national legal and policy responses and opportunities.

Assignment: Adaptation Action Plan (AAP)

The AAP assignment runs throughout the course, with a session devoted to AAP development each week. The development of the AAP is self-directed but with support from the Course Convenor and AAP Mentors.

Over the first five weeks of the course, participants are supported to develop their AAP idea into an operational plan. In developing the plan, we ask participants to consider what type of adaptation action they want to undertake, who the active stakeholders would be, timelines, and expected outcomes.

In week 6, participants present their AAPs within the online classroom to their fellow participants. The presentation of an AAP is one of the mandatory requirements to qualify for an ANU Certificate of Completion for this course.

Workloads and Completion Requirements

This course will be online and delivered over 6 weeks in April-June 2023.

A weekly breakdown of the first 5 weeks of the course would notionally look like this:

  • Monday – Lecture 1 & Lecture 2 (1-3 hour time block)
  • Tuesday – no organised sessions (time available for individual work)
  • Wednesday – Lecture 3 & Lecture 4 (1-3 hour time block)
  • Thursday – no organised sessions (time available for individual work)
  • Friday – Lecture 5 & AAP Session (1-3 hour time block)

Note – Lectures include presentations, activities, group discussions and/or interactive sessions.

Week 6 of the course is a flipped classroom, where participants present their AAP assignments to the other participants, lecturers and government representatives.

Overall, participants will spend between 40-50 hours on the course. This includes between 5 and 8.5 hours per week online in weeks 1-5 of the course, 2 hours of individual work per week on the AAP assignment or preparation for Group Activity sessions, and attendance at the week 6 AAP presentations.

To qualify for an ANU Certificate of Completion, participants must (as a minimum):

  • Develop and present a satisfactory Adaptation Action Plan (AAP).
  • Engage in the course online discussion forums – submitting at least 2 comments/questions.
  • Attend a minimum of 50% of the course’s online sessions – recordings will be available for missed sessions.
  • Complete the course surveys.

Pre-Requisites for this Course

To apply for this course, you must be based within one of the specified countries listed at the top of this page.

The course will be taught in English, and participants must have good English language proficiency (written and spoken).

Participants are expected to hold a professional mid-level or senior-level position in policy, practice, research or reform, whether in government, civil society or the private sector. Participants must have completed secondary schooling and at least three years of tertiary education, have at least 3-5 years of work experience at mid to senior levels, and have a reasonably good base-level understanding of the subject matter.

As participation in this course is likely to intersect with and impact on your work duties or study, all applications for this course must include a signed Letter of Support. See 'The Application Process' below for more information.

Who Should Apply

We encourage professionals working in government, NGOs, private business or community sector on issues related to climate change adaptation, mitigation and/or disaster recovery to apply.

The Application Process

To apply for this course, you will need to complete the two-stage application process:

  • PART A – an online form where you provide your name, role/organisation and email address. Once submitted, applicants receive a link and password to access PART B of the application.
  • PART B – an online form with questions relating to your demographics, language, current and previous relevant work experience, AAP idea(s), and reasons for applying for this course.

Both PART A and PART B must be fully completed and submitted by the closing deadline if you wish to be considered for this course.

PART B of the application form asks applicants to upload 3 files (max. file size = 100MB each). These files are a mandatory part of the application. They are:

  1. Evidence of your English language proficiency - this must be one of the following:
    • IELTS test score (dated within the past 10 years),
    • TOEFL test score (dated within the past 10 years), OR
    • a recent sample of your formal writing (dated within the past 10 years, (e.g.) academic paper, policy brief, business plan, etc.) with the sample clearly showing you as the primary author.
  2. Letter demonstrating support for your application - this must be one of the following (depending on your current employment/study circumstances):
    • Letter of Support,
    • Letter of Response, OR
    • Letter of Recommendation (see more information below).
  3. Your updated curriculum vitae or resume.

Letter of Support/Response/Recommendation

If you are currently an employee, you must attach a Letter of Support (on official letterhead) from your employer and signed by a supervisor, stating that they support your application for this course. We advise that you use the sample letter here: Sample Letter (DOC, 22 KB)

If you are currently self-employed, you must attach a Letter of Response (on official business letterhead), signed by you and outlining the role you play in your business/organisation, the length of time you have held this position, and major activities you have lead or been involved in over the past 2 years.

If you are currently unemployed or studying, you must attach a Letter of Recommendation from a previous employer (employment within past 2 years) OR from a community-based organisation that you have undertaken work for within the past 2 years OR from the institution where you are studying. The Letter of Recommendation must be on official letterhead and signed by a previous or current supervisor, or by a lecturer/convener.

Please Note: The letter that you provide should reflect a clear understanding of the time commitment for course participation (i.e. minimum of 30 hours). The Letter of Support/Response/Recommendation is mandatory, and applications without an official and signed letter will be marked as incomplete.

All complete and valid applications will progress to the ANU-DFAT selection panel, and successful applicants will be informed via email 1-2 weeks before the course commences.