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Capacity development

A critical component of IAM COMPACT is its capacity development activities in four countries with hitherto limited in-house capabilities.

From a policy perspective, it is critical that national policymakers have ownership of their country’s climate-related commitments. Although this is a reality in most countries and regions, it remains a challenge in many parts of the world, especially in non-high-income countries with limited institutional capacity, where modelling underpinning these commitments is often outsourced to consultancies.

IAM COMPACT envisages to be the first, truly co-creative climate-economy modelling project, so that its research questions are scientifically ground-breaking and demand-driven, its results pass the political economy and ecological validity tests, and its process is transparent, comprehended, trusted, legitimised, nationally owned, and transformed into practical action. This includes such countries with limited so far in-house capacity to underpin their sustainable way forward. IAM COMPACT will thus upscale the validation of the approach to co-creating narratives for Paris-compliant sustainable development that international organisations, such as UNDP and UNDESA, employ at the national or regional level.

Ethiopia, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Ukraine are among such countries, featuring a wide range of challenges: Ethiopia and Kenya are among the fastest developing countries in Africa with multiple open sustainability fronts, Sri Lanka is an island state in South Asia facing severe sustainability threats from climate change, while Ukraine is a geopolitically sensitive country with high mitigation and adaptation priorities and social aspects attached to its decarbonisation. Nonetheless, all four countries share an ambition to increase mitigation and adaptation efforts and limitations in technical capacity to support such efforts.

Kenya is facing multiple sustainability challenges, revolving around modern energy access, health, nutrition, clean water, etc. Sustainability efforts need to be intensified. However, ahead of its National Climate Change Action Plan update, the country lacks appropriate modelling capacities.

Within IAM COMPACT, we will study, together with national stakeholders and six diverse coast-side counties, the clean energy - clean water - food - health nexus, co-developing a model for multi-SDG analysis.

You may follow all our capacity development activities in Kenya here.

In this fast-developing country, the competition for water resources is exacerbated by climatic changes, while livestock and biomass consumption are among the highest contributors to GHG emissions. Capacity development within UK's EEG program supported the creation of an AAiT-led local team of experts in energy analysis.

IAM COMPACT will expand this capacity to carry out integrated resource assessments, focusing on sustainable biomass for energy and low-carbon farming.

You may follow all our capacity development activities in Ethiopia here.

With adopted strategies not yet establishing a clear link between the energy sector and climate action, Ukraine’s NDC targets are being revised to increase the country’s ambition.

IAM COMPACT will help develop capacities and produce comprehensive modelling of the energy- climate-environment nexus, toward underpinning data-driven climate policies pertinent to Ukraine’s current needs, and integrating a robust hydrogen strategy in the upcoming Integrated Energy and Climate plan.

You may follow all our capacity development activities in Ukraine here.

This island state in South Asia joined a technical assistance programme with UNDP and UNDESA, leading to model applications across climate, land use, energy, and water.

IAM COMPACT will further expand acquired capacity, to support the country's NDC and plans for sustainable development (including climate resilience, food security, water use, hydro development, etc.). This will involve deep-dive assessments of existing policies and the current debate on climate neutrality in the country by 2050.

You may follow all our capacity development activities in Sri Lanka here.

The project’s work in this respect will be based on the Energy Economic Growths’ (EEG) Roundtable Initiative on Strategic Energy Planning, endorsed by numerous international organisations, academic institutions, development partners long engaged in integrated planning capacity development activities. The Roundtable has established five essential principles for effective planning: national ownership, coherence and inclusivity, capacity, robustness, and transparency and accessibility. Strategic planning that is grounded on such principles is meant to lead to creation of an ‘energy planning ecosystem’: a locally rooted system of actors, relations, tools concurring to long-term national energy planning. Among others, UNDP and UNDESA have been developing and evolving a format for capacity development that is consistent with this idea: this includes regional and country trainings where participants (from a pool of institutions, from academia to government) learn together key concepts of integrated planning of resource use and policy coherence and apply them by using open, low-threshold models. These are meant to be used/developed entirely locally, by several institutions together, to provide science-base for policy. In the most successful cases, use of these models nurtures a local planning ecosystem, where universities develop research and educate young modellers, whose knowledge is spilt over to planning units within governments. The most challenging pillar, ownership, is key to the long-term success and sustainability of any effort. Development of local models, use of local data, presence of this data in local, cross-institutionally used databases, development of locally relevant scenarios can establish ownership.

With the help of four boots-on-the-ground partners, IAM COMPACT will build on these experiences and carry out capacity activities in the four countries, to capture local specificities and create ownership of the science-based policy support process. Activities will include guiding teams of local experts in getting hands-on experience with the modelling tools, designing scenarios, and running analyses. Capacity development will happen in stages: transferring key concepts of resource systems and their interlinkages, integrated resource management, and policy coherence; familiarising with tools appropriate for addressing the identified policy questions in a self-learning approach; teamwork for developing a full-fledged resource optimisation model. For the development of these models, the consortium will make use of the modelling frameworks available in the project’s rich and diverse ensemble.