Visualizing Adaptation Experience:

Exploring 'Integrated Analytics' To Learn Lessons From Climate Change in Cabo Verde

Advancing the Methodology From Academic Exercise to Practical Tool

This work is founded on an innovative, practical method that aims to systematically capture and make sense of the complex context that influences action.  The method provides a meta-taxonomy for organizing information from a range of sources, both structured and unstructured, qualitative and quantitative.  Given that the taxonomy is founded on sociological thinking about the social system – something universal for all societies – it allows us to compare across contexts and see trends related to actors and their actions.  However, the method itself cannot standalone, as one of its benefits is allowing us to “see” things differently.  Vizualizing these insights is critical in order to dive deeper into the analysis.

Therefore, after years developing, applying, and adjusting the methodology, this initiative has taken the next step of putting together a user-friendly platform that semi-automates the process.   (more…)

Contextualizing Indicators

Throughout the process of applying and semi-automating the methodology used for this initiative, the team recognized the need to ground the work in existing approaches and methods.  This means also taking advantage of information that is already being collected.  One of the most commonly captured information around projects are indicators, commonly used by development practitioners to track progress of ongoing initiatives.  But how is this linked to learning and  visualizing experiences? (more…)

UNDP-CIM talk at Warwick

Here are some links to the public seminar that Jenny Baumwoll and Jerri Husch presented at Warwick on Thursday 29 October 2015. (Sorry about the video/sound quality!)


Part 1: Jerri introducing the talk (8-9 mins):

Part 2: Jenny introducing the global programme (4-5 mins): . (NB. to see the short video in this clip, see also here:

Part 3: Jenny introducing the Cabo Verde part of this project (11 mins) :

Second Working Meetings: Developing the Platform

The second series of working meetings were held at the University of Warwick from 26-28 October. The meetings consisted of in-depth discussions, brainstorming and agreements on a series of issues related to how to consolidate the method and further the development of the platform.  A small group of 9 participants joined the meeting from a range of stakeholder groups (University of Cabo Verde, UNDP, FAO, University of Warwick), bringing a range of expertise to the table, including sociology, agricultural science, data visualization, designers, big data, architecture, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, ecosystem services and software development.  Even their creativity was tested with playdough!

photo1 photo2 photo3


Presentation at UNDP New York

While passing through New York this week, Jennifer Baumwoll gave a presentation introducing the initiative to UNDP colleagues and to get feedback from these potential users.  In the spirit of “working outloud,” a good discussion was held on how this approach can be sustained beyond 2015 and scaled up.  You can access the powerpoint presentation here:

ppt coverCQP4K_DWcAEiB4Y

Update on Cabo Verde fieldwork

As the end of two weeks of training, data collection, coding and preliminary analyses comes to an end, it’s time to share what the team has been up to.  It’s been a busy time and some new insights are emerging from all of the first stage work.

Our first effort was to get the “Social Lab” organized and our amazing contact at UNDP Cabo Verde, Sandra Martins (a miracle worker) was able to find us a room with enough wall and desk space for the team to work. The empty meeting space was ideal for the research work.

LAB1Desk Space

The main task of the research team is to create a data base that can be shared with the Visuality design team as they create a dynamic platform to semi-automate the data integration and visualization process.  That means the research team will be doing two jobs.  One, is learning and using an XL spreadsheet and visual software to work with the Cabo Verde data and then, to learn and use the new platform.


Launching the Initiative!

From 7-11 September, the team undertook the official launch of this innovation initiative in Praia, Cabo Verde.

The week included an initial training on the “integrated methodology and visual analytics” approach for national stakehodlers, which will be the methodology that underpins the research of this initiative, and discussion on how to design the visual platform.   



BLOG: Learning from adaptation experience means breaking down the context

Blog post written by Jennifer Baumwoll, original posted here: UNDP – Our Perspectives 

When it comes to climate change adaptation, it is often said that we must identify the lessons learned and share these lessons with other practitioners. Given the enormous challenge posed by climate change, we must constantly ask ourselveDSC_0555 (640x426)s: how can we replicate or scale up what works?

And yet, adaptation couldn’t be more context specific. What I’ve learned from working with adaptation initiatives across the world is that not only are adaptation priorities different—from agricultural and water management to health and tourism—but measures that work in one location often will not work in another. For example, both Cabo Verde and Niger are dealing with water shortages, but the reservoir and water canal systems being built on a mountainous island in Cabo Verde are not feasible in the savannahs of Niger.


Defining Focus Questions

As described in the overview page of this site, the “Action Intelligence” methodology which underlies the approach to this initiative aims to construct and visualize the socio-cultural “landscape” around a given initiative.  Using a specific social taxonomy to organize  data – both quantitative and qualitative, from macro to micro, and structured and unstructured, — this approach allows us to make sense of  complex social issues and visualize linkages in order to provide new insights into those issues.  In other words, when it comes to adaptation action, if we can better understand the context and details surrounding these actions, we will be better able to analyze and learn from them.