Climate change in sub-Saharan Africa

Impacts and responses for women and girls

Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has awarded funding to PEP for a new research initiative on “Climate change in Africa: Impacts and responses for women and girls”. Through this three-year initiative (2020-2023), PEP is supporting five research projects, each in a different sub-Saharan African country (see below).

The aim of this initiative is to produce the evidence that local and national policymakers need to inform specific policy interventions for:

  1. Increasing women’s leadership in defining and implementing solutions to mitigate or adapt to climate change effects, and
  2. Mitigating the effects of climate change on gender equality and life chances among children.

To build research capacities and promote research use in Africa

To ensure the relevance of the research and its use for informing policy, the projects will be led by teams of local researchers and government officers. PEP selected five mixed government-research teams following a competitive call for proposals

Through PEP’s Grant Plus project support program, members of the selected receive training, mentorship and resources to:

  • Conduct rigorous, cutting-edge and gender-sensitive analysis,
  • Communicate this evidence to decision-makers, and
  • Use evidence to inform policy processes within government institutions. 

During the project cycle, the researchers in the project teams will be trained in and use cutting-edge methodologies (macro-micro policy modellingmicroeconomic analysis and non-experimental impact evaluation, and experimental impact evaluation) to inform relevant development policy decisions in their home countries. They will also receive training in gender analysis and analysis of the effects of climate change shocks.

The government-affiliated team members will acquire critical knowledge of rigorous analysis (its features, requirements and constraints) and improve evidence use practices within their institutions.

Women and girls in Uganda carrying water

Addressing an urgent need

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today. The negative effects of climate change on welfare, livelihoods and economic prospects are felt by all countries, but developing countries and, within them, the most vulnerable populations suffer the greatest impacts. This is especially true for women and girls. 

Although climate shocks do not discriminate, women often have a lower capacity than men to respond and adapt to their effects. Similarly, climate hazards exacerbate children’s vulnerabilities, putting them at risk of physical and psychological harm and compromising their development. Women are also often uniquely situated – such as by being responsible for household energy consumption decisions – to lead efforts in combating climate change.

Since 2015, 36 of sub-Saharan Africa’s 46 countries have established polices, laws, plans and strategies relating to climate change. However, only three countries – Mali, Malawi and Nigeria – identify women and children as populations in need of particular consideration. There is an urgent need for in-depth, gender-sensitive evidence to inform climate change response policies.

Projects selected for PEP support

Five projects, in as many sub-Saharan African countries, are being supported under this initiative - including four in low-income economies and/or fragile or conflict-affected situations (LIE/FC). These projects involve a total of 36 researchers and government officers

In the lists below, the projects are grouped according to the analytical approach (research method) applied. Click on the country for the project findings and publications.

Microeconomic analysis

Nigeria**  Gendered Effects of Crop Diversification and Rainfall Shocks on Household Food Security Status in Nigeria

Malawi*  Climate shocks and decision-making amongst smallholder farm households in Malawi: Do gender roles influence adaptation?

Tanzania  Adoption of Multiple Climate Smart Agriculture Practices: Study on Gender Welfare Gap and Policy Options for Women Empowerment

Macro-micro policy modelling

Burkina Faso***  Chocs pluviométriques sur le bien d’être des femmes agricultrices au Burkina Faso

Cameroon**  Impact genre des politiques publiques d’adaptation au changement climatique sur la sécurité alimentaire au Cameroun

*Low-income economies (LIE)   **Fragile or conflict-affected situations (FC)  ***LIE and FC

Supported by

Logo: Global Affairs Canada

Awarded as part of the Environmental Economics for Inclusive Development Policy Project under the International Assistance Research and Knowledge Facility hosted by the International Assistance Knowledge Division of Global Affairs Canada.


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Logo Hewlett Foundation
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European Union
Fonds d'innovation pour le Développement
Global Education Analytics Institute