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Community / Land projects / Transforming Social Inequalities through Inclusive Climate Action (TSITICA)

Transforming Social Inequalities through Inclusive Climate Action (TSITICA)


04/20 - 03/23


This project is part of


The Agenda 2030 of the UN sets out ambitious challenges for society to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While all SDGs are important in Africa, those related to poverty (SDG 1, 8), inequality (SDG 5, 10) and climate change (SDG 13, 7) are especially relevant. Africa has some of the highest global poverty rates, levels of inequality, climate vulnerabilities, and shortfalls in energy access. Making substantial progress on all these SDGs will require action in any single SDG domain that maximises synergies and co-benefits and avoids as much as possible negative trade-offs. Aims and Objectives: Our project's overarching research question is: How do African societies design and implement climate action to improve sustainable livelihoods, and reduce both poverty and inequality? For example, all African countries need to adapt their food systems to be more resilient to climate change, but there are different routes to achieving this - such as investing in large-scale industrialised agriculture or supporting small-scale farmers to be more climate smart - which can result in very different livelihood benefits across society. Our second objective is to build a network of African-UK researchers who can bring deep disciplinary expertise to bear on this interdisciplinary problem. In particular, our project brings together two newly-established ARUA Centres of Excellence (CoE) on climate change and inequalities, with world-leading expertise from the UK, to form this network and to work at the nexus of climate change, inequality and poverty. Our Approach: To address the climate-poverty-inequality nexus in Africa we have created an interdisciplinary research team with expertise in development economics, livelihoods, poverty and inequality, climate policy and governance, energy and mitigation, and adaptation. We will answer our research questions through comparative research across three country settings - Ghana, Kenya and South Africa - that will allow us to synthesise commonalities and differences across these different contexts. Our approach is multi-scale and multi-dimensional, seeking to understand i) the political, economic and policy context within which transformative climate actions are enabled (or prevented); ii) how socio-economic and climate change policies have affected livelihood trajectories of different groups in society; iii) the potential outcomes from climate change actions, with a focus on how these outcomes vary across social groups, especially between men and women, but also social differences such as education, income, and land tenure; iv) how existing climate actions are working (or not) to build sustainable livelihood trajectories for communities; v) understanding the country-wide social and economic benefits of different climate actions, when applied at scale. Our project will involve close collaboration with leaders in policy and practice, and also with communities, so that their needs and priorities inform our research, and so that our research in turn shifts their thinking and actions. Project Outcomes: - A well-established, pan-African research network that has multiple collaborations within this project, and in new projects leveraged out of this project. - Evidence on the synergies and trade-offs between climate action, poverty and inequality. - Evidence on how specific national priority climate actions can be designed to deliver co-benefits for livelihoods and reducing poverty and inequality. - Ultimately, climate policies and associated actions to be transformative in improving livelihoods and well-being, reducing poverty and inequality, rather than business as usual at national and global political levels.


The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) supports cutting-edge research to address challenges faced by developing countries. The fund addresses the UN sustainable development goals. It aims to maximise the impact of research and innovation to improve lives and opportunity in the developing world.